Give a gig this Christmas


This year I saw a covert “holiday” laced commercial in August. The commercial might have been about hemorrhoid cream. I really don’t remember. I do remember the slightly out of focus Christmas tree behind the pitchman. So, Christmas has an agent and is now engaging in product placement. We have a few holidays in the queue, slow down. Must everything be a race?

I have been at Home Depot this year more than any princess should be. Just walking in “The Despot” takes a year off my life. The longer it takes me to find an orange aproned drone….poof, another year. And then again when I realize that the cyborg employee gave me the wrong bracket and I have to go back the next day.


Recently one of the employees said to me in the midst of a doorknob question: “Don’t I know you?” My testy response was, “Just from this hellacious place” (okay, I left out “hellacious” but he heard it). He gave me the wrong information and me and my knobs went back the next day.

Home-Despot SantaIn August, Halloween was in full bloom at The Despot, monsters and scary lawn ornamentations were everywhere. I was properly amused and on that trip I only lost six months. When I went back in September, only the tiniest remnants of All Hallows’ Eve remained. A plastic eyeball here a severed head there. My sadness was palpable. Christmas had just about eaten all the Halloween floor space. And while I realize that turkey and stuffing lawn decor is a hard sell, the carbohydrate holiday and its deity will be avenged for that kind of disrespect.

While this rush is part of everyday life, I think the holidays are a great example of the wackadoodle push through to get to the big thing. Even if there isn’t a big thing.


Certainly life has gotten more complicated and those who live a “gig lifestyle” are forced to always have a lot of balls in the air. With all our different ways of communication through the computer in certain respects it just feels harder to connect. And research has shown that it definitely has not made us happier when we live on our devices.

I have been trying to staff a holiday gig and it’s the Saturday night before Christmas. It’s going to be an amazing event, but two other swing band leaders have gobbled up quite a few of my band members. As I reach out via text/email/social media to musicians, it feels like it’s more work than when all we had were phones. No one would ever start a conversation on a phone, put the phone down for four hours, and then come back and answer the question.

That annoying catch phrase “live in the moment” has always been a bit esoteric and touchy feely to me….until now. If I have a couple of hours where my mind has released me from stress, it registers as such a different feeling that I’m now labeling that as “happy.” So as you go through your season, simultaneously surprise and annoy someone by engaging them. What feels like a time suck to you might just make someone’s life easier. Oh, and Santa loves that kind of shtick.

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