Christmas Rush, Christmas Bliss
I am feeling a lot of gratitude as we shift gears and slow down with Christmas just over a week away. The end of November and the first two weeks of December have been non-stop with a successful Christmas market in Fort McMurray followed by our final online auction of the year. The combination of those two endeavours has given us a strong ending to a year of major transition.
The bulk of our business has shifted from in person pick ups to shipping. I've become very adept at building custom shipping boxes and working with my new friends June and Tracy at the Canada Post outlet to become more efficient at getting them on their way. Because of the constant lines at this time of year, and because none of us want to impose on regular customers, they allow me to bring in all of my boxes and just leave them. They process them during the quiet times and I come in and pay at the end of the day. I can't tell you how much time and stress that has saved.
My Canada Post friends in Fort McMurray recognized that we were doing a lot more shipping and suggested that I become a small business customer. That suggestion and my small business card has saved us thousands of dollars over the past two years. I accidentally went into my online account yesterday and the dashboard confirmed what I knew in my heart: that the number of boxes we have shipped this fall is off the charts.
As I look around the studio, I'm down to about 5 boxes that need to go out. After those are gone later today, the rush to Christmas will be mostly over. The studio, while not completely empty, is relatively bare. A new order of prints will arrive just before the 25th so I can once again fill up the walls.
I've enjoyed the quiet moments listening to traditional Christmas carols working on the final few projects due before the holidays. It has allowed me time to feel the stillness of the season. Next week, the studio comes alive with a visiting artist and friend from Toronto. I can't wait to see what emerges.