As the festive season comes yet again to send us into a tailspin, we once again take a deep breath and brace ourselves for the onslaught.
Another summer of long, hot days and even longer nights, long overdue catch ups, office Christmas shindigs, visitors stopping by on our doorsteps enroute or coming home, or perhaps choosing our best-climate-in-Australia destination as their chosen silly season destination.
It’s our prime time; we are in our element. Shaking off aches, pains, sweat and fatigue, we push through. This is where the word that describes our occupation – “hospitality” – comes into its own.
This season is the true test of all our finely-honed people skills. It is a time of elation, but also great expectation. Long coveted leisure time finally arrives and folks just want to kick back and let their hair down. In other words, it’s time to party!
All the restraint of the working year is shed. It’s time to let go of those diligent early nights for a while – time to put fitness regimes and other healthy habits on hold for a bit.
For venues that offer “hospitality” in any form, it is most certainly time to “make hay while the sun shines”. There’s no greater opportunity, especially in such a popular holiday destination as our own, to get bums on seats – and keep them coming.
We need to be on the top of our game to conquer the days ahead. Emotions run higher for everyone at this time of year, and this causes inevitable challenges. There are more curve balls than usual, whether it be individuals who may be somewhat more demanding, or perhaps “harder to please” than others …
The pressure on our team is greater too; fatigue starts to set in, with late nights, hot weather, lack of downtime and the isolation that is inherent in our industry that stems from the antisocial hours – the shift work half-life that has us moving slightly out of step with the rest of the world.
Hmmm, why do we do it, we seem to wonder every year around November time. We can’t help but approach this time without a generous serving of trepidation.
But then – relief. Once it all begins, we remember it is exactly like riding a bike and then we realise that this season is what it’s all about and why we do what we do. Friends, family, colleagues, toasts and cheers and toasts some more …
Celebrations of all shapes and sizes … A quiet catch up between great friends who’ve both had a busy year. A special family Christmas dinner, reuniting its members from across the seas. A rowdy office Christmas party, the kind that goes into the hall of fame – the stuff of legends and chuckles at the water cooler until way after Easter.
This sea of humanity that passes through our doors – this is what we love more than anything else. Being able to be part of these jubilant, celebratory times. Having the chance to catch up with our returning patrons and visitors to the region, who we have been fortunate enough to get the chance to know over the years through their annual visits.
In a glass-half-empty way, we may be seen to be living vicariously through the lives of others – witnessing the celebrations of others, whilst we miss our own. But the way I like to see it is kind of like hosting a fabulous party every night. Where the guests are diverse and colourful. The food, the wine and the service is great. And we, the hosts, get to mingle and see the magical moments happening all over the room.
Well, that all sounds great, but you still have to clean up, you might say …
Hmmm … Don’t have the solution there. But whatever way you decide to celebrate, we wish you good company, food and wine while you do it!