Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Christmas Window

For probably the last 20 years, or so, I do the Christmas window at the record store. For many years, I would start trying to think of ideas in advance so that when it came time to install the window, I would have a bunch of great ideas. One year, I went to Goodwill , bought a bunch of blonde haired dolls and spray painted them gold and hung them from the ceiling like they were angels. They were stored in plastic bags and the next year the gold paint had turned black and I had to throw them out. Another year, I borrowed a giant toy sheep from my friend and put it in the window with a can of ham and a giant plastic fly. It was meant to convey "Bah-Ham-Bug" (Bah, Hum-Bug!) . Most people didn't get it. Another year I did an Elvis window and had cans of sauerkraut and boxer shorts strewn about the window. One year I bought a bunch of cans of tomato paste and green beans -for a red and green theme.
All this advance thought eventually created a sort of dread. I couldn't top myself and I would feel a great deal of pressure to produce something that was spectacular, in my own mind. The anticipation would create a great deal of anxiety and one year I didn't get the window in until the week before Christmas. Of course, no one else would do the window , so that was more pressure on me. My boss would encourage me by saying , "Just put the tree up. Anything. Something to catch the eye. Dot, we have to have aChristmas window". Eventually, I came to the torpid realization that it didn't really matter. The art that was the window was really just for me. It didn't matter what I did. I knew that. So, the pressure was off. I just had to get the window set up.
I had a Christmas tree and a couple of plastic tubs with "stuff" in them. There is a set of china pig ornaments that I picked up at the Ocean State Job lot about 10 years ago, a table top artificial tree, a Santa hat with the store's name that we put on the Elvis head in the window. I sent away for some inflatable ornaments a few years ago- red, green & blue. They catch the light really well. There are 12 of them. The first two years, I blew them all up myself. The last couple of years, I had help. This year , I blew them all up myself again. I'm still a bit dizzy. So, I've got stuff that has created a presentable image in the past.
The most labor intensive effort is the emptying of the window area and then washing the windows and vacuuming the floor. It gets done once a year, when I do it. This year, and last, I had help. I have to do this process when the store is closed for business, either before we open in the morning or after we close. When I have the bins open and I'm looking at the tree, I feel like Rhoda , from the old "MaryTyler Moore" show. Rhoda was a professional window designer. I am not. During this process, I load the store cd player with whatever open Xmas cds we have in the store. It puts me in the mood.
So, the inspiration for this blog is, today I installed the window with little anxiety. It was a task that needed to be done. It looks bright and festive , but I don't think it's really done yet. Hopefully, something will inspire me and I'll have a 12x12x12 brilliant centerpiece to place in the window for next week.
Don't hold your breath.
I won't.


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