Is it too soon to urge a little peace and good will this Christmas?
We’ve all seen the alternative, and it isn’t pretty.
Some of us, it seems, are so busy pursuing the material side of the holidays that we’ve lost sight of the spirit.
Stressed-out shoppers grimly hunting bargains in the aisles, screaming kids with surly parents and couples who look like they’re going to a funeral instead of experiencing the joy of the season.
In short, people who bring their bad mood into a retail outlet to share with the staff and other consumers.
Examples of bad behavior abound, as Times columnist Jim McGregor describes on this page.
While this can be a tough time of year if your finances are tight, it doesn’t have to be a fiscal or emotional crisis.
After all, the most expensive item in the store is no gift at all if the giver is grinding their teeth about the cost and the resulting damage to their credit rating.
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong about giving big gifts, but not at the cost of civility and peace of mind.
There are any number of inexpensive ways of celebrating the holiday season that don’t require busting your bank balance or losing your mind.
Try asking the people in the stores, nicely, and you might discover some clever alternatives.
So this Christmas, a suggestion: if you feel yourself starting to get anxious or angry, pause and take a deep breath and try to keep things in their proper perspective.
Try smiling. Do something nice like holding a door open or letting a driver merge in front.
It doesn’t cost a thing.
Keep in mind, this is all supposed to be honouring the memory of someone who lived an impoverished life devoted to the less fortunate.
Someone whose sacrifice might be better celebrated with a little more gratitude for the people in our lives and a little less drama at the tills this season.