I dislike shopping. I strongly dislike shopping in crowded stores.

I dislike shopping. I strongly dislike shopping in crowded stores.

I hate to sound Grinchy, but I’m sure there are at least a few of you out there who share my feelings. Squeezing down aisles over-crowded with over-filled carts is just not my thing. I am definitely not a Black Friday shopper (though I may be out to interview a few of you this year).

Thanks to the Internet and early shopping I managed to avoid at least some of that last year, and my wife and I have already hit the ground running this year.

Still we’ll probably have to go out as the crowds pick up, so here are a few thoughts to mull over as you wait in that line and wonder: “Where are all of these people the rest of the year?”

First the line. If it always seems like you pick the slowest line to wait in that’s because you do. Statically in a scenario with three lines, two out of three times one of the other lines will move faster than the one you’re in. (Check out University of Illinois professor Bill Hammack’s video on the phenomenon at http://youtu.be/F5Ri_HhziI0.)

Next, when shopping for family and friends, know it really is the thought that counts. In 2001, The Economist had this to say on the matter: “A gift’s worth is not only a function of its price, but also of the giver and the circumstances in which it is given. Hence a wedding ring is more valuable to its owner than to a jeweller, and the imprint of a child’s hand on dried clay is priceless to a loving grandparent.”

Also remember ‘tis better (or at least good) to give than receive. “Moreover, not only can gift-giving add value for the recipient, but it can be fun for the giver too,” The Economist concluded. “It is good, in other words, to give as well as to receive.

Finally, when you get frustrated, don’t forget Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ classic and how this character, whose name is synonymous with being miserly, learned what Christmas, and life, is really about.

“He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. … And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!”

Happy birthday Wednesday to Martha Pierce, Ramon Louis Walker Sr.. Kayci Hamilton, Suzann Montgomery, Taya Hall, and Suzette Smith, all of Denison; Alison Hightower, Jessica Hudson Adams, Rosie Stevenson, Xalayjah Cleveland, George Pauksta, Tamara Taylor Brown, Linda Wadford and Jack Walker, all of Sherman; Robert Garvin and Jean Parish, both of Whitesboro; Kathleen Hamilton Bradburry of Debary, Fla.; Bill Bennett of Bonham; Jordan D. Johnson of San Antonio.

Happy anniversary Wednesday to Hurl and Mary Scruggs of Lewisville, 54 years, and to Ronnie and Linda Barcheers of Sherman, 27 years.