Gearing Up for the Holidays

I spent last night at Wal-mart, working. It’s not too often I pull overnighters, but I tend to enjoy them due to there being no customers in the store and we can goof off without getting in trouble–not that we would goof off! … No, perish that thought!

Me and two other guys worked the night shift to get “Toyland” setup. For whatever reason, for three months out of the year, the Toy Department is known as Toyland. The only difference is that there are toys out on display for kids to play with (and break and lose parts to and get dirty and so on, but the point is for them to have fun with them, so I try not to let it bug me).

We also spent a few hours setting up the Toyland castle, which though it isn’t necessarily spectacular, it is pretty awesome given the limited materials used to build it, time constraints involved, and so on. It’s about 12 foot high and as wide as the main aisle, with two archways cut out of it for passing underneath it. The frontside is painted in a red brick pattern with a colorful “Toyland” sign on it, while the back is mostly a vibrant green, with a large cardboard fold-out poster depicting a fireplace, wreathe, etc. Directly in front of the castle sets a full size sleigh, also completely custom made at the store (one of our assemblers, Steve, made both the castle and the sleigh a few years ago).

Above the castle and just to its right there hangs a full moon from the ceiling, complete with a silhouette of a tubby toy delivery man in a sleigh being pulled by reindeer, the lead one sporting the only bit of color visible: a red nose.

And for whatever reason, last year Steve and I decided to add another detail to the sleigh: signs on the side proclaiming in red lettering, “Yeah, it’s got a HEMI!” Why did we do this? I have no idea, but one of the signs made it through to this year, and it is stuck back on there again. Exactly where is such an engine stored in the sleigh? I’m glad you asked, and if you ever meet Steve, you can ask him. I’m just the sign maker, not the mechanic mastermind behind the sleigh’s construction and maintenance. ;)

I plan on getting some pictures of this setup sometime this season, but I’m going to wait for the Halloween decorations which can be seen setup a little ways behind the castle to go down. (Yep, one passes through the Toyland castle and enters the “Spooky Central” area of the store. If you can make some sense of that, please share the logic you used.) There are also other decorations that need to go up, but of the holiday merchandise that has arrived thus far, what we need isn’t a part of it.

Coming up with ideas to decorate the toy department is a bit difficult, though. I’m not decorationally minded. So, if you notice anything neat at a toy department near you, tell me about it in a comment. It might be something we could do here as well. I’m speaking here of December-ish decorations only–Halloween and harvest have nothing to do with my department.

Unrelated to work, this will be our first holiday season in our house. We bought a nice fake tree last year when they were being sold post-holidays for cheap, so we’ll get to use it for the first time. And though we have some decorations, we’ll have to get some more. Now we have a whole house to make festive. Maybe in getting some new decorations, I can possibly finally get one of Hallmark’s really neat but totally overpriced Star Trek ornaments.

And speaking of decorations, I have finally went Pink for October. I’m a little big late for the game, but I was having difficulty coming up with what I should do to the site’s design to support the initiative. But, I am happy with the result. So support the search for a cure or get yourself and your site(s) involved by going pink for October.

You might have noticed that I never called the holiday season anything concerning “Christmas.” Please don’t confuse me with those who want to take “Christ out of Christmas.” Rather, I’m more of a “I don’t want to put Christ where He never put Himself” kind of guy. I believe I have the freedom to keep festival days and other such traditions if my behavior is not idolatrous or otherwise sinful; what I do not believe I have the freedom to do is to put Christ into something and to make it religious without any biblical authority. Far be it for me to continue the myth that Christ was born on December 25. I would rather have a tree covered with blinking lights in my living room than lie about my Savior.

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