This Tuesday lunchtime is when all the OB staff will sit down in the canteen for our factory Christmas meal, and after that we all break up for our annual full two weeks break - That includes the shop staff folks. Phewwwww.
I know at OB we are extremely fortunate to be able to escape so early (especially when you read the recent headlines about other staff horror stories at the likes of JD sports et al) .
But we do work very hard to get all our deliveries out the door before we close, our last FedEx collection will be Wednesday and I am sure any odd straggling customers are all very tolerant, especially when they know the reason why:-
It has been an OB tradition for nearly 30 years to close well in advance of the prescribed norm, our practice of closing up to a week before Christmas dates back to the times when nursery schools etc. weren't so common place as they are now.
"Back in the olden days" child care was a mind boggling juggling act for any working mums with school age kids, so this when we started to allow our mums to break up early, essentially, when the schools closed for the holiday.
And then of course, in the age of equality what's good for the mums is obviously good for the dads and it was easier to close full stop.
Somehow this practice has remained, I guess, not least because those free days are also godsend to the likes of me who hasn't even started yet!
My excuse is that knowing I still have a 3 or 4 day shopping window means that I can concentrate on OB customer orders 100% and put off the inevitable until the very last minute!
I know it smacks of Ebeneezer but even our tree is left to the last minute - Christmas Eve, Brett and I will find a reduced specimen at a supermarket or garden stall somewhere - last year Waitrose Wells - but the most important bit never more than £10 - tradition!!
But this weekend we are putting our finishing touches to this years fancy dress outfits, the theme is Chinese New Year - and I know the variety will be great fun, from pandas to rats and emperors to dragons.
With a buffet from our local Chinese restaurant and a variety of Asian based games and rice wine I feel sure that we will have a nun chucking time. No not Nuns (Sound of Music was last year ) - nun chucks - Bruce Lee - Grasshopper, keep up.
So provided nobody gets injured by flying chop sticks, shockingly Secret Santa can get a little bit hairy, sometimes the main man Mike has all his water on to "stop it going to shit in a sleigh"! But he's a consummate professional when it comes to the distribution of anonymous tacky £5 offensive gifts!! So fingers crossed.
Back to business - we would like to give you a Christmas gift as well (hopefully not tacky or offensive).
Whilst we are closed, if you do want to spend your Christmas money we are giving a free cowhide keyring with every purchase over £50 to say thank you for your patience - bear with us, all purchases and gifts will be dispatched immediately upon our return Wednesday January 5th - bet that'll be here quicker than you can say soggy sprouts !