The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year. Catching up with friends and family along with the lights, smells, and sounds of the season always take me back to my childhood at Grandma’s house. I remember lying in bed, counting to a hundred dozens of times while waiting for the first sounds of the morning. Hearing the coffee pot turn on, and the stove light, knowing that others would be waking soon, this was the time I would sit and just talk to my mother’s mother. We would discuss the important things that are on a seven year old’s mind, like the doll that I was hoping would be under the tree, visiting with the neighbors next door, or how fun it was to just watch the lights on the tree, marveling at how pretty they were.

For many of us, the memories from our childhood keep the magic of the season alive, and by keeping these close to our hearts, it makes it easier to traverse the chaos and commercialization that has become the holiday shopping season. Yet, there is nothing more disheartening than to walk into a store prepared to buy a gift, only to have to search to find someone to help. Even more so, to find someone who really doesn’t want to help, and makes it evident! It just breaks my heart to see people doing jobs that they clearly don’t enjoy and aren’t suited for.

I was recently in a big box store buying a gift for my sister in law.  The young lady helping me was obviously tired and made several comments about what a LONG day it had been. Still, she helped me graciously, carefully, and with a smile on her face as we paraded through the store several times collecting the items that I couldn’t locate on my own. As we finished the transaction, I stopped, smiled and thanked her for doing such an excellent job helping me. She truly went the extra mile and, as her customer, I was delighted. While I do not normally shop in that store for myself, I might just have to stop by more often. Clearly service is one of their principles, and I really enjoyed the experience.

The experience of the holidays is joyful, and made more so by celebrating the season, regardless of who we spend time with. Those who provide great service do so with joy, creating great satisfaction in the ability to help. Remember to take an extra moment to thank them for their service, and I guarantee you will make their day.

Best wishes for a joyful holiday season filled with friendship, family, and laughter.