A Bit Of A Tour
In a meager effort to wrap ourselves in a cloak of team building, a collective noun of administrative professionals coordinated an outing away from the office to a location offering a more magical impression of the environment where we worked. Unlike most of the floors in the cookie-cutter office building, our level included sketches of seven famous dwarves and the occasional chalk-board common space to inspire creativity. But between paying invoices and polishing PowerPoint presentations, finding time for a wisp of creativity to blow through our cubicles rarely happened. Blocking time for an outing, intent on sprinkling us with a touch of pixie dust, doesn’t erase pay period after pay period of work.
We park in front an unassuming warehouse with only a sign in the far corner near the roof to give us the indication that this outing could possibly be special. When we wander inside the holiday warehouse, we see shelving stacked three and four levels high decked with wreaths and garland, and pieces of disassembled trees with labels to identify where each bit of décor will spend its time between early November and New Year’s. Mostly wrapped in translucent plastic, every ribbon and bow, ornament and light remain attached to the greenery to be hoisted, hauled, and hung with care when the season rolls around. The closest encounter with pixie dust on this hot summer afternoon are the five-gallon barrels full of glitter.
Picking Out A Tree
During the off season, repairs prioritize the care and attention given to the seasonal decorations, but creating a new wreath or tree gives designers the opportunity to trim the tree and secure every sparkly ball and twinkling light. When tasked with obtaining a new tree for our office, I voyaged into the rows and rows of boxes and bins to unearth the dozen or so ornaments to adorn our office space. I may wander alone from the section of reds to the greens to the purples, but I recognize that even completely by myself, the browsing and selecting fills me more with the Christmas spirit than the group outing. I don’t mind the glitter that clings to my humid skin as I mentally picture the tree that will deck our elevator lobby. I immerse myself in holiday services and ignore the months still languishing between now and Christmas.
By the time the tree is scheduled for delivery and welcomed into our vestibule, I nearly forgot what objects I selected and can only imagine that the decorating professionals have crafted a festive array of light and color. With a flick of the lobby light switch, the room is illuminated by its stately presence and glow in blues and pinks fully distanced from the glitter-in-buckets tour of years ago. This is the tree I wish I could feature in my tiny apartment, but instead it brings the joy of the season – and a dash of the magical array obfuscated in the cubicles of everyday business.