Monday, December 20, 2010

"Reindeer Games" - My Article in the Southside Messenger

Spirit & Truth # 207
“Reindeer Games”
By Rev. Greg Smith

Are you still trying to get your last-minute Christmas shopping finished?  Are you as much of a procrastinator as I am?  Some of us put off Christmas shopping because we hate shopping, or because the people on our list are hard to buy for.  I don't mind the shopping so much as I mind the lines. It's actually fun to find things to give people you love. But standing in line is the pits. So why not play some reindeer games while you wait?  Here's how to make shopping lines fun, if you're in a group. The more people in your group, the better.

Divide your group into as many lines as possible. See if you can get into similar positions (with the same number of people in front of you). Then it's a race to see whose cashier is fastest, and who gets to the cashier first. If you're buying a bunch of stuff, then each person can buy an item or two. But suppose the whole group is only buying one item. That makes it even more fun! In that case, when the "winner" who gets to the register first is greeted by the cashier, they wave their hands and call the entire group to leave their lines and gather at that register. Even if the "winner" didn't have the item to be purchased, they have it now, and can make the purchase. Want to make it even more interesting? Why not make it so the winner gets a nickel (or a quarter or a dollar or a stick of gum) from each of the losers? (I'm not advocating gambling--just a little incentive.)

Or--another way to play--instead of recalling the group to return to the winner, let everybody stay in line until they get their cashier. The person who actually has the item or items for purchase does the purchasing, but the others wait as if they have a transaction to make. When the cashier greets them, they say, "I didn't want to buy anything--I just wanted to wish you a merry Christmas." Now won't that make the cashier's day?

You don't have to let Christmas shopping stress you out. Have fun with it. Use your shopping experience to brighten up someone else's day. You've gotta spend time line anyway--why not have fun with it?  Psalm 32:11 (NIV) says, “Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”  This Christmas, don’t just make merry with your family and friends at home—take the fun of Christmas into the most stressful place for last-minute shoppers—the shopping mall.

No comments: