A few years ago, I had the opportunity to work in a toy store for the holiday season. I learned a few things from this experience.
1. I learned what the best quality games and toys were. This has helped me if I buy used toys at because I know what to look for.
2. I learned that many people don't know what they want when they go shopping. I didn't like the counsel I was given that since people don't know what they want, you tell them what they want and sell it. Needless to say, I have never gone back to work there. I felt like it was hypocritical to do that and wouldn't. I tried to ask about the person they were buying for and make some suggestions, but I am not a hard core salesperson. You wouldn't want to hire me if you want to make lots of money.
3. I learned that many retailers "use" the holidays to increase their sales. They take advantage of every opportunity to sell things and make money.
4. I learned that it is easy to buy more when you are listening to upbeat, happy Christmas carols.
5. Spending my days watching people buy so much stuff made me realize how we really have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. Advertisers have been very successful in targeting kids so parents are willing to pay outrageous prices just to keep them happy. Parents don't want them disappointed on Christmas morning if they don't get what they ask Santa for.
Photo from Yahoo Images
This experience has made me want to avoid crowded malls, etc. around Christmas, because I see that it is all about selling and making money off people, not celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.
This Christmas poem, The Stranger, tells exactly what I am trying to say. I am grateful for the experience I had working in the toy store to show me what Christmas was like from a different perspective.