For some time now I’ve been worrying about how we are going to manage over the Christmas season. While many of you are looking forward to the ‘holiday’ season where you can sneak out of work early to enjoy a mince pie and glass of fizz, or leaving for lunch at eleven and forgetting to return. For florists the run up to Christmas Day itself is quite different.
We may already have a stash of chocolates and luxury foods out on the work bench, but that’s essential for motivational purposes because Christmas for your florist starts in October, is in full swing by early November and is manic right up until the doors finally close on Christmas eve.
By the time Christmas arrives the team and I may be too fat to get out of the front doors.
The team and I in the the Flower Shop – Pulborough really are like a close knit family so every day is like Christmas day. The shop is filled with festive ornaments, smells, home decor and lights, there’s food on the table, there’s ribbon (lots of ribbon), boxes, pine cones, ivy, holly, citrus slices, berries, laughter and music (enhanced by my dulcet tones) and best of all there are people popping in all day long.
We have six florists and me working in the shop, not all the florists work the same days, for a start there’s just not enough room, but we all support and care for each other. If some one has a crisis at home or is feeling unwell I know some one else will step up, not just to keep the business going but to ensure that we are all able to cope and are happy.
As you all probably know, our florist Rachael is expecting a baby due in January. We’ve been working our rota around this, ensuring where possible Rach is able to work sitting down (not easy for a florist because you need plenty of elbow room and space below), with her feet up to stop her ankles swelling to the size of two small oak trees.
One of the things she has been able to do is make a start on the festive wreaths. We started these early this year, after all they last for months and look gorgeous hanging on front doors whatever time of year. We have even created a huge selection of Winter and Autumn wreaths that can be added to, as it gets closer to Christmas.
This week it’s been all hands to the workbench when it comes to wreath making. We don’t buy many in ready made, almost all of them are hand made here in the shop, each one is individually made with different ingredients and different ribbon (Did I mention we have a LOT of ribbon).
So there we were all busy making Winter and Festive wreaths, keeping our hands warm on cinnamon flavoured hot chocolate from the Little Bean Cafe, when in came a Whatsapp message…
Rach has had a BABY!!!!! I squealed so loudly that dogs in Petworth had to cover their ears.
Yes, Rachael’s baby had arrived. As soon as that information had sunk in, I went from ecstatic joy to quiet concern.
That’s two months early.
Our whole shop-family had received the message at the same time and there was a flurry of replies to and fro trying to understand what had actually happened and how Rachael and her new born baby were.
Gone were thoughts of Christmas and cold, red, sore, prickled hands. Gone were thoughts of how we would cope with orders in the coming weeks The best Christmas present had just ARRIVED!
Today is #WorldPrematurityDay which is quite apt. Rachael’s newest arrival is doing well and has turned out to be a strong little fighter, as is his mum.