Spread peace

Published 8:40 pm Saturday, December 20, 2008

Take a deep breath and remember that the holiday season is about giving and loving, not fighting to see who gets the quickest service from a store. Nor is it a time to yell at the store clerks for problems that are likely far beyond their control. The Christmas season, unfortunately, has become associated with store congestion and scenarios where customers lose their cool. Too many people buying too many things at the last minute is a recipe for frustration. Each year around this time, stories hit the news about verbal and sometimes even physical altercations in retail outlets across the nation.

With less than one week before the most celebrated holiday of the year, the last-minute shoppers will be out in full force. There always are scores of people who wait until the final week to do their Christmas shopping, but based on early results from retailers, there is a hope that more people waited this year until the last minute. If not, retailers will feel the brunt of the economy as much as the banks and domestic car dealers.

Sales reports from big and small retailers alike have been dismal at best this holiday season. Although the sales aren’t on par with last year and even the year before, merchants are working to make sure that their customers have options and attractive prices available.

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If you are one of the many who will be out and about this week, remember this is a season of peace and love – not anger and irritation. Remember that the store clerks are tired too, and have dealt with some unbelievable customers. Try sharing a little bit of Christmas cheer this year, rather than stealing others’ joy.