From Santa Hollywood

Insight into Christmas, the Holidays and the World of Santa Claus

Why Santa needs a Plan

posted by SantaTim On April - 1 - 2011 Comments Off on Why Santa needs a Plan

April 1st and we are only 268 days away from the Celebration of Christmas.

I would guess that some Santas are thinking about things they can do to prepare for next November and December.   Two weeks ago I posted a blog here that told of “Getting a Head Start” on the Holidays.  I truly believe that in order to do all of the wonderful work of Santa and also enjoy the Christmas Season, we need to do some advanced planning.  We need to be organized. 

As I said, some Santas have already started.   These Santas, like the wise ants, are preparing for the winter, and may have already started. 

And yet there are others who  like the grasshopper, will sit back and wait until the fall.  They are not worried and probably figure that all will fall into place when the Holidays arrive.  But then, it may be too late!   They might make it through the Christmas Season, but will they feel good?  Will they have enjoyed the joys of Christmas?  If you are one of those who waits, I suggest you think about it.

I recently read a reply to that earlier blog, from Santa Robert, who commented that he overbooked himself this past year and worked so much that he could not enjoy the holiday season.   From my personal experience I too, have learned that if you don’t pre-plan your holiday season,  you can also get behind, miss opportunities, and end up being totally stressed out.  

And you can miss out on the joy of Christmas!

I used to work almost every day during the holiday season.  I worked hard, had fun and truly enjoyed every visit and appearance I made.  However, once I finished with my last few parties on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, I totally crashed.

I mean, I hit the pillows for two or three days.  And I also ended up with an after Christmas cold. 

What was even worse, I would jump on a plane on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and fly to New York to be with family and all they would see of me was a head of white hair peaking out from under the blankets!  It wasn’t fair to my wife nor my daughter, because I passed the cold to them!

 I had over extended myself, over taxed my body and pushed myself right through Christmas Day.  And the minute I relaxed, my body  and my immune system basically shut down and I got sick. 

Since that time, I have took the time to study my situation and see what I could do to fix the problems.   And in doing so, I found a few things to address to my problems and those that many of us face. 

And April is a great month to begin some early planning for your Christmas Season.

So let’s get Started.  Much of what I am going to present here is simple “Time Management,” and can be found on my web site and the section titled, “Getting A Head Start on the Holidays.” 

There are two things you need to start.  The first is your calendar.  The second is a set of lists that includes things you must do, your bookings or commitments, and finally things you wish you could do. (Santa is allowed to grant wishes for himself!)

Your lists might have some of your goals and objectives for the year. Remember, it does not have to be a burden. Maybe for some Santas, it’s a simple checklist of things to do. For others, like me, it is a little more involved. In either case, I want you to put something down on paper.

The first thing or things, you put on your calendar are those that are most important.  If  there are personal obligations or commitments you must attend, list them first.  If you have a mall or Photo contract that is iron-clad and all dates are locked, you may have to start there.   The important thing is to list all the dates and activities that you have the strongest commitment or requirement. 

FOR MALL OR PHOTO COMPANY SANTAS – If you are a mall or photo company Santa, you should start by marking the days you are contracted to work, including any travel days. Next, try to schedule any personal commitments in or around your contracted work schedule.  Most often this second group of activities will be done before the Christmas Season or After.  (That is why the “Get A Head Start” schedules begin in July!)  

A few Mall Santas I know have told their photo company about family events that required their attendance, and were able to get an adjustment in their schedule.  But often this only works when you plan months ahead of time.  Trying to make changes the week of, or a few days before, your family event will most often backfire on you. 

FOR PRIVATE PARTY SANTAS – If you are a private event Santa, or volunteer Santa, start by re-posting all the days and events you worked last season.  This becomes your tentative work schedule.  Most Santas find that their clients will re-book them for the same day and time the following year.  And remember, this year you have one extra day between Thanksgiving and Christmas.    

Once you have your tentative work scheduled, add the dates and times of other events or activities that you want to or need to attend.  This could be church or social events, family outings, etc.  Sometimes you will find that a personal activity overlaps one of your tentative bookings.   Possibly you can work with your client and adjust your schedule.  This is just one of the advantages of working only private events.   You have a flexibility over your schedule.

In addition to scheduling personal activities and commitments, a private party Santa also has the luxury of scheduling personal time for himself, going to the gym, golfing, getting a mani-pedi, etc.

SCHEDULING ACTIVITIES BEFORE THE CHRISTMAS SEASON – In addition to the events and work during the Christmas Season, there are a myriad of other tasks and projects that may still need your attention, and which you will have to find time to handle.  In these instances, you should consider stretching out your calendar to cover the months prior to the Christmas Season. 

Christmas Cards and the mailing of gifts can be done weeks and even months ahead of schedule.  Shopping for gifts can also be done early.   And let’s not forget those Christmas Decorations.  You can put up your lights in October and wait til Thanksgiving to turn them on.  (Just remember, don’t put up more lights than you can take down in January!)

As I stated earlier, the above information is just a portion of  what you will find on my web site and the section titled, “Getting A Head Start on the Holidays.”

© Copyright 2011, Timothy Connaghan,

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