Ask the Makers ~ Celebrating the Holidays
This month we’re asking the makers about how they celebrate the holidays once the shopping rush is over.
The end of the shopping rush is nearly in sight and that means it’s time to reconnect with your intentions, take a break from the hustle and bustle, and celebrate another (hopefully) amazing holiday season. Different people use the last week of December in different ways and I think you’ll really like this little peek into the personal lives of our makers.
I keep my business operating as usual (Did you know? Putting your Etsy shop on vacation is terrible for your SEO ranking!), but I know it will be a slow sales period. I use the quiet time between mid-December into early January to reflect on the year that’s gone by. I love to look at the numbers and stats of it all: I want to figure out what’s working and what I’d like to improve on. I like to visualize where I’d like the New Year to go. It’s not only relaxing;, it’s reinvigorating!
Usually I am more collapsed (ie Kindle, warm socks, chocolate coma) than relaxed, but this year I have consciously taken on less and stuck with my deadlines. I have never actually closed my shops or website after the holidays. I just extend my shipping days a bit so I am not feeling rushed. Winter is my hubby’s busy season so no vacation for us, although I usually do start planning one for spring – especially if we have a lot of snow here.
I am looking forward to some new creative work once things slow down and even though it’s work – it’s not production work, so it’s the fun kind of work that feels like play. Actually I will just call it creative play since that sounds even better! So, after the holidays I will look like I am working, but I will really be playing … and, of course, I will still make time for my chocolate coma and a good read!
I’m ashamed to admit this, but I haven’t ever really taken time for myself or my family during the holidays. In the past I have kept my shop open until the last possible minute, rushing orders to the Post Office on December 23rd. And then I would quickly reopen again on the 26th of December & begin my after Christmas sale. I have always made my business my priority.
But after 3 years of the holiday push, I am finally giving myself a break this year and am closing up shop from the 13th until the New Year! As much as I love to put my customers first, I needed to press pause on the holiday busy & focus on both myself & my family. And honestly I have no idea what I will do with that time other than snuggle my kids & watch lots of Christmas movies!
The sad news is I don’t! Since wedding products are my biggest sellers, and the wedding season goes of with a bang January 1st, my busiest time of the year starts when everyone else is collapsing and recovering from the holidays. However August tends to be a very quiet time for me business-wise, and is also Europe, where I live, is kind of ‘gone fishin” during this month. The way I relax is to go on ‘manage’ mode. I just respond to orders, I don’t work on long term projects or new products, and I take a ‘Digital Shabat’ from Friday to Saturday evenings.
This year is a little unusual for me because I’m moving to a new state the first week of January. I had intended to curl up on the couch, eat chocolate, and watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the last week of December. Instead, I’ll be packing all of my possessions into boxes. As such, my shop will be in vacation mode from December 24th until the day when I unpack my printer and get wifi set up in my new apartment, which is hopefully the 7th of January. It’s longer than I want to be in vacation mode but there’s no way round it. The last thing I want to do is let my customers down by not shipping their goodies in time. So for my sake, please enjoy your holiday season. Even if you have family overstaying their visit, at least you don’t have family overstaying their visit whilst trying to get your possessions (including the couch they’re sitting on) into a moving crate. (Yes, that will be me.)