McGregor Says: Keeping it simple

We are now one month away from Christmas and the days start moving faster, honking at us procrastinators, forcing us into the slow lane as they zoom by.

First comes Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday then, Where Did All My Money Go? Tuesday. We start getting inundated by shopping flyers and TV ads and it seems if we don’t buy right now we will lose out on all the good deals. I recall the old days when I could only buy presents as long as I had money.

One of the flyers was for a local business that transforms into ‘Christmas World’ in mid-November.

I went in to see what was new for this year. The building was indeed all Christmas and trees of all colours exploded across the floor. I could buy a $500 gold Christmas tree and decorate it with $50 baubles.

This was a far cry from the real cut tree with the homemade decorations that adorns my living room each year. I walked around a corner and came face to face with a life-size St. Nicholas that I could put in my foyer for $2,200 and complement that with a sleigh and reindeer for another $1,000.

I think I will put up a string and hang Christmas cards on it instead.

Then the experience took a turn. On one shelf were four animated hats. One was Santa’s legs sticking out of a chimney, another looked like a cooked turkey, and next there was a reindeer and a snowman.

A young mother had two small children in her cart — a baby and a three-year-old boy.

Every time she pushed one of the buttons, the hats began to dance and sing and the little boy would erupt in gut-busting spontaneous laughter that only little kids can master.

He would laugh until he caught his breath and then shout, “Do it again, Mom!”

His laughter echoed throughout the building more each time.

People came to see what was going on. They peeked through trees and over displays. Employees stopped unpacking boxes or stocking shelves and his laughter infected everyone in the building who were now either smiling or laughing along.

There was millions of dollars of inventory in that store but the one thing that brought everyone together was the genuine laughter of a little boy. Where do you buy that, I wonder? It would be amazing to have that laughter and those smiles all through the house throughout the holidays.

Maybe it starts with each one of us. If we smile, maybe people will smile back. If we laugh maybe the world will laugh with us.

They say if you laugh a lot, when you get older your wrinkles will be in all the right places.

I seem to recall that the Christmas story started with a smiling little boy, and I read somewhere Christmas doesn’t come from a store.

At least that’s what McGregor says.

» Jim McGregor writes regularly for Send your feedback to

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