Has Christmas lost its meaning?

The heart of the Christmas shopping season is here with stores, employees and companies working harder than ever to make this shopping season a success.
Stores have hired seasonal help, organized their stores for easier accessibility, and trained their staff for the continuous shoppers.
The stores are opening earlier and closing later to grant their customers additional time to take advantage of the sales and savings.
One of the craziest shopping days of the year, Black Friday, has come and gone.
For those who did not venture out on Black Friday, there still remain two weeks for Christmas shopping.
Throughout the next days, store employees, managers and owners will be working diligently to please their customers; however, this is not always an easy task to accomplish.
I have worked in sales for over five years; and I have seen the Christmas spirit get smothered by arguments, frustrations and the greed of the customers.
This is an unfortunate thing and it happens every holiday season.
The search for the new children’s toy, this year’s number-one movie, the latest Wii game and the top Christmas item everyone wants becomes the driving focus of many.
I have seen arguments, even fights, over who touched the desired item first. If people would step back and think about this for one minute, they would admit how crazy it is.
Shoppers not only become frustrated with other shoppers, but also with employees.
I think this is a common difficulty many employees face. Customers become frustrated with us over the length of time they spend in line, the price of something or the restrictions on coupons.
Allow me to say, we as employees have no say over how an item is priced or the quantity we will receive, specifically if it is a holiday item or a door buster. Even store managers cannot always work with the price or quantity.
If the store is owned by a corporation, then the corporation makes the final decision on these things.
Most of the time, when a customer is frustrated, their anger is not directed at us; it is the situation or even how the employee at the previous store treated them.
The customer could be having a bad day, as we all do at times.
On the flip side, we as employees have the tendency of becoming short with, and quickly annoyed by, the customers. This is usually due to the constant traffic flow, the needs of each customer and the additional hours being worked.
Despite these facts, we need to remember that we are not the only ones tired and worn out. The shoppers are too, and we still need to be patient, helpful and nice to them.
As employees, we should also keep in mind the way we treat other store employees when we are doing our Christmas shopping.
Are we treating those employees with the same respect we want to be treated with? If not, we have no right to complain about any customers we have.
The reality is that we as employees, as well as the customers, become so wrapped up in ourselves and what we each want, that we miss out on everything around us.
I personally believe that we each have to step back and look at what other people’s needs are.  We need to treat them with the dignity and respect we wish to be treated with.
Until we do this, I believe the holiday season will not truly embrace the spirit of Christmas.
There is a particular Christmas spirit that overcomes it, if we let it. It is a joy and peace that fills many people and brings a unity between them, which is much different than any other time of the year.
Families and friends come together and celebrate the rekindling of relationships. A beautiful laughter is shared, lives are touched and hope is given at this time.  
Yet in order to meet the heart of Christmas we must remember how Christmas ever came to be.
We need to look at the first Christmas, who was born into this world and how he gave the world the best Christmas gift ever.
Think about it, hundreds of songs have been written about him, calling him Wonderful Councilor, Prince of Peace and Everlasting God, and we have sung them over the centuries.
When we know and feel Christ’s presence, we gain the true spirit of Christmas — its hope, joy, peace and everlasting love.
Have a blessed Christmas, everyone.