Tuesday, November 13, 2007

On the First Day...

It's that time of year again kids. The stores have brought out their Xmas ornaments and battered menorahs. Any minute now they're going to blare Xmas music through the loud speakers. (At my last job we had a Xmas mix cd that had a version of Ave Maria to slit your wrists to.) In Union Square there is a crew putting up the cheerful red and white striped tents that will become a shopping village filled with all sorts of things to nibble at your wallet. This is not the only such village, they are sprouting up all over town, ready to net the city a tidy sum in rents.

One of my co-workers used to work in retail. Her most recent gig was at Bloomingdales. You can imagine what that place must be like during the holidays. Department stores are the worst place to go in the Xmas rush. All those souls desperate for a gift, any gift, for Aunt Minnie or their secret Santa pick, go to the department stores. And the stores know it. They bring out all those things that didn't sell. The electric nose-hair trimmers, the neon colored ties, the plaster doggies with big eyes, and so on. They know that the truly desperate holiday shopper will buy things that would they would normally recoil from in horror and disgust.

My co-worker and I were congratulating ourselves today because we will not be in a store on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). We will not be convincing the gullible and the exhausted that this is the gift of a lifetime. We will not be placating those who must wait in line. We will not have hands covered in paper cuts from the shopping bags and wrapping paper. We will not be feeling like death warmed over by the end of the holidays.

I do plan on having a tree at home and maybe some lights strung around. And of course there will be the holiday baking. For those of you who know me, now is the time to get requests in. Or do you prefer to be surprised?

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