When one thinks of the magic of Christmas, fabulous images are conjured up of chestnuts roasting over an open fire, skaters pirouetting on a frozen pond, snowflakes falling, reindeer dashing through snowy lanes, STOP. No, no, no Ì¢ one doesn't think of those things unless you are heavily prompted by Hollywood's finest with Bing Crosby warbling away in the background.
Let's take a giant stride towards reality and ponder what thoughts Christmas really inspires. It is a time of getting together which is of course a very personal set of thoughts from the fear of great Aunt Maud's bristling moustache (apologies to all Mauds everywhere), to the anticipation of seeing grandchildren (try to avoid "my how you have grown") to the dread of an unwelcome boyfriend (I speak as the father of a teenage daughter) but overall one would hope the jollity of a family gathering.
It is also a break from normality. A brief switch off from the day to day whether that be a 9 - 5 job or however else you fill your time. There are those of us who love our jobs and those of us who don't but to all Christmas is a change for a few days.
Finally let's be honest, it is also an orgy of presents. Whether you derive more pleasure from giving or receiving, the exchange of gifts (lopsided exchange of gifts if you are a parent) is probably foremost in our minds when inspired to think of Christmas. I love giving presents. I am terrible at receiving presents. It is not that I am ungrateful, it's just that I have simple tastes (bad taste some would argue) and am very satisfied with what I have got. The pleasure that I get from seeing a well thought out present really thrill someone close to me is immeasurably greater than any gift I could open. What a fine chap I truly am!! Am I going to write a blog without a moan? Oh no. My moan of the week is that as much as I like giving presents, I really struggle to wrap them up. I have fingers like steamrollered chipolatas which have not only curtailed my career as a pianist, they also cannot operate sello-tape dispensers. I cannot cut paper in a straight line even if my life depended on it. Tying a ribbon is not an option without at least one junior assistant. My presents are purchased bright, shiny and new. Once wrapped they look second hand, very second hand.
Moan over back to HearingDirect. Packaging forms a large part of our delivery. We ship products of all shapes and sizes to all corners of the world. We try to provide protection for the contents as well as practicality at affordable rates. A Postage & Packaging cost is a cost no-one would chose to pay but is a necessary evil of an online business. My Christmas message to the people of HearingDirect is that if my inept packaging skills can manage to wrap a HearingDirect box or two then could you please take good care when sending things back to us.
People do send packages back to us for exchange or repair and they come in a variety of different styles:
The Manic Parcel Tape Frenzy - we get boxes so wrapped in parcel tape that it is the equivalent of a gym session to get in to them but no complaints as these are safe and secure
The Pass The Parcel Fan - it's wrapped in tissue paper, in a bag, inside a hard box, inside an envelope, inside a jiffy bag all inside a plastic mailing envelope but no complaints as these too are safe & secure.
The Optimist - it may have some tissue paper but it is in an envelope.
The Extreme Optimist - no protection in an envelope.
The Believer In Miracles - no protection in an unsealed envelope.
We have had hearing aids shipped back to us in all of the last three and so this is my Christmas appeal. If you need to send anything back to us please use appropriate protective packaging - the small hard cases inside a jiffy bag are great for hearing aids - and in addition include a note! We get a lot sent back with no indication of what is required, so a short explanation of what you want us to do is perfect.
If I don't blog again next week, have a very Happy Christmas.
Image by Flickr / Lauren Manning under CC license.