Sunday, December 18, 2011

Whos Down in Whoville

I've been trying to get in the Christmas spirit. If you've worked retail during the holidays at any point in your life you probably understand how it can suck the life out of the Christmas season for you. This is my fourth Christmas with Deseret Book and my seventh in retail and I'm pretty sure Christmas has become less and less of a favorite holiday with each year.

One of my friends called me on my Grinch-ness and I realized how my negativity was affecting other people. I really don't want to spread my bah humbugs so I made a concentrated effort to get into it. It took doing some Christmas shopping, wrapping some presents while drinking hot chocolate, and watching some White Christmas and the Glee and New Girl Christmas episodes for me to finally feel like it was Christmas. However, I still felt out of it, like I was just going through the motions.

So my friend, Kira, and I went on a drive to look at Christmas lights. I haven't done that since I was a little kid. I can remember my mom taking us out in Roosevelt, UT to look at lights. Pretty sure that's the last time I've done that as the sole purpose in driving around. It helped a lot too.

Then I went to the mall...


There went any semblance of Christmas spirit I had. It all reminded me of the Whos Down in Whoville from The Grinch who Stole Christmas. And lately I've been just thinking about the excess of Christmas and how we lose the meaning of Christmas when we focus so much on the gifts, both giving and receiving. Pretty sure it's not the end of the world if you can't get a gift for someone on Christmas.

Pretty much I'm thinking that my kids will only get one nice present each and then a few small things (if that). I may change my tune after a few years of being out of the world of retail, but as of right now that is the plan. Will my kids be spoiled? Damn right they will be. But they will probably not be spoiled on Christmas. I just hate how the commercialism of Christmas overshadows the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ and how God sent His Son to sacrifice Himself for us. That is the true gift of Christmas, and I hope that I can someday convey this to my children without seeming like the Nazi parent who will only give his kids a few presents that day.

I think a huge part of this desensitizing to the magical world of Christmas is that, for retailers, it starts so freaking early! I've been listening to Christmas music since November 1st. Let's just skip Thanksgiving altogether and go right for the kill. And working for Deseret Book sometimes makes me feel like I'm capitalizing on people's religion. So when people ask me why I don't like Christmas music, or why I groan when I hear it or think of the word Christmas, I tell them to work for a day at Deseret Book during the holidays and then see how cheery they are. The people are grumpy and snappy. They're extra demanding. And they think you can just pull these products out of a place where the sun don't shine. I'm sorry, but I'm not the big fat man from the North Pole. I don't have little elves who do my work for me. Hate to disappoint. (That might be a whole other post worthy topic.)

I guess I've just been feeling really detached from all of it lately and I'm not sure why. Christmas is a week away and it doesn't feel real. It's going to zoom by like the rest of the year has and before I know it I will be in basic with the Navy, seeing the world, and doing some pretty cool stuff. Ahhhh yeah!!!

In closing, I do have to say that having friends and family around has helped me keep up with the holiday spirit. Kids are so cute during Christmas, and it has been fun to watch Gigi get so excited about Santa Claus coming to give her gifts. And Kira and I have been trying to be positive and to help each other be in the mood for Christmas. I just hate that it's a battle trying to force myself to be Christmas-y every year. Someday that will not be the case. I hope. 

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