Small businesses which make Christmas a little bit easier

PresentsWhen you’re working, Christmas is a stressful time of year, there’s never enough time in the day to prepare and present buying is often last on the list. When you have kids, it’s even worse, there’s school plays, Christmas parties and Christmas fetes. With two teenagers and one pre-teenager to run around, you also end up clocking up more miles than a taxi driver over the entire festive season.

Now, I pretty much do all my shopping online. It’s quick, easy, no queues and the goods are delivered to my door. It’s the way I have done my Christmas shopping since internet retailing came into its own and pretty much avoided the High Street, especially on Saturdays.

This year, however, not only have I increased my number of clients, but with three of them at three different educational establishments, obviously in three different directions, and my house on the market (now sold), things were a little more frantic than usual.

Christmas wasn’t even second on the agenda; it was swimming around near the bottom, completely at the periphery of my vision. Cue Christine Knight, literally my knight, not quite in shining armour, to save the day, and she didn’t even realise it!

Now when a small business or entrepreneur impresses me with their customer service, I like to shout their virtues from the rooftops or namely this blog.

With her second son, now just three-months-old, and her eldest, aged just three, she gave up full-time employment but like most mothers of young children, a second income stream is essential to keeping the house running. She decided to become a consultant for Aloe Forever. A bit like Avon, she sells their health and beauty products and earns the commission on top.

A timely email suggesting Christmas gifts from the product range landed in my inbox in November, way too early for me. As December dawned, I decided I’d better try and organise Christmas so I emailed Christine and asked her to make some suggestions for eight females of varying ages in my family for whom I needed to buy presents and provided her with a price range. She came back with options and whilst I missed one order deadline, I made it for a second. Eight presents within my price range and I didn’t even need to choose them. Talk about the personal touch. Christmas just became a little bit easier.

But Christine hadn’t finished, when I collected the presents from her house, I joked that she could have made my life really easy by labelling all the gifts so that I didn’t have to work out which belonged to whom. Ta dah! There were my presents, all elegantly presented as gift boxes, tastefully decorated with Christmas bows and bunting, all with tags and the names of the recipients.

Now that’s the kind of Christmas shopping I like. Thanks, Christine. And if anyone is looking for a personalised, friendly service, you can find Christine’s Aloe Ever After business on Facebook.

There’s nothing left for me to do but wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New year. Oh, apart from the wrapping, the food shopping, the cleaning, the cooking, not to mention negotiating for a house we found yesterday……where’s Christine when you need her?!!

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