Since I work in retail, I do not enjoy the holidays as much as I used to. I come home from work exhausted, and frankly I have a hard time getting into the spirit of the season until Christmas Eve. If you want to know how I feel about that day, go back and read my Blog post of December 23, 2011:
But the weeks preceding have become hard.
Hallowe'en is a tapestry of memories, joyful and sad, as well as the opening salvo of "the holiday season". In 2001, my mother passed away as I was handing out treats to my neighborhood munchkins. She had been ill, and in hospice, so it was not unexpected, but I spent the evening arranging travel, and packing. When I looked out the window and saw that there was a full moon, I felt a sense of wonder and joy that she had chosen that particular moment to start her new adventure. I had no regrets about our relationship, and the event has not had any effect on my joyful heart on hallowe'en as I greet hundreds of smiling, sweet (mostly) children each year.
But in my work, Hallowe'en has begun to morph into the Christmas shopping season. I'm already tired of candy, and I'm already just plain tired at the end of the day.
This year I am especially saddened that the big box retail store that employs me and provides my health insurance, has opted to ask its employees to interrupt time they might otherwise be spending with their families, so that it may begin its "Black Friday" event on Thanksgiving evening.
Even before I worked in retail, I wasn't one of those who partake in this remarkable event each year. I like to stay home and watch football. When asked what hours I wanted to work on that day, I opted for my regular schedule. I'm not looking forward to the craziness, but I am thankful for the health insurance.
When my children were small, Thanksgiving was a day when we would gather together, either at our home, or at the home of my in-laws, to cook, eat too much, and relax. Some years we would invite an "orphan" to join us. Usually a friend who was single and living far away from his or her own family. It was a way to share a day that, I believe, is a day we celebrate family, with someone who would otherwise be alone.
These past few years I sometimes feel I have to dig deep to find the joy in the cooking, eating and clean up, since the next day begins the grueling shopping season.
As you shop this year, dear Reader, please remember your tired retail worker. Did I say how I am thankful for the Health insurance?
Be friendly. Curb your frustration, and share a little love. I know I will appreciate your extra smile and patience.
Since I have written this, numerous petitions have sprung up asking various retailers to adjust their openings back to actual day-after-Thanksgiving, in order to allow their employees to spend the entire day with their families. If you are interested in signing any of these petitions, click on this link: http://www.change.org/petitions#search/Black%20Friday Or just Google "black Friday petitions".
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