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Take along patience, safety when you are out and about

Traditional activities celebrated with family and friends always have made the holiday season special.

That includes the time-honored shopping sprees, visits with family and all the other errands that seem to make our lives much busier this time of year.

Today, shoppers seem to always be in a hurry to snag a particular gift at a very special price. In today’s COVID-19 world, curbside pickups abound, but don’t always eliminate that trip to the store, maneuvering around crowds and waiting in lines.

The flow of cars, crowds and delivery people into the parking lots can actually even add to the hecticness of holiday shopping at area retailers.

However you shop this holiday season, we hope you will keep some simple tips in mind. Remember that the streets around shopping areas will be a little busier, the parking lots more crowded and the lines at the registers a little longer.

When you’re in traffic, remain patient and remember the reason for the season. Anticipate more traffic and longer waits. Allow extra time so you’re not in such a rush.

Remember the spirit of the Christmas season -peace on Earth, goodwill to your fellow man — and don’t rush displays, push and shove, bully or jostle your fellow shoppers. What kind of a victory is it, we wonder, to have knocked an elderly person out of the way to be first in line?

Don’t be afraid to hold a door open for a fellow shopper or for someone who is trying to navigate a store with a stroller.

Sanitize your hands often, and don’t forget the interior surfaces of your vehicles, including the steering wheel and door handles.

And, remember that sharing a smile or a kind word with a clerk who has faced a never-ending line of not-so-nice customers can make that person — and you — feel a whole lot better. Many businesses continue to face staffing shortages, which puts added stress on those who are working and can lead to longer wait times at the cash register or to secure a table at a restaurant.

Above all, enjoy yourself, and happy shopping.

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