My youngest daughter will periodically tell me how many days until it is Christmas, knowing full well how much it will aggravate me – on the day of writing this it is 69.
I am afraid that I am one of those people who believe it should be against the law to discuss anything about Christmas until the 1 December, so please forgive me for breaking my own rule.
I would like to make a small suggestion to Shetland’s businesses (large and small) before they have committed to buying their business Christmas cards, or calendars, or give-away nick-nacks.
Instead of spending money on these things, how about take the money that you would have spent on them and donate it to a local charity.
Business Christmas cards and gifts often lose their meaning at such a busy time of year, especially if every business is doing it. Knowing that you donated to a worthy local cause in their name can mean more to your clients than receiving a card.
A follow-up email to your clients to explain why they are not getting a Christmas card and something about the charity you are donating to instead would be in order, and would raise the profile of the charity as well.
The idea isn’t to promote ourselves or to be another marketing exercise, but a practical way of supporting our community. These are difficult times for many and so our local charities need all the support we can give them.
This is purely a suggestion, and it is an individual judgement call. No one should judge anyone for whether they do or don’t send out business Christmas cards.
But if you do take up this idea, and if there is someone who has especially helped you over the year or supported you in difficult times, then I am sure a one-off card here and there would still be in the spirit of the exercise.