What Not to Say While Holiday Shopping

I’m standing in line at the store, and the salespeople rush around, trying to relieve the long lines waiting at each check-out station.  Every intercom announcement sounds off the code red.  People are waiting!  Lots of people are waiting!  Hurry, hurry!

A traffic jam of shopping carts blocks everyone’s path as people maneuver for the best possible position.  When a new line opens up, ladies fight for that precious spot at a free register.  Somebody is going to get hurt. 

What’s happened to our manners?

I’m yawning in my line and feeling awfully cozy in my winter coat.  I’m still sick and in no mood to rush around. 

The shopper in front of me decides to sign up for some special program. The cashier turns to me, nearly in tears, and says, “I’m just so sorry.  You can find another cashier if you need to.  This is going to take time, and I’m just so sorry.” 

“That’s OK,” I say.  “I really have nowhere to be.  I’m not in any hurry.”  I shove my hands in my pockets, look up to the ceiling, and wonder what I might blog about today.

Silence.  People glance over at me like I’ve just said a bad word out loud.  Someone frowns at me.  How dare I hinder this holiday rush? How dare I support the one slow-poke in everyone’s way?  

“Take all the time you need,” I insist to the slow-poke. Those six words wrap the two of us in a warm holiday embrace.  The cashier smiles and looks as if she might actually hug me. 

Living with flair means–especially in December–we let people take all the time they need.  What’s so important in my shopping cart anyway?  What makes my day more important than another person’s?

Are you the rushing one or the slow-poke?  I’m both!

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  1. Wait, watch – this is Advent; when getting things done needs consideration, compassion and time. I can almost hear you whistling in line!

  2. I love this!!!!! in fact, let's do it all year round. “take all the time you need, honey.” 

  3. Great post Heather!  Once everyone calms down in the store check-out line, let's start working on their driving manners!

  4. Thanks for sharing this, I've tried to be more intentional about communicating with cashiers that I'm in no hurry. I'm sure it means so much to them since so many of us are not only in a hurry, but rudely so.

  5. There is a character in my daughter's Christmas pageant who is described by one of the children in this line: “She shimmers.”  That line reminds me of you…letting light flow out of you and blessing the people in your path.  I do enjoy your posts.