The Joy of December All Year Long
As I write this on a very early, crisp Florida morning, I watch the sun rise over my yard as it comes alive with parrots, woodpeckers, cardinals, and many other beautiful birds at my feeders. It is my quiet time before my whirlwind of a day begins. I treasure the simple things that can get lost within our busy, structured, fast-paced world. When you live long enough or have experienced enough of life’s difficulties (no matter the age), it creates a realization that every day is filled with little gifts. Many times, the younger generation (not all, but most) over look them, take them for granted, or cannot see through the fog of modern day distractions. Reveling in special moments can be rewarding to the soul. That’s why it is called “The Present.” Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is the present (a gift).
December is a powerful month. For our industry, it is a powerhouse of a month with creative holiday inspired treatment specials, soaring retail sales, gift card giving in abundance, and the maddening crowds seeking refuge from the stress. For individuals, it is a time of reflection, an end of a year, a time of joy, and a time of sadness for some who have lost loved ones, are lonely or ill. It is a month that holds many stresses and emotions within our family life, work life and social life. The recipe includes ½ cup of deadlines, 2 tablespoons of stress, 1 teaspoon of cold or flu, a cup of anxiety, a quart of joy, and lots of dashes of warmth, love and peace -now mix gently and you have December.
The Feel Good Recipe all year long- take the joy, warmth, love, and peace…add a smile- keep it in your heart to reveal when needed.
This is the season that can bring out a special twinkle in everyone’s eyes – the old, the young and everyone in between. No matter where clients travel from, locally or around the world, the truth is, the child in them never leaves. The child remains with us throughout our lives and is revived no matter our age, background, tradition or faith. No one is ever too old to make angels in the snow (or sand), to lick the sugar cookie batter off the spoons, to cook traditional feasts or to go the extra mile decorating with lights, glitter and candy canes. We are all never too old to wrap a gift with wonderment of how the recipient will feel when they open it. There is just something about this month that can keep us motivated into the New Year and beyond.
SIDE NOTE – Music to Your Ears: The CD “December,” by George Winston, is a melodic piano collection to soothe the stress from the body during the busy holiday season. His music has calmed many clients and therapists in spas over the years. It’s a thoughtful, heartwarming collection would listen to as my sister and I would sit and unwind, wrap presents and de-stress. It is available on YouTube in its entirety
What always stands out in my mind about December is the abundance of compassion, joy, love, and even patience that is experienced. It is felt more so perhaps this month more than any other. We are kinder to each other, we smile more, we laugh more and share stories of traditions past. If only this goodness could spread evenly throughout the year. It seems to stop like a train wreck on January 2nd. – Back to work, paying the bills, de-glittering the shelves, unplugging the twinkling lights and losing weight. No fun. I do not believe the spirt of the season should vanish in its entirety. If we have the ability in us now to give joy, to be patient, to be charitable, giving gifts from the heart and being compassionate – why not keep it alive all year long? Why not try to take the beauty, the joy, the fun, the love, the giving, the spirit, the magic and all the special moments of December and re-create little bits and pieces throughout the rest of the year for friends, family and even strangers. We don’t need twinkling lights, ribbons, bows, egg nog and fruitcakes for it to be apparent- but the spirit can awaken any time. We can still send items to the military, visit children’s hospitals, hold food drives. The need is still there even after December 31st. January 1st holds so much hope and excitement – a whole year of making a difference for others.
SIDE NOTE – NEW YEAR- NEW OUTLOOK …a cleansing tradition. On New Year’s Eve write down on all the good happenings that you are grateful for. On another piece of paper write down all the bad, negative situations you would like to set free from this past year. Take the negative list and tightly fold -burn in fireplace, fire pit, or a safe grassy spot and watch it disappear. It feels good to release that bad energy. The good list can be viewed frequently in keeping the attitude of gratitude all year long.
Beyond December – In the Spa
In the months prior to the actual holiday season, we have to mindfully decide on winter -holiday/seasonal theme – appropriate spa specials, décor, treatment options and most importantly- offering with foreseeing what clients want, value, need and appreciate. More than a month of different traditions, important holidays, decorations, gift giving or mouthwatering goodies, December is also a month for anticipating the clean slate of the New Year and what lies before us as a business, a refuge, and a haven of wellness. We start to ponder in the fall months what January’s spa agenda will be. What will our clients need, want and appreciate then? In keeping with the same creative thoughtful ideas, we build so precisely for the October-December holiday mix, we can keep the same thoughtful creative spark ignited every month thereafter. For instance, January is the month many seek Health, Detox, Cleansing plus holiday aftermath relaxation services. You can occasionally offer a gift card extravaganza special, a gift with purchase, a charity of choice every month with purchase, a Christmas in July with an actual holiday flair and sales specials – buy now to stock for the holidays. It is often difficult to re-create all the excitement, sparkle, and profit of December all year long but keeping the creative juices flowing will also keep therapists on their toes and prevent a cause for lack of enthusiasm, energy, or interest in new treatments.
Often times, we resort back to a boredom, “not much to look forward to” attitude after December 31st. Keeping this wonderful December spirit in us as we meet, greet and treat clients will no doubt greatly enhance our positive energy and uplift others around us. Keep December in your heart all year long – reveal the joy every so often from that special hidden gift box where joy and happiness is kept. The effect could prove to be contagious and inspirational.
Comfort and Joy Wassail is a must-have during holidays or colder months. This can be kept in a large warming carafe for clients as well (minus the alcohol).
Hot Wassail Recipe
A few slices of orange
4 whole cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves, or 1 teaspoon ground cloves
8 cups apple cider
2 cups orange juice 2 cups pineapple juice
(Brandy/Rum to taste – Optional) Simmer (not boil) all the ingredients for 45 minute
Donna Dodier – Baby Foot Peel – Account Executive
Licensed esthetician 16 years, educator, writer, lecturer, and consultant on the subjects of LED Photo Rejuvenation, Infrared Body Treatments, spa retail management and wellness. An HSN co-host and frequent Health Talk Radio guest, Ms. Dodier’s passion for animal and human longevity continually inspires her in the research to promote and educate on nutraceuticals and holistic alternatives.
Contact Donna at email@example.com