For those of you thinking, "There's more than one golden rule?" thank goodness we've reached you in time.
If you're familiar with Hall Road, you've probably realized that the treat-others-as-you-would-wish-to-be-treated sentiment is not often applied on a day-to-day basis and almost never during the holiday season.
Somehow amid the sales, wrapping paper, snow and overeating, the everyday niceties – also known as manners – disappear. If only during the holiday season, try to use a few of these "golden rules." You never know, it might become a habit and you'll stay off the naughty list. I hope you take this list seriously, but unleash a few chuckles along the way.
For being "the magic word" it's amazing how rarely people use it. When was the last time you said "please" simply as a courtesy, rather than as a ploy to get something you wanted? It's only one syllable and doesn't even require an extra breath.
- "I'd like the pickled herring, please."
- "Can you gift wrap it, please?"
- "Please, I've got this whole thing under control." This last also one goes well with, "Please help!"
2. Thank you
So the pack of orange knee socks wasn't at the top of your Christmas list, but you can't fault Aunt Joan for trying. (You never know when you'll be stranded in a blizzard and need a pair socks to keep you warm and visible.) A "thank you" won't guarantee an embargo on orange knee socks next year, but it'll probably make Aunt Joan's day. It works nicely outside the family circle, too.
- "Thanks for holding the door."
- "Thank you for making the coffee."
- "A swan-shaped doorstop. How did you know? Thank you, Secret Santa."
Use them. Need we say more?
4. Take time to smell the pine.
Plan a night to just walk around The Mall at Partridge Creek or downtown Rochester to see the lights. Stop to admire the decorations in your neighborhood. Have a sit-down dinner with the kids, there is only so much time to enjoy those years pre-significant others and in-laws.
When you're on the road, let the other fella in once in awhile. Keep the hand gestures to a friendy holiday wave. Try not to let the size of your car get to your head – those of us with small cars can't see through your car and really hate being tailed. Space is good.
5. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (Retail Edition)
Believe it or not, most salespeople don't actually want to have long lines filled with short-tempered customers. Will the world end if you can't get the red sweater with silver snowflakes? If you were that holiday employee behind the counter, would an angry customer help you check out faster? Holiday stress brings out the worst in all of us. But isn't the world crazy enough without each of us adding our own special brand?
Christmas comes only once a year. Eating out, shopping, partying with family – whatever it is you do this time of year – try to enjoy it.
Please and thank you from your friendly Patch editor!