Christmas season challenge

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jillbean
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Christmas season challenge

Postby jillbean » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:39 am

I know most folks have had to deal with, at the very least, hints of Christmas since before Halloween. And there is always the intense build-up towards Black Friday (the shopping heyday the day after Thanksgiving...no joke, stores open at 4 AM and people have been trampled by crowds rushing through the doors!) to push us into a shopping frenzy here in the States. Not to mention the love/hate emotions that flow through every family on an hourly basis during those holiday get-togethers (putting the FUN in dysfunctional!).

I figured let's try and remind ourselves of what we do like about the season when faced with the negative, annoying and/or flat out dumb. Rule is: each negative has to have a positive to balance it out!

I'll start:

Bugs me: the fact that, starting November 1st, all of the stores I have gone into have full-blown Christmas displays and merchandising...right alongside the Halloween items that are on clearance. As a matter of fact, one major craft supply store (starts with an M ends in an S) had Christmas stuff out in JULY.

Brightens me: The Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints that I became addicted last season are back! The fat kid in me is quite pleased.

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vmh
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby vmh » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:20 am

I never really understood all the hype over holidays. My relatives are all over the place so we hardly celebrate or get together. I'll probably be more festive when I have a family of my own but at the moment, the holidays mean nothing more to me than getting extra hours at work.

Bugs me: I think it's a horrible idea to try to buy someone a book for a gift (just from what I've observed after working in a book store for the last 4 years). Unless you're absolutely positive that they're going to LOVE it, I would advise against it. Last year, my boss gave me a bible. A bible! I'm agnostic. He didn't know this though. I ended up selling it on ebay. Even though it can be impersonal, a gift card is what you should really get them. Then they could get whatever they want. But as a bookseller, it's my job to sell even more during the holidays.

"Oh, your nephew likes ____. Well, then...let me recommend ____."

This is why I highly recommend gift receipts. I offer them to every customer I ring up from November-January. I don't show it but I get really irritated when a customer refuses one. I usually encourage them to get one and they'll usually respond by joking, "No. If they don't like it, they're stuck with it!" How very considerate. Because of this, we often get a huge number of customers coming in over the next few months trying to return books without one. Our store doesn't accept returns without a receipt. And what usually ends up happening is they'll leave the store frustrated and upset and I can't do anything about it. So my holiday motto this year is even if you think you’re buying them the perfect gift, swallow your pride. Say yes to gift receipts.

Sorry for the long rant. :lol: I just had to get that out of my system.

Brightens me: Two words: Jingle Cats!

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It’s just that simple.
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James Bobin: “It’s like a five-year-old and a three-year-old. Jemaine’s the five-year-old, and Bret’s the three-year-old. They’re both wrong, but the five-year-old thinks he’s right.”

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4everconchordsfan
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby 4everconchordsfan » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:24 am

ooooo, thanks Jill I love this topic.

I have to give it some thought though, im a Christmas junkie & am already listening to Christmas music. My family not so much, they just dont get into it at all. I cant believe that im from the same family.
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songbird
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby songbird » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:23 am

vmh wrote:
Brightens me: Two words: Jingle Cats!

Image

It’s just that simple.


NO WAY!!!! I've waited SO LONG to find someone else who dies laughing/loves it whenever they hear the jingle cats! Seriously one of the funniest things I've ever heard :roll2:
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Nancy
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby Nancy » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:11 am

This is a good idea. I love the holidays, I'll have to think about it before I give my Bugs/Brightens list.

Vmh, do all of you who work there inform the customers buying books for gifts that without a receipt there is no refund? I would think that would cut way down on unhappy people. :dunno:
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vmh
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby vmh » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:17 am

Nancy wrote:Vmh, do all of you who work there inform the customers buying books for gifts that without a receipt there is no refund? I would think that would cut way down on unhappy people. :dunno:


I'm not sure what other cashiers offer but a lot of people don't even know what a gift receipt is so I have to explain it to them. If they say no, I'll try to add that recipients can't return or exchange a book without one. If they're still persistent, that's really all I could do. I'm not going to force it down their throats.
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James Bobin: “It’s like a five-year-old and a three-year-old. Jemaine’s the five-year-old, and Bret’s the three-year-old. They’re both wrong, but the five-year-old thinks he’s right.”

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vmh
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby vmh » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:27 am

songbird wrote:
vmh wrote:
Brightens me: Two words: Jingle Cats!

Image

It’s just that simple.


NO WAY!!!! I've waited SO LONG to find someone else who dies laughing/loves it whenever they hear the jingle cats! Seriously one of the funniest things I've ever heard :roll2:


How could anyone not like jingle cats?! :lol: It perplexes me. I mean, c'mon-real kittens sing 20 holiday classics! Hilarious!
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James Bobin: “It’s like a five-year-old and a three-year-old. Jemaine’s the five-year-old, and Bret’s the three-year-old. They’re both wrong, but the five-year-old thinks he’s right.”

