For how long, I don’t know. I’ve just been sooo busy…working, writing my seminary essay, leading yet another worship service, playing Mario Carts on my Nintendo DS, eating the head off my Lindt chocolate Santa, doing, you know, important stuff…
The main distraction I’ve had is work. It’s been many years since I worked retail during the Christmas season, and this was my first time experiencing Holiday Hell in a mall. Let’s put it this way, at 10:30 a.m. on January 1st I let out a huge sigh of relief…that’s when the mall stopped playing Christmas music and started playing plain old mall music (which in this case was Sarah McLachlan, which was kind of cool).
By the end of the day Santa’s house and picture station was dismantled and rolled away in crates, the garland strings were gone from the ceiling, and I could actually walk through the mall without crashing into the holiday masses. And masses are what they were…..women pushing huge car shaped carts overloaded with kids and shopping bags, men wearing football jerseys and construction boots clustered around the directories with baffled looks on their faces because they only set foot inside a mall once a year and have no idea what to buy or where to buy it, packs of middle schoolers swarming like schools of fish with giggling girls and self-conscious looking boys, all completely clueless to the fact that there are other people in the mall who may need to actually get somewhere…….and of course when I say “other people” I mean me…..
Our bookstore is at one end of the mall (in the side corridor leading to Lord & Taylor where our only passersby are mall walkers and the elderly) and our seasonal Calendar kiosk is all the way at the other end of the mall. As a keyholder I had to leave the store to pull money out of the kiosk cash drawer on an almost hourly basis and respond to the frequent calls for change, bags, and 10 minute breaks. In addition to this, I had to make numerous trips to the mall’s bank deposit/change machine located down a long dark hallway in the bowels of the mall underground.
If you’re looking to stave off putting on the holiday pounds next year I suggest pouring all the change you have in your house into a plastic bag, tucking it under your arm like a football, and dashing from one end of the mall to the other while trying to avoid crashing into the aforementioned holiday masses…and then repeat this exercise every 20 minutes for 8 hours. I’ve gotten so good at ducking and diving and finding the holes in the crowd that I’m thinking of trying out for the Patriots next year.
Of course I may whine about it about it now, but this is the first year in a long time that my New Year’s resolution hasn’t been to “work out and lose weight”…..work is enough of a workout and despite all the crap I’ve been eating since Thanksgiving I haven’t gained an ounce (send all hate email to firstname.lastname@example.org).
I will now go consume the rest of my chocolate Santa and pray that my post-holiday work hours don’t get cut leading to a deflation of my bank account and an inflation of my waistline.