As a child and a teenager, the winter hollydays
were my favorite time of year. Family gatherings
at Thanksgiving wound into counting the days til
the fat man was expected to deliver a bountiful
harvest of Barbie dolls and cowgirl boots (and
later stereos and Jordaches) under the tree.
Living in the Deep South, I longed for JUST ONE
Being an adult and parent makes those joys move
aside in favor of things like worrying over how
Santa is going to afford that Wii system, and
making holiday travel plans that now have to
work around Mother Nature and her liberal
sprinkling of white powder all over I-80. White
Christmas, my eye.
But nothing, and I mean not even working in an
ER (I'm guessing) will cure you of the sheer
childlike joy in the holidays faster than
There's the decorations for sale, which in our
store were out before Halloween this year! The
Christmas tunes on the overhead, which you'd
expect to start getting peppered into the
regular songs a day or so before Thanksgiving,
maybe, this year made their debut November 14.
They were joined by tunes on one of our local
radio stations going all-holiday (just for the
weekend so far, thank goodness), and
bell-ringers at every mall entrance appearing
like they sprang forth from the very pavement.
The very cold pavement.
Mother Nature has obliged this holiday look,
sound, and feel by making it very cold and
dusting that aforementioned white powder all
over the place. Which we mall employees get to
enjoy all the more, since we often have to park
at outlying store parking lots and trek overland
to work. It's hard to look attractive and
professional when you have major hat-head from
bundling up like Nanook of the North just to
schlep from the mini-van.
It's not all bad. The good thing about WMEE
playing only holiday tunes after Thanksgiving
means they have to be a little more creative in
their digging for variety. I think there's an
FFC law about how many times a day you can play
"Do They Know It's Christmas Time?"
(And if there isn't, there oughta be!) I derive
endless amusement from this one lady who rings
TWO bells at once during her shift at the red
bucket, and singsongs over and over "God
BLESS you, have a HAP-py HOL-i-DAY!" And
with my firm belief that I was a cat in a former
life, being attracted to red, shiny things makes
the decorations not so bad.
It's just a case of too much of a good thing,
yanno? I know folks who work in retail who WILL
NOT have a tree in their own home, because they
get enough of that at work. I will have a tree,
but it will go up when it is supposed to - Black
Friday - and not a moment before.
Cause goodness knows I won't be caught anywhere
NEAR the mall on THAT day!!
Copyright Cheryl Lee
* * * * *
Lee, a.k.a. MamaKat, says her house has almost
always been "outside of" some
already-small town. She was born and mostly
raised "outside of" Troy, Alabama.
She guesses she is a redneck, cause directions
to her house usually did include "and
then you leave the paved road." She now
lives in the frozen North in Indiana, where it
is sometimes 5 degrees Fahrenheit. She has
three boys two ex-husbands, one boyfriend, two
cats, and a certifiably insane extended family
back in the Deep South, more than enough
material for a long and lucrative writing