Don’t Shoot Me Santa; or, How I Spent the Holiday

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We did it ya’ll!! We survived Christmas!

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It was a struggle to be sure.

Christmas Eve sucked.

I bartended for the night, kind of. We didn’t have a to-go person on for the night so I was getting the calls and customers. Turns out, for the night, 100% of the people that came to the bar, ordered food to  go. And none of them were tipping.

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This made for an incredibly frustrating evening as I was working my butt off for nothing. Seriously, nothing.

Here’s the thing. When we have someone scheduled to be on to-go, they are making at least minimum wage plus whatever tips they end up getting. So if they get stiffed, it really doesn’t hurt them all that much since they are still getting paid. When I’m working to-go as a bartender, I’m still doing the same amount of work as them (on top of my regular duties) but I’m getting paid server pay, which in Florida is $5.23 an hour. So when I don’t get tipped off of these orders, it hurts.

On a normal night, my bar guests usually end up evening things out so it’s less irritating but when I don’t have bar guests and 100% of what I’m doing it to-go orders who aren’t tipping, it’s maddening. I don’t ever expect 20% from to-go’s but throw a guy a couple bucks, it’s not going to kill you.

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At the end of the day, I understand that in the service industry, you win some and you lose some. This was my day to lose. It was just made frustrating by the fact that not only was it Christmas Eve but I’m listening to my co-workers brag about getting 30% tips and even a few guests that tipped the bill. I’m happy for them, I truly am. But it’s frustrating as hell for me.

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When I finally escaped from work I returned home and settled into my Christmas Eve ritual. Back in 2015 I unknowingly began a tradition of watching Krampus. This was the last year my family all came together for the holiday and we decided to go see a movie. I was allowed to pick, which was a mistake on their part. I chose Krampus.

Ever since, I have enjoyed a quiet evening at home with a bottle of wine and the wholesome joy of a dark comedy along with some Ben & Jerry’s. It may not be the most normal Christmas tradition but it’s mine and I’ll take it.

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Christmas Day I slept until my younger sister video called me. I chatted with my little nephew for a bit and her and from there decided; it was time to get on with my day.

I had been invited to join some friends for a Christmas breakfast at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge but the frustrations from Christmas Eve were weighing on me and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to wake up in time for the early reservation. I opted for sleep.

I got myself dressed and headed to Universal Studios to meet up with Ashley-Michelle who was working. We had no real plan beyond me meeting up with here which was just fine with me. I was happy to just be out of the house. The rains last week kept me from enjoying my days off and this was my first real chance to get out and about.

The parks were understandably crowded but since I wasn’t planning on doing rides or anything of that nature, I didn’t mind. I watched the Frog Choir and Triwizard shows while I waited for Ashley-Michelle to get done with her shift. I had never seen the Christmas version of Choir and hadn’t see Triwizard at all so it was fun to watch.

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Afterwards we grabbed dinner at Citywalk before heading into Universal Studios (she was working at Islands of Adventure). We visited with friends who were working the evening for the Macy’s Parade. It’s always good find to see friends in the park and it was extra special to get to spend the holiday with them.

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I didn’t think the two of us were going to last long as we were both quite tired but we soldiered on. Multiple friends begged us to stay to watch them in parade and without really agreeing to it, we ended up mustering up the energy to stick around. I was shocked as Ashley-Michelle had been plugging along since her shift started at 5:30 that morning.

We wandered into Diagon Alley where I finally got my first warm Butterbeer. It was good but much like it’s frozen and regular relatives, it was too damn sugary for me.

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With all that sugar in us, you’d think we’d be wired for the night but we both went straight to the sugar crash part of the night. We sat and waited for parade while slowly slipping into exhausted madness. Which I imagine was good fun for those around us.

Once the parade started we found some energy from seeing our friends out on route and managed to enjoy our time despite barely being able to keep our eyes open.

Following parade we made our way to our separate homes and called it a night.

All said and done, it was a pretty great day and welcome change from spending the day alone as I have in the past couple years. I, honestly, can’t even remember what I did last year and there’s a good chance that I spent the day watching movies and drinking. I’m sure if I tried hard enough, I could figure out what I did with myself but that sounds like too much work.

Who knows what’s to come for next year. I can promise that Krampus will be involved regardless.

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