Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The day of Mad Reckoning*

*a.k.a. Retunes (or exchanges)

We don’t “do Christmas,” unless you count the general good wishes of Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and homemade cookies. It’s been years since I spent time in department stores scouting for gifts in the month of December.


But what I do hold onto this time of year is to not go anywhere near stores the day after the holiday. I have made that mistake twice, but no more. The first time, long ago, I was lured by promises of uber sales. The second time I did it by mistake. I forgot the madness of the day and thought it might just be the time to look for something that could have waited. I should have.


The day after national gift giving, hoards descend on stores with gift certificates that fell from the trees or were handed in office parties. They make a rather joyful bunch. They were not the problem.
The ones that got to me were the other faction crowding the stores— the people with return receipts to exchange gifts they refuse to use. They never seem joyful. In fact, they seem angry, cantankerous, and garrulous.



That first year I saw a young woman in tears that the bathrobe she got cost so little there was nothing she wanted to get for it in exchange. She had some choice words for the gift-giver who was not present. I saw a child who got a toy he already had, in tears because his mother would not pay for something he wanted as she would have to add too much $$$ after the exchange. The worst was an older woman who refused to take anything other than cash for her return, because she said she hated that store.
It was not pretty. The energy was the most unhappy and unspiritual that I could recall. I vowed to accept gifts from now on and only return them, if I felt an overwhelming inkling, sometime later. From then on, this was the day to NOT go anywhere near stores. It was the day to count one’s blessing that I was here, and not there.


The day after Christmas. That’s today.

12 comments:

  1. Enjoy your peace and quiet and tea and book, dear friend. I, too, avoid the day after Christmas shopping.

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    1. After my morning tea I'm going for a long walk with a friend... Lots of dewy vegetation, roses to smell, and NO STORES ;)

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  2. Yes! "From then on, this was the day to NOT go anywhere near stores. It was the day to count one’s blessing that I was here, and not there."
    Enjoy the post-Christmas peace! : )

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    1. You too, Sarah.
      Being quoted like that^ makes me realize I sound like I'm attempting the eleventh Commandment with a capital C. Oy.

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  3. When I worked at Macy's, the day after Christmas was hideous. It took weeks to put away all the items that were returned. Although some things were on sale, the really good sales took place at the end of the month and during February as the winter merchandise needed to make way for spring items. I won't leave my house today except to clean up some leaves that are finally falling, so I'll be right here in my own yard.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Clearing leaves sounds good, both actually-factually and symbolically.

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  4. Ooo, roses to smell. How nice. I hope you had a relaxing day!

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    1. It's a beautiful day here, and I am grateful.

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  5. I have to admit I went to one store yesterday morning, but it was fine, since it was very early and before the crowds. I got a new wreath, cards, paper ware, and a couple of food gifts for a party I'm going to today---all half price! But I do like your tradition of sticking to tea and reading for the day after.

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  6. The only time I'd return a gift is if it didn't fit. Then I'd exchange it for a size that does fit. Otherwise, I keep everything I'm gifted.

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    1. I think I avoid exchanging even then, hence you'll see me in some ill-fitting clothes... ;)
      Grateful to anyone who thought of me in whatever size :D

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