This one isn’t awful enough for Holiday Hell, but if you’d like to open a sub-category called Holiday Heck, this would fit right in. Christmas is my favorite time of year, not least because it affords me so many opportunities to shop with my daughter, a busy young mother whose career doesn’t often leave a lot of time for socializing. We took a whole day last weekend, had breakfast together, and started our rounds.
We ended up just before lunch in a wonderful gift shop and nursery where you can purchase everything from woolen scarves to wooden dwarves and every whimsical thing in between. Their outdoor nursery area featured Christmas trees, garland, bows and baubles, and a genuine jolly St. Nick. They were making a marvelous production of the whole thing, and we were enjoying watching the children as they danced up and down waiting for their turns to talk to Santa.
As we were watching, I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned around. One of the seasonal sales assistants beamed at me.
“Come on!” she trilled. “You’re just in time for the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest!”
I looked down. I was wearing my most handsome Christmas sweater, red fleece with several green gingham trees appliqued across the front, neither sequined nor gaudy, and hand made by the very busy daughter standing beside me.
“I don’t think so”, I replied. “I wait all year to wear this sweater. It’s my favorite, and I think it’s beautiful.”
“Oh, come on! Don’t you want to be immortalized on Facebook?!”
“Thank you, no.” I said, and turned to leave. Horror of horrors, she put her hands on my shoulders, turned me sideways, and attempted to steer me into the nursery.
“Come on!” she insisted. “It’ll just take a few minutes!”
“No thank you!”, I said, possibly a little louder than strictly required. “We were just leaving!”
“Well, you’re no fun!” she pouted, and as we turned to go out the door I could see her gazing around, looking for another draftee. You know those “Please Do Not Touch The Merchandise” signs you see in gift stores? This shop needed one that said “Please Do Not Touch The Customers”! 1206-12