Tuesday, December 5, 2017

We Are Finally Going To Enjoy Our Favorite Week Out Of The Year

Yesterday, I put the announcement up for our Bodacious Holiday Biscuits. We'll be taking orders through December 8th. Each bag of biscuits is $5 and includes a mix of holiday and bone shapes. We finish the bag off with a holiday ribbon. Pick up and shipping is available. The biscuits will be baked on December 11th and shipped/ready for pick up on December 16th. Shortly after posting, the orders rolled in.

This is our 4th year offering Bodacious Holiday Biscuits. In those 4 years, what we offer has changed considerably.

The first year, we offered a variety of Bodacious Holiday Biscuit Bundles that ranged from a single bag of holiday and bone shapes to Bodacious Holiday Bundles. Between the two, we also offered our swizzled holiday biscuits. Our swizzle is a mix of white chips and peanut butter. Once swizzled, the biscuits were decorated with festive sprinkles. It took me an entire week to bake, swizzle, decorate and put together everyone's order.

In addition to baking, swizzling, decorating, and putting bundles together, we had to purchase the containers to put the bundles in. Then, when it came time to ship, the $5 to $7 that we charged for shipping didn't come close to what we had to personally cover for additional shipping charges. In the world of shipping, containers, and swizzle add extra weight.

By the time I was done, I was beyond exhausted and my ambition to enjoy my annual Christmas baking day fizzled out.

The following year, we toned it down a bit. We offered one Bodacious Holiday Bundle in addition to bags of plain biscuits and bags of swizzled biscuits. I still found myself swizzling and decorating biscuits at 2 a.m. And, we continued to fork out a lot of shipping costs that came out of our own pockets.

Last year, we did away with the bundles. We offered bags of plain Bodacious Holiday Biscuits that included a mix of holiday and bone shapes. Although we didn't get nearly as many orders as we had the past couple of years, our costs and stress levels decreased significantly.

This year, we did the same thing. Plain Bodacious Holiday Biscuits. No holiday bundles. No swizzle. Just simple goodness. I wasn't expecting a huge amount of orders. That was okay. We also made additional changes.

We offered pickup and shipping only. In previous years, we offered delivery to nearby locations. We also had a smaller frame of time in which people could order. Instead of a week or two, it was a matter of days. And, the cutoff day to order was etched in granite.

Making these changes was necessary for several reasons...

The week before Christmas is my favorite week out of the entire year especially since working from home over a decade ago. This is the week I exhale. My workload is light. There are no deadlines. Any last minute shopping for gifts and grocery items for Christmas Eve are done. I put aside a day to bake goodies I only make this time of year. I create the Christmas gift baskets we make for friends and cookie bags and boxes.

For the past 3 years, that hasn't been the case.

The time I allowed for people to order Bodacious Holiday Biscuits in the past was too wide. In order to establish the number of biscuits we had to bake and the ingredients we had to pick up, I needed a full count. I wasn't able to calculate all of that until the deadline.

Then, on top of that, I allowed people to order after the deadline. This meant having to make a trip to the store to purchase additional ingredients and a day or two of additional baking, swizzling, decorating, packaging, etc.

Once the biscuits were baked, swizzled, decorated, and bagged up, it took at least a half day to put together the bundles and package orders that needed to be shipped. Once that was done, we had to coordinate days and times for people to pick up and for Lisa to deliver after work. That boiled down to Lisa making deliveries after work. Sometimes, the locations were 45 minutes away. That meant 1 1/2 hours of commute time. I remember days when she'd get home around 8 or 9 p.m.

All of this carried over into my favorite week out of the year. It left us exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed, and not enjoying the Christmas season.

I got to the point where I dreaded having to make my Christmas goodies. I wasn't enjoying my favorite week of the year.

I needed to do something about that.

And, I did.

It wasn't easy. Last year, a lot of people wanted to order Bodacious Holiday Biscuits well after the deadline. Although we always bake extra, there wasn't enough to fulfill most of these requests. People weren't happy after they got the "Unfortunately, the deadline to order was (this day). As of now, our quota of Bodacious Holiday Biscuits are baked..." email or private message reply.

This year, we're adhering to the same thing. 

If you want Bodacious Holiday Biscuits, order between now and 11:59 p.m. on December 8th.

If you want Bodacious Holiday Biscuits, your two options are to pick up or have them shipped. We will not be scheduling deliveries this year.

If you miss the deadline, we always bake extra. However, once those extra bags are gone, that's it. We will not set aside another day to bake Bodacious Holiday Biscuits.

I have made it my mission to have all orders picked up and shipped by Saturday, December 16th.

That's it.

It's going to be a busy and stressful week, but thankfully, this year, Lisa took the week off after my birthday.

Things should be a lot easier this year.

On Monday, December 18th, for the first time in several years, we will enjoy the week before Christmas.

We can exhale a bit. Focus on putting together our Christmas Gift Baskets. Distributing more Spreading Holiday Love and Cheer boxes. Christmas baking. Handing out our scrumptious Christmas goodies. Taking time out to enjoy dinner and drinks with our closest friends. Preparing a Christmas Eve feast to share with friends and those who have no place to go or have fallen on hard times. To embrace the Christmas spirit.

That's important to us.

Very. Very. Important.

Life is short.

We're human too.

We need that time to exhale and enjoy our Christmas traditions.

It's a busy time of year for us too.

Your busy is no more important or no less important than ours.

These are changes we had to make in order to enjoy our favorite week of the year.

As we've learned, giving that up didn't do us any good. It left us exhausted, overwhelmed, worn out, and hating our favorite week.

I won't allow for that to happen again.


No comments:

Post a Comment