I used to love Christmas.
Well, I still do, but it is different now.
I love Christmas day.
Grooming for 28 years at Christmas time has taken a toll.
I don't look forward to Christmas as much as I used to.
Oh, I enjoy Christmas day and the time spent with family.
It is those weeks leading up to Christmas....
It actually seems to start even before Thanksgiving now.
The calls looking for appointments right before the Holidays.
The begging when you say that you are all booked up and have been for quite a while.
The anger when you can not, or will not fit them in and give them the exact date and time that they want.
The closer that it gets to Christmas, the more you dread hearing the phone ring.
You are already grooming more dogs than you normally would just to try to fit in all of your regulars.
By the time Christmas Eve arrives you feel like you couldn't possibly groom one more dog...not even your own.
The best Christmas gift you could get would be, to be able to sleep from Christmas day til New Years Eve without being disturbed.
I don't like feeling this way.
I didn't always feel this way.
The first Christmas that I had my shop I stayed after work one night to decorate the lobby.
I stayed till very late.
I made my lobby look like a winter wonderland.
I had garland and stars hanging from the ceiling.
I sprayed fake snow on the windows in a nice decoration.
I had little doggy stockings hanging off of the picket fence in front of our big window.
I had a really nice Christmas tree in the corner.
I had also bought candy cane raw-hides and tied ribbon around them to give my customers.
It was all I could afford for my first Christmas.
I was 21 years old, a new shop owner, and I was so excited for my customers to come in and see my lobby.
It is strange how it still bothers me after all of these years, that out of all the dogs we groomed that first Christmas in the new shop, only two customers ever said a thing about how nice the lobby was decorated.
Very few seemed happy about the raw-hides either.
It was like it wasn't even Christmas, just another grooming.
I never decorated my lobby like that again.
I still decorate, but minimally.
I no longer put up a full size tree either.
I got tired of cleaning up after the dogs that peed on my tree.
I got tired of having to replace the ruined tree skirt at the bottom of the tree.
How would my customers like it if I came in their house and let my dogs pee on their Christmas tree?
This sounds terrible doesn't it?
I DO still like Christmas.....REALLY!
The extra busy days just make it hard to enjoy it as much as I used to.
Maybe I am just getting too old and turning into a Grinch.
I don't want to be a Grinch.
We went to a Christmas Tree Festival this past Sunday.
I wanted to do something to get into the Christmas spirit.
There were many beautiful and funny trees.
This tree was like a winter wonderland.
This was a Preakness Tree for Maryland.
A beautiful Angel tree.
A clever Snowman Tree.
Even a Zombie Tree!
This was hilarious.
I love 'The Walking Dead' show.
So, did this big Christmas Tree Festival give me some Christmas Spirit?
Even though it was packed wall to wall with people?
Even though those same people did not have much Christmas spirit when you accidentally bumped into them?
I think that I actually met the 'Ice Queen'.
No, really...we were walking in opposite directions and did that awkward little dance that you do when each of you are trying to get past each other.
I laughed, and said that I was sorry, and she almost froze me to the ground with the icy look she gave me....Brrrrrrrr.
We only stayed a couple of hours.
If we had stayed any longer, I think that I would have lost what Christmas spirit I got from going to the place. :p
Four weeks till Christmas.
Four weeks that are booked solid.
There is already a waiting list.
I'll get through it.
I always do.
I will try really hard to keep the Christmas spirit.
I have decided to make a bunch of large collar Christmas bows and I am going to attach little jiggle bells to them.
So as each dog goes out the door, I can hear the jingle bells and keep the Christmas spirit! :)
Happy Grooming, MFF