I know it's the holidays when we start playing holiday music at our stores, Atticus and Boo Radley's.

We have a strict policy about holiday music: We start playing it the day after Thanksgiving and we stop playing it at close on Christmas Eve. Turkey to Jesus, it's all holiday music all the time. For some people that sounds like a nightmare, but I'm one of those weirdos who loves listening to Christmas music. I look forward to the different versions of "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bells" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." I love hearing all the songs from the old Rankin/Bass Christmas Specials ("Year Without a Santa Claus" is my favorite). And every year I sing along joyously to "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas." I can even enjoy the Jingle Cats and Dogs for a little while.

And yeah, I'm also one of those weirdos who remembers most of the words to all the songs. Retail during December involves long hours and even longer lines. It can be tough, but mostly it's a lot of fun. We sing, we dance, we wear silly hats and ugly sweaters. We help people find gifts for their loved ones and hopefully a little bit of the joy that sometimes goes missing during a busy, hectic season. These songs have carried me through 26 years of working retail during the holidays. I can honestly say, I couldn't do it without them. ♦

Kris Dinnison writes stories and works retail in downtown Spokane. If you see her, or anyone else working retail this holiday, please be nice.

Re*Imagine Christmas Winter Festival @ Medical Lake

Sat., Dec. 14, 1-5 p.m.
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