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LauraK
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby LauraK » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:50 pm



:shock:

Where's my hose?? :twisted:

Ok wait....since I myself just made a negative (bad Laura!) let me add that I'm allergic to and generally have never much liked cats...until meeting out neighbor's. He's so cool. He stalks birds and mice in our hood and he likes me. He followed us on Halloween and he always lets me rub his belly without batting at me with his claws, like he does to others. :)
Then I go inside and wash off all the cat-cooties! :D

I like cats...I do. Just not digitally manipulated singing cats....
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SheWolf
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby SheWolf » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:06 pm

Jingle cats? Who knew? I admit to being entertained (and mildly creeped out) by the video Laura posted but I think that's all the jingle cats I'll need for my lifetime. A little goes along way. Kind of like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

vmh wrote: Last year, my boss gave me a bible. A bible! I'm agnostic. He didn't know this though. I ended up selling it on ebay.
The raging atheist in me can't help but respond with a holy muthaflippin WOW to this. I'm indignant on your behalf. Not only is it ignorant and presumptuous it could be considered a little bit rude. I'm sure he meant well and while I do feel that I am better at suffering fools at this stage in my life that I ever have been I don't think that's a gift I could have graciously accepted with my mouth shut. I probably would have just laughed and said "you keep it, apparently you need it." LOL. Even if it was given to someone who cared about reading it it doesn't make for a very nice gift does it? Weird. :rolleyes:

I don't mind seeing the Xmas decorations up already. In fact I kind of like it but I'm sure I'll be all Xmassed out by December 1. Good news is that The Body Shop has their holiday cranberry line of products out already - I want to be bathed and beautified in all things cranberry!!
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby eejm » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:51 pm

Bugs me: I really hate It's a Wonderful Life. That movie is soooo syrupy sweet it makes me want to gag. My idea of a good Christmas movie is Bad Santa. :)

Loves: Pomegranates are in season! My mom bought a couple when I went to her house last weekend. We devoured them!

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jillbean
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby jillbean » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:58 pm

Bugs me: the irritation my sinuses suffer due to any natural items having to do with Christmas being saturated in cinnamon. I like cinnamon but what's the deal with the stuff during the holiday season? Friends from Mexico and Australia have told me this is very much an American thing.

Brightens me: PEPPERMINT MOCHAS at Starbucks. Yes, I know that you can get them year-round but now is the only time you get sprinkles on them. That makes them more special (yeah, yeah, whatever I need to tell myself :lol: )

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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby SheWolf » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:04 pm

I actually do get the peppermint mochas, in the form of a frappucino (no whip please) all year long coz it's just about the only thing I can stomach from Starbucks. :lol: Peppermint mochas from The Coffee Beanery are another story - they are flipping outta this world good maaaan! Ooh does Starbucks have gingerbread with cream cheese icing yet? :drool:
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby jillbean » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:12 pm

SheWolf wrote:I actually do get the peppermint mochas, in the form of a frappucino (no whip please) all year long coz it's just about the only thing I can stomach from Starbucks. :lol: Peppermint mochas from The Coffee Beanery are another story - they are flipping outta this world good maaaan! Ooh does Starbucks have gingerbread with cream cheese icing yet? :drool:


I am such a coffee wimp; never had the stuff until I met my husband 4 years ago; he is hardcore and drinks cups of the stuff straight black throughout the day. I don't get it, it's like drinking burnt water. Anyhow, I still don't truly drink coffee-I drink hot chocolate with a shot of coffee! It never occurred to me to get a peppermint mocha frappucino, I like this idea very much SW! I usually just do non-fat, no-whip mochas and have yet to find a mocha made elsewhere that I like. I think I have figured it out; Starbucks uses bittersweet chocolate whereas most places use Hershey's syrup-type stuff. I just looked to see if there are any Coffee Beanery locations in Illinois-the ONLY one is about 20 minutes away. I may need to go and check this out :wink:

No idea if they have the gingerbread in yet...perhaps I should make a SB run in the name of investigating on your behalf (twist my rubber arm!).

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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby SheWolf » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:50 pm

Yeah there's only one Beanery in these parts, luckily it's in a mall I frequent about 15 minutes away.

The only time I drink actual coffee is at work. I'll have one travel mug full of one of the full bodied roasts. Most of my life I thought I didn't like coffee but I recently realized that I just don't like the weak or medium brews, I like the hard stuff, which I was initially hesitant to try coz I thought it would have more caffeine in it or something, which it doesn't.

What I don't like about the hot mochas at Starbucks is that it tastes so overly powdery and sweet. The powder lays at the bottom. I like my coffee drinks to still taste like coffee and this just kind of tastes like a desert to me sometimes it's almost like hot chocolate which I don't really care for. Even the iced ones taste off. The frappucinos are okay but I don't feel like drinking them in winter. My caffeine fix of choice these days is a super dry cappucino, (not at Starbucks though, they can't do it right) meaning no milk, only foam. I've finally discovered that this is the way I like it. Trouble is many baristas don't know how to make it properly coz the American version of cappucino includes a helluva lot of milk. The way you know someone has made it right is when you pick up the cup it should feel like there is nothing in it. :lol: But the espresso flavor is much stronger this way then when it's buried in milk, which is a sin IMHO. :hrmpf: :lol:
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Re: Christmas season challenge

Postby ZebraWarriorPrincess » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:42 pm

Anyone seen these bad boys? I want! http://www.thebodyshop-usa.com/body-acc ... prod878934


(we get apricot ones in the UK)

Good point - the availability of sloe gin and mulled wine, and stollen!

Bad point- Christmas crackers and work secret santa. Wrong on every level.
It's a psychological analogy


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