CONSUMER AFFAIRS: Holiday season - stress, joy and perspective

2013-11-23T14:19:00Z CONSUMER AFFAIRS: Holiday season - stress, joy and perspectiveLarry Galler Times Business Columnist
November 23, 2013 2:19 pm  • 

Seemingly, all of a sudden, it’s holiday season, from the run-up to Thanksgiving all the way to the first day back to school and work after New Year’s Day.

Holiday Season has two distinctly different perspectives. One is from those whose work is predicated upon a busy, or even over-busy season. The other is that of the celebrants. Both perspectives can be seen on a spectrum of joy to exhaustion.

For those who work in retail, transportation and hospitality industries, the holiday season is critical to their profitability and sustainability. Yet it is the most difficult time of the year to manage the business because sales volume is at the highest, and staffing issues and customers service issues are the most difficult.

The normal staff is augmented by part-time, inexperienced people, which increases customer service problems. The staff wants to celebrate the holidays also, so they have less stamina. At the same time they have more customers. It’s enough to make a business owner pull out his hair (Have you seen my photo? This is the reason!).

For those whose work loads decrease in the holiday season, there is a tendency to say “yes” to too many invitations. Then there are all the preparations of getting decorations up, travel or hosting plans finalized, gifts bought, wrapped and shipped. And after that there is all the celebrating at family events, business events, neighborhood events and friend events.

For all of us, the holiday season is a time of joy, of stress, of gusto and a few unique days out of our normal lives.

Having been on both sides of the holiday season coin during my career, perhaps I can offer one piece of advice from this third perspective: take a little piece of your time and energy to consider what the holiday season means to you, those who work with you, your family, your friends.

Take a deep breath and think of your blessings. Use that little piece of time and energy to remove stress and replace it with joy for you and those around you. Enjoy a safe, joyful holiday season.

Opinions are solely the writer's. Larry Galler, of Larry Galler & Associates, is a marketing and management consultant for small and mid-size companies. Get Galler’s new free special report, “Six Steps to Creating Your Culture of Excellence.” Send an email to and put “Excellence” in the subject line.

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