Christmas is a season that many people acknowledge as a time to reflect on the spirit of giving, peace and love. And yet, it’s also the time of year that raises stress levels and brings out all sort of monstrous behavior.
Yesterday, my wife and daughter decided that it would be a good day to pickup a Christmas tree. The ventured out into the frigid southern California weather, braving the crowds at the local Home Depot. They selected a fine specimen; a well-shaped 8′ spruce. While they were there, my daughter thought it would be cute to pick up a small, potted tree to decorate for her grandma and grandpa. They strung it with lights, ribbons and ornaments, and drove over to present the gift. It did not go over well.
That little two-foot short, potted tree raised the ire of my father-in-law, who mistook it for charity, rather than a gift given joyously. He exploded at them, and now the tree is back at our home, sprucing up room five. The little tree of Christmas wrath.
Very likely, he is worried about his pension. He’s a retired member of the retail clerks union, the very same one that is now on strike here. He deserves to be cut some slack, but maybe there is a lesson here. When the holiday pressures are running high, remember to treat others with respect and care. Wouldn’t you want the same?