How is your shopping going? I’m getting it done, but I need to rant a bit…so beware.

1. I do not want to hear your life story, or your latest date info, or what you are cooking for dinner, or what your shopping list includes. No one else really cares either. Please do not make the other shoppers in your vicinity suffer thru your woes. We have enough of our own. Save those conversations for when you get home. Your cell phone usage should NOT infringe on my desire to shop with only the sounds of Christmas carols blaring in the background.

2. If I buy an item and it is fragile, please have enough care not to just throw it in the bag with everything else. And, when I ask you to please wrap an item in paper to protect it, don’t look at me like I asked you to pay for it, carry it home for me and wrap it and place it under the tree. I do not want to cause you any extra work, but I also want to get my gifts home safely.

3. Please be kind to the little ones. Babies do not enjoy shopping. It does not amuse and delight them as it does us. Find a way to trade out with a friend or hire a babysitter, but please no more, “I told you to shut up.” or “I’m telling Santa not to bring you anything.” I feel so sorry for these little ones who are forced to trudge thru store after store while you wait for something to strike your fancy.

4. That being said, keep an eye on your older children. I do not want to dodge them in the aisles as they chase one another. I do not want to have to watch out for them as I am navigating the aisles. I also doubt that the management of the stores like the fact that they have shaken and dropped every toy within reach…AND pushed every toe of every singing snowman or Santa or dog in the store. PLEASE!

5. If several people are in line and by some great miracle a cashier opens up a new register…and says, “I’ll help the next one in line.” She means that she will help the next one in line…not the person who can high-tail it over there the fastest. I guess it is one of the great mysteries of retail…but WHY do stores put in 25 check-out registers…and never open but 6 of them…even during the busiest shopping time of the year? Are they hoping to fool us into thinking maybe, just maybe one day all the registers will be opened? We know better.

6. Show a little kindness, people. If you have a buggy full and someone gets in line behind you with one or two items…offer to let them go ahead of you. It won’t cost you a thing…it will makes someone’s day, and Santa will be sure to notice.

7. This is just a personal gripe of mine. It probably doesn’t even register with most of you, and that’s just fine. But, this is my blog and it will make me feel so much better to include it. O.K. You know how when you buy those gift bags from any store in town and the are hanging on a rack by the little plastic doo-dah at the top? In case you were wondering, the plastic doo-dah should be cut off BEFORE using the bag to place a gift in. It just makes sense, people. The doo-dah does not add to the aesthetics of the wrapping and is akin to leaving the price tag on. I know this has probably never occurred to you before and I don’t really know what it says about me that it bugs me. But, it does….and I feel better just sharing.

Now, all this advice is worth exactly what you paid for it…so do with it what you will. Oh, yeah…MERRY CHRISTMAS!….and HAPPY SHOPPING!