Christmas is about a week away. The shopping malls are bedecked with Christmas decorations and Christmas songs are the current songs of choice for piped music. To think about it, it is not much different from when its nearly time for Hari Raya, when Hari Raya songs are the choice songs and the malls suddenly have this kampung feel to it.
Its festive season again. What makes it more festive is the fact that not long after Christmas comes New Year. And with New Year, you know that thats when the holiday seasons ends. That is definite.
But for all accounts and purposes, when does the holiday season starts?
I got to admit it, but when I was working in the public sector and later on, in the corporate sector, I noticed that December has never been the month when you can get things done. In fact, it will not be harsh to say that December is the month when nothing gets done. The exception maybe the manufacturing sector and even that is maybe for the first two weeks of December.
So to answer the question, the holiday season starts as soon as December kicks in, I guess.
For those who have experience in the manufacturing sector, the first two weeks of December can be very hectic and intense as companies try their very best to close POs, especially so if their year-end is December 31. Why? PO closed means you can issue invoices and that means increased sales or revenue. PO closed also means you lower your stocks, raw and semi-finished. So, more chances of securing profit for the year.
For the public and corporate sector, people are either starting to go on leave because they have been told to clear the decks, so to speak, or because that they are just plain tired and do not want to entertain the idea of waking up to go to work, what with fumes and traffic jams etc. Not for the whole month, if possible.
I have been in all three situations. I have been in situations when we had to rush to finish orders for customers who need to stock up for early January deliveries or that we need to improve our financial outlook for the year by reducing stock and increasing sales.
I have also been in situations, in both the public and corporate sector, when I rush to meet deadlines only to be told that the deadline has been extended to January, because the people who matters are going on leave and won’t be back til the first week of January.
All said and done, I must however admit to have enjoyed going to the office in December. Traffic has eased slightly somewhat, and you actually have the time to sort out your office stuff for some end of year spring cleaning. Lunchtime is more relaxed, as most of the regular crowd at your usual eatery being away on holiday. So its a good time to be at the office.
But as time goes by and after you enter parenthood, you also acquire new end of year rituals. Rituals that every parent can attest to and described as being unavoidable ie the buying of new school uniforms, school bags and shoes, all in preparation of the new school year starting off in January. It used to include the buying of textbooks but thanks to the Government, this is now something of the past. But bags, uniforms and shoes? Can’t do much about that.
But the best ritual of all especially if you are a football fan. Five games in a space of two weeks. And in the age of Astro, coming to you live and in HD. So life is not too bad after all, is it?