Saturday, November 17, 2007

Deck the Halls, Not the Shoppers

By Keith Fisher

I think it gets worse every year. This year, I noticed two radio stations started playing Christmas music on November first. Not that I hate Christmas music, but it gets a little old by December Twenty-fifth, especially if the radio station plays the same twelve songs day-in and day-out.

I know the holidays haven’t really started yet, but I got irritated at the store the other day. The source of my displeasure, although mild, will only get worse by the time New Years rolls around.
It’s always a surprise when the season that should promote goodwill turns normally kind people into ruthless, ungrateful, and selfish children. The long faces and angry looks are enough to turn anyone’s heart away from the spirit of giving.

While shopping, I noticed no matter how hard I tried to be courteous, I was met by people who acted like they were somehow entitled, perhaps by theological decree, to be first in line and they somehow deserved the right-of-away more than I did.

I was taught to say pardon me when I cross someone’s path, and to recognize the kindness of others who let me pass first. On another occasion, I was in Deseret Book trying to see the bottom shelf without bending over and a man stepped in front of me to look at the racks I was searching. I didn’t count minutes, but he stood there for a long time. If you know me, you can imagine some of the things that crossed my mind.

Maybe I’m just oversensitive, but judging by last Christmas, I know it can only get worse.

Perhaps this year, we could all pray for strength to look past the rudeness and try to see what God sees in the man who steals our parking place, or the harried woman that butts in line at the grocery store. I know God loves them as much as me and I can use all the help I can get to remember that.

Now for a note about writing—awhile ago, C.L. beck challenged Darvell and me to provide a list of top ten kissable women characters. I’ve thought about it and I think I'll pass. Keep in mind that married men, if they know what’s good for them, will avoid thinking about other women.

Because I want to remain married, I decided to not take the challenge, but I want to point out how real some characters seem to be. An author who came to know them on an intimate basis has painstakingly developed those characters we remember best.

My advice to all of us would be to take the time to develop your characters. If you can put your character into a completely different type of story and the character is still real, you know you have succeeded.

Good luck with your writing, and good luck with your shopping. I hope to see you sane on January second.


Connie Hall said...

Good topic Keith. I hate to shop during the months of November and December. You did a good job of describing the pain some of us go through. Too bad our Christian spirit doesn't show through during this season.

I didn't really like the title, but that could be because my last name is Hall. My sister a few years ago thought it would be great fun to paint a big sign for our family to hang on the front door, "Deck the Hall's". My children didn't think it was funny. I guess that was because they had been teased at school many times. However, I'm a good sport and every year I continue to hang the sign.

Tristi Pinkston said...

It is true that the season brings out the worst in people. I wish everyone could step back and remember why we're doing all this instead of concentrating on the lines, the full packages, and the dollar amount.

And I think you're probably very wise to skip on that tag. :)