Christmas – Ho Ho Ho or How on Earth?


Christmas – Ho Ho Ho or How on Earth?

For many Small Businesses, the end of the year can bring a last-minute abundance of work, creating pressure but also a handy financial windfall that supports us through some of the quieter months of the year.

For some businesses, this is the one time of year that makes their business viable at all. We tend to become focused on leveraging these few months of busy-ness and capitalising on the energy and productivity of finalising all that needs to be done before taking a well-earned break.

For others, the pressures of quiet time, public holidays and lost productivity simply create even more stress.

In addition, what of the individuals that comprise Small Business? How do they perceive the silly season, and do we take the appropriate time to find out?

For many, this is a time of celebration, time off, time down and time to catch up with those we are too busy to see in all the rush. For others it is not so chirpy as it comes with lots of additional pressure; financial and emotional.

Christmas can highlight things that are already difficult. Such as feelings of exclusion, social isolation and family issues, just to name a few. One only has to volunteer at a shelter over the Christmas period or see the increasing need in the community for support, to be aware of the growing disparity between ‘lack’ and ‘laughter’.

In addition, there are those for whom Christmas is just another day and all the hoopla is quite strange.

What can we, as businesses and individuals, do to ensure we are aware and respectful of the many faces of the holiday season, so we are inclusive of all?

Asking peoples’ perspectives is a great place to start:

  • What do you think of the holiday season?
  • Is this a time of celebration for you?
  • Do you get a chance to rest?
  • Do you enjoy this time of year?

These are some very simple ways to connect to others and find out where they’re at.

Bridging that gap between what we often assume people are feeling and what they are actually feeling is a great way to be of service to others.

Perhaps by leaving our assumptions aside, we can ensure all feel a part of something bigger, a more collective spirit, a common humanity.

Why do I feel this is so important?

As a health care practitioner, I have seen and heard so many contrasting stories from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other during the Christmas period. I have had to train myself to be aware of how I converse and the assumptions I make at this time of year that looms large in our psyche.

From the young family for whom Christmas was a joyful time until they lost their child, to the young family who welcomed a child for the first time at Christmas, from the family who had Xmas in this their new country whilst at the same time grieving for the family they left behind. Christmas can be beyond bittersweet.

So, whilst this article is shorter than most and perhaps a little more introspective, I hope it opens up some questions for you about how we can all make this time of year as inclusive, loving and supportive for our customers, associates and complete strangers as we possibly can.

Here’s to you having all that inclusion, love and support in your life, being able to share it in sleigh loads – and not just at Christmas.

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