Merry Christmas from Archie and all at A Hume
I start thinking about Christmas, earlier and earlier every year. Not in a sleepless child fizzing with excitement way – though I have been known to lose some Zs as the big day approaches.
No, sometime around October – yes, even before Halloween –the first flurries of Christmas shopping pioneers make their early forays into the frontier land of gift giving.
A spark is fired and a feeling of anticipation ripples around A Hume HQ. It builds through November and is buzzing at full pelt by the time the first door on the advent calendar is opened.
Yes, of course we have an advent calendar. Yes, it is chocolate. And no, despite what everyone says I don’t cheat. I take turns like everyone else. And never eat more than my share.
As retailers, Christmas is a big deal for us. We’ve been working towards this moment all year.
Imagine the usual: ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ scenario you face every year.
Supersize this to: ‘What do YOU – all of you, country clothing folk who like Dubarry, RM Williams and all our other brands – want for Christmas?’ Have this thought back in January – almost a whole year ahead – and you’ll have some sense of what we get up to.
That’s just the start of it though. We’re in it up to our necks. Because after we’ve thought about what you want and ordered it all in. We have months of wondering if we’ve got it right. We’re gripped by the I-hope-they-like-it anxiety familiar to all gift-givers.
Then there’s the worry of letting everyone who will actually give you what you want, know that we have what you want. And we can get it to them, to give to you!
I really hope you’re keeping up with all this!
If, however, your head is spinning, we understand, ours is too. Mission Christmas – phew…..
It’s an enormous buzz though. And a huge relief when orders start to come in and folk appear in the shop. The parcels tower like a city skyline waiting for courier collection. You like what we got you and the message that we have it appears to have got through. Yay!
The excitement is pure adrenaline. We crank up the Christmas tunes – blast a little Mariah Carey around the place while we pack up orders. Elf hats bobbing along to Kirsty and the Pogues….’bars big as cars, and rivers of gold.’
We really have an amazing team. We all chip in. The management structure is flat but the spirits are HIGH. We’re very lucky that we work with such dedicated people. Right down to the delivery guys.
Each year it seems we have our Big-Christmas-Challenge – an unexpected problem that threatens to de-rail Christmas. This year was no exception.
Our courier guys come from Carlisle. Barry and the boys are step one in getting your parcels to you on time and intact. They are 100% reliable. Steadfast. Trustworthy. Except…
You may have heard about the flooding in Cumbria? Hmmm. Well it hit the courier boys pretty bad. They had to deal with conditions that fazed the army and brought travel in the region to a standstill- albeit a floating standstill.
Still somehow they made it through. Everyday. No delays. 100% reliable. Steadfast. Trustworthy.
So challenge overcome, Christmas is saved for yet another year.
It’s a team effort. A happy willing one. December is undoubtedly our busiest time of year but it is our most satisfying too. All our hard work has paid off. When it comes to Christmas Eve and we slow down we’ll know it’s been worth it. We’ll be tired but there’ll be just a tinge of sadness that, that’s it for another year.
All that’s left is to wish you a Merry Christmas and I hope we got you what you wanted.
Thank you for shopping with A Hume and from the whole team may we wish you….
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.
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