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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Meghan Saves Christmas

The leftover turkey’s gone. My desk calendar is flipped open to December. Macy’s and Nordstrom are decked in red and white and silver and gold, and holiday elevator music bounces off the walls while swarms of frenzied shoppers flip through the racks of discounted sweaters and slippers on their lunch hours. And I get the below email. This is how I know Christmas is here.

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From: Luxury Condo Manager
To: Floramor Studios
CC: Meghan McCloskey
Subject: WTF happened to the decorations?

Hi Floramor –

We definitely do not have five dozen ornaments as your proposal suggested. The lobbies look incredibly bare. Red and white poinsettias need to surround the base of the trees. The wreaths in the porte-cochère were supposed to be 36 inches, and this is not what we received. They are smaller than 30 inches. The end result is they look tiny and out of place. The menorahs do not appear to have switches to control the lights for each day of the holiday. They look cheap. I could have found them at Walgreens for $12 each instead of the $100 each that we paid. The center piece on the Club Level is hideous. The outdoor tree lighting is very disappointing to say the least. I am puzzled as to why we paid $375 for one strand of lights thrown up with no rhyme or reason. For $375 per tree, I was expecting more lights and some level of order to the way they were strung. Honestly, a child could have done better than the three people you had working. They spent minutes as opposed to hours on each tree. Let’s discuss. See you tomorrow at 9am.

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Yes, Christmas is here, but instead of the joyous season I remember from childhood, so far it’s a time of tension and hassle. Apparently the trees, lights and center pieces I chose for my building aren’t on par with what we have going on here at Luxury Condo. I was in charge of ordering the holiday décor, and I assumed Floramor Studios would do a fantastic job. Clearly, I was wrong.

But how can anyone (except for the Grinch himself) frown at the sight of a fresh Christmas tree splattered with white lights and sparkling ornaments and shiny bows and tinsel? So what if it’s a little crooked? For me, inhaling a clean whiff of pine spawns a smile – not a scowl. When I look up at the colorful, adorned trees, I can’t help but beam and reminisce about my past holidays: Twenty years ago, my mom and I stood in line to sit on Santa’s lap at the neighborhood mall; ten years ago, I eagerly awaited the last day of school before a two-week vacation of building snowmen and decorating sugar cookies; and two years ago, I dressed in my ugliest holiday sweaters and went to themed parties and played Christmas drinking games. But this is the first year I’ve witnessed shouting and name-calling at the holiday-decoration lady for putting up wreaths that are too small.

Is this normal Christmas behavior for adults in the Real World? If so, I’m on a quest to change things: Meghan Saves Christmas. (You know, like “Ernest Saves Christmas”?) I’ll spread my holiday cheer to grown-ups across San Francisco who are caught up in the caddy, superficial aspects of the holiday.

As Will Ferrell suggests in the movie Elf (which I watched last night while decking my plastic, one-foot tall tree), “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear.” But because my friends and family strongly advise against my singing, I’ll just do a Christmas dance (as pictured above).

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The epitome of Christmas spirit, 2006: Jenn and I notice our sorority's Christmas tree sitting on the front porch (because it's the night before the last day of finals, and the house is shutting down for the holidays, so the house mom needs to get rid of the tree). We decide that no Christmas tree should ever be left outside in the cold, so we drag it back inside the house and prop it up against the couch in the living room. This way, everyone can enjoy it while studying. Merry Christmas!



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