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!