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Black Friday…the day after Thanksgiving that marks the start of the Christmas shopping season and the day that most retailers turn and stay into the black financially for the year.  The day that those of us who work in retail either dread or love – sometimes a mixture of both. 

Since I close the store tonight, I’ll miss wading through the lines of people who have been waiting for the 6 am opening since 2 am so that I can report to work.  I’ll miss watching the looks of amazement on cashier’s faces as they watch the doors open, people pile in the door battling for carts, and the feel and sound of the floor literally shaking as they run towards their finds.  And this year I won’t be answering the question “What IS there we have that is so important as to cause all this?”  And my reply would be?  In the grand scheme of things…. not a thing!

Instead I will walk in the door and deal with cashiers who are in shellshock, trying to bolster their spirits with a smile and a laugh so that they can make it through the rest of their shift.  I’ll listen to cranky people and crying babies who’ve been out in the “battlefield” far too long without a break.   I’ll work at encouraging salesfloor staff to keep at trying to straighten the store despite constant interruptions from guests and staff for their time so that we can leave the store BEFORE 1 am.  And I’ll be told by more than one person that I’m entirely too chipper for a day like today, to which I say?  NEVER!

I’ll drive home… bone tired, only to have to turn around in a few hours and do it all again.  And when I pull in the drive and see the bright twinkling lights surrounding my home, I’ll feel a sense of calm and knowing what a lot of people may not know or tend to forget at this time of year.

That it’s about a birth!  And joy and peace and kindness and love!

Not just during this season, but every day of our lives.