That “Christmas Feeling”
Christmas was always so magical and fun growing up, but for several years of my life, it was kind of a drag. Working retail can do that to a person.
As many people note when Christmas things roll out right around (before or slightly after) Halloween: the Christmas season does not start in December, not when you work in retail, my friends. Christmas starts in October, for all intents and purposes. In the used bookstore world, that meant stockpiling nice copies of popular books and/or classics, as well as organizing all the Christmas-related DVDs and CDs so they could be ready to go on the sales floor. This meant putting Christmas decorations up right before Thanksgiving. Come Black Friday (or sometime around it), it meant people demanding certain items for a particular someone on their list and getting cranky (but at least not violent) when we couldn’t deliver. It meant getting antsy at the cash register as I watched the lines grow and having Christmas music droning on and on in the background of 8 hours of my day.
And then, I left the retail world and went to graduate school. Graduate school occupied most of my time and brain in the lead up to December last year, so much so that Christmas was a distant event that seemed months down the line. I’d see trees with lights in the commons room of the Cathedral of Learning and it was a reminder of something, but I couldn’t quite remember what.
Then, sometime during the second week of December, once all my papers were done, I shook off the fog of finals week and found Christmas all around me. And it was wonderful, in part because it was such a great reward for all my hard work, but also because I didn’t have the accompanying Christmas retail drudgery. I went to the Carnegie Museums and they were decked out for Christmas. I had snowy walks with my boyfriend. We put up a little tree in my apartment and saw a weird and artsy Christmas show at the Warhol Museum and I went Christmas shopping and made cookies and listened to all my favorite Christmas music. Even then I worried that it was a fluke, that maybe my heart was relishing it then but come this year I’d feel Grinchy about Christmas again.
Nope. I’m just excited about Christmas this year, maybe even more so. I held off on decorating and Christmas music until December started, but it was hard to rein it in ’til then, which is unlike me. I’m generally a “beginning of December and no earlier does Christmas start type of person” but this year, I was rarin’ to go. Here’s the tree: