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September 13, 2020
When I start putting out my Christmas stock I always thing about September 2011 when I worked for Boots. We always had a deadline to re-merchandise our sun shop to our Christmas shop in early September and the new process of sending our left over stock back to the warehouse had just been introduced. That September was a scorcher and no one had a notion of buying anything Christmas related items and we didn't have a bottle of suncream in the store.
Since moving to Ireland I noticed there is a lower tolerance for Christmas in the shops in September so always delayed putting my Christmas stock out and promoting my Christmas gifts. The Christmas Creep is usually delayed until after Halloween but this year...well let's say it's not the same.
2020 has been anything but normal. Instead of putting my Christmas decorations in the store room I've put them all out on display ready to been seen at out preview event. This year is going to be different.
Visiting Santa from across the room just isn't the magical experience we want to give out kids. And putting them or moreover Santa, at increased risk of transmission just doesn't have the same appeal as it did last year.
With so much uncertainly we don't know if non essential retail will have to close again if postal deliveries will be affected, in fact nothing is a given. With rules constantly changing it will be hard to plan for Christmas as we don’t know what things will be like.
Delays in delivery and production means that we can't guarantee out of stock items will become available again and certainly some of our makers have struggled to source their usual raw materials.I also don't fancy the usual Christmas shopping in big cities and crowded shops.
There will be some tough decisions over who we can and can’t share Christmas with, our usual round of visits may not be so welcome this year and for family in other countries it could feel very bleak.
Across Ireland, those whose livelihoods depend on the festive season are still hoping it will be the most wonderful time of a very bad year, It has been an already stressful year which has taken its toll on the nation’s mental health but it can't stop us putting up the tree. And while it's easy to shop online the local business that couldn't open during lockdown need you to spend your gift money with them more than ever. So many businesses fail in January if their Christmas sales aren't enough to see them through the winter months. It would be awful for small business to have go back on their feet after lockdown to not survive the winter.
I am not going to let Covid dull the sparkle of Christmas. I think we need the magic of Christmas this year like we've never needed it before. We need the decorations in the shops in September to remind us that lovely things are coming.
No we can't go to Santa's grotto, skating or visit the markets so we need to find other things to do, new traditions. Drive around to see the lights, do a zoom family Christmas quiz, have virtual Christmas Eve drinks. We need to find new ways to include our elderly and lone households and we need to make family feel loved no matter how far apart.
This year it will be about being together and sharing memories and good times or favourite places that we can't visit. It will be focused on the home and being together as best we can. Our little immediate family and bubble are going to
So whatever you try and throw at me this Christmas Covid......it won't spoil my festivities.
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