The Grocery Fiasco: Christmas Edition

The Grocery Fiasco: Christmas Edition

Stores are swamped for the holidays, but it doesn't mean we can't access joy.
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I'm not going to lie, being an employee during the busiest time of the year is, by far, one of the most challenging experiences I have had in my twenty years. I mean, it's CHRISTMAS. Everyone is supposed to be excited, right? Wrong.

Too often, I have encountered people (sometimes even myself) who are too stressed out to remember what the season is really about. Things are busy. The shopping never seems finished. Holiday arrangements are being made. People are everywhere. But at what cost? Why does "the most wonderful time of the year" seem a little low on cheer?

As a person who has worked in a grocery store during the Christmas holidays, I see this negative side to Christmas more often than I would like to admit. Even in simple ways such as these:

Customers aren't always nice.

Man, some customers are absolutely a pain. News flash: the grocery store isn't always fully in stock of everything you need, especially if you're waiting the day before Christmas to pick up all your holiday groceries. Despite this, it is important to be kind. It's easy to get upset when things don't work out the way you plan. And it's just as easy to take out that anger on somebody else, but it happens all the time at my work. I get it, the last place people want to be on Christmas Eve is the grocery store, working or shopping. Don't compromise kindness. In fact, go out of your way to show them that you care because the attitude you have towards people makes a difference. Go out of your way to find the simple joy in other things even if the store was sold out of the Christmas ham. If you search hard enough, kindness isn't hard to come by, and a smile isn't hard to muster up.

Coworkers aren't always nice.

Coworkers are either a blessing or a curse in the grocery business and during Christmas, I can personally say, coworkers are stressed out. Trying to keep all the customers content is a task that is hard to handle. Remember to be patient with the people around you. Try to help if you are able. Understand that the season is stressful. You'll be fine, I promise.

One day while I was working during the holiday season, I asked a customer, "Are you excited for Christmas?" The response absolutely made me stop in my tracks and take a few steps back: "I'm excited for Christmas to be over." I was at a loss for words. I love Christmas. It was time off from work that I got to spend around the people who I love most, but most importantly, it was a time to reflect on the best gift that I could've ever received: a savior.

So while the momentum of the Christmas season seems to pick up, I encourage you guys (and myself) to take a look around at the people who are surrounding you, strangers and friends, and really dig deep to be compassionate during the season of business and beauty. The greatest gifts are those that are priceless.

Merry Christmas!

Cover Image Credit: NBA.com

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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I'm Keeping My Christmas Tree Up All Winter And There's Nothing You Can Do About It

It's the WINTER Season... ;-)

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I think that my tree would not be considered Christmas-y if the ornaments are taken off and the lights are kept on. I think to just looks wintry. I am also keeping up decorations that say "let it snow", and I am keeping up any snowman without holly berries or presents in their hands.

The tree looks wintry in my opinion. It looks pretty with the lights and brings the room together. It gives off a warm ambiance, unlike that of fluorescent lighting.

I've taken all ornaments off except for gold snowflakes and I've left the silver tinsel garland on as well as the lights. It looks wintry to me still. I will probably be taking the whole tree down by the end of this month to prepare for Valentine's Day decorating. (Yes, I pretty much decorate my apartment for every holiday—sue me).

There's nothing like coming downstairs and seeing those lights sparkling.

Or coming inside from a dreary, rainy day outside and seeing them light up the room in a calm, warm, and comforting glow.

Or having a bad day, looking up, and seeing them shine.

It sort of makes me upset when I come downstairs and see that someone has unplugged them, to be honest.

I guess they don't see it as I do.

Pretty, twinkling lights forever!

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