Holiday Joy.

There are many times when I crank on my blog and just rant about how screwed up the world is today. Times are changing. People are rude. Folks are stupid. Blah blah blah.

Today isn’t one of those days.

Earl and I decided to do some last minute Christmas shopping while we’re down here visiting his family outside of Philadelphia. We stopped at the local mall, I believe it’s called Neshaminy Mall (which has a Chick-Fil-A, by the way) and made a tour of the big three anchor stores – Boscov’s, Strawbridges (we call it Kaufmann’s back home) and Sears.

Sears was Sears. Apparently its not where America Shops as much, because it was not busy at all. But the service folks were friendly and we were able to find a DVD player dirt cheap. For some reason I’ve always equated the typical New York City accent with “rough and tumble”. Harsh. I find the Philly accent to be similar, but not quite as harsh. So once I get past the accent used to wish me a happy holidays, I’m good with it.

We then went to Boscov’s, which I find delightful simply because it feels like a store from about 15 or 20 years ago, but with modern clothes and such. I’m going to continue to seek out Boscov’s on shopping excursions. Again, the shoppers were pleasant and the cashier was friendly as well. Strangers were exchange well wishes, and that does warm the heart for all involved.

Then we went to Strawbridges, which is owned by the same company that owns Kaufmann’s back home. A cashier, from another department, tried to alleviate congestion in the line we were standing in by moving us to another register, which had a longer line. I don’t know what she was trying to accomplish, but we wished her a Happy Holidays anyways as we moved back to the line we were originally standing in. Under normal circumstances, the people that moved out the line to the other register would have been forced to the back of the line by the others and would have been poo-poohed. “So sad. So stupid.” But no, we all decided to let everyone back in their original place in line. Holiday spirit and all. Again, Merry Christmases were shared with everyone involved and smiles were exchanged.

Oh, by the way, Boscov’s and Strawbridges both get major geek points for using their old NCR cash registers year after year and just reaccessorizing them with the latest checkout gadget and software instead. Sears, who replaces their registers every six or seven years, loses points for yet again upgrading their equipment but doing nothing to improve the software.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because it warms my heart a bit just to see that in the flurry of all this crass commercialism that has become bigger than the holiday itself, that the decency, cordial behavior and spirit of the holidays continue to live on. Despite the red or black ink on the ledger.

Enjoy the holidays.