By Debbie Lonsdale
After the year that we’ve had, for some it’s still very hard to get over-excited this year about our Christmas and New Year break. After all, some people have tragically lost family members, and in most locations we are still highly restricted from doing the things we normally do. It can be traumatic to make what could turn out to be a life-or-death choice about whether to spend time with elderly relatives, for the sake of a happy Christmas Day. Just because we can meet up, doesn’t mean we should in all cases, however hard and disappointing it may be. Apart from our celebrations on the day, what will Christmas-during-Covid be like this year, and how will 2021 look for us all?
Well I can’t speak for everyone but here in my local community in Nenagh, Tipperary, Ireland, I’m feeling certain that I have a part to pay in keeping my local businesses thriving this Christmas. The creation of a daily video, Nenagh Live, in which many local business owners are filmed in their shops and workshops, showing their wares and asking us to shop local, has been a tremendous success in bringing us all together and demonstrating that we have so much to lose if we don’t. It’s been created in association with the local council and not only brings business to the forefront of residents’ minds, but local characters tell heart-warming stories about their old memories of the town, and talented singers and musicians are showcased, bringing viewers from all over the world. It’s also reminded us that much of the sponsorship for local teams and events is funded through local business, not online giants.
This has certainly worked as the town is buzzing, albeit with masked shoppers! Last weekend I sought out several shops to do my Christmas shopping that I wouldn’t have used in the past, often being a lazy online-shopper at Christmas. It feels good to support companies that have had such a disastrous time this year, opening and closing like cuckoo clocks and desperately turning chameleon in the process of staying afloat. I think 2020 has opened our eyes to what we have taken for granted for so long. It’s created a pride in our people and surroundings and awareness of what a community really means.
And the lights this year! People are trying to comfort themselves by decorating earlier than usual to bring some Christmas cheer – and it’s working! Displays of lights are exceeding previous years which were miserable in comparison. One thing’s for sure – the electricity bills are going to be a lot higher!
As an organisation here at DBI we have been separated from colleagues physically as most of us have been working from home since March, but it’s made us try out new ways of connecting with each other and with customers. In Europe we collaborated with DI in the Netherlands and other distributors to bring out a successful series of webinars about Diver, called “Coffee with Diver” that ran for 8 weeks (you can catch the videos if you missed them), and DI in the US have been running a similar event called the Knowledge Forum.
Plus they have launched a great newsletter called “Techbridge” to keep us all in touch with the latest from DI, that you can sign up for here.
We are also having our first Christmas parties and quizzes online and sharing these with a wider group of colleagues than we would ever have done before, so in some ways we are connecting more than ever, with this warm and fuzzy feeling of us all being in the same virtual boat.
2021 is looking more positive with medical break-throughs in the prevention and treatment of the pandemic, so hopefully we can start to believe that life and business will get back to a sort of normal soon. The new normal here in Ireland and the UK will be highly influenced by what happens in the final stages of Brexit negotiations, so we hope that the outcome is as positive as it can be after four years of uncertainty.
What I really want for Christmas is the ability to see light at the end of this dark tunnel, the humility to show gratitude to all those who have kept us going on the front line, and the sensibility to keep appreciating what we have available to us, both the personal connections far and wide and the business offerings locally.
Wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy Holiday Season and looking forward to seeing you next year!
About Debbie Lonsdale
Debbie Lonsdale has been working with the Diver Solution as a BI Consultant at Dynamic Business Informatics since 2008. Her previous experience includes computer programming, analytical and technical roles, team management, account management, sales and marketing in a variety of market sectors, including the Travel Industry and Distribution. She combines this experience as an all round ICT professional in the BI sector.