Most of my day was pretty quiet. I spent the day putting up the rest of my Christmas decorations. I have a lot of little random things I use for displays. There's the big resin Santa Mom gave me a decade ago. He goes on a shelf in my bedroom, surrounded by a dollar-store poinsettia garland, with Mom's old wooden "Noel" candlestick holder on the shelf under him. Two smiling porcelain teddies in Santa outfits go between the CD player and the record player. The three little porcelain teddies dressed in holiday hats and caps and holding presents went on the folding bookshelf in my bedroom. A green and red fabric ribbon that came from a present went around the bookshelf. The American Girl Christmas Hallmark tin I got from Aunt Terri years ago went on top of the wardrobes. Holly and the little wooden nutcracker go on top of the crates with the musical cast albums and the disco, country, and children's records.
I had a hard time finding places to put the little stuffed elves that Mom gave me years ago. They're printed fabric that Mom stuffed and sewed together when I was little, and they're really cute...but most of them have narrow bottoms and don't stand well. I just ended up leaning them against the stuffed animals that were already on the shelf with the media biographies and reviews in the entertainment area.
The Ever After High dolls get the mini-tree and my beautiful Winter Cinderella by default. Cindy is very tall, and thanks to her huge white and gold gown, very wide...and the tree is just tall. Neither really fit on the other shelves. The Eckards Christmas beanies and Gretel the gingerbread girl Beanie Baby went on a bottom shelf. I ran out of places to put them.
I ran holiday cartoons as I worked. How To Train Your Dragon put out a holiday special a couple of years ago, The Gift of the Night Fury. The Vikings are looking forward to sharing their holiday celebration, Snoggletog, with their new dragon friends. All of a sudden, the dragons take off, and no one can figure out why. Even Hiccup's beloved Toothless leaves. While Ingrid and the other kids try to distract their parents with new holiday traditions, Hiccup attempts to figure out where the dragons went and why they left.
My family taped A Disney Channel Christmas sometime in the late 80s, when they still ran their made-for-the-network holiday specials. This one is a combination of two earlier shows from the Disney prime time anthologies, "Jiminy Cricket's Christmas" from the 50s and "A Disney Christmas Gift" from the 70s. Most of the two specials are included. As a bonus, we get to hear both their theme songs, "From All of Us to All of You" and "Christmas Morning." Along with classic winter and Christmas themed shorts like "Donald's Snow Fight" and "Pluto's Christmas Tree," we have segments from animated movies that relate to winter, parties, or gift-giving, the wonderful Mickey Mouse black-and-white short "Mickey's Good Deed" in full, the two Santa Claus Silly Symphonies, and a bit of Mickey's Christmas Carol. If you can find this on YouTube or elsewhere online (or on a dusty tape from the 80s, like I did), do so. It's a wonderful bit of lost Disney and TV history.
Jiminy and Mickey aren't the only animated animals enjoying their Christmas. Shaun the Sheep and his fellow farm animals also find ways to have fun during the holiday season. "We Wish Ewe A Merry Christmas" has the animals decorating the farmer's home when they realize he's alone on Christmas Eve. Being "Snowed In" doesn't stop Shaun and the animals from having a massive snowball fight...or the farmer from attempting to ski-jump off his roof. Bitzer the dog is the "Fireside Favorite" when he gets sick. Pidsley the cat doesn't like that one bit! He tries everything he can to get the farmer to move Bitzer, but Shaun sabotages his efforts.
Nick and Sally are delighted to discover that The Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas! When Ralph the Reindeer is stranded at the kids' houses on Christmas Eve, The Cat decides to take him to his home in Freeze-Your-Knees Snowland. The Thing-A-Ma-Jigger keeps breaking down and landing them everywhere but someplace cold! As the Cat fixes his misbehaving vehicle, the kids and Ralph learn about the migration patterns of elephants, dolphins, crabs, and reindeer. They also find that every animal - humans, cats, and reindeer included - have a special talent that can lead them to food or help them find their way to their own family groups.
I made a rather nice Turkey Stir Fry with the leftover late fall-winter veggies in my fridge and the turkey tenderloin for lunch before changing and hurrying off to work. It had rained all day, but thankfully, the rain stopped in time for me to head off to work dry.
I had only worked for about two hours when one of the college kids stepped in and told me Sebastian, one of the managers, wanted me in the office. I had the bad feeling it wasn't a good thing...and it wasn't. Last Tuesday, I'd apparently handed one of the customers back their 100 dollars accidentally, and they walked off with it. He'd also heard complaints about me not bagging. It's not so much that I don't - I do bag - but the customers don't bother helping a lot of the time. And he said I wasn't going fast enough. I thought I was really fast! He also fussed about me not selling things to the customers again.
He said everything else could be worked on, but I'm suspended for two days without pay for the 100 dollar incident. The store lost money. I'm devastated. I don't know what to do. I'm so frustrated and angry with myself. Now I'm losing money, too. I've only stayed with it because I can't figure out how to find a better job.
I want to help people...but I want to help people who want to be helped. I'd like to volunteer somewhere besides the libraries, somewhere I can talk to people who want to be where they are. Who are doing things they love, not just shopping because they're supposed to be shopping and loathe it. People who are more like I am, who enjoy the things I like. I want to work badly...just not in retail. I'm a horrible saleswoman. I don't like selling things. I want to make people happy.
I couldn't even finish my shift. He told me to leave early, and I did. I didn't know where else to go. I really had no one I could talk to. I won't be doing counseling for another month, Lauren and Amanda were both at work, and there was no way I'd explain this to anyone in my family. I didn't know if my neighbors would understand, either. I just went upstairs and cried and cried. I listened to Linda Rondstat's For Sentimental Reasons cassette and my Carpenters' Greatest Hits double CD set and cried some more.
When I finally got up and changed into regular clothes, I decided to wash the hair on the Ever After High dolls. They both came with a ton of styling goop on their hair. Briar's curls were a complete mess coming out of the box. Thankfully, Cerise has thick, straight black hair that just needed washing. Briar was more complicated. For one thing, it took longer to wash her hair, and it kept shedding as I did. I put her hair up in curlers to give her full, luxurious waves like on the web cartoons.
I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow or the next day. I wasn't planning on having them off. I do need to replace the light bulb in the music area lamp, so I'll probably hit up the Family Dollar or Thriftway. I may do my grocery shopping on Friday at the Westmont Acme. I couldn't bring myself to go near the other one at the moment.