Opened my diary this morning and noted it's the first week of December - the launch pad to silly season. I've got to say, previewing the week was a hell of a shock. Three school events within the next five nights. No agency or supplier parties. One visit to our agency - and that's first up on Tuesday morning! Not a long lunch in sight.
How many weeks to Christmas? Three that are meaningful. So what's derailed here? Has my social calendar been crunched by the GFC? Perhaps I got invitations for the 50-plus set that didn't look exciting enough. My peers are rubbing on hair restorer rather than letting their hair down.
I can't put my finger on what's changed. Companies send Christmas cards by email, the highlight of our year now being the face of someone's CEO dancing around our computer screen in an animated Santa suit. If they'd done that all year, they'd no longer require the blood pressure medication they doctor prescribed in February because they'd be several stone lighter!
It all seems so impersonal and unnecessarily frugal. Think of all the companies that used to depend on Christmas largesse to make a buck. I think we should write Christmas festivities into supplier contracts in future. Make it mandatory to have fun and actually share a few drinks or, to ensure tax deductability, organise a go-karting competition under the guise of team building.
Let's become rabid consumers and party animals at least once a year. Restore business confidence at a personal level. Renegotiate next year's contract with a nudge and a wink while we order another McLaren Vale red. Mutually assure each other for 2010 with a few good Aussie 'she'll be right mates'. Turn the GFC into 'Great Festive Cheer'! Who's with me on this?