As a rule, during the holiday season, I used to see people being nicer and more jovial. Maybe not quite jovial, but more mellow. This year, there seems to be a marked decrease in the holiday cheer.
Usually during the days leading up to Christmas, people used to be more patient when standing in long lines at the store. This year, there is more of an attitude of resignation. In the past, people used to talk to each other while waiting for the cashier to ring up their purchases. This year, I haven’t seen a single person try to talk to the person behind them or in front of them.
I don’t know if this will be a factor in the December sales, but I think it will play heavily in prescription drugs for depression. One of the things that may be causing this attitude shift is that this year I’m hearing more people talk about working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In the past, most of the businesses were closed for the holiday. For the most part, I think retail stores will be closed but some of the other businesses will remain open.
Then, too, in the past, many people traveled to their relatives for Christmas or their relatives came to see them. But airplane seats have gotten shorter and narrower so if you’re very tall or very overweight, you’re going to be sitting with your knees up to your chin or sitting on one cheek so that you can strap yourself in without having to pay for two seats.
Airport security is another thing that has added to the hardship of air travel these days and, consequently, many people are foregoing the pleasure of being with family and friends for the holidays. It may be a combination of all these factors that are causing people to seem less cheerful and more resigned, but I have definitely noticed a decided lack of holiday cheer this year.
Christmas Day is just two days from now and I’m optimistic that people will make a concerted effort to appear cheerful so they don’t ruin everyone else’s Christmas. And I’m going to do my part to get you in the holiday mood by saying, “Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas everyone, and a happy New Year.”