northstory notes – Nov 22, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen, there are just 5 weeks left until Christmas. 5 weeks. 4 and a half if you’re really counting.

Oh you think that’s a long time. It’s not. My kitchen table on a daily basis looks like this:

christmas crafts

I have no idea why I have so many empty wine bottles…lalala.

But back on subject, I don’t need a calendar to tell me that it’s that time of year. I can tell by the vicious behaviour of people out at the stores and malls and various other fine establishments.

Do you experience this phenomenon too? The Christmas Shopper from Hell. Which goes along with the Disgruntled Customer Service Employee from hell. Which matches the sounds of increased temper tantrums of kids of all ages as they fall down in the middle of a store aisle because they were just told they can’t get the prominently displayed dream toy of the year by their exhausted parent, who wants to crawl into a hole and die to avoid all the judging eyes of everyone around them while this is happening.

Who said Christmas shopping isn’t fun?

But that’s not the point of this post. As someone who worked eight years in retail at a clothing store putting myself through University, where I spent eight holiday shopping seasons and eight 6 a.m. start time Boxing Days, if there is one thing I can honestly say is that it’s not the Christmas shopping season that’s the problem. That just helps to amplify the real problem. The real problem is people living in their own bubbles assuming that the world should revolve around them at all times.

Because they have to go get gifts and they are on a tight schedule. And because surely they must be the only ones who are in the mall with their kids. And also they only ones looking for a parking spot. Or having to wait 30 mins for the one elevator that’s working to move their stroller up to another level at the mall. And of course, if they are working, they are the only employees in the world who is dealing with all of the latter. And it’s everyone else’s fault that they’re in their way.

They are the people who say “To hell with this, I will stand in this Express Lane checkout with my 100 items” as you stand behind them with your 12 items and under (this happened this week). They are the ones that park sideways with their cars so that when you come back you can’t open your car door to put your child in their car seat (this happened this week). They are the people who bark at you when you just drove 30 minutes to a store to see if they have a certain item in stock, because you should already know through osmosis you are the 10th person who walked in that hour asking for that item that is out of stock. And maybe you weren’t one of the several people who yelled at that store clerk, you are assumed that you will be that person (this happened this week).

This Holiday Season, don’t be that person.

Whether you’re shopping, working, helping, just tagging along – we’re all in the same boat. None of us are getting out of the stores any faster because the crowds are bigger. We’re not going to find a parking spot any faster. Being angry and hostile isn’t going to help a single person around you. If anything your anger and frustration will spread to them like an evil trigger. Ever notice a change in a person after you genuinely smile at them or help them out with something as simple as holding a door open for them? They smile back. It all starts with you and you have a choice every time you embark on the great adventure that is the Christmas shopping season.

Though I will say there is a special place in hell for people who do not return their carts to the cart rack. Even the Random Act of Kindness Foundation suggests this. You return a cart and wait for it – it creates an extra parking spot. Then a person can find that parking spot and be happy that they did. They will then take their happy mood with them. And the snowball continues.

So return the cart. Please. So it also doesn’t hit someone’s car (this happened this week).

In this week’s northstory notes:

I am a crazy font addict. Lynne’s comment reply font on her blog is one of my favourites and she wrote an awesome post explaining how you can find out what font a blogger you love is using.

Love these chalkboard wood slice ornaments by Satori Design for Living.

Faux wood wrapping paper!!!

A revamp for a trunk that is so beautiful.

Why can’t I ever find things like this on trash day?

I have 2 little girls and this commercial for GoldieBox made me want to write them a Thank You letter.

I love the bathroom vanity over at Osie Moats.

Apple Pie Fries. They taste as good as they sound.

And I think I need to ask Santa to make me a cabin like this to craft and write in. I mean wow.

Have a good weekend!



  • Reply
    Lynne Knowlton
    November 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Hiya Alex,

    Thanks for linking to my bloggy post about fonts. Seriously, it drove me cray cray trying to figure out different fonts that I loved on different blogs. Fonts are soooo fun, but unfortunately not all peeps are willing to share their font names/styles. I believe in ABUNDANCE and helping others, and not keeping those things a secret. This little font discovery secret is like magic ink! Yesssss.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you so much for the shout out! I really appreciate it! Your blog has so much inspiration!

    Happy weekend to you!

    PS I always return my carts. 🙂

  • Reply
    now at home mom
    November 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I love the ‘girls’ commercial, I had to share it on FB and twitter; I don’t have a girl but I wish I had one now! 🙂 & yep, I would love that cabin too!
    wish you a beautiful weekend Alex! 🙂 & I’ll try my best to be nice and sweet this weekend when I will be shopping 😉

  • Reply
    Füsun T.
    November 23, 2013 at 3:29 am

    Thank you Alex.

  • Reply
    Victoria • Restoring our Victorian
    November 23, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I join you in ex-retail-worker solidarity… I had to go to the Apple store at the mall last night, and walked past Pottery Barn, and thought– oh, I’ll go in for one second… there were nine million people, and after walking two feet, I broke out in hives.

    Yet another reason the internet is the best invention ever: never going to the mall again.

    As always, love all your links (especially mine, ha ha).

  • Reply
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet
    November 23, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    So many gems in this week’s northstory notes! I especially swooned over that faux wood wrapping paper (Karianne’s stories are too funny) and loved that GIRLS commercial! Had to share it on FB because it reminds me so much of my niece, Cora…an engineer in the making.

  • Reply
    Danielle from Storypiece
    November 25, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Amen, sister…. Amen!

  • Reply
    Thalita @ The Learner Observer
    November 30, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Oh my gosh you make me not want to go to a store, any store, for the remainder of the year. Seriously… I worked in retail for years as well, while in school… and had to be at the store for 3am on boxing day mornings. I was THAT person going to bed at like 7pm on Christmas Day (which also happens to be my birthday) to be up at 2am! Brutal… I have never been a huge fan of Christmas, but I AM a huge fan of your Northstory notes and all the awesome links you find.

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