Adding a Little Holiday Magic into Your Business
Christmastime is busy. It’s busy at home and busy at work. You’ve probably said this once or twice this season and maybe several times in years past.
You’re not alone. And that’s a great thing for business.
But while it can be easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of working overtime because you’re busy during the holiday rush, try hard to not lose sight of the magic of the season. That magic can be a part of how you celebrate at home or how you incorporate it into your business.
Christmastime is a different time of year.
It’s a time when decorated and lit up trees, holiday parades, and calorie overload reminds us that Christmastime is here.
But it’s not just the visuals. It’s not just the food. And it’s not even the presents.
For many people, the holiday season is special because it is a reminder of the magic of Christmas we may have experienced either as a child or through the eyes of another child.
That feeling is real.
Sometimes in business, we tend to focus on the things we see, and not how we make people feel.
A positive experience is an all-too-overlooked important part of customer retention. At some levels, it’s as simple as remembering a valued customer’s order when they walk into your restaurant. At other levels, it’s turning a positive experience into a magical feeling.
Generally, things that are magic tend to fascinate us. Magic continues to be a feeling, an art form, or an experience that brings people of all ages together. Recognizing that can be helpful in creating more joy during the holidays both for yourself and for your customers or employees.
It’s that positive experience that keeps us going back to Fenway Park when the Red Sox stink. There’s a certain magical feeling to being in the same place where Ted Williams, Yaz, and Jim Rice all patrolled left field for the hometown team, and the Sox make sure you remember it.
The magic of Disney World keeps us returning to the Magic Kingdom even when more theme parks continue to sprout up around Orlando like dandelions.
And the magic of the season is a very real, positive feeling for many people, young and old.
Personally, there is still nothing more magical to me than Christmas.
Maybe it’s the snow or the lights. Maybe it’s a general sense of cheer and happiness even when nightfall comes way too early and cold days are more normal than not. Maybe its the sound of Christmas music and the sight of familiar, untouched, TV and movie Christmas classics that are sparking nostalgia and…yes, magic.
The nostalgia alone around Christmastime is unlike anything else. Network TV takes time away from their regularly scheduled, carefully focus group-tested programming to make sure we get a healthy dose of the same Christmas specials that have been running for generations. As a kid, staying up a little late to watch Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer felt special, and it still feels special as an adult putting off doing the dishes or cleaning the house for an hour to watch the exact same show.
There is no denying that the holidays can be a difficult time for many people for many reasons.
And it’s easy to get lost in the stresses of the season.
But every now and then, one song, one holiday special, one story, one smile on the face of a child, one…something, can ignite magic within anyone.
In 1897, an 8-year-old girl living in Manhattan asked her father if there really was a Santa Claus. Her father, Dr. Philip O’Hanlon, a coroner’s assistant, advised his daughter to write a letter to an esteemed New York City newspaper – The Sun – and ask them. As he said, “if you see it in The Sun, it’s so.”
So, Virginia O’Hanlon did as her father suggested. She wrote:
“Dear Editor, I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says “if you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?” -Virginia O’ Hanlon
One of the editors of The Sun, Francis Pharcellus Church, was a hardened cynic and a former war correspondent during the American Civil War. He penned the following response, which was originally printed without his name attributed to it:
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
There you have it. It was in The Sun, so it must be so.
From all of us at Sutherland Weston, here’s hoping that you find your magic this Christmas.