A Christmas without gifts is a good thing… for us.

I started working in stores when I was in High School, working summers and Christmas vacations. My husband’s start in retail was similar. We even met while working in a store. We must have fifty years of working in the retail industry between us.

But this year was very different. This is the first year since we met that neither of us as worked in retail during the holidays.

If you haven’t worked in retail, you may not understand the implications of that. When you work for a retailer during the holidays, it means that you aren’t likely to have the day after Thanksgiving off. It may even mean that you have to be at work extra early the day after. Or in recent years, it may even mean that you have to go to work before your dinner is even digested.

It means that you work on Christmas Eve. You probably choose to eat dinner out because you’re too exhausted to cook. We actually have a tradition of getting Chinese take-out on Christmas Eve because of our long history of getting home late.

I could go on… We’ve had good careers in retail, but it is a lovely change to be able to completely avoid the malls at this time of year.

No Christmas lists. No last minute rush. I was even blissfully ignorant of the last day to order online is this year.  Or knowing a store’s return policy.

We’re not deprived. We’ve just decided to give our gifts at other times this year. And to savor the season with music, movies, candle light services, good food and friends.

Ahhh. This could be the start of a new Christmas tradition!

wc10Photo credit:  MyFrenchCountryHome.blogspot.com