Lessons in the Ribbon Aisle

This weekend my wife and I went to Michael’s to get some ribbon for our Christmas decorations. Have you ever been to the ribbon aisle at Michael’s this time of year? You haven’t experienced claustrophobia quite like this. I thought hockey was a contact sport until I ventured into this aisle without a helmet or pads.

This moment gave me a lot of insight of the Christmas season as it kicks off. You get a sense of some imaginary clocking ticking on everyone’s schedule. The push to get Christmas decorations done, all the activities to attend and buying presents for everyone. It has definitely shifted into another gear.

As I helped my wife find the ribbon she needed, the aisle was crowded much like the floor of the Stock Market. If you think all ribbons are the same, you obviously haven’t had the joy of looking for one. There are different designs, colors and sizes of ribbons. You just don’t know.

It is quite chaotic as people are stepping in front of you, store clerks restocking and tossing empty boxes on the floor at your feet. At one point my wife and I got separated. I looked over at here as I was trapped. I mouthed to her “helped me”. I was stuck in no man’s land with no place to move or ways of escape.

The situation was made worse when I was bookended by shopping carts which entered the gauntlet. If the aisle is already crowded what would possess someone to force a shopping cart into the mix?

After a successful mission on obtaining the necessary ribbons for our decorations and getting out of the store we both took a deep breath. We talked about the experience. My wife made the observation that people simply have tunnel vision. They aren’t being mean, they are simply oblivious to anyone else. She is right. There is no need to be upset or take it personally although it is very hard not to take some offense.

So, the lessons here are that we have to summon up more patience than usual this time of year. Everyone is on a mission for their own world and not trying to be mean. The other lesson is to realize that it’s going to get a little tight. Most of us don’t like crowds but you can just about forget that during this time of the year even if you commit to do all of your shopping online.

The holidays are a good test in patience. The hustle and bustle can put your skills to the test. We are all taking care of our own agendas and with that we are bound to forget others around us so we should be mindful to make allowances to cut some slack for others.

it’s going to be a challenge isn’t it? I think we can get through this. I’m going to try to dig deep on the patience and not let the ticking clock of the holidays stress me out. Everything will get done. I think we all try to do too much. It’s okay to say no to a few things. Don’t do the same thing every year just because you always do them. Tradition is one thing but doing things simply because we call them “tradition” tends to take away the whole meaning we are doing them in the first place.

Well, in spite of my experience in the ribbons aisle at Michael’s, I managed to get home safely and without being called for roughing, slashing or obstruction (hockey terms if you didn’t know). It’s all good and our trip was a success.

Oh no, we got the wrong ribbons. Here we go again! Lord help us all…

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