Wednesday, November 2, 2011

That Time of Year

In independent retail businesses, 
particularly the small business owned and operated by one person,
the Christmas season is the
 "make it, or break it" 
time of the year.

We work tremendously hard for 10 months, 
and then in the 2 months prior to Christmas, 
we can do the same amount of sales we did in the previous 10.

Knowing this to be true,
these two months become very significant to our well being.

Did I say, "very significant"?
Okay, truthfully, these two months are way too important.
They can be stressful and frustrating and difficult and back breaking.
They can make you lose sleep and work in your shop till midnight, only to drive 20 miles home in a blowing, blinding snow storm, sleep a few hours and go out and scrape the 7" of snow off your car, drive back to work, and do it all over again.

They can disrupt your sleep, your attitude, your appetite and your general ability to communicate with others without taking a bite out of them.
No one moves fast enough, cares enough, has the sense of your need to complete a task,
or apparently any idea of the urgency with which you seemingly must live through these weeks.
The world should be in "fast forward" with you


t h e y 
a r e 
i n
s   l   o   w
m    o    t    i    o    n

Okay . . .
I'm a crazy woman when it comes to my 
"one woman show"
of holiday retail.

The shop must be turned inside out
it should
(in my mind)
be found to be one of the very nicest and most loved shopping spots in
the front range.

appearing in 
Victoria Magazine 
last winter certainly raised the bar.
  5280 Magazine's
Editor's Choice Award as
Top of the Town
 Home Accessories category
two successive years,
added to my stress to impress.
Esprit 'd Noel's 
Christmas House Tour
to benefit Children's Hospital,
and appearing in 
Colorado Homes and Lifestyle
this month
was another beautiful compliment for
It also adds the challenge of surpassing last year's grandeur
 when we decorate for the tour
and try to do everything with a fresh new eye
to captivate our customers' imagination.

When the magazine spread appears on the news stand
the week of your annual
(to which you've invited several thousand of your best customers,
 friends, family, competiton and hottest critics),

you can begin to tremble and shake

with the need to keep
 "out doing"
 what you've done in the past.
Your dreams and conversation can be peppered with phrases like, 
"over the top" and "outside the box" and "killer"
 and well . . . 
you get my drift . . .

this year
I'm taking it a little easy.

I'm trusting that what I can do will be accomplished,
and what I can't do - only I will know about.
That there really is no amount of stress and frustration that can improve
 who I am
what I do.

I'll say my prayers and do my best
 and count on my creativity and my blessings
 to spring from God.

I will plan my work
work my plan
and ask that it's blessed.

Perhaps this is a sign of age - (hopefully maturity)?

I will take time for my friends
have a cup of coffee
smile at strangers
return my shopping cart
have my grandchildren spend the night 
take donuts to the guys at Grease Monkey
leave a gift on my neighbors doorstep
bake cookies
have a Christmas party

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