The countdown to Christmas is at hand. Suddenly you are looking at the calendar to see how many days there are until Christmas. On the east end all of the hamlets are decorated and lit up. There are Christmas lights displays on many of the homes of the year-round folks. Many working folks are thinking about their Christmas bonuses or Christmas parties. If you are in retail sales most likely you are too busy to think at all.
What I personally love best about the holiday season on the east end is the momentum that grows during the last week. I believe during that week most folks show the better part of their personality. Yes, there are people who dislike this time of year. Yet, I believe eventually somehow a Christmas spirit surfaces in everyone as the big day approaches.
I was born six days before Christmas on December 19. Over the years I have had the best experiences going to parties that just happened to be on my birthday. Some of my employers in the past surprised me with a birthday cake or some sort of small gift. Those days are over as I am semi-retired. However I still fondly remember them.
After all, this season is about giving and not getting. This time of year is about the birth of hope for the future of all mankind. It’s about feeling the joy of the birth of a child.
When I was part of a family business twenty years ago, sadly, the week before Christmas had lots of stress. In our business the last two months of the year was the slowest time in our business cycle. Decisions about bonuses and promotions were all done in the Christmas paycheck. It was very tough to be Santa when the business cycle was telling you to be Scrooge. However, at the very end of a long year the responsibility was to make sure all of our workers could have a “Merry Christmas.”
We used to have a Christmas party right in the middle of our factory. I would send someone out to buy various forms of alcohol, a Christmas tree to decorate, and all sorts of snacks. I was always amazed how as soon as the party started everybody was so happy. I was always touched when I was asked either to dance with someone or have a drink with someone; after all, whoever really loves their boss?
When I moved to the east end it was all new. I will never forget the first Christmas party I went to. It was for the east end daily I was writing for. I truly didn’t know many people, but my fellow workers and their guests made it the best party I ever attended.
I always feel it’s important for any company or business to have some sort of social event for the folks that toil for their wages. It is important to have some moments to party together and bond somehow. In the end, the season is about world togetherness for a day. Wars were stopped to celebrate Christmas Day. Every Christmas I do feel Merry. I feel the joy in giving. I love the Christmas music and The Hallmark Christmas movies on cable TV. Having a great wife, wonderful children and even a new grandchild just adds to the joy of the season. There is a unique peaceful feeling both on Christmas Eve late into the night and Christmas morning at home, perhaps under the tree.
Years back, while living in East Hampton Village paying rent and housesitting, I had the pleasure of walking down Main Street at midnight as Christmas Eve became Christmas Day. There was no one else out and there were snow flurries. It was one of the few times there wasn’t a car in sight, either parked or rumbling past on Route 27. It was one of the most memorable moments I have ever had on the east end.
The final week before Christmas is at hand. Don’t count the days, make the days count.