I was told that tomorrow would be an “early release day” at work. Even though it sounded like some prison inmate lingo, it was really cute corporate speak for the possibility of us getting a half or quarter-day off. People really use the extra time to try to avoid rush hour traffic to get to wherever it is they’re going (if you’re driving 5 hours, best to get there the night before; if you’re staying local, it’s probably because you’re cooking for everyone).
Being a temp, of course, I wasn’t going to get the perk of being paid for sneaking out of the office like everyone else, and my manager knew that. Especially since I’d been out sick for a few days – he told me I could stay later and work but that I totally didn’t have to (aww).
Thanksgiving seems to be the bigger holiday, here. People make more of an effort to go home to their families, and most of the activities are very family-centric (e.g. that thing they call football).
That unwritten rule about leaving work early the day before doesn’t seem to apply to Christmas, and the day after Thanksgiving is viewed the same way as the day after Christmas is in England – recovering from your excesses and shopping on the biggest ever retail sale day of the year. Only over here, you do not get the day after Thanksgiving off work (unless you book it off), and Boxing Day simply does not exist. You get one day off, and one day only.
We’re spoiled in the UK with multiple days at Easter and Christmas and sometimes even New Year’s. We have so many Bank Holidays there’s pretty much one every month. Not so much here – it’s a rarity, so it deserves more of an effort to celebrate it. Maybe that’s why at the train station, I saw so many people with huge bags of luggage, so anxious to get home to their loved ones:
I wasn’t terribly prepared for the holiday, and decided not to bother going food shopping this year. There are too many awesome, cheap catering options (Coven; New England Soup Factory) and local markets (Winter Market; Pamplemousse; Milk & Honey) to go all the way to the supermarket to battle with some selfish cow for the last packet of rosemary.
Unfortunately, I forgot to order from any of those places on account of being sick, so I will either be wandering around town wondering what’s open, or eating a Beef & Tomato Pot Noodle and a Toffee Crisp for dessert while finally watching one of those Charlie Brown specials. Which doesn’t sound so bad.