Christmas is usually a time of festive cheer and reflection, and this year the latter will be the main theme of the holiday season for most of us. It’s been a year like no other, a year of uncertainty, frustration, loss, and plans that couldn’t materialise.
During the last nine months, it’s especially cruel that these shelved plans have been bookended by our two biggest collective celebrations in Ireland — St Patrick’s Day and Christmas. But while the March 17 celebrations and parades were cancelled, and December 25 will be a lot different this year, Christmas isn’t cancelled — at least not the spirit.
2020 has also been a year of resilience, bravery, and collective self-care. We’ve all sent or received emails or texts this year with the sign-off, “I hope you’re well,” knowing it was a 100% genuine sentiment. The real theme of this year has been “stronger together”. If we’re missing loved ones, or Christmas is a lot quieter this year, we can maybe take time to recall the community spirit when we entered into the pandemic — a chance to remember checking in on neighbours; healthcare workers returning from overseas for duty; volunteers making PPE, and the thousands of shop workers, delivery drivers, postal staff, public transport workers and all the others who kept the country running for us.
At Coffee Perfection, we will spend the holiday season reflecting on all the goodwill that’s been a gift to us this year. When coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and bars closed on March 15, we lost 95% of our business in an instant. But there’s always a light after a dark day. We’ve been inspired by local businesses and customers all over the country to adapt. Of course we miss handshakes, hugs, meetings with clients and friends, and real face-to-face human interaction. But like all of you, we’ve tried to make the most of a year spent on screens. How many of us had to scrap our New Year’s resolution of a digital detox?
We’re grateful for the support we’ve received this year as we took most of our business online. It’s been a humbling experience for an independent business in a challenging year. There was a real effort in 2020 to support Irish business, and we have survived because of this collective generosity. We’ve had loyal wholesale customers who embraced our new products, and many new online customers who bought a coffee machine or bags of signature blends, to bring a little piece of Coffee Perfection into their homes. We raise a freshly ground brew to you all at this time — you’ve inspired us to think differently.
There’s been a lot of talk this year about a ‘new normal’, but there’s nothing new about Irish people’s generosity. We’d like to thank you for helping us through it. We hope you have a healthy and happy Christmas, and a New Year full of hope.