In all the years I’ve been in business, for some reason or another, the arrival of the holidays always comes as a big surprise—it sort of creeps up on me. (“Already?”) Of course, for some of our clients, their whole year revolves around those precious few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even to the point that when Thanksgiving arrives early as it did this year (meaning there’s an extra week in November after Thanksgiving), their expectations are higher still. And I’m hoping it’ll be a great season for retail. No matter how enthusiastic we are as shoppers or not, focused on B2C or B2B, how retail fares at Christmas is a good barometer for consumer and business outlook in the coming year. In such a way, we may tend to look forward first by looking back.

There’s another barometer that I like to use, too: It’s what I’m calling the Gratitude Scale. How we value our customers and clients, our vendors, our colleagues and staff, our peers, our families, our friends, our community, our nation even, and even folks across the globe, this so-called Gratitude Scale can give us a hint of what we can expect in coming years. We’re not grateful for selfish purposes in order to get something in return. No, we’re grateful that the fabric and tenor of our lives, the quality of our day-to-days, month-to-months, and year-to-years, these are good and promising and hopeful because we recognize the awesome contributions others make daily through unspoken kindness, decency, competence and good humor. And we’re ever grateful to you all. On behalf of the team at Prairie Marketing, thank you for making our 2017 great not only for what we’re able to create together but more importantly, for who you are!

May your holiday season be sensational, and may 2018 be the best yet!