Sunday, December 24, 2006

CHRISTMAS -- Short and Sweet....

One of the more alarming things that happened when I bought the store was that the Christmas spirit just disappeared. (Bear with me, this won't be a downer.) Now Christmas was a very big deal in my family, with the tree trimming, the lights, the cookie decorating, and the enormous bounty of gifts. When I married Linda, and the boys, Todd and Toby, Christmas revolved around church.

Those first few years, before I realized that Christmas wasn't going to be as huge for my type of store as it is for other stores, I'd probably order too much, and then spend most of the season in anxiety because I was afraid no one would show up. The Sheriff of Nottingham would always threaten to "cancel Christmas," but he never has.

Then, came Christmas Eve, and the locking of the doors. And this overwhelming feeling of peace and satisfaction would wash over me. It was a major endorphin rush, and it still happens every year. Short and sweet.

Now, Linda and I have a new tradition. After we lock the doors, we go through the store and allow ourselves to take at least one or two things we really want. And we shop for the family. I suppose this is cheap on our part, but fortunately, everyone in the family likes the kind of stuff we have, and we are able to be very generous with what we have.

I take nothing home over the year. It was a decision I made early on, that I wouldn't compete with myself. It would be way too easy take the best stuff, and at the same time I really don't want to clutter my house with the same kinds of things I'm surrounded by each and every day. My office is actually pretty spartan, on purpose.

Other than setting aside a Bettie Page calendar for myself, I usually allow myself one big item per year. What is amazing is that the item I have my eyes on is almost always there at the end of the season. This year it is a 14" Stikfas figure, (a kind of huge Lego, only with 360 degrees of articulation in every joint. You can really give the figure all kinds of anthropomorphic attitude, man.) And I'll take home the latest Alan Moore opus, Lost Girls, which is this huge deluxe graphic novel.

We are going to go ahead an open early this Sunday, and stay open until at least 4:00, but I suspect not much is going to happen today.

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

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