Trees, glitter, and yes … poinsettias! It’s the holiday season and the atmosphere has evolved all over. I work for a company that decorates commercial buildings for these winter holidays. My specialty is poinsettias. All I do is work with these beautiful flowers to transform buildings into a holiday wonderland. The last few weeks have been exhausting both physically and mentally trying to keep everything straight for each customer.
Some preparations begin as soon as July when greenhouse growers begin planting poinsettias for the upcoming season. Fortunately at this time there is little to be done as many of my customers aren’t even close to deciding what they want for holiday décor so they don’t give me any orders until later. Later usually begins in September after Labor Day when people arrive at the conclusion that summer is over and the inevitable winter season is soon to follow. At this time I am just organizing these orders and filing them for about a month. Around mid-October begins the fun. This is when I begin visiting different greenhouses checking up on the poinsettia quality and strengthening existing relationships and building new relationships with those that produce these bright flowers.
For the next several weeks my focus is on what each customer is looking for and preparing for each installation of poinsettia. As much as can be accomplished must be done ahead of time and with as much accuracy as possible because once the actual installations begin there is usually only time to concentrate on that days agenda and possibly the next day. There is no time or energy left to think about what needs to be done later in the week or the following week and maintain any sense of efficiency.
I lead a team of people during the holiday madness that is responsible for creating unique displays of poinsettias with the sole intent of getting peoples attention and helping to make a festive environment. Most members of this team have been doing this for several years now and all know what needs to be done and do it very well. There are people that unpack these plants and find a place to store them for a day or two while others pack them up again and bring them to their final destination. Also, there is some arrangement work to be done and there are those whose responsibility include these arrangements.
As soon as all of these poinsettias are put in their place it is time to plan for their removal. While the holiday season lasts for about 5 –6 weeks, it takes about 2 weeks to install of them and another week or two to remove them so there is little time in between. Although I spend about 2 months working with poinsettias and about 8 months trying to forget about it, the simple thought about the 100,000’s of people that see and enjoy these displays makes it all worth while. In addition, after it is all over and usually before it is all over I am ready to travel and explore new places to aid in my recovery.
This time it will be South Florida and most likely the Keys!
Great! The one day a year when children are taught how to go around and beg for candy from strangers. So I’m not a huge fan of this event. Now, if you’re like most people when I mention this your probably rolling up your eyes, getting ready to click away because you don’t have an interest in reading about a Halloween Scrooge. I don’t have an big interest in being bothered to answer the door and give away candy only to have to do this again 2 minutes later. Are you wondering how I became this way? Yes, I did go trick or treating when I was younger and yes my children go trick or treating now. I try to not hinder their enjoyment even though I wonder how many more years I have to endure the dressing up and walking through the neighborhood freezing my hands off while the kids bother each person possible looking for candy. There is one benefit of all this. They often share their candy with me (they don’t always know this….oh, did I type that out loud?)
As my children are growing up and my oldest is getting to the questionable age for trick or treating I am starting to remember all of the fun parts that I will miss someday. What?! I’m not a total Halloween Scrooge? NO! The part of this day that is the most enjoyable for me is the creativity that people put into it. It may take a minute or two to get into carving the pumpkins but I do have fun creating a new design and challenging myself and the children to come up with something different. It is amazing at what can be created out of a pumpkin. To see some of the best check this place out …Villafane Studios as seen on the Today Show. They are truly some of the best and most creative carving I have seen.
People that take the time to get into full costume and put a lot of energy coming up with their costume are impressive to me. I do enjoy a great costume. I tend not to get invited to Halloween parties anymore because I don’t dress up because I’m a Halloween Scrooge. O.K. so there was this one time that I did actually dress up and had some fun doing it. My wife and I knocked on the door to the hosts and they could not tell who it was. Unsure if we belonged there they eventually let us pass as we said nothing and drove a car we had just purchased the month before so they could not tell it was someone they were familiar with. It was at least a half hour before we broke our silence and began to reveal who we were. Fortunately I don’t believe there are pictures around of that so I can deny it and continue with being a Scrooge.
Finally, people who put time and energy into creating a great Halloween landscape around their home make this event more enjoyable. For a few pictures of some outstanding Halloween landscapes click here… (There are also some cool posts about pallet furniture). Maybe I should start putting more energy into decorating outside for Halloween since my job limits how much time and energy I have available for the Christmas season. I bet if I start planning a Halloween yard in May I could come up with some ideas that the neighbors would enjoy. Scaring the older trick or treaters sounds like some fun for me and for them. Hmm.. a few trap doors placed strategically in the yard, maybe a few ghouls flying from the trees with a few more greeting people at the driveway. It might even bring a few smiles to scare parents as they wait for the children to go to the door. Who doesn’t like to get a little scared on Halloween? O.K. so I really don’t but I know my oldest child and her friends are at the age that getting scared makes for a memorable night.
For those that like to go on adventures for Halloween there are usually a multitude of haunted houses being put on during the last few weekends in October for all to enjoy. If your interested in going further, here is a list of the 10 best places to go in the US. Another reason I don’t enjoy Halloween is because of what comes next!