Tag Archives: Christmas

Gift Wrapping, Jesus-Style

Working in a retail store during the Christmas season means I’ve wrapped approximately 413 presents since Black Friday.  I can cut paper and peel the adhesive sticker off a bow with my eyes closed.  I try to match the paper to the customer.  If they buy a cowboy hat, I use the Charlie Russell pattern.  Jewelry purchased by a non-cowboy lookin’ guy gets wrapped in a delicate snowflake design.

One gal came in the other day and bought a headstall with solid sterling silver buckles, a Bill Kane mane hair McCarty, tooled slobber straps, a chin strap and Garcia snaffle.  Unwrapping that fancy outfit would make up for having to feed cows on Christmas morning!  I wrapped it up, taping down the bit so a curious buckaroo couldn’t rattle things around and guess the gift. 

Another couple came in and purchased 3 palm leaf hats, totaling around $76.  I searched for boxes big enough to wrap them.  Someone said “Do you have to wrap each one individually?”  Well, yeah.  Who would give 3 straw hats of different sizes to the same person?  I spent more time locating boxes and wrapping them twice – the paper was too narrow to complete the job in one cutting – than I did on much more expensive gifts.

At first, I caught myself thinking, “I’m spending all this time and energy on less expensive presents!  How annoying!” and then I kicked myself under the wrapping table for being such a Grinch.  I recalled a vendor at Cowboy Christmas who wrapped the $3.50 refridgerator magnet I bought in tissue paper.  She had the right attitude. 

The New Testament records Jesus telling us to show no favoritism towards each other.  We’re supposed to treat the wealthy and the poor equally, regardless of clothing brand worn or liquid assets owned.  What we do for the lowliest of people on earth, we do unto Jesus Himself.  In that spirit, I decided to give equal smiles, offers to help find items in the store, careful gift-wrapping, and wishes of “Merry Christmas!” to all customers who enter the store. 

This sounds like a cheesey ad: “Come to Capriola’s – I’ll be nice to you because Jesus said.”  I just decided to use my employment as a way to practice what the Bible preaches.  It’s a random life experiment that I hope to turn into a habit.

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Christmas Shopping

It’s that time of year when the shop-a-holics get a natural high from standing too close to a clearance rack while listening to “Santa Baby” and the rest of us grit our teeth and push open the doors to Wal-Mart. 

I detest shopping, unlike most of the other members of my gender.  I got a kick out of watching shoppers at Cowboy Christmas.  The women would hold up purses for their male counterpart’s inspection, asking “What do you think of this one?  Maybe that one?”  The man would dutifully peer over her shoulder at the handbag in question, but the look in his eyes said “Where’s the bar?” 

Guys in cowboy hats who walked past the Capriola’s booth were involuntarily drawn to the bit and spur wall like moths to a Coleman lantern.  This action caused their lady friends to stop as if they’d hit an invisible forcefield, then lean one arm on the jewelry counter and gaze off into space. 

I thought I’d try to branch out one afternoon, and tried to sell some sterling silver earrings to a stock contractor from Montana, even offering to throw in free ear piercing.  I held up a bloody mary and said, “A few more of these, and I’m game.  You might want to get in on the next couple rounds, too.”  No takers.

Back here in Elko, my Christmas shopping consisted of browsing through the clothing section of Cal Ranch.  I ran into my friend Crystal, and we had a good visit.  I didn’t find anything for any member of my Christmas list, so I drove to Boot Barn.  As I left that store, I passed Crystal going in.  I told her this was the last western store we’d meet at that day, as I had actually purchased gifts. 

I enjoy giving gifts, it’s just my chronic state of broke-ness that makes their purchase a bit challenging.  I’m always searching for the perfect way to say “I care” without spending over $5.  I once took a box of store bought brownies that I had received in a White Elephant gift exchange, arranged them on a paper plate, covered them with plastic wrap, put a bow on top and passed them off to a friend as homemade.  What does it say about my character that I’m actually proud of that moment? 

Whatever you buy or don’t buy, do it with love.  Merry Christmas!

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