It's cold. It's frigid and icy. We hate this time of the year, but we also love the holiday season. Friends, food, drinks and presents.
But, for business owners -- do we share in this excitement? Or have we lost hope?
Personally this Boss is torn. Let's be real. I'm a TOTAL GRINCH. I'm talking green to the core. Don't get me wrong -- I have a toddler I adore and would buy her the world if I could, but at what point? What is "suppose" to be from Mommy and Daddy and what do we ask Santa to bring her? We're told (from social media) that Santa should only bring small gifts, so my husband and I ask Santa to please bring a toothbrush, slippers and a new outfit for our baby girl in her stocking. But then if that is all that Santa brings what is okay for Mommy and Daddy to gift? I struggle with this guilt every year. What is too much? What is not enough for our daughter to feel like she is loved the same as every other child in the world?
And then my husband reminds me. She is our daughter. No matter what we gift her or don't gift her -- whatever Santa brings her... she is loved. Loved to the core by us and our families and yes, by Santa too. What we should be instilling in her is not the value, the size or the price tag on these gifts, but the fact that she is lucky enough to even have presents under the tree this year. Because as much as it breaks my heart there will always be children with NO gifts under their tree. That's if they even have a tree to look at. We need to learn to focus on what WE have, not on what we don't have. On our health and our lives. BE thankful for our accomplishments and the friends that we have met along the way.
Why am I a grinch though?
Personally, Christmas brings stress and it brings tears. It brings happiness, but also sadness. It brings family together, but unfortunately can bring in strain and emotions. The Christmas season has never been an easy season for me. Growing up it has always been car rides from one relatives to another and then another car ride somewhere else. It was never a simple family day. It always seemed to be such a rushed day leaving little time for enjoyment. Growing up doing it year after year I began to think that it was normal and simply resenting the day all together. However, as an adult raising a young daughter I struggle between the guilt of not being able to spend 5 minutes with everyone at all the stops along the way to taking the time to just make it a day where she can enjoy a big breakfast and sit to watch Christmas movies with mommy and daddy. Unfortunately as my husband and I both run our own businesses we hardly ever get the chance to spend a full day together as a family. We never take the time to prep a breakfast to share together and just sit down, breathe and enjoy our time. I always seem to stress about hurting someone's feelings because I said we weren't coming over and having them think we care about one side of the family over the other that generally by noon on Christmas I am so physically ill I end up spending Christmas alone running in and out of the bathroom all day.
As a business owner, in the retail world there is ALWAYS stress. Do I have enough staff? Do I have enough stock? Do I have too much stock? Who is going to shop local? Who is all going to the city? How can I encourage everyone to support their local community, friends and family?
And then... I turn on my social media and see that she did ALL her Christmas shopping online at a major retailer and he went to the city to get everything he needed for gifts and... my heart just breaks. Not only for me, for ALL the local small businesses in the area. It is SO SAD to see our community dying and only hearing ugh, I wish we had this in town... I wish someone would carry this. My advice - open your eyes. Walk into that new store down the street. Try your local shops and stores before you go anywhere. Because we need you. We don't need Walmart, we don't need Target we need people to support our stores so we can grow and bring you more options. At the end of the day your local stores could employ you, your husband, your daughter, your son. They are every communities saving grace.
~ "You can't buy happiness, but you can buy local and that is kind of the same." --Unknown Author
~ "I think as you grow older your Christmas list gets shorter, because the things you want can't be bought."