A Holiday Celebration Filled with Good Gifts, Good Foods, and Good Spirits

Well, even though it’s not quite Christmas day, we here at Southgate Coins tend to start the celebrations early, and of course, there’s no better time of the year to enjoy your place of work than at holiday time (at least here at Southgate Coins). We partake in gift-giving, receive Christmas bonuses, and of course, indulge in a full-belly-inducing Christmas dinner. Read on for more...

 Southgate Coins staff exchanges gifts on Christmas

As a veteran of the holiday season here at the store, I (Maya) pretty much knew the run of events to be expected. However, I wanted to make sure that Crystal and Cara had a wonderful first-time Christmas with their work family. And of course, me being so good at conspiring without attracting attention from the bosses, proved successful once again.

 Marie, Crystal, and Cara give gifts on Christmas at the coin shop

It all started when I pulled Crystal aside, and asked her what she thought would be a good present for the best bosses ever. We had to think for awhile, because we didn’t want to go the cheap-here’s-a-paper-weight-from-your-em-ployee-hope-you-like-it route. No, it had to be something thoughtful, and something that they could enjoy for more than just the Christmas season (which eliminated any food gifts)—These aren’t your average bosses, after all! After thinking awhile, I had an epiphany, and knew what the perfect gift would be. Once we get to that part of the story, you’ll know what I mean.

 Southgate Coins owners Rusty & Marie Goe receive gifts from their staff for Christmas

So, on the day in question (our company Christmas party on Saturday, December 20, 2008, we were all set for the festivities. The workday was quite busy with last-minute gift seekers, and it wasn’t uncommon to have all of us girls (and sometimes the bosses, too) up in the front assisting customers. Little did our customers know that each of us was eagerly awaiting 3 o’clock, when we would close the storefront and begin the party!

First, the three of us gathered our presents from the conference office and the Goes brought theirs out of hiding. We placed everything on the “Girls’ Desk,” and took pictures of all the happy faces surrounding the unopened presents. Then, it was time to start the gift-giving process.

Rusty elected that I, being the “senior girl,” would be the first to dish out presents.

 Southgate crew member Crystal receives a hat for Christmas

I had to start with Rusty and Marie, and I had them open a small bag that was in part gifts to the store itself, and also a little gag-gift. Marie found the gag gift first; a small bag of Krugerrands and gold bars—chocolate Krugerrands, and chocolate bars, that is! I thought it would be a neat gag since we’ve had oh-so-many people interested in bullion these days!

Next, Marie dug out a box-shaped gift, which turned out to be a wood, octagonal clock for the northside of the store. You see, when the Goes expanded the store several years ago, the clocks never were evenly dispersed, so I decided it was time for a new one. To my relief, they loved it.

For the last thing in that bag, there was another little surprise. Wrapped in tissue paper, Marie pulled out two wooden pieces, about eight inches in diameter, both in the shape of the letter "C." Of course, put next to each other, these make a perfect, jumbo-sized rendition of our famous "CC" mintmark. They were painted brassy in color and had very intricate design carvings all over the "obverses." Rusty was so surprised, and I was definitely pleased that he liked them (He said they resemble the "Cs" on the GSA plastic slabs). It was a lucky find!

 Cristal, Maya, Cara, and Marie pose for a holiday picture at the coin shop

Now... for the main event, and the big gift that I formerly had an epiphany on. Crystal and I had Marie switch her attention to a Christmassy, SpongeBob-wrapped box. When Marie carefully tore it open, she was floored—as was Rusty. You see, Cara, Crystal, and I all chipped in to get the Goes an 8-inch digital photo frame. We figured, that as much as Rusty and Marie take pictures, they should have something that could store "a lot" of their most favorite memories, and allow them to continuously shuffle through them. (And, by "a lot" I mean about 3,000!)

 The Southgate girls get stockings for Christmas

The Goes certainly seemed overjoyed with the presents we had all picked out for them, but remember, the gifts presented to them are only the start of this Christmas party.

Here’s Cara to tell you where the festivities led us from there:

After Rusty and Marie received their presents it was time for us girls to exchange gifts. Since Maya has been working here the longest she got to hand out her presents first. I (Cara) opened my gift first. I received a lovely picture frame and a little package full of different types of Burt’s Bee products, which is my favorite chapstick. Crystal went next and she received an assortment of green tea, which she loves, and the novel Twilight.

Crystal was next to hand out gifts. She gave Maya a DVD of the TV show Family Guy and I got a murder mystery novel.

