Nine years ago, while I was working an office job and would spend my mandatory lunch hours at the mall to kill time, I made a New Year’s Resolution. It went like this:
I will complete all of my Christmas shopping every year before December 1st so that I can be one less body at the mall, so that I can avoid being annoyed by too many people moving too quickly and too angrily, and so that I can rest and relax and spend the holiday season being Christmassy and not Grinchy. If I succeed? Spa day for me in December.
For nine years, I have stuck to this resolution. It’s true. I don’t go in the mall in December for Christmas-related shopping. I sometimes have to go to the mall for non-Christmas related stuff, like going to the dentist or getting toilet paper from London Drugs, but the fact is that I do not go in the mall after November 30. I have been a retail employee in a mall setting, and have experienced Christmas music October 30. I do not want to contribute to making the mall a horrific display of terrible human traits.
The worst job I ever had was in 1993 – I got a temporary part time job at a mall in Nanaimo. My job was as a mall greeter. I wore a white button down shirt and black pants, and was assigned a red velvet vest and bow tie. I opened doors for people, wished them Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and offered to carry packages to their car. Many people were delighted that the mall was offering “greeters” as a service, especially the seniors. But many, many, many more people would curse at me, tell me my job was a waste of money on behalf of the mall, suggest I was “trying to sell something”, or sneer back at me. Many people would ignore me, and a few would even change their path when they saw me open the door so that they would open a different door and avoid an exchange with me. If ever there was a job to show you how Christmas’ true meaning and spirit had been forgotten, this was it.
So, don’t hate. But yeah. Done and wrapped, baby.