I know it seems odd for a Jewess like myself to have a picture of a Christmas tree on her blog, especially on a Jewey blog like this one and especially a tree such as this one. But hear me out. I have my reasons.
Last year at this time, I was probably off to our Hugh Jass Holiday Party which took place at a trendy club and was always sponsored by some liquor company. Consequently, it was plastered with advertising for said liquor not to mention full of a lot of plastered people dressed in scanty finery and dancing to things like Boom Boom Pow as the president of the company raffled off vacations and thousand dollar bills. I never won, by the way, before you ask. Then, everyone would get car service limos to take their drunken asses home at the company’s expense.
The day before we took our holiday break, my boss would hand out expensive electronic gadgets to the department, the same thing for everyone. In later years, he sort of lost even this bit of imagination and gave out large gift cards. My, I bought some cool things with those.
And I loved that break, I must say. It was the closest thing to a lengthy enough respite to feel like an actual vacation that I ever got. But towards the end of it I just dreaded the idea of coming back and facing the inevitable post-holiday sales letdown and dealing with the dullest releases of the year: the ones that come out in the first quarter. Sometimes, my boss would make me do some work over the break. I mean, you didn’t expect him to come in and do the work, did you? That was my job.
This year is different.
We had our holiday party this week. There was no liquor or DJ. Instead, a couple of people went to Fairway and picked out a simple but lovely spread of cheese, crackers, cookies, cupcakes, pretzels, and sweets. I helped decorate the room, a classroom at TC, with garlands and lights and sprinklings of brightly colored candy around the tables. The head of our group hooked his iPod up to a speaker and people chatted and ate and laughed and then at the end, everyone pitched in and cleaned up.
Today, the head of the group gave out presents, each carefully picked out for the recipient. A gorgeous coffee table book about Morocco to my boss who had just been there on a family vacation, a bestseller about dogs for our admin who loves her dog, a CD I had mentioned a few days earlier that I never got a chance to hear for me. Simple and well thought out and perfect. From the actual organization, I got a small gift card to B&N (we’re a literacy program, after all) and a bar of peppermint bark (LOVE peppermint bark). I felt as happy as Laura Ingalls did when she got a sugar candy in her stocking that year.
Next week, I’ll begin the longest vacation I’ve ever had in my adult life. It won’t be a total break as I hooked up some part-time work, I have to begin my thesis, and of course, the bakery never closes. Also, my boss mentioned today that if I felt like coming in, I could, she’d be there. And the thought of all my projects standing still is a real bummer. I believe in what we do, you see, and so does everyone else. So we’ll see… but it’s my choice.
It’s been an exhausting week, I’ve barely slept and seldom worked harder. I could really use a vacation. But even so, I picked out some great classes for next semester and can’t wait to go back. I.love.my.tree.
Title comes from:
Pearl Jam – In My Tree