Imagine that finals are over and you’re back home.

You’ve slept a few days and now are ready for some Christmas shopping.

Traffic is a mess. You get stuck at the same light for five minutes and why is every single Christmas station playing “The Chipmunk Song” at the same time?

Finally you get to the mall and weave up and down, up and down the rows hunting for a spot.

Inside, the mall is more packed than the dining common after chapel.

The first store doesn’t have the sweater for dad in his size, and the scarf mom wanted is out of stock.

You’re so annoyed you decide to buy everyone socks.
The checkout line is wrapped all the way around the store.

Thirty minutes later you get to the registers and realize you left your coupons at home.

You think to yourself, I should have stayed in bed and ordered this all online.
All of the annoyances that have been slowly building spill out of you in a rude remark to the cashier.

He greets your outburst with a cheery smile and a “Happy Holidays.”
Did you have a bad day? Maybe it wasn’t the best.

A few hours of holiday madness can make the most patient person a little irritated.
But think of the retail workers who deal with the craziness for hours, days, weeks without end. And no matter how they’re treated, they have to be kind in response.

Yes, they’re being paid, but that doesn’t excuse your rude behavior.
During this Christmas season, make a special effort to be kind to workers. Smile. Say thank you. Be patient.

If they take tips, consider tipping them even if you normally don’t.

The employees are not robots but real people with feelings and frustrations of their own. Don’t be the one who ruins their day.

Going out of your way to be kind is one of the simplest ways to show Christlike love and promote the true “reason for the season.”