By: Jeremy Balkin

The Holidays are Here

You made it! Halloween is over! Thanksgiving is over too! The holiday season trifecta of affliction is almost complete! You just have one more challenge to conquer: December. Whether this means Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or something else, December is both the most joyous time and the most annoyous (Google tells me annoyous is actually a word, and it’s hard to find a rhyme for joyous). If you’re like me (and there’s a pretty good chance you’re not, let’s be honest) the winter holidays come with brand new stressors. What do my family and friends want as gifts? What is my budget this year? Do I even have friends?

However, unlike the earlier difficult holidays, this one affords the ability to do so in colder weather. Hear me out. This likely only applies to people in warmer climates (like me in Houston). However, once I feel that first whiff of cool winter air, I’m more at ease. I am sure that someone in Northern Canada is reading this right now and fuming, but my more general point remains.

The winter holidays, for me, seem like the only time of year when everything feels different. When I feel that cool air, I also sense the nostalgia of winters past. I think of all the Christmas movies I used to watch as a kid. I think of how I used to have weeks off of school. Of family trips I would go on. Of trying to get my Christmas cheer on by osmosis. Since I’m not Christian, I would absorb the spirit cumulatively. I’d hang around Christian friends and walk the streets counting the number of Christmas trees I could find (I actually did this).

Growing up Jewish

I grew up Jewish, and Hanukkah was fun too. It definitely had perks. From the 8 days of celebrations, to progressively lighting more candles each night. It didn’t have special trees though, and those are still my favorite.

That First Whiff of Winter Air
As an adult, the only tangible perk the winter holidays provide is maybe one extra day off work. That’s why that first whiff of cool air (for me) is so important. The holidays aren’t, and shouldn’t be, just about tangible stuff. (This is coming from someone addicted to his computer and television.) This should permeate all the way to work. I love coming to the office this time of year. As a customer service agent, I get to talk with people from all over. Though I’m not technically giving anything to them (well I am selling our tests at our unbelievable holiday discounts), I am indirectly experiencing this time of the year around the world.

I’ve even had customers send me holiday cards and greetings. As a kid I was only used to only celebrating Hanukkah and the aforementioned ‘count the Christmas trees’ game. So, receiving these kind of help make me feel like a citizen of the world. Heck, I even like trying to get customers their kits in time for Christmas. Even if that means bothering our Shipping Department to rush a shipment. Or making someone ship something FedEx even if it’s already been picked up at our office for the day.

The saddest part of year for me is the day after New Year’s Day. The holidays are over. There’s now a ton of work to be done at the office. And, since I’m in Texas, the summer heat already started 5 days ago.

About the Author

Jeremy Balkin

Customer Service Manager
Jeremy’s bio is super interesting, but he can write it better than we can.