The Ins and Outs of Being Open During the Holidays

I’m not much of a holiday person. I like all the days and I feel a bit resentful when I’m told to celebrate one day more than another. I’m not a member of any religious affiliation, only the human one. Nonetheless, I was brought up in a very Christmas loving family and I adhere to the traditions of that.

I’m ever so grateful to be given Christmas Eve off so that I can prepare for the Toast for family and close friends that I host each year. It’s my attempt to stay involved and not become a complete Scrooge…also I love any excuse to drink bubbles.

Boxing Day was not a holiday for me. I spent it at work, a normal Friday night. Normal except I sold about one fifth of a normal Friday night and tried very hard not to eavesdrop on my guests or impose myself on them, leaving no privacy or escape. The bar is difficult only when it’s quiet. There’s nowhere to go and very little to do once the glasses have been polished and the web has been surfed.

So, I approached Saturday night with trepidation, worried that I might spend the whole night with one (only) guest or a slow succession of two tops.

The first people through the door were old friends from the restaurant biz here who have moved to Nova Scotia. We had a nice albeit short visit, but I was thrilled that they took the time to come in and say hi.

Next came a couple of ladies with lots to discuss and I guiltily surfed the web whilst trying not to listen in while they cleared themselves of some robust grievances, a little sadness and lots of laughter.

After they left, the bar filled with favorites, regulars, a few newbs and an old regular from out of town who brought in a big happy party. I was reminded that my job is not only to pour wine for strangers, but in large part to play host to some people who I really enjoy exchanging ideas with.

One discussion was about how, if you spent enough time with almost anyone, you should probably come to like them… and conversely sometimes when you spend enough time with someone you think you like, you can come to despise them. The world is so interesting. People are so interesting and it’s all laid out for me every day at my job.

Another of my favorite topics from the night was about choosing our reactions. It’s no secret that my little family has been plagued with health issues this past year and I always hesitate to answer when people ask how I am. If they’re very good friends I will tell them what’s been going on, Otherwise I tell a different truth. I’m well thanks for asking. Because despite the messy details of my private life, I am well. I choose to be well and most days I choose to be content and it’s a bit of a relief not to go into detail.

That’s the reality of the work I do. It’s both a job and a social opportunity and while I dread the quiet nights of holiday season, I love the fact that I get to spend some time with some pretty cool people who care enough to come in and chew the fat over a good glass of wine.

Next week is tricky. We’ll be open Tuesday, Wednesday (that’s New Year’s Eve in case you forgot) closed Thursday and open Friday and Saturday so there will be ample time to visit with people who are in town for the holidays and to celebrate New Years Eve with whoever walks in the door.

Happily the week following that, we’re only open on Friday the ninth and Saturday the tenth so the awkward, slow days following all the Bacchanalia of the season can be avoided completely.

I hope that everyone has had some rewarding time with family and friends as I have because even though I’m not totally one with the Christmas Season, I’m grateful for those that are.

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