As anyone who works retail knows, Christmas shopping season is already here. Why do stores decorate so early? Well, partly to get you in the holiday spirit, partly because our job is to get you to buy stuff, and mostly because if we don’t, our storage room will explode. You see, in Christmas shopping season, we get all the merchandise we normally get, except in larger quantities because of more people shopping, particularly the big ticket items, like kids’ toys. Then, there’s all the special holiday merchandise we get in. Our receiver is in the middle of having a nervous breakdown, and I’m pretty sure there’s a staff member we won’t find until January back there, twitching from living on candy cane bark and hot chocolate.
It is also a ton of fun. Most customers are in a better than usual mood, and wearing a ridiculous hat generally helps mine. It’s frenetic and busy, but I love that far more than days when you are practically watching tumbleweeds drifting across the sales floor. Conspiring with parents to make sure the little ones don’t see the present. Helping a man find the perfect gift for his first Christmas with his new wife. Trying to track down twenty books for someone with a Christmas list.
By the way, I am more than happy to have a customer come in with a giant list of books, hand them to me, and go have a coffee while I track them down. It’s stress free shopping for you, and I don’t have to worry about making sure I don’t lose you while I’m running around the store. Tell your friends!
I also love sharing favorite Christmas books with parents and kids, like The Polar Express, or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. By the way, as a gift, or when reading The Polar Express, try to have a sleigh bell on hand – it makes the whole thing that much more magical.
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell is one to buy before Christmas, and is more of a gift for parents than kids. The premise is that the elf, which comes with the book, is a direct liaison to the North Pole. Every day, the elf watches and listens to the kids, and how well they’re behaving. Every night, he returns to the North Pole, to tell Santa the results of his observations. That’s why every morning, the elf is seated in a different place. Moms and dads can also feel free to tell the elf about events that happened away from home, so he can make a full report. And no, I’m not above blackmailing children into good behavior.
Feel free to ask me for recommendations on gifts of books for people. I’m happy to help!