Alright. So based on the searches that are leading people to my blog, y’all want to know what it’s like working retail for Christmas. Fine – I can tell you of that. So here goes.

Working retail for Christmas doesn’t suck tremendously. Maybe it’s because I’m selling booze instead of toys, but it doesn’t completely suck. I figure it would suck selling toys, because toys seem to have a weirdly short shelf-life, so that there’s an Important Toy That Every Child Must Have every holiday season – if you’re the parent who failed to acquire the toy, you have become a Bad Parent. Boo to you. Also, I’m sorry, because I think a lot of guilt gets tied into failing to acquire the popular toy every year. 

I sort of think it’s a combination of this particular toy factor and the fact that I like sleeping that means I have yet to reproduce. I’m not in the sort of frame of mind that would convince me that it’s a good idea to get up at 4am to fight someone at a Walmart for Toy of the Season. Screw getting up: I like my snooze button.

Whereas with booze, well, like, Muscato is really popular right now – like it’s the wine that everyone used to sneer at that got a straight-hair makeover and bangs and is suddenly hot in the eyes of the school jock or something. It’s a fad and is flying off the shelves. At the same time, I’m pretty sure that failing to acquire Muscato for the holiday party does not automatically turn you into a pariah with 20 years’ worth of Toy Acquirement-Failure Guilt – like, one person might notice, but his life won’t end, her party won’t be ruined. What I’m saying here is that the substance I sell is in some ways of significantly less life-or-death importance than the toy that could make or break your child’s childhood memories.

On the other hand, like I said, I sell booze. That means that I sell the substance that many people look to to survive their families (or lack thereof) every holiday season. Fundamentally, this means that anyone over the age of 21 is generally happy to see me, which in turn means that I miss out on the customer craziness that turns so many holiday retail workers into complete misanthropists. The biggest problem I have during the Christmas retail season is dealing with the endless quantities of Christmas music. I’m not going to lie: that’s painful. PAINFUL. Like painful in a “I miss listening to Smooth Jazz” type of pain.

But the people are fine. They’re stressed, they’re tired, they’re not always happy, but they’re fine. They don’t yell or scream or throw weird fits or anything else that I’ve heard consumers are wont to do. The entertaining difference between four days before Christmas and any other time of year is that I’m much more likely to see someone walk in wearing an embarrasingly ugly Christmas sweater for a theme party. Beyond that, the only thing worth mentioning is that I see roughly 10 times as many people per shift now as I did 6 weeks ago. As this sort of influx creates the type of business that creates the money that funds my paycheck, I’m happy to see them. I like my paycheck.

So really, that’s it. That’s retail during the holidays. It’s spending a bunch of time dealing with people who all look at least semi-sincere when they say “happy holidays” to you while trying not to claw your eardrums out due to hearing “Daddy Looks A Lot Like Santa, and Santa Looks A Lot Like Me” for the fourth time that day. Except for the music, it’s not bad.

But like I said, I haven’t had to deal with any toy stores, either.