On the morning of Christmas Eve I was still waiting for that
Christmas feeling to sink in.
On the morning of Christmas Eve I was still waiting for that Christmas feeling to sink in.

Now that I’ve returned from the Christmas Vigil Mass, I feel the Christmas spirit washing over me. My children look angelic, my husband is lovingly whistling a Christmas tune, and even the dog is on his best behavior. We light candles, sing carols and start preparing our homemade pizza in keeping with our family tradition. Once I finish this column, I will be able to relax and enjoy the night with my family.

In the four weeks since Thanksgiving, I have been in a holiday stupor. This year, I took a part time job at a large department store just north of Gilroy, thinking it would be an easy way to make a little extra holiday money. This is my first foray into the wild and crazy world of retail sales since college, and the 20 or so hours I spend per week in the department store have given me a new appreciation for all my underpaid compatriots.

As an avid shopper, I didn’t fully appreciate the plight of the sales clerk. The long hours spent on your feet, and the hour or so of straightening up once all the shoppers have gone home can be quite exhausting. Our store was quite busy since the day after Thanksgiving, and it makes me hopeful that our economy will recoup from the past eighteen dismal months. Apparently, a great number of people are either unaware of the recession, or just ignoring it.

The past couple of months have been hard for me, juggling a work schedule with my volunteer responsibilities and motherhood. I have a new admiration for the single parents among us. I honestly don’t know how they manage as well as they do. In the past two months, I have baked my share of midnight cupcakes, and often find myself grocery shopping after the kids are in bed. The laundry piles up, and the house is a little less clean than I would like, but I am glad that my children see me trying to fit everything into our schedule.

As my kids get older, I feel it necessary to work part time. I don’t have any desire for an outside full-time career, because raising a family is my full time career. It is difficult to find rewarding part-time work.

Everyone I know seems to be full of suggestions. My husband suggests that I get my real estate license. Every successful real estate person I know is a workaholic. Lots of friends suggest I go into teaching. There are teachers in my family, and I have respect teachers immensely. While I enjoy volunteering in the schools, I don’t want to make it a career.

So I find myself facing the possibility of going back to school. My previous major in philosophy didn’t quite open the floodgates of job opportunities. As the New Year approaches, I will set to thinking about my future. In the meantime, I will be cheerfully assisting people in the return of poorly chosen ties and other holiday gift mistakes.

Denise Baer Apuzzo has lived in Gilroy for 6 years. She is married and is a parent of three children who attend Gilroy public schools. You can reach her at: [email protected].

Previous articleMore Aces for Gavilan Niners
Next articleAnts are still a problem for area gardeners


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here