The Merchant in me.

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I was always one of those who complained about the commercialization of Christmas.  To me it was always about family and taking stock of ones life and giving thanks.  I found the deluge of commercials and Christmas music and displays and the piercing sound of sleigh bells everywhere to be distasteful.
So now here I am on the other side of the fence.  I am a merchant.  I don't want to add to that commercialization, but I also need to look after my family.  Winter is a tough haul here on Vancouver Island, and the weeks before Christmas are a beacon that can take you over the financial hump.  Running a business is not easy and there are some months when the bill collectors come calling when I want to trade it all in for a steady paycheque like I used to have.  I have to take advantage of all the opportunities I have.  
So which is it?  What do I do?  Do I have christmas music and sales and add to the advertising glut?  Should I extend my hours or spend more time with the family?  Should I do all I can to make my little package of money, or do I cross my arms and stand firm against the plague of Christmas commercialization?  It's a tough call.
In the end, I have to stay true to what I believe in.  The commercial engine doesn't swallow your soul in one bite, it nibbles away in bits and bites and so you have to make the little decisions correctly.  You have to remember why you went into business for yourself to begin with.  Why else if not to live by your own moral compass.
So there is no Christmas music unless I am in the mood (which usually doesn't hapen until a few days before).  
We will keep our regular hours (though I may stay late a night or two if it seems appropriate).  
There is a small Christmas book display (there are Hanukkah books too), but other than that there are no decorations. 
Our advertising will not mention the holiday season at all (which ironically might make it stand out more).
I will just have to trust that December will be a good month without the commercial sirens blaring.  And I really do hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

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