Christmas is one of our favourite times of the year. It’s the season of giving, of receiving, of angels, cherubs, tinsel sparkle, mistletoe and wine, and of the ubiquitous holly and ivy, natch. For some, Christmas is a time for reflection, others a moment to say thanks for all we have, some relish the opportunity to simply party, but for most that work with flowers the season is dominated by a florist’s code of duty.
At Christmas time, most people get into the festive spirit by marvelling as the annual Christmas lights are switched on in the local high street. They watch with wonder as brands compete for the prize of the most sentimental advert on TV. And even though the time-honoured tradition of ‘dressing the tree’ is a much-anticipated occasion, most of this fussy heartwarming yuletide activity is lost when you work as a florist!
For most of us florists, the preparation begins way in advance. Our school at McQueens HQ has been closed since October and the spaced colonised by Christmas paraphernalia – in particular, little faux robins and reindeer aplenty. We have been knee deep in baubles for a couple of months now, and believe us when we say that cinnamon and cones in September don’t quite hold the same allure as they might do in December. Being covered in glitter just ain’t the same as it is during the silly seasons.
Christmas can be incredibly hard work for flowery folk, with long hours, faces permanently glistening from glitter, and pine needles play havoc with the hands. But with all that said and done, there is a special camaraderie among us hard working florists at this time of year. We get the amazing opportunity to create festive installations in some of London’s most amazing venues, and whilst we might be a little bit over the festive season by the 1 December (just as everyone else is gearing up to attach their advent calendar chocs), we generally perk up as the special day arrives when we can finally get time to dress our own Christmas tree to perfection in record-breaking time. Well, we’ve had plenty of practice, haven’t we?