To some people, the week before Christmas is the most frantic of the year.
To me, for some reason, it’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s (like this week).
If I had a few minutes to think about why, I’m sure I could come up with some very esoteric reasons why this should be so. Or I can just say I think it’s because you have almost as much work to do, but fewer days to do it in.
Oh, I’m sure you could keep up with everything that needs doing by putting in eight hours on Christmas Day and another shift on Boxing Day, but who wants to do that?
It was the same when I was working at various newspapers. The week between Christmas and New Year’s, there was sometimes no paper at all. Otherwise, it was usually a year-in-review issue, which meant I could do 90 per cent of the work early. After all, nothing was going to change in the news from September when we got to mid-December.
It usually meant pulling some longer shifts in early December to pull together the copy for the first 11 months of the year. The biggest problem was sometimes deciding whether a story that seemed like big new in August and turned out to have no real lasting significance was more important to get in to the year-end review than something that seemed very minor at the time, but snowballed as the rest of the year passed.
Sometimes, we got around that by publishing a Top 10 stories of the year, which usually meant even more work. That frequently involved the rest of the staff, including non-editorial, voting on what they thought were the big stories. It was funny how often the sales manager thought a new business opening was one of the top stories of the year.
Then, of course, the time came to lay out the issue with the year-end stuff in it, which was usually a much smaller paper, so you ended up cutting some of the copy you had spent that extra time on, and occasionally not even having room for pictures.
But I always found it fun to go back through all the papers from the year, finding stories and photos I had forgotten about, and bringing them to the light of day once more.
I won’t bother with a year-end review in this column, nor will I try to come up with predictions for 2017.
Instead, I will simply wish everyone the best in the upcoming year.