Merry Christmas everybody, or Happy Hannukah!
I have three more days at Commerce before heading home for break, and have been enjoying a.) the massive, live Christmas tree, complete with large Nativity scene, in the lobby and b.) the fact that offices are now decorating their doors AND hallways, which means the corridor leading up to our office looks like a sparkly, illuminated winter wonderland. Lights are strung across the walls, the ceiling, around doors, and every which-a-way to make things look festive. I am disappointed I will be missing the BIS Christmas party, as I’ve heard things get wacky (Wii, nog), and judging from the exuberant decoration already up, I believe it.
But what would a government job be without a little red tap? Lately we have been getting emails on the proper guidelines for gifting, which shattered a bit of a dream the girls and I had – in November we spotted a tree ornament of a Santa Claus riding a space shuttle hanging on display in Macy’s and thought it would be perfect for our boss, Brad. But then we got rules telling us under no circumstances may employees buy their boss something over $10, even if each employee’s contribution is less than that. The space-flying Santa is $16. (Sorry, Brad!)
The decorations are also subject to multiple guidelines: “Holiday lights and extension cords must bear the approval of an independent testing laboratory (UL, FM, CSA); Artificial trees must be labeled as flame-retardant; Live trees are not permitted. Exceptions must be submitted in writing to the HCHB Building Manager, Room 1323, and approved in advance,” and so on (oh yeah, there’s a list).
It’s kind of comical to have these very whimsical holiday traditions subjected to official US Government ordinances. Ah, well. It’s also kind of endearing. And it also hasn’t dampened anyone’s spirit, as the hall o’ strung lights can attest.
Merry Christmas to all! I shall return in the new year, and in the meantime, everybody have a safe and happy holiday!
p.s. 9 days til the apocalypse! Or, as some people call it, the owlpocalypse.