Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why Shopping At Christmas Isn't All Bad

"There's nothing more contagious than the laughter of young children; it doesn't even have to matter what they're laughing about."  -Criss Jami

Recently I was reminded of the innocence and excitement of childhood.  The day had been stressful.  Full of lists, to do and otherwise; one of those days where you're scrambling to write things down on scraps of paper before they leave the forefront of your mind.  This feelings was amplified with the knowledge that LA is heading out of town and won't be at work.  So much to do, so little time.

My reminder for the true meaning of the season came as I wandered the aisles of Walmart.  I was shopping for work, well past my scheduled hours, fighting through the clutter and metallic wrapping paper.  My shopping technique is pretty standard - weave up and down every aisle, sometimes twice, looking for whatever is on my list.  It's served me well thus far, and although time consuming, it leaves ample time for taking in the sites.

This particular trip took me into the garden-turned-Christmas area, a little room off to the side at the back of the store.  I was looking for big robe boxes for coats for our students, and wrapping paper to cover a window during our holiday party next week.  There were rows of ornaments and bows, small villages and tabletop trees; and as it always happens, what I needed was in the last two rows.

But I couldn't have been more grateful for the delay, the wandering up and down as I searched for what I needed.  For it was here, in this small area at the back of the store, where a mom was pushing a cart containing, among various gifts and necessities, two little girls.  I heard them before I saw them.  They loudly announced their arrival with a chorus of "ho, ho, ho," trying to make their little voices as deep as possible.

As they neared my cart, I see one in the seat and one in the basket, both wearing their curly dark hair up and flaunting Christmas stockings on their hands.  They sing a made up song, "Merry Christmas to everyone."  Their excitement and wonder at the season is infectious and I can't keep myself from smiling.  They have no idea how much their sweet spirits have brightened my stressful day.  There is something beautiful about the innocence of a child and the energy they can barely contain during this special time of the year.  I wish I could bottle it and keep it around for the hard days, cracking open the sound of laughter and appreciate for the joy of life seen though the eyes of a child.  It reminds me to take time and be present wherever I am, not only in during this season of anticipation and excitement, but in the mundane and everyday.

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