Twelfth Night – Taking down the Christmas Decorations

Traditionally Twelfth Night is the day when many people take down their Christmas decorations as keeping them up for longer is supposed to bring bad luck.

In our house we like to take them down before then and usually before we start work again after New Year. This enhances the feeling of a fresh start for the year a bit like a mid-winter spring clean.

I always have mixed feelings when we pack up the fairy lights, tinsel and baubles because it means that the holiday season is over and at the same time I know that I would not appreciate the festivities if they were to last the whole year. Having cleared the house of all the glitter on Monday I looked around at the empty space and bare walls, just like the trees outside stripped of their leaves for the winter.

This is the time to take a good look because it only takes a few days before I get used to the house as it is again. I look at the lounge and notice the ornaments, the furniture, the paintings and photographs as if I am seeing them for the first time. I appreciate treasures that I have taken for granted and discard items that are tired or no longer seem to suit us or the house. This is the time when we often talk about decorating and other house projects for the year.

I wonder what the equivalent of taking down the decorations is for our lives and our businesses. What if we were to take away the embellishments, peel away the layers and take ourselves and our businesses back to the core?

On a personal level this has happened to me a couple of times in my life. Going ‘back to basics’ really makes you realise what is important.

In business I like to take a step back, remove the greenery and tinsel and study what structures remain.

• What is working well, what do I appreciate and what is really important to us and to our clients?
• What is it about how we work, what we do and what we offer that no longer suits us or our clients?

This will include business strategy, target market, products and services, communication systems and processes and how we spend our time and energy.

What are the Christmas decorations in your life and in your business and when is your Twelfth Night?

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