‘Tis the season for Black Friday Sales, getting your hands on the latest must-have accessories, appliances, digital hardware and software as well as toys for the children [Some +30-year-olds too] I mean, last year’s PS5 was like gold dust! And, with all the shortage scares and Covid related delays in supply lines who knows what challenges Santa might face in 2021. The @McLean_FS team have been thinking about what makes Christmas special and what we do to our homes to get ready for a visit from the big man in red and white and his team of reindeer.
Although Christmas may be different for many people it is very much about family, and the traditions we each share. Team MFS thought they’d share some of theirs. Look, we may be a financial services team who cover mortgages, insurances and more, but that doesn’t mean we’re boring.
The Christmas Team Traditions
Jemima: For Christmas Day, we all go to church as a family to celebrate afterwards we head on home to party and share deliciously prepared food.
Zara: I’ve watched the Muppet Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve, ever since I was a child. Hoping to start this tradition with my little one Sam, now that he’s old enough.
We like to pick a new bauble each, for our tree, every year and go somewhere nice for lunch. It’s so nice pulling the special baubles out of the box when putting the tree up, as each one has a special meaning.
I’m not a turkey fan, my favourite part of Christmas Day is the cheese board! Always has been. Always will be!
Fiona: Christmas Lunches and Festive Dinners with close friends, those are our traditions. So much so that, sometimes they can’t all be fitted in before the end of the year, which means most years I can end up with lovely New Year get-togethers too! I’ve already got one such lunch planned for mid-January.
I also try and host a wee gathering with neighbours making sure more elderly members can come along.
Cameron: Sitting back, with a rare whiskey in hand and watching Mabel do most of the work, is good fun. She loves being the organised one! All I have to worry about is what to get her. Which is getting more and more challenging every year, might I add. Usually why I need the good stuff in hand come Christmas Time.
I enjoy the festive activities with our children but, Christmas Eve is perhaps the best part. Mabel and I have a drink together as we finish prepping for the big day. Here’s my top tip for parents; have a box with batteries, scissors and screwdrivers ready for opening and operating presents the next day. DO NOT wait till the 25th to have to shoot off to the store for some AA’s, AAA’s or worse… 9 Volts and CR2032’s!
There will be queues!
Cherelle: For the last two years, I’ve put my decorations up in October… before Halloween, which I usually don’t openly admit. [One because it’s difficult to explain to trick or treaters why Santa has a bloody face and looks like a Vampire and Two… well it’s October…]
Mariah Carey – All I want for Christmas is you, gets played daily (all year round) in my household, so every year, I can’t wait for the Christmas tunes to come on the radio in the office, so I don’t need to justify why Mariah is sounding off in my headphones!
Team MFS have been thinking about sustainability for Christmas 2021. For many reasons, not just related to COP26 or for fear of disappointing Greta. We all have a part to play in making changes to save our planet, whether that’s eating less red meat or choosing unpackaged produce. This year, for the first time, our Christmas cards are going digital. All of our clients will receive a bespoke festive digital design from us. Many thanks to Abi at Turriff Printing Services for her skills!
Secret Santa is a lovely gesture but as a team, we decided a few years ago, to not buy each other anything. The money that would be spent buying a colleague a relatively useless gift [let’s be honest!], will instead be spent on four local causes, picked by our team from The Union Square Giving Tree. The Christmas tree in Union Square, Aberdeen, is a place for giving it’s decked out with gift tags for a specific child. Our team choose a tag, or two, and buy a present for the child on the tag. This year we will be supporting AberNecessities, Befriend a Child, Instant Neighbour and Calico.
As a small local business ourselves, we believe strongly in supporting other small and local businesses. Mabel, very unsubtly, asked the team for their favourite places to shop in 2020. This then formed the basis for individual gifts. We found some amazing businesses to support and will be repeating again in 2022.
Here’s our top list from 2021:
- My Beautiful Caravan (17 Market Square, Stonehaven), a quirky and unique gift shop in Stonehaven. – Zara
- Charles McHardy’s Butchers (11 Market Square, Stonehaven), craft butchers. – Stephen
- Gloagburn Farm (Tibbermore, Perth), farm shop, coffee shop and place to shop. – Fiona
- Asda, (who doesn’t love an Asda shop!). – Gail
- Giulianotti’s Ice Cream Parlour (12 Evan Street, Stonehaven), homemade ice creams, sorbets and delicious confectionary – Cameron
- Bannerman Butchers (30 King Street, Inverbervie), Aberdeenshire’s sensational butcher. – Nicki
- Copper & Grey gift shop (20 Chapel Street, Aberdeen), hand-picked gifts and home decor . – Mabel
This year we have Virginia, Jemima, Cherelle and Robin joining us for festive celebrations… With all their help in getting clients their mortgages and insurances, I’m sure Santa will ensure they’re placed on the Nice List.
Christmas can also be a reflective time.
The Black Friday deals may have secured you a bargain but, your new 50 inch TV where you binge watch in 8K, might require you to upgrade your home insurance. On the other hand, some people consider what’s truly important in their lives and seek to review their life insurance policy. Whatever you want for Christmas, ensure that you, your home and your loved ones are safe and protected.
From all of us at McLean_FS, have a very Merry Christmas and may 2022 bring you and your loved ones all the things you’ve missed out on, in 2020 and 2021.