One reason I love working for myself is the flexibility it provides in my personal life, especially around the holidays. I’m a very festive person, so I get heavily involved in Christmas traditions. Christmas lights. Cheesy movies on the Hallmark Channel.1Seriously. I’m a total sucker for the Hallmark Channel movies during the holidays. I have the TV in my shop hooked up to a short-range FM transmitter so I can listen with my headset while I’m dangling from trees. People assume I’m listening to the radio. If they only knew… The list goes on. Fortunately, I’m in a position to go all Griswold between November and January.

Grinding to a Halt

Starting sometime in September every year, I begin to plan for the holidays. I try to push all new, large projects to January, only accepting quickie commitments that aren’t necessarily time sensitive. This also lets me leave time for retainer contracts that may need urgent attention. I also tend to gift clients something smallish on their development wishlist.2I also make it a point to send a Christmas card to all of my clients.

By November, the attic is a barren wasteland and the living room is full of red and green storage containers. Last year, I finally answered the often asked question of just how many lights I have in all the trees and bushes outside. While packing up after last Christmas, I made quick spreadsheet to tally all the different lights I put out. The total came to over 35,000. Putting them all up is back-breaking work that gets more intense every year3I add more and more every year during the after-Christmas clearance sales. I’m actually wanting to convert to LED RGB pixels that sync to music. The problem is that it would take a lot more time to make controller boxes, order lights from China, sequence in Vixen, etc., but I wouldn’t change a thing.

The Reason For The Season

In one word? Family! My family loves the whole season, especially the kids. They love “helping”4I have a hard time letting the girls “help” since I’ve extremely organized and particular, but I just have to let go, laugh, and redo whatever it is when they aren’t looking., and it’s a huge opportunity to spend higher-quality time together.

For now, the ladder is calling my name and the fourth Hallmark Channel Christmas movie starring Candace Cameron-Bure is about to start! Be sure to appreciate your blessings, and have a very merry Christmas!

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References   [ + ]

1. Seriously. I'm a total sucker for the Hallmark Channel movies during the holidays. I have the TV in my shop hooked up to a short-range FM transmitter so I can listen with my headset while I'm dangling from trees. People assume I'm listening to the radio. If they only knew...
2. I also make it a point to send a Christmas card to all of my clients.
3. I add more and more every year during the after-Christmas clearance sales. I'm actually wanting to convert to LED RGB pixels that sync to music. The problem is that it would take a lot more time to make controller boxes, order lights from China, sequence in Vixen, etc.
4. I have a hard time letting the girls "help" since I've extremely organized and particular, but I just have to let go, laugh, and redo whatever it is when they aren't looking.

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