It’s that time of year where notes, cards, and gifts are exchanged. A family and friends list of names is one thing (my wife wonderfully handles those), but it is that list of clients where I spend a lot of time. Yes it is considerable work but quite satisfying.
Recite the Story
When going through the client list it is fun to stop and think about each author before writing their card. Every author has a story and I mentally recite that story.
There are authors with various personal situations like recovering from brain surgery, or a car accident, debilitating illness, a difficult family move, a wayward child, and more.
There are authors with various levels of success like winning a coveted award for the first time, breakthrough sales for a debut title, a new contract after five years of work, and more.
There are authors with various levels of disappointment like multiple rejections of what was thought to be the perfect idea, being gently kicked to the curb by an existing publisher, disappointing sales on a debut title, and more.
As I opened the card to write each author’s name their situation flashed across my mind. While the sentiment written in the card may have been short and simple, it came with a clear picture of that author.
Silently accompanying that card is a prayer of grace and hope for the recipient. It is easy in business to take our “customers” for granted or feel that this convention of card or gift exchange is a waste of time. (I’ve actually heard that said in hallways in places I’ve worked.) But when else will you slow down enough to look at every single customer or client?
May you take the time to appreciate the non-family/friends with whom you work. Whether you are traditionally published or indie published you have people with whom you interact all year. Take a moment to write a handwritten note (I know I said that last week, but in case you didn’t get the message, I repeat myself) and simply express a “Merry Christmas.”
Thank you for this insight. Christmas cards don’t have to be a chore. They can be a time to reflect and share appreciation with others in our lives.
I had just decided I was too busy this year to do any cards for our family business. You have encouraged me to correct that error. Thank you.
(and I hope those folks on your client list know they are a fortunate lot.)
I love that you pray for your recipients.
Personal notes make Christmas cards so much more special, otherwise it seems like a task to complete. I think I’ll follow your lead and pray for those I send cards to, and I may even pray for those whom I receive cards. That way I’ll be sure to pray for most of these people twice.
Thanks so much, and Merry Christmas!
A timely reminder. Thank you for taking the time to connect with your clients, and for remembering them and their situations.
Steve, I love that you pray for your clients! Thanks for the reminder to 1) reach out to people we interact/work with on a regular basis who aren’t necessarily in our family/friends circle, and 2) to look at the gift of reflection as we think on these people.
Thoughtfulness like this is appropriate in every aspect of our lives. Appreciation is a gift as well. Merry Christmas.
This post validates what I have been doing for the last fifteen years. At that time I left a job in which I oversaw fifteen employees. I began sending them Christmas cards that very first year and have continued to do so. Some have passed away (I still send cards to a widow of a former employee), some have moved, and I never hear from most of them. But I know that this is important because it allows me to continue to pray for them.
I had a chance encounter with one of them two years ago…a man I had sent cards to but never heard from. He almost gushed his appreciation at being remembered every year at Christmas. It’s a small thing, but very much worthwhile.
What a thoughtful gesture towards your clients. It truly reflects the heart of the Christmas season!