Holiday season brings in unique work

Seasonal jobs such as selling Christmas trees and part time retail help students financially


Miranda Cardenas

PICKING THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE: Seniors Iliana Rivera and Sidney Tishgart look at Christmas trees from Papa Noel’s Christmas tree farm, and try to pick out the perfect one to take home. Papa Noel’s Christmas tree farm has several different Austin area locations, each with a variety of different trees to choose from.

Miranda Cardenas, Feature Editor

With the holiday season in full swing, Santa’s not the only one making a list and checking it twice. With the holiday season comes making lists of items to purchase for family and friends for holiday celebrations.

Some students have taken on seasonal jobs this holiday season to help consumers get what they need. One of these students is senior Ellie Geeslin.

“I applied for a seasonal position as one of ‘Santa’s crew’ at Bath and Body Works,” Geeslin said. “I originally applied because I figured it would be a really fun place to work, and I’m liking it a lot.”

Geeslin enjoys the busy retail environment this job brings.

“We have been super busy during this holiday season, so luckily there’s always something for me to do and I never get bored,” Geeslin said. “It’s been a lot more fast-paced, especially this time of year, than smaller company stores, so it’s a great job if that’s what you’re looking for.”

Having only been at this job now for a couple of weeks, Geeslin is still gaining experience and training.

“I started mid-November, so I’m fairly new to working on the floor but every shift I continue to learn and have fun with it,” Geeslin said. “Everyone is super helpful and answers all of my questions so it’s a very welcoming environment.”

Even though this is a seasonal position, Geeslin is considering continuing on after the season is over.

“I originally wanted to work at Bath and Body Works just as a seasonal job but I think it’s so fun I may continue working there after the holiday season is over,” Geeslin said.

Junior Wilson Benesh has also acquired a seasonal job at a Christmas tree farm helping sell the trees.

“I work at Papa Noel’s Christmas tree farm,” Benesh said. “I help sell and set up a bunch of Christmas trees and my favorite part is selling them and meeting everyone who wants to buy one.”

Benesh originally took this job hoping to make extra money for the holidays but ended up wanting to continue to pursue it.

“I chose it because I needed to make some money and I thought working with Christmas trees would be fun, but I ended up liking the work,” Benesh said. “I do plan on doing this again because I not only really enjoy this seasonal job and it is important we keep this business going because people love Christmas trees during Christmas obviously, and it’s an essential part of the holiday.”

One benefit of working Christmas trees for Benesh is how much it helps spread the Christmas spirit.

“Some benefits of my job are that there are new experiences every day, and it puts me in the Christmas spirit working there seeing people enjoy all the trees and getting ready for Christmas,” Benesh said.

Getting into the Christmas spirit is also a part of Geeslin’s job that makes the work environment enjoyable.

“I love the environment [at Bath and Body Works] during the holidays because we’re always playing Christmas music and it helps get everyone in the spirit, both customers and employees, and it [also] makes us happy so we can all do our jobs better,” Geeslin said.

Senior Sidney Tishgart is also a seasonal employee at a spa this year.

“I’m working at Milk and Honey Salon and Spa to make some extra money for the holidays and obviously setting aside money for future concerts,” Tishgart said.

APART OF SANTA’S CREW: Senior Ellie Geeslin gets ready for a shift at Bath and Body Works. Geeslin has been working at Bath and Body Works during the holiday season as one of Santa’s helpers. (PHOTO COURTESY OF Ellie Geeslin)

While working at a spa is different than working with Christmas trees or retail for a major corporation, customer service is still needed.

“I assist people in the front reception area selling gift cards, products we keep in store, or online orders that come in for any of our Austin locations,” Tishgart said.

Since Tishgart is graduating early, this is helping pay for early college expenses.”

“I will be graduating in December and starting at the University of Texas at Austin in January, so this short seasonal job is going to be good savings for me to start at college with, and I really enjoy the atmosphere at Milk and Honey,” Tishgart said.

Balancing virtual school with her job has been an adjustment for Tishgart.

“I’m fortunate to have a lot of hours this month working, but sometimes there’s a mixup with my schedule and I have to get off of school early or tell my teachers that I won’t be able to attend class because I’m also taking ACC classes. But I always get caught up,” Tishgart said.

Even though the majority of the school’s population is doing virtual learning, balancing a job can be a challenge for students who still have rigorous courses.

“Balancing school with this job is pretty hard sometimes, and I’ve had to miss a few classes some days but otherwise it’s not too bad,” Benesh said. “I work almost every day from after school and on weekends.”

Despite some of the challenges she has faced, having a job this holiday season is allowing Tishgart to gain life experience before heading to college.

“I’m learning so much about the business that you obviously can’t when you’re just a customer and I can take these lessons with me following this season,” Tishgart said. “Helping people this season at my job also allows me to enjoy my job more because I know that every customer gets what they came for and leaves happy.”