I have been in the artsy/giftsy retail business twice in my life.
First, we had our arts and crafts gallery in Austin Texas for almost 14 years, and many years later, we had our small art gallery and gift shop here in our much smaller coastal tourist town.
As we celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, and Thursday became Friday morning, one of the things I found myself really Thankful for was not having to get dressed and ready for a (most likely) 10-hour day behind the counter at a retail store!
Most people only get to experience the holiday season in a retail business from "the other side" of the counter; not from the merchant side.
All the people; the crowds; the sales; people gift shopping... it might look fun, but mostly I just remember it being exhausting.
And people aren't necessarily on their "best behavior" between Thanksgiving and Christmas, because they tend to be dealing with assorted stress factors of their own... they they often let the "consequences" of their own poor planning ("I'm sorry, but we're sold out of that item") rain down in innocent sales people.
When you're also the Store Proprietor, the hours are longer, and they often happen every day.
At the gallery in Texas, we were open from 10am till 9pm on weekdays and noon to 6:00 on Sundays... from Thanksgiving till Christmas Eve. And I worked all those hours, every single day.
I suppose it was a small wonder that I ended up really not caring about the holiday season at all, after 14 consecutive seasons of doing that!
These days, I have started feeling a lot more positive and "benevolent" towards the holidays. I try to stay mindful, and only go out to stores during their off-peak hours, and I am as patient as possible with sales staff... because I know what they are going through!
With all that said... I definitely do not miss being at work on "Black Friday!"
Thanks for stopping by, and do be careful and mindful out there, if you are going shopping, this weekend!
All images are our own, unless otherwise attributed