I love Christmas. I loved it as a child too and the Christmas memories (with, literally, almost ALL of my family) will stay with me forever.
With Alice, the excitement of a child over Christmas has became my excitement over Christmas, as the mum of that child (if that makes any sense).
This year there won't be an overwhelming amout of uncesserary presents under the Christmas tree - the quantity over quality won't rule our Christmas and I'm being more conscious than ever before.
Therefore, the gifts are not even the most stressful part!
Stress comes when, as a small business dreamer, last minute orders pop up or orders start to build up in a way we can't deal with them.
Also, hints of anxiety hit you with the thought that the festive season is approaching and you can't do nothing but to wonder if you'll succeed or sink in terms of comparison with previous years.
This happens every year and all reasons are valid.
It's okay to be afraid too. But it's also okay and empowering to be optimistic!
It can be overwhelming and planning is absolutely essential.
I must be proud to say that this year was my best one in terms of planning the festive season. Planning my work successfully, commiting to dates and deadlines has been extremely helpful and although it feels that I'm always running against the clock, the power of believing everything will end well in the end drives me forwards.
A small business like this takes time, that's the reality.
All of this is handmade by a 'one woman's band' that it is also a mum and a wife and a human being and all that needs to be managed together with the timings needed to be meticulously thought as there are so many variants - being a massive add-on the postal/mail services - as if our lives weren't complicated enough!
In the end, dealing with orders, final products, clients, catch up messages, work in progress updates and management of all our tasks throughout our different routes in a day is what makes a small business so unique.
But our mental health and stability must be also a priority and a big portion of this balancing game.
It is stressful and it will always be.
On the other hand, it is also a reward, a reminder that we are not forgotten and that for one reason or another we have been chosen to create something unique.
Our work has stood out compared to the vast offer and that's truly special.
Stay safe this festive season, be grateful and make thoughtful choices this Christmas!