It was the week before Christmas

It was the week before Christmas, and all was quiet in the office, apart from Jess who was frantically typing away to get work finished before the Christmas holidays began!

Getting into the spirit of thing! Excuse the poor quality photo.

I love Christmas, spending time with my loved ones, buying and wrapping gifts, baking delicious treats with mum (mmm mince pies) and of course putting the decorations up! It’s my first Christmas in my new home, so I had to buy Christmas decorations. Well, when I say buy, most of it was given to me as cast-offs from other people, not that I’m complaining though! What with moving out of my family home and doing up my house, paying bills, buying food to keep myself alive (why is food so expensive!) and buying Christmas gifts, my purse strings were tight with only a small budget for Christmas trimmings.

Me and Pip next to my Christmas tree. Again excuse the low quality image!

Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier each year. Gone are the days where you’d put the tree up on Christmas Eve (my grandparents used to do this when my mother was a child) and instead they’re up at the beginning of December, and I know of some who put them up in November! But at work, I start prepping for Christmas in September. As I work in marketing, you need to think ahead of time, poor preparation and all that, and as I’m the only person who does the marketing for the programme that I work for, well you could say I’m stretched come the festive period.

The week before Christmas is always a bit crazy at work, where my colleagues are starting to wind down, I’m working at top speed to get things finished; I had two newsletters to write and send out (every marketer knows the pain in the backside this can be!). I had my January social media posts to schedule (120 of them to be precise). I had a meeting to arrange (where attendees don’t respond to you, which is even more than frustrating!). Cover photos to design, blog posts to promote, reports to write, statistics to compile, and this is on top of interacting with our customers to be sure they’re happy. Oh, and did I mention all written work that gets sent out to the public needs to be written bilingually in both English and Welsh (which is a challenge in itself).

As you can imagine, I had sleepless nights of worrying if I’d get everything done in time and woke up countless times at crazy o’clock to write another task on my list of things to do before the Christmas break. You could say it’s my fault; I could have worked Monday (23rd of December) and between Christmas and New Year, putting less stress on myself to get four weeks of work pushed into 2. But, I love this time of year, and I’m a sucker for using the least amount of Annual Leave to get the most time off. Aka Christmas eve is a privileged day for us, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day are bank holidays, which means I get two weeks off and only use seven days of my annual leave, or should I say six days as I work flexi-time and have more than enough hours to use up (#winning!).

Thankfully Friday the 20th of December is here! My work is complete, and the most satisfying thing of all, I’ve set my work emails automatic replies to:

Diolch am eich neges, rwyf allan o’r swyddfa tan 06/01/2020. Byddaf yn ateb negeseuon cyn gynted a phosib.

Thank you for your message. I’m away from the office until 06/01/2020 and will respond as soon as possible.

Cofion gorau / Best wishes,

You might think from what I’ve written above that I don’t like my job, but the opposite couldn’t be truer. Sure it can be stressful, but when you get feedback from your customers saying that they enjoy using our website and appreciate the work that we do, then it makes it all worth while. I also really enjoy communicating and even chatting with our customers. I’m very much a ‘Think Customer’ and ‘Customer First’ kind of marketer. I also quite like the stress of a looming deadline, call me a deadline junky!

So now that my stress is behind me, I’m no longer the tired and irritable Jess but the happy elf spreading the Christmas joy, even in the gym!

Merry Christmas my lovely followers, I hope you have a nice break and of course, don’t get too merry this mad Friday!
Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!