“Mommy, why is there a tree in our living room?” Some children think to ask this question and some don’t. But why is there a tree in the living room?
Like many traditional symbols of Christmas, it is often explained as a reinvented old pagan symbol. Evergreens were a symbol of life and in the darkest time of year, right before the winter solstice, were used to symbolize the rebirth that would come with springtime.
There are many different explanations as to why trees became a symbol of Christmas. Another explanation, the one I remember hearing as a child when I asked the question, claims that a minister was walking home one Merry Christmas eve and was so struck by how beautiful the stars looked shining down on the trees that he wanted to share it with his children. He cut down a small tree, brought it home, and decorated it with candles. The modern Christmas tree dates back to Queen Victoria, who posed for a drawing with her family around a decorated tree for her own royal personalized Christmas card.
I do like to think about how it all started, especially when I find myself digging through boxes of Christmas tree ornaments, some of which have been around since 1924 when my uncle was born! In the end, I’m just glad of three things: that there IS a seasonal tree in my living room, that we no longer use lit candles to decorate it, and that my tree isn’t as big as the tree at Rockefeller Center.
The Holiday season is a stressful time for many. One in four people report having increased headaches during this time of year. But it doesn’t have to get to that point. This is an auspicious time for businesses to reach out to clients, vendors, and employees. And by planning ahead, it will help to alleviate some of the stress…and the headaches.
Sending business holiday cards is a wonderful way to express gratitude to your patrons and your staff. But this shouldn’t be a last minute gesture. You should be sure to plan ahead with the appropriate card design, greeting, and imprint. Holiday cards may seem insignificant to some, but in actuality, it is a representation of you and your company. So be sure your correspondence reflects the aesthetics and philosophy of your company.
It is very important to update your recipient list each year. You’ll want to be sure to send holiday greeting cards to new clients and merchants and revise the contact information for clients that have changed location or came under new management. This reminds me of religious Christmas cards that are mailed to my house every year from a local Methodist Church. It is very nice that the ministry of this church keeps my family in its thoughts during the Christmas season, except my family is Jewish. The family who used to live in my house probably attended this church and either switched churches when they moved or never updated their mailing address. So be sure to update your recipient list each year so that your intended contacts are actually being mailed your holiday greeting cards.
For more success tips for small businesses during the Holiday season, check out Rhonda Abrams’ 2008 Holiday Survival Guide. Use this guide to plan ahead and don’t let the Holiday rush get the best of you.