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BellaOnline's Etiquette Editor

Holiday Gift List and Kindness

Holiday shopping can pose many challenges. Thereís finding the perfect gift. Thereís making sure you have the energy to locate the gift. How about affordability? That fine line between perfect and out of the price range is a tough hurdle. Scheduling lunch poses another challenge. When you are hungry everyone else is too. That means the lines are longer and the wait is grueling. Many who consider these obstacles decide to bag it and shop online. Others, however, persevere and look at it like an adventure.

If you decide to venture out to the mall, outlets or downtown core I wish you luck in all your endeavors. There are so many topics to consider during your trek, itís easy to forget that the people around you are battling the same challenges as you. One item you can make yourself aware of at all times is those people youíve surrounded yourself with at these public places. This is where consideration for others falls into your steps of adventure.

It isnít limited to just Christmas shopping, Hanukah gift giving and New Year presents. Rubbing elbows with the general population this time of year can be stressful in the post office, the grocery store, the office and yes, the shopping mall.

We can begin with grocery shopping. When not purchasing and wrapping presents we find ourselves with another list. The grocery list. When you are in a grocery store, keep your cart from hogging the aisle so that people can pass you. On the right or on the left makes for happy cart and less aisle clean up.

Keep your children contained or, considering they really hate to shop anyway, arrange a playdate where you can share time shopping while the other parent watches. Send them and a grown up to a play area. Leave them and a grown up in the food court and get something to eat. This way you arenít forced to drag them around while the fellow patrons in the store have to hear how tired, hungry or generally cranky your children (and you) are becoming.

At the post office, avoid line trauma by letting them sing a song. Youíd be surprised how many others waiting in the cue would love to hear a child sing. They might even join in.

Although this is listed last, kindness to the workers at the store is a huge consideration. After all, they have had to put up with you and all those rude people youíve had to deal with all day. Please consider that they are tired and horribly underpaid. So be nice. Give them a smile. Thank them for doing what they do. And compliment them when they do it well.

Holiday shopping can be one of the most fun experiences of the season. Lights on a Christmas tree or a Menorah arenít the only warmth that can be conveyed. Your smile, kindness and consideration for others can light up everyoneís life. Itís an added bonus to the Season of Giving.

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