Maybe its because I spent the last six holiday seasons working in retail, or maybe its because I am Jewish and celebrate Hanukkah, but I am not a huge fan of Christmas.
I grew up celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah because I had a Jewish dad and a Baptist raised mother. I loved having both holidays because each one was unique. My mother and father would celebrate Hanukkah at home with my brother and me and then we’d go to my grandmother’s house for a big Christmas dinner with lots of family.
My childhood love of the holidays stuck with me until I was 16 and got my first job at Target. I had never realized before then how crazy the holiday season could be. The month of December was full of massive crowds and grumpy customers desperate to get that year’s “hot” toy item. I got yelled at by people who looked so nice and sweet until I told them that the toy their daughter/son/grandchild wanted was sold out and sorry but I don’t know when we are going to get more.
Every holiday season I worked after my first seemed to get worse with more yelling and angrier customers. Each holiday season left me feeling more disappointed in the general public than the last. People seemed like they were completely out for themselves and had no problem with physically fighting with someone to get the best deal. By the time Christmas actually came around I feel tired and stressed, not joyful and excited.
This holiday season is the first season in six years I have not worked retail and yet the ill feelings I have of the holidays are still lingering. I still cringe at holiday songs being played in stores and the crowds of people have deterred me from wanting to get my gift shopping done.
However, this is also the first holiday season I am spending with my boyfriend’s family, who are big fans of Christmas. I really want to shake my Grinch-like feelings in order to have a Merry Christmas. I need to brush of all the old stressful retail memories and make new ones. I hate how much the retail world has tainted this time of year. So hopefully this year my boyfriend’s love of Christmas will transfer to me and this year I can learn to love holiday songs and embrace Christmas decorations once again.