Every year we sell stocking stuffers. Lots and lots of them. Our store is literally overflowing with all manner of doo-dads and trinkets for everyone. From wooden rattles for babies to high-tech accessories for iPods, we’ve got a lot of everything.
We make a sign board that announces the arrival of these lovely items. Currently, it say “Cool Stocking Stuffers for Everyone.” This to me, is a fairly benign sign. Announcing that we sell stocking stuffers seems to be a good way to get people to actually buy them. This signboard has never been a problem before, until Saturday.
A clearly agitated woman came in and asked to speak to the owner or manager. I hopped out of the office with my Santa hat on to speak with her. I had no idea I was about to get lectured about Santa and the nature of stocking stuffers. The woman just started in practically demanding that I take the sign down. I asked why and she counters with, “Santa brings the stocking stuffers.” Um, really? Apparently, her child, who was old enough to read, had seen the sign and started to wonder about Santa’s retail habits. Clearly, our store is not in the North Pole, so there was some explaining to do as they drove away from the signboard.
I tried to counter with a humorous comment about Santa shopping local and supporting stores in as many states as possible, but she was not amused. Other shoppers were laughing a little under their breath and I just tried to keep my cool. I held my ground on not removing the signboard and offered her a sugar plum and suggested that Santa can be anywhere at anytime.