Christmas Tipping Point

Last year it all started four weeks before Christmas.

Reminders of “should be done this year” multiply every day.

Within a few short days, the pace got sky-high. Meetings run back-to-back. Reports are reviewed in an instant. Decisions postponed for months are taken in minutes.

Aware that the Christmas race has started, I’m heading back to my PC after putting my two boys into bed. Emails at 20:48 become a new norm.

Weekend closely resembled the weekdays. Presents, tree, Xmas cards, brief mom on presents for children.

Three weeks until Christmas.

Sunday evening. Building a little advance into the week sounds like a good idea.

The first half of the week runs in the same spirit as the last one. People are joking at Zoom, confidently hiding the race to finish a promised document in the background.

Hopped over Thursday, no change. Crazy rush.

On Friday morning, the absurdity of planning the tasks per hour is only balanced with the approaching safety net of the weekend that will catch me like a jet landing on an aircraft carrier. From 200 mph to 0 in about 2 seconds.

Two weeks until Christmas.

Monday morning, I woke up at 6:00 am. Heading straight to the computer screen, I switched on the laptop.

Expecting an avalanche of new emails with the brain on autopilot. Here we go. Outlook’s up…


Like a car jumping over the broken bridge in 007, I’m catapulted into a complete void.

No emails! Heh. Umm. Push the Update button again.

Lightning fast, everyone in the company jumped from frenzy “we have to finish it by Christmas” to the calm waters of “we can’t finish it this year anyway.”

The Tipping Point.

At 9:00 am, the mood of the first weekly meeting confirms the U-turn. The opinions, the planning, the consensus; everybody starts to divide between “can be done” and “to be postponed.”

It’s funny. The Tipping Point never comes in the middle of the week. As far back as I remember, it always strikes on Monday.

One week before Christmas.

Our secretary got a task to put up small Christmas trees with tiny little fake presents all around the open office. The place is changing — the atmosphere of joy. Coffee smells different.

Morning breaks stretch from 15 minutes standing by the coffee machine to 30 minutes talk downstairs in the canteen. Smiles become fuller. Jokes become funnier.

The first colleague starts his holidays, making his round around the office, shaking hands and wishing everyone Merry Christmas.

Here we go. This year will be the same. Once again, we start at Xmas minus four weeks, but this time smarter, knowing that the tipping point of the Xmas uphill is around the corner. Only two weeks away…




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