 Southgate Coins staff goes to Claim Jumper for a Christmas dinner

Since I’m the newest girl here, I was the last one of us to give out gifts. I gave both the girls aroma therapy slippers that they can put on after a long, hard day at work. Maya got light blue ones and Crystal received red ones.

After the girls were done exchanging presents, it was time for Rusty and Marie to hand out their gifts. All us girls got comfy socks to keep our feet warm and a DVD, except for Maya, who got two Xbox 360 games (Fable and Fable II). On top of the socks and DVD, I received a lovely peacock-blue scarf and mittens and some PINK perfume. Crystal got a furry hat, a button that joked about her love of caffeine, and a little fairy ornament. Maya received some bath salts and a pair of comfy pajamas.

By the time we got done opening all the presents it was 4:20, and we had to run over to the Claim Jumper restaurant to claim our reservation.

 The whole coin shop crew is anticipating their Christmas feast

The gift exchange at the holiday party isn’t the only time that there’s been gifts given out this holiday season at Southgate Coins. Many of our wonderful friends and clients like Otto Klay, Tom DeFina, Dick Wolf, Peter Matheu,and Paul Sudmeier have all stopped by with or mailed us wonderful gifts. There’s also a huge amount of Christmas cards decorating the front of our store.

Here’s Crystal to tell you where it went from there:

Our dinner reservations were for 4:30 P.M. at the Claim Jumper restaurant right across the street from our store. While Rusty and Marie set the security alarms and locked up, Maya, Cara, and I all got into our cars to get to the restaurant so we could get our table. Unbelievably, by the time we girls got to the restaurant, Rusty and Marie were already there. I mean, they left four minutes after we did and they got to the restaurant before us. (Go figure).

 Each coin shop workers enjoys their selections for Christmas dinner

It was so very funny, Marie was talking to the hostess, telling her that we (the girls) were already here with a table. The Goes had even had time to walk the floor, and look for the table we were to have supposedly saved for us all. And then, we walk in! I couldn’t believe how long it took us to get there in comparison to how long it took them. Wow, it really made me feel like such a “granny” driver!

While waiting the five or ten minutes for our table to get ready, Rusty took some nice pictures of us by the fireplace in the waiting area. Then, we all looked at the huge deserts on display to see if any would be tempting to us for after dinner.

Finally, we received the signal that our table was ready, and after we were seated, the waitress took our drink orders and passed out menus, while Rusty readied the camera and took a couple of group pictures. Rusty got his customary water while the rest of us got our cokes (I even saw Marie enjoying a diet coke. That’s not something I’ve ever seen. It must have been a nice treat for her.)

It took us a little bit to decide what we all wanted to eat, but we all finally arrived at a decision. Marie, Maya, and Cara all got steaks with fried cheesy potato cakes and various yummy-looking breads. I, on the other hand, was not feeling much up to a steak, so I got the sliders. Sliders are super-yummy mini-hamburgers with cheese. The most interesting dinner was Rusty’s. He got a whole rack of baby-back ribs covered in sweet barbeque sauce (it was HUGE) and a mini salad. Do you think that was all for our resident no-carber? No, he also had a big baked potato and a big roll. Obviously, he was off the diet for our Christmas dinner. Way to enjoy the season, Rusty! I just have to say that it’s a good thing he wore his napkin as a bib, because those ribs sure looked good but they sure were messy with all that sauce, and we sure wouldn’t have wanted his nice clothes to get stained—that, and it was just funny to see him wearing a bib.

 Southgate Coins staff receives a Starbucks gift card from a friend of the store

After dinner, I would like to tell you that we had one of those yummy desserts that we were looking at earlier, but unfortunately, none of us saved room. The food was just too good to stop eating to make sure we had room for dessert. Don’t fret though, we will be sure to have some yummy sweets on Christmas Eve day while we’re working—wink, wink.

Now, back to me (Maya): Well, as you can see, Southgate staffers really know how to celebrate the holidays. We love to give and receive gifts, eat good food, and bask in the joyous holiday season. For anyone who has not yet celebrated Christmas this year, we truly wish you the best of times for you and your loved ones. Nothing means anything without having the ones you love around to share in the spirit.

Special thanks to all of the customers, friends, and neighbors that sent warm wishes and gifts this holiday season. We always appreciate the thought, and hope that many happy things come to those deserving.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone here at Southgate Coins!

 

-Maya, Cara, and Crystal