retailers' post-christmas vacations

(thanks to katy for sending me this lovely photo!).

in the retail world, the fourth quarter of any year-- from october to christmas-- is the busiest, most intense period of our year.  a small local independent retailer might make half their annual income in that short period-- we work and work and work and work for christmas.

and then?  we go on vacation.

when i was growing up a good friend's mother owned a very bustling shop in our little town.  at the time i didn't understand their family ritual on christmas morning-- get up really, really early and get on a plane headed for some tropical location.  'what about christmas?', i thought.  'what about stockings? what about peaceful time at home with your family?'

now i understand-- fully.  as a small local retailer the thing you most want to do when christmas finally arrives is to get out of town.  you want to be away from all the people-- people asking for things, people demanding things-- people who you are happy exist but of whom-- at this moment-- you have had enough.  you want to be away from the money and the counting and the hoping it is going to be enough. you want to be away from the shop that is your pride and joy (and your labor of love)-- because you have gotten to the point that if you spend one more hour there you will lose your (bleep-ing) mind.  you want to be alone with your own little family-- of whom you have seen very little over the last few weeks.  AND you want to be somewhere that you don't have to think about anything but relaxing and sleeping and getting back in touch with your own life.  it takes some time for the intensity of christmas to wash away-- and for the body and mind to relax again-- and all the better if it happens on a sandy beach.

this year my vacation was spent with my brother's family-- relaxing and playing and visiting-- they took such good care of me!

thanks, guys.



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