I have just completed my ninth retail Christmas. Many of you may say that I am mad, but such is my life. I've been at my current job for nearly eight years, and before that I worked several months at another store. Let me say this about Christmas in retail: it's a horrible, horrible experience. No matter how hard you try, any amount of Christmas spirit you may have is immediately squelched by the ridiculous hours and even more ridiculous customers attitudes and masses. It's enough to make you start wondering things like, "If I somehow managed to break my leg, could I get time off work? Or would I just have to sit on a chair at a register?"
I long ago stopped getting especially excited for Christmas. I do get excited for gifts that I'm giving people. This year I made most of my gifts for friend and family, so I did have quite a bit of excitement in that area, but generally there isn't much to get me going. I know that's sad, but there it is. Working retail serves only to force disenchantment over the whole Christmas season.
The intent of this post, however, is not to complain. The intent is to
describe the magic of Christmas and its ability to wipe all that away. The thing is, no matter how horrible the days leading up to Christmas are, matter how many terrible shifts I work or customers I want to punch in the face, Christmas Day is always perfect. The store is closed, so for one day, I don't have to worry about going in to work and putting on a happy face. I can just be with my family. All I have to worry about...is nothing. I even have the time and mindset to thing about true meaning of Christmas.
I think a lot of the peace I feel on Christmas comes from the fact that there's suddenly a lot behind me. I know there's still a week or so of wild after-Christmas sales and telling irate customers that I can't return their fine jewelry without a receipt, but most of it is over. Soon the store will return to its calm, off-season demeanor, and I can't wait. When Christmas comes, I know that I've made it. And I only broke down and cried a couple of times :)
Aaaand...only 43 days until my trip to Disneyland!