Tonight we are decorating the tree. I love putting each thing up and remembering where they came from. Some things were decorations on presents, some things were bought and I can remember where – like the blue and white china decorations we bought on our Honeymoon in Amsterdam, some things were presents like the glass sweets Mam and Dad brought back from Venice, some things I’ve had from when I used to decorate my own room when I was little – including some angels my Mam made from paper, pipe cleaners and mini baubles. My parents have kept the four wooden angels for me to hang on their tree because I always hung those up. My Mam made the angel that goes on the top of the tree (and I made ours) there’s a big heavy ornament that goes near the bottom that was one of the first decorations that they ever bought, and a purple fish that used to belong to the cat. Decorating a tree is like displaying a collection of memories of places and people. I love it.
Later this week I’ll be decorating the cake. I’m not so keen on decorating the cake. I quite like deciding what it’s going to look like and I like cutting out the icing BEFORE it goes on the cake, but it’s a bit of a skill isn’t it? Takes me ages. I also find that I’m never 100% happy with the result, although I feel pleased that I made the effort and did it myself. One day I am going to be great at decorating cakes! Practice makes perfect.
There’s all sorts of decorating takes place at Christmas. Lights, baubles, inflatable snowmen, trees, ribbons, garlands on staircases, presents need to be decorated, the table is decorated, the cake – EVERYTHING has to look just right doesn’t it? There’s so much attention to detail and so many things to consider. Christmas doesn’t just happen, it comes out of several boxes, is the result of much list making, diary organising and money spending and it takes a lot of time to put together.
Recently, have you looked in detail at your stationery, brochures and website and made sure that every word is still relevant? If you’ve had the same materials kicking about for a long time, then things are bound to have changed – once you’ve commissioned your design, print or website, the hard work doesn’t completely stop. Unlike Christmas you can’t just pop them in a box and forget about them for a year. A lot can happen that time – a change in premises, a new employee, a new product, an award win… after you’ve packed Christmas back up again, recycled your Christmas cards and finished eating that enormous turkey, maybe it could be worth having a thorough look over all the communication materials you have and ensuring that they are bang up to date to start the new year. Check that the information and the contact details are right and that there’s no glaringly obvious mistakes. Do it twice. Use a fine toothcomb to make sure you don’t miss anything. It might be about as much fun as cleaning the oven or defrosting the freezer, but it could be worthwhile, especially if you’re considering a re-print of anything. Here’s a list of some of the type of things that you could check (once Christmas is out the way of course):