Wow, Christmas already. Every year it seems to come around quicker. I often say that it was two years between Christmases when was a child and now it is two months. This Christmas is barely over and we start preparing for the next one. It is nice to be in the northern hemisphere and have a white Christmas but only once or twice. I love having the break with the sunny, warm weather. At that time of year it is warm but not too hot and not yet unbearable.
It has always been a time for us to get together with family and friends – some whom we only see once a year. This year we have the group coming to our place – 27 of them. We will be having a big meal with lots of great food and wine and beer. Kids will be excited with Santa presents and it will just be a good day. Unfortunately as we are a propagation nursery it will mean we have to water at several times during the day but we live onsite so it won’t be too hard. It will be the same all over the country with farmers, nursery people, animal carers and thousands of other hard working Australians with their own businesses. They all have responsibilities that don’t stop for Christmas Day.
The weeks leading up to Christmas are busy for most of the retail sector and the companies supplying them. For some it is the only time they make a real profit and for others it is just hectic. People are busy but mostly happy and sure there are sometimes when things just take too long and tempers fray but not for long. Kids are counting the sleeps, adults are getting the house ready for visitors or planning their travel routes and times. We are all getting ready and doing last minute shopping. Of course there are the myriad of shops playing Christmas carols. They get a bit monotonous and the music style is a bit old but they still add to the festive feeling.
After Christmas then New Year’s Eve rushes up and then we are into January. For many of us it is holiday time. Some spend it at the beach, others on the lakes and rivers and others visiting different cities. For many it is stay at home time when we catch up with some of the jobs we have been putting off all year. Then there is always the ominous question of the weather and fires. Will the heat hit soon? Will there be fires? Where will they be and how bad? The threat is always there but it is just part of living where we do.
For nurseries it is a real period of unknown. If the weather is right it can be quite busy with many people using this period to get into the garden. Tidy, prune and even plant new trees and shrubs and get in the summer vegetables. However if it is too hot or too windy or there are major fires the industry just stops and sales can be quite slow. This can be quite different for each state or even within states as we all have our own weather patterns. How many plants do we produce or buy for this period? If we don’t have the we can’t sell them but we also don’t want then getting old in the nursery.
So, yes I enjoy this time of year. With good times and the lull between the madness of spring and the craziness of Autumn it is a feel good period. It is also a good time to reflect on the year just gone. For our industry it has been a pretty good one with lots of plant sales across the country. Employment in our sector is high (indeed it is hard to fill jobs across most of Australia at all levels) and most nurseries are doing okay.
We appreciate the support of our customers, staff and suppliers as all aspects of the chain are important. We, like most of you, are a family business: Stephanie, Clive and Di, Martin and Chie, Simon and Gemma and the dogs. We wish all our customers and suppliers and their families a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year. We hope Santa looks after you and that you have fun break with your family and friends.