Every year toward the end of December we begin the process of celebrating the holidays. Whether it's shopping for gifts, decorating the house or the inn for Christmas, planning time away or with family and friends, most of us become engaged in the "holiday mood" in one form or another.
The holidays also bring with them wonderful opportunities. For those innkeepers who stay open from Christmas to New Year's, it can be a brief period of high occupancy and great rates, even if they have to defer their own time with loved ones until later. Some might wonder how any innkeeper would stay open for the holidays and seemingly put money ahead of the "important" things like family. But the other side of that is what it means for the guests.
For some people, the notion of being away for the holidays by choice, as in really away, away from friends and family, away from home, away from what is familiar, to be with strangers at a very "together" time of year, is hard to understand. But for some of those who travel to an inn for Christmas, it is precisely because they are seeking togetherness, kindness, sharing, a festive atmosphere, something new and exciting. Even though innkeepers provide their guests with those important qualities all year long, it can be especially important at the holidays. While the money may be good, it is also a sacrifice that some innkeepers would not be willing to make, nor should they if celebrating the holidays with loved ones is more important than staying open.
In that spirit of giving and sacrifice, it's notable to remember that Americans are the most generous people on earth. Annually, Americans give $300 Billion to worthy causes; that's $1,000 for every man, woman, and child. Surprisingly, 75% of that is given by individuals, not foundations and corporations. And 75% of that individual giving is by people earning less than $100,000 a year. We give because it matters, because it makes us feel good, because others need it more than we do.
All of us at The B&B Team hope that you find your own way to give this holiday season, whether it be time, money, love, or just a small kindness. We wish you the happiest of seasons and a wondrous 2009.
Peter, Rick, Peggy, and Jan