My first Christmas at Holiday Travel we used the decorations that came with the purchase of the business. A tree with maroon colored ribbons and white flowers. A little silver here and there. It was okay. But the next year when I had a different set off employees, one of them said, “This will not do.” So she single-handedly went about turning Holiday Travel into International Christmas. She brought ornaments in that she had gotten on some of her trips and I had some, too, to add. From that moment it became the duty of all employees to bring back a souvenir ornament from our trips. It’s true! It’s even mentioned in the “Employee Handbook!”
Our tree was small then. Today, our tree is over 7 feet tall. It’s loaded with ornaments: Santa Claus in all sizes, shapes and racial colors from the surf of Hawaii to Hanging on the Eiffel Tower. And Santa’s mode of transportation goes from alligators to sharks to dolphins to skis. We also have lighted shrimp boats and sailboats and ski gondolas; and Christmas trees made of shells, tin and papier mache. And quite a variety of nativity scenes.
Hanging all these ornaments brings back such memories. A crèche carved in olive wood from Israel, a piece of redwood from California, a blowfish from Ensenada, and a Mexican sombrero sitting on the head of our angel on the top of the tree. The newest ones from Puerto Rico, Panama, Costa Rica and the hardest to look at, the New York Skyline with the twin towers standing proudly.
Our world has changed a lot in the last 20 plus years and each year the tree comes out and we remember our many trips and places near and far we also remember the people who have come and gone in and out of our lives, and the great events that mark the years.
I hope you do this as well. Remember your trips with happiness and sweetness. Keep planning ahead for the future. Look at all those coffee cups, tee shirts and magnets you might have collected and spend a few minutes remembering the fun times. But mostly the fun people you’ve been with on this journey. And if you haven’t started, it’s never too late to get an ornament along the way.
Merry Christmas to our Holiday Travel clients!