Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


I’m trading stories with the leaves instead

Filed under : Student Life
On December 17, 2009
At 9:15 pm
Comments : 7

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.

Title comes from:
Pearl Jam – In My Tree


7 Comments for this post

  1. sarpon says:

    (Please insert Vince Guaraldi riff here)

  2. Irishcardinal says:

    Awww,I love this. Your holiday celebration sounds so nice and full of the True Meaning of Holidays. All the joy was sucked out of our work celebrations last year by the PC police. Bu this year an anonymous person put a clandestine tree up in the 4th floor study lounge, visible from the outside. At least the powers that be didn’t take it down.

  3. Becca says:

    Sorry, I missed the Christmas special, I think there was some sort of political thing going on.

    Thanks, Irish. That’s too bad. You can be inclusive and not take every symbol away, you know?

  4. Irishcardinal says:

    I hope so, Becca. Since I’m of the majority, I will never really be able to know what it feels like to be one of those left out, so maybe I’m being insensitive. But they had BROWN tablecloths for the ‘winter feast’. BROWN? That’s not very cheery in the bleak midwinter, no matter if you celebrate nothing.

  5. Becca says:

    I think if you include as many holidays as possible (and if it’s an office situation, they should have a good idea of what holidays are celebrated), you can’t really be blamed for any ill feeling. And serve good food; that’s imperative.

  6. Irishcardinal says:

    I think it was the atheists who wanted any and all holidays excluded,and got their wish. It’s a pot luck lunch. At least vegans are included. They always ask for people to remember the vegans. But not the kosher. If we have anyone who keeps kosher. Which reminds me of a hospital volunteers’ luncheon where the main dish was she-crab soup. They have a lot of Jewish retirees from up north here in the volunteer association. I don’t eat seafood and asked for the alternate. They brought ham and lentil soup. So much for anyone who keeps kosher.

  7. Becca says:

    It’s hard to please everyone. But they could probably try harder. That’s all anyone wants; to be made to feel comfortable.

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