Christmas Carols Irk Czech Clerks
Labor unions in the Czech Republic demanded Monday that stores stop playing Christmas carols incessantly or pay compensation for causing emotional trauma to sales clerks.
My mom still thinks I hate Christmas carols, though I’ve actually grown to enjoy them again. I worked at a Kay-Bee Toy store from 1990 to 1992, and at a Hallmark store from 1991-1995, both at Southdale Mall in Edina, Minnesota.
Immediately after Halloween each year, the mall would start to erect it’s Christmas decorations — large lighted garlands and wreaths sprinkled through the hallways, and a gargantuan tree in the center of the mall with balls larger than my head. Long before Thanksgiving, Santa’s throne would be assembled and awaiting his royal arse. A few animatronic elves and reindeer surrounded his abode, nodding and wagging tails (respectively) to no one in particular.
Those quiet weeks before Thanksgiving would also bring the start of the Christmas music. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Jingle Bell Rock would blare from the mall speakers, loud enough to overcome the large Christmas crowds, even though the Christmas crowds were waiting for the passing of Thanksgiving to converge on the mall. Occasionally Silent Night would play, just to taunt us hapless clerks.
By the time Thanksgiving came, and the crowds were large enough to drown out the music, I loathed the tunes. If I came home and Mom was happily playing a Christmas CD in the living room, I would retreat to my bedroom to turn on some Sting or Indigo Girls or Elton John or something with no ties to Christmas at all. Even in my first couple years away from retail, I had an aversion to Christmas carols — I would tolerate them better, but after a full CD would have to insist that something else be played.
Now I’m back to enjoying Christmas songs and the whole Christmas season. It took about three years out of retail for that to happen, though, so it’s no wonder my mom still thinks I hate the music. It will take about three more years to convince her.