Aaaah the good old heartwarming Christmas traditions: the Christmas tree, the cozy colorful decoration and the smell of that yummy turkey your beloved teta used to make… But it’s definitely not what I’ll be talking about! New Lebanese Christmas traditions have emerged, and they include: SHOPPING MALLS!!!
I mean what’s Christmas without spending those last days of December at a shopping mall: you start by spending around an hour (more or less) going L2, L3, L2, L1, L0, B1, B2, B3, B4!!! Suddenly the magical green light appears over that empty little spot, never a tiny green light has ever made you that happy… suddenly the world is a better place, you’re hearing Christmas carols already.
After that, needless to talk about those 20 minutes you spend to take the lift or do the escalator exercise… but the moment you actually get inside that mall, the moment your eyes discover those decorated windows, trust me, at that same exact moment, you just forget the pain. Just like when a woman gives birth, and holds her baby in her arms, and forgets all the pain she has been through… (Ok, maybe I’ve gone a little overboard with this one, but it’s such a pretty picture, don’t you think?!)
So anyway, back to our shopping adventure: you found a spot, that’s great, but you can’t relax just yet, the real challenge is about to begin: finding the perfect gift, waiting in line to get to the cashier, waiting in line to wrap it, being on the waiting list to get a table at that coffee shop just to have a little break, waiting for the bill, waiting for the change.. Then starting again: gift, line, pay, line, wrap, and it just goes on and on until you get home: traffic, parking, traffic, traffic, traffic, home…
I mean let’s face it, Christmas today is all about spending and waiting … So here are some useful tips I could come up with, to avoid what I like to call the CSD syndrome (Christmas Shopping Drama):
Useful tip # 1: Brainstorm and make lists ahead so you know exactly what to look for (just google “Christmas gift ideas” and printJ)
Useful tip # 2: Avoid rush hours, I repeat: Avoid rush hours!
Useful tip # 3: Again: Avoid rush hours! (Can’t repeat it enough: traffic is such a cheer killer!)
Useful tip # 4: Shop at small local businesses, either in your neighborhood (so you can “walk” there), or at those cute Christmas fairs… it has a more Christmassy feel to it than those international franchises with automated sales people! Plus you get to find more personalized and original stuff.
And last, but not least: forget the gifts, forget the parties, and just enjoy a good hot chocolate watching the tree lights, surrounded by your loved ones. I mean, call me an old fashioned romantic, but that’s the real Christmas spirit after all: giving and spreading love.
Oh and one last Christmas cliché to “wrap” it up [wink]: Ho Ho Ho! Have a wonderful Christmas!!