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My part-time Christmas job

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We didn’t have much growing up. Times were tight, so it made sense that we scoured the neighborhood for holiday jobs so we could purchase something for our parents and siblings. Re-wrapping last years gifts wasn’t going to cut it anymore. It was time to buy something new.

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I didn’t know much about job interviews when I was in junior high. I had only done babysitting for the neighbors, and that simply involved downing a can of Tab, eating potato chips, and watching Maxwell Smart.

When a position was created for my twin sister and me doing gift-wrapping at our aunt’s store, we were ecstatic. No more babysitting for us!

Things changed quickly when we got to her store. You see, my aunt was a shrewd businesswoman. She could squeeze a quarter out of a dime, and still make you feel like you were getting a bargain.

And she was one tough cookie when it came to managing that store. I thought wrapping gifts would be a cakewalk. Boy, was I wrong! You see, my twin and I were athletes. We should have been moving furniture for her, not doing something that required finesse and attention to detail.

On our first day, we wasted so much wrapping paper, we could have filled a recycling bin with all our leftovers. Scotch tape was everywhere, including my nose, my sleeves, and in my twin sister’s long auburn hair. Anyone who has gotten scotch tape stuck in his or her hair knows that there’s only one remedy. The lock has to be cut.

I’m sure Teresa wasn’t wild about having her hair trimmed, but there was no other solution. If our aunt Kaye had seen the tape in her hair, it would be grounds for immediate dismissal. We did our best to hide all the scraps of wrapping paper we had wasted, but it wasn’t long before she discovered the evidence, and made a quick call to my mom. Our first “real” job lasted only one day.

The rest of the Christmas vacation was spent at home, probably trying to trim our tree, which we didn’t do very well either. But then again, Christmas isn’t about how great you decorate, wrap gifts or hang tinsel.

It’s about spending time with the people you love.



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