Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Seeing Christmas From a Different Perspective

Photo from Yahoo Images

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.

The Stranger

    At Christmas time there was a man who looked so out of place
    as people rushed about him at a hurried sort of pace.
    He stared at all the Christmas lights, the tinsel everywhere,
    the shopping center Santa Claus with children gathered near.

    The mall was packed with shoppers who were going to and fro,
    some with smiles and some with frowns and some too tired to go.
    They rested on the benches or they hurried on their way
    to fight the crowd for purchases to carry home that day.

    The music from a stereo was playing loud and clear
    of Santa Claus and snowmen and a funny nosed reindeer.
    He heard the people talk about the good times on the way
    of parties, fun and good galore, and gifts exchanged that day.

    I'd like to know what's going on, the man was heard to say.
    There seems to be some sort of celebration on the way.
    And would you tell me who this is, all dressed in red and white?
    And why are children asking him about a special night?

    The answer came in disbelief, "I can't believe my ear!
    I can't believe you do not know that Christmas time is here.
    The time when Santa comes around with gifts for girls and boys.
    When they're asleep on Christmas Eve, he leaves them books and toys.

    The man you see in red and white is Santa Claus, so sly.
    The children love his joyful laugh and twinkle in his eye.
    His gift-packed sleigh is pulled along by very small reindeer
    as he flies quickly through the air, while darting there and here.

    The children learn of Santa Claus while they are still quite small.
    When Christmas comes he is the most important one of all.
    The stranger hung His head in shame, He closed a nail-pierced hand.
    His body shook in disbelief, He did not understand.
    A shadow crossed His stricken face, His voice was low but clear,
    "After ALL these years, they STILL don't know." And Jesus shed a tear.


  1. This sounds cold & harsh, but my husbands brother & his wife just had their second kid & we didn't buy them a single thing. Not even a card. Why? Because they have sooo much stuff still unused from the first kid. Toys all over creation. Clothing. Stuff & more stuff. We'll take them out to dinner next time we are up their way...but they don't need more stuff & we don't want to contribute to that either - especially since we are decluttering our own home.

  2. I bet they will enjoy having you take them out and spending time with them. They may be very glad that you didn't send anything since they have so much! Thanks for sharing.