Hissy Fit - November 2020 - Make it Extra Special: Attitude, Effort and a Little Black Friday

...because everyone needs one every once in awhile


November 2020 Issue
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen

The key to an extra special holiday season is based on two things: Attitude and effort. Did you just say Bah Humbug? Well, it’s true. Like I said in the first article back on page 10, what you get out of something is equivalent to what you put into it. I have had Christmases when just getting out the holiday dish towel practically did me in. But not this year. Coronavirus is the Grinch of 2020, and I refuse to let it steal my holidays. With that, I’m getting on the roof to help Clark Griswold light up the neighborhood—watch out property owners association!

Is it possible to be sick of convenience? Can’t anything be challenging anymore? Some things need to be convenient, like breakfast on a Monday morning, but giving thanks and celebrating the Lord’s birthday? Not so much. Nor should decorating and shopping for the people you love the most—your friends and family.

Some say ordering online is easier. I don’t agree because to me it’s a lot like Netflix—you spend more time scrolling to figure out what to watch, than actually watching. Online shopping is the same…scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. You know the Internet was designed to addict you—hence the gazillions of bottomless pages. That’s probably how Google (the search engine company) got its name—from the word Googol, coined in the late ‘30s by a mathematician as the largest number known (googolplex = 10 to the power of googol, which is 1 to the 100th power, which equals 1 with 100 zeros following). Trust me, it’s more than any of us can count. However much it is, I don’t want to get caught in its WEB. Besides, I love shopping local and the many advantages it brings:

Holiday Spirit!

You can’t smell the aromas of the season—spiced pumpkin, warm apples, exotic cinnamon, hot chocolate, yummy lattes, Dior J’adore—through the WEB. I want to smell it, see it, feel it, hear it…be in the midst of it! I want to tell strangers Merry Christmas (and, obviously, people I know, too). You’re probably picturing me as Buddy the ELF right now, but I’m just tired of the lackadaisical approach to life our society has fallen prey to. Even the word lackadaisical is made from two dismal words—lack and daze. Thank you to all the retailers who still take time to fill your shops with holiday cheer. Your effort is appreciated and you make our holidays better because of it!

The opposite of lackadaisical is enthusiasm.

You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. In fact, I always pick a word to live by for the year, and I’m going to go ahead and call it for 2021—enthusiasm! Take that you cuddly-as-a-cactus covid grinch with garlic breath. Do you know the magic you can create when you combine ability with enthusiasm—Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Whatever you love to do for the holidays, kick up your enthusiasm this year, and surprise everyone with your stellar brilliance. Things are always better when you do them like you mean it. If you’re going to decorate, channel your inner Martha Stewart. If you’re going to bake, invite Julia Child into the sweet spot of your soul. If you’re going to wrap, slay those bows like Nicki Minaj. Wait. That’s beaus, but still done with immense enthusiasm.

If you’ve got the ability, you’ve got it all.
As I mentioned last month, I was disabled with a back injury for the last five months. Now that I’m functioning again, I want to be all I can be and do all I can do. I don’t need to shop online because it doesn’t hurt too much to walk anymore. I don’t need curbside pickup because, praise God, I can shop with out the grocery cart doubling as a walker. I actually want to park far away from the entrance just so I can walk a little extra. It’s amazing how valuable something becomes when you may lose it. Girl, strut your stuff and get your shopping swag on! Where else are you going to wear that cute Christmas sweater with earrings to match?

Change your attitude, change your world!
Attitude sets the mood for everything. I’m a Black Friday shopper. It’s fun and gives me much fodder to write about, as well as some life lessons. For instance, I was in Midway, Georgia, last year at International Paper’s annual warehouse sale. They make the most beautiful cards, stationery, calendars, gift bags, wrapping paper and gift tags. (They moved to Memphis so no sale this year) Upon entering, they give you a large, construction-grade, black trash bag, knowing you will fill it up with goodies. Of course Meredith (my ex sister-in-law but we still like each other) and I filled our bags. As we were struggling to get our bounty to the car, a woman walked by and said just like a good ball coach, “Lift with your legs, Ladies. Lift with your legs.” We cracked up laughing, but have never forgotten her sage advice. You can’t say us women don’t stick together! You know who else has great attitudes, and you would never know about this unless you embrace Black Friday: The girlfriends/families who have matching T-shirts made specifically for Black Friday shopping. These women have formed teams, squads and allegiances. If one of them gets to a Black Friday air-fryer deal before you, and you aren’t on their squad, you will not be air-frying any chicken come December 26. I respect the T-shirt ladies—team spirit and lots of effort.

I hope I have revved you up for your best holidays ever. If you see me out shopping, or drive by my house all lit up (the house, not you), be sure to shout out a holiday greeting! If it’s not nice just mumble with a smile so I don’t know what you’re saying. All in all, I’m just happy to be here to reignite effort, enthusiasm and attitude—those crazy vowel words that change everything just by choosing to embracing (another vowel word) them. Give me an E! Give me an A! What do you got (other than Elizabeth turned Buddy the ELF)? One great holiday season! Enjoy like never before.

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