Time to hunker down and prepare for autumn
Is it time to hunker down yet? Not that I’m complaining about our lovely extended sunny days and dry weather. The trees seem to be holding on their leaves, which means just one thing – they will probably drop in one massive dump! I still have apples on my trees and no sign of the leaves changing colour just yet. I’m sure it will just take a cooler snap of weather or a couple of windy days for autumn to finally catch up. I’m not complaining mind you. It’s been a delight to still be wearing lighter clothes and only just getting socks out as the boots are being brought to the front of the wardrobe and polished. The heating is only on in the evenings, and we have only lit the fire once so far. There is always an up-side to everything.
Everyone starts to panic.
However, with all this glorious autumn sunshine, clients are only just realising that Christmas will soon be upon us, and they are suddenly panicked when I ask if they would like to book their Christmas appointment. They are even more panicked when I have limited slots available as others have already organised their diaries. Why do we do this? Why is there this need to book a Christmas treatment? I guess it stems back to when I had two large salons and we offered a full range of beauty and hairdressing services. Clients would book around the Christmas parties and work functions. The week leading up to Christmas was always the best week of the year in regard to turnover. People madly purchasing gift vouchers and trying to get a manicure booked ready for their works party. The girls worked longer hours to fit everyone in, and we often had a cancellation list running each day, just in case!
Times change and clients want other things.
Now it seems as I have diversified into more holistic treatments with facials, massage, and healing, people are desperate to book for the de-stress and relaxation they need during the Christmas period. Is it an age thing? Probably. Most of my clients aren’t planning around the parties, they are planning around when guests are visiting and how much stress they will be under. Christmas happens every year. Learn from last year. If you found it stressful, look ahead to what you can do to reduce the anxiety and panic. The world will not end if you haven’t bought every cheese and paté available for Boxing Day, or if your Christmas cake isn’t iced in time.
How do you really want to spend your time off?
Look at how you would like to spend Christmas, and plan around that. Make your lists, don’t over-stretch yourself by travelling all over the country to visit relatives because you think you should. Although Christmas is often about families and coming together, this is can be a very stressful logistical nightmare for some.
Christmas for me has changed a lot over the years. I don’t have children, so I have never had the excitement that comes with the early years of school nativities, and trips to see Santa. I also don’t have the massive expense or the worry about which family members to visit. As relatives pass away, there is no need for a big family Christmas. It’s quite nice!
Town salons get into the swing of things
I have always loved Christmas and the seasonal change, and when I was working in my high street salons, I could see the build up to the ‘big day’ as the shop windows changed and clients planned those pre-party treatments. Even the staff would be planning what they were going to wear to the Christmas party, and what colour they were going to paint their nails. Now I am out of the town, I feel it all second hand, from clients coming to me for that escape from all the Christmas songs playing in every shop, and craft stalls selling carved animals for your garden!
Make sure you have time for yourself.
So here I am, already looking in my own appointment book and planning how many days off I will take over the festive period, so I can have my own little re-boot. I like to enjoy the solstice and the turn of the cycle of nature. I don’t get hung up about party clothes, or nail varnish colours. However I still make sure I have booked my own ‘Christmas hair appointment’, and there is always some nice food in. I have reduced the number of mince pies I make, and this year I may not bake a cake. This, knowing me, may change!