Shopping frenzy diminishes true spirit

Michelle Thornton, Features Editor
Michelle Thornton, Features Editor

Every year, before the country has even celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, it seems that malls and retail stores across the nation are preparing for the Christmas season.

Down come the turkeys, pilgrims and Indians that graced the windows of homes, and businesses and up go the 80-foot Christmas trees. Out comes the strings of lights, louder becomes the holiday music that aggravates retail workers everywhere, and longer and longer grow the lines for “Pictures with Santa.”

And all before we have even begun to clear the Thanksgiving leftovers off the table.

Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays, but in recent years I have begun to dislike this particular holiday.

First off, people just skip right over Thanksgiving in a big hurry. We are not even done saying grace and people have started in on Christmas. Thanksgiving should not be about going through the motions. It is an important holiday too.

Holidays at my house have always been happy for the most part. We decorate our tree while my mother plays the Kenny Rogers’s Christmas tape that we hate over and over again, and then later that night after Mom has baked the cookies, she comes out and rearranges all the ornaments so that the tree looks “nice.” This is what Christmas has always been about to me. The smiling faces of people celebrating the blessings in their lives, like family and friends.

My family never really went shopping together though and maybe this is why my eyes were closed to the chaos that Christmas brings about but I have definitely noticed a change in the heart of shoppers everywhere.

When I was younger, I remember that shopping was always a bit crowded, but people never were rude or cut throat like they are now.

It has become all about who gets the biggest, best toys first, who gets the parking space closest to the front, about who gets to the gift wrap center first or who spends the most money. It was never like that with my family.

People cram everyone and their dogs and their dog’s dogs into the malls to fight the crowds to make it to that one huge sale that has been advertised since last February. These shoppers leisurely strolling through the malls window shopping, but as soon as they arrive at the sale they begin to bitch about how slow everyone is moving and complaining about how “don’t they know we are in a hurry.”

“The sales clerk is not cheery enough, after all it is the holiday season.” “I can’t believe that they don’t have that new Furby doll, don’t they know that is in high demand, blah, blah, blah.” It is just complaint after complaint.

Well, maybe, just maybe that poor sales clerk has encountered some cranky shopper much who bought the last Furby doll in hopes that his kid will be able to boast that he/she got the last much-desired doll and that poor sales clerk and all the people standing in line behind this jerk are tired of the harassment and crankiness. If it is not understood know what I mean, pick up a copy of the movie “Jingle All the Way.” It is Hollywood’s version of reality.

Shoppers everywhere seem to forget what patience is and what it is like to have a bad day.

They have forgotten that Christmas is about kindness, loving and being good to one another.

So, please when shopping this season remember the reason and be nice to the sales clerk.

Michelle Thornton, a junior journalism major, is features editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at

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Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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