I‘m happy. It’s the New Year.
You see, I’m afraid I’m one of those who finds the holidays stressful. Now that they’re behind us, I’m happy. Don’t get me wrong – I love the special time with family, converting the cottage into a twinkling haven of sparkly lights and candles, the joy of baking and cooking, and staying inside where it’s warm and cozy while it storms outside. It’s just that I have a
big teensy weensy problem with the hype and commercialism.
Romana, a woman who was very dear to my heart, often described the traditions in her home as a child growing up in northern Italy. They didn’t have very much, and their custom was to sit around her father’s chair and listen as he read stories to the children on Christmas eve. On Christmas morning they woke to find socks for each of them, filled with fruit and nuts. In the evening they enjoyed a special meal together by candlelight. She never had a tree until her new fiance Everett, a soldier from the United States, went into the forest and cut one down and brought it to her family as a gift. Some of my favorite memories of Christmas are of Romana sharing this story with us as we sat around my table with roasted chestnuts and wine.
With the start of the new year, this time of reflection and resolution, I find my ideal of how
a holiday should be and the challenge ahead of growing a young retail business a fascinating paradox. It’s going to be an interesting ride, this 2011. You might want to stick around and see how it turns out.