I was planning on writing this confessional but when the OWLS tour for this month was announced I decided to combine them!
As the title states, I am a Scrooge, or a Grinch if you prefer. Not completely but let me elaborate.
Working in retail around this time of year really exorcise the Christmas spirit from your soul. In a card shop, in particular, we get insanely busy the closer we get to Christmas. That isn’t too bad in of itself but folks start getting a bit tense since stock starts to deplete around this time.
Heads up, if you have not bought your cards yet, do so now. I warn customers in-store the same thing. Not to be nice, well, of course, that is part of it, but because I always get at least a handful of people getting mad at me that we don’t have any they like and the way they shout at me, it sounds like they think I did this to them personally.
Then there is the music. I used to love Christmas music, but when you are subjected to hearing it on repeat for hours on top of customer demands, you start to resent the tunes. It’s not like these are all decent songs in the first place, there is one we play that is the most depressing Christmas song ever.
Normally the shop closes at 9pm on weekdays or 7pm on the weekend but due to ‘Santa Time’ no really, that’s what the centre calls it, we stay open an extra hour. We need to stay half an hour after closing to clean up and get the shop ready for tomorrow morning. I’m almost always closing and there isn’t a bus that gets me home so I either have to fork out cash for a Uber or walk two hours. In the dark, freezing cold. Fun.
Last but not least, stress. Even before working in retail Christmas has always been a stressful time for me. Weather due to workload and deadlines, being broke or some mental health issues that seem to get worse around this time of year winter always knock me through a loop.
Sometimes I try to get myself into the spirit but I just end up feeling empty. I try to force a smile and take part in festive activities but it doesn’t work. If anything it makes it worse.
I don’t hate Christmas itself. Just Christmastime.
Christmas day is another story. I love it so much as it is a big deal in my family and we go all out. It’s a wonderful day filled with joy and laughter as we reminisce on the past and all that jazz. Gifts are cool and all but for me, the holiday is for celebrating family. My family is really close so we have get-togethers as often as possible, but this is one day is special.
However, the best part is Christmas Eve. Not the day since that is one of the worst shifts, everyone works Christmas Eve and it gets wild, but as soon as I get home, that is when Christmastime truly starts in my eyes.
Since we have almost my entire family over on some years, which is great don’t get me wrong, the four of us (my parents, my sister and I) don’t really get to spend time with one another since we are all hanging out with the others and focusing on being good hosts. So what we do is have a nice intimate Christmas Eve dinner, exchange Secret Santa gifts and watch The Snowman or my favourite Father Christmas.
This is my favourite night of the whole year.
My sister and I used to struggle to sleep on Christmas Eve as kids, so we played on our DSs via PictoChat or Mario Kart until we passed out. We keep that tradition alive but only for an hour or two playing Battleships online. We have a bunch of traditions in my family and I love all of them, they are more like a ritual at this point.
While I loathe the run-up to the day, I love Christmas Day.