For many businesses and organisations, Christmas can be an extremely busy time, when the aim is to make as many sales as possible or when the workload increases significantly. Things slow down for or other organisations and businesses, providing a welcome breather, when time can be spent getting in better shape for the year to come. We asked four people who work for four different businesses/organisations (we’ve created websites for each) what Christmas will bring for them this year.
Huntstile Organic Farm
Lizzie Myers is the co-owner of Huntstile Organic Farm, a beautiful organic farm and venue for weddings, events and self-catering accommodation in rural Somerset.
“Ours is a family business. My husband is a farmer and my son and I run a wedding venue and B&B in an Elizabethan farmhouse on our farm. We also operate a café and sell food via our farm shop. We’re usually very busy in December, with Christmas parties in our café and venue. This year we’re closing on the 21st and coming back to work the 28th to prepare for a wedding on New Year’s Eve.
“This Christmas, we’re going away, to Cape Verde for a week – me, my husband and our two sons. Our youngest is a mathematician who lives in London. We’re all really looking forward to it – it’s been a busy year!”
Inspiring Music, Central Bedfordshire Council
Alan Ferguson is Web Manager, Communications at Central Bedfordshire Council. We worked with Alan to create a website for the Inspiring Music project, to which he continues to add new content.
“The run-up to Christmas normally is a busy time for us, preparing marketing messages about changes to services before and during Christmas and New Year. We make to-do lists and steadily work through them. The more we do in advance, the more relaxing Christmas is.
“As a local authority, we’ll be open between Christmas and the New Year, with critical services available throughout – 24 hour emergency helplines, plus gritting crews on call. I’ll be on holiday, but always digitally connected in case of emergencies. For that reason, I’m less keen on a white Christmas, because it means more work for me! Even though it does look beautiful...
“For me, Christmas means family. Obviously, I live in England, but the rest of my family are back home in Northern Ireland. My parents will fly in to join us on Christmas Eve for a few days. We're hosting Christmas at our house this year. We love Christmas, and the run up, with plenty of cheesy movies and the odd glass of Christmas cheer!”
Heavenly Star Acupuncture
Acupuncturist Sandra Guy is the founder and director of Amsterdam-based Heavenly Star Acupuncture.
“In the run up to Christmas the practice is very busy. Christmas can be stressful; people come in with various anxieties, whether linked to who they're spending the festive period with, or without, where they’re going and how, present buying, food, how much weight they'll put on, drinking, smoking, etc.
“Some people become stressed because it’s the end of the year and they haven’t done everything they wanted to do. I also have a rush on treatments for building up immunity against coughs, colds, flu, as well as working with circulation issues, cold hands and feet. And there are ongoing treatments with clients linked to fertility, pain management and burn out.
“The practice will be shut from 21 December to 8 January, I’m taking two weeks off. It’s been a very busy year and I want to rest and regroup, to start off 2019 in good form.
“I’ll be spending a quiet Christmas in Amsterdam at home with family and then heading off to Scotland for New Year. I’ve always liked how quiet the year is around the Winter Solstice, when you get away from the madness of commercial Christmas. It feels like an important time to review where you’ve been and where you want to go with the sun’s next cycle. Amsterdam is very pretty at this time – the canals are all lit up and there are candles in all the cafés, warding off the dark days.
“In Traditional Chinese Medicine, life is the interplay between Yin and Yang. Winter is the season of greatest Yin. It’s a time of retreat, of turning inward, of quiet and rest. It’s a powerful time to replenish, meditate and eat black food (eg black beans, black rice) and foods from the depths of the ocean (eg oysters, seaweed) that are said to nourish our essence. I’m planning to do a lot of that!”
Skyline Mortgage Consultants
Financial adviser Anthony Mallandain is the Managing Director of London-based Skyline Mortgage Consultants Ltd.
“The period up to the second week of December is normally busy, because most clients want to be moved in to their new home by then or else they wait until the New Year. After mid December, we’re still busy preparing for the coming year, while we’re still dealing with banks and solicitors. Normally, we close before Christmas Eve and open for business early in the New Year.
“This Christmas, I’ll be with my family, enjoying the fact my daughter still believes in Santa. She’s only six. I’m still laughing at her letter to Santa, which started off really good, ‘I’d like books and some toys’ and then the last sentence was – ‘And anything else I don’t have already!’ Christmas is a time to relax and unwind, if you can. This year, for at least 10 days, I’m looking forward to not being on my laptop.”