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Since Christmas is literally right around the corner (the count is less than a week... wow) I'm sure there is some last minute shopping going on.  If not, then I'm incredibly jealous of you!  The wife and I did pretty well this year shopping in advance and we only have a few gifts left to get; we already know what we're getting, it's just a matter of getting our butts in gear and to the store to purchase them.  Figuring out the gift for those folks that have everything is half the battle, am I right?

Anyway, if you are one of those last minute shoppers I encourage you to please be patient with those whose paths you cross in the world of retail.  As a former retail employee, I can assure you Christmas can quickly take on a different meaning when you're behind the counter.  I know we all stress that the customer is always right and often hold "customer service" to a higher standard.  However, I think it's important to remember that though you may be right (as a customer) that doesn't allow you to speak to people condescendingly or to be flat out rude.  It's okay to be frustrated.  It's okay to be upset.  It's not okay to insult someone or make them feel less than because you waited until the last minute and things aren't going your way.  Chances are the person you're speaking with didn't directly cause the problem, they're just lucky enough to be working at the time you decided to rant and rave like an upset toddler.  How does that saying go?  You can catch more flies with honey...

It's easy to get consumed in the gift giving portion of Christmas and become so excited that you found the perfect jacket for your brother-in-law, the one he's been talking about since that windy day in September... but that's not what Christmas is really about.  If the jacket is on backorder and not available until mid January then wrap a picture of it and let him know it's on the way.  Be grateful that you're able to spend the holidays with your loved ones.  Somewhere there are parents unwrapping gifts for children they've lost and Santa is kneeling graveside instead of sliding down chimneys.

So please hug those close to you closer and be kind to one another.

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