Back in the day, my dad used to put road cones around our Christmas tree so our curious hands couldn’t get in to guess what surprises were inside those carefully wrapped presents! I love the tradition, the hope and the joy associated with Christmas. And yes, I am one of those who this year chose to put their tree up early!

I think we can all agree that this year has been an interesting one. I have no doubt we will talk about 2020 for years to come. I will ALWAYS have flour in my pantry because I lived through the pandemic when flour became both a rarity and a necessity for sanity providing home baking. And we will talk about the days of incredibly low interest rates, Government backed loans, wage subsidies, tuning in for Dr Bloomfield’s 1pm updates, working from home and our little slice of ‘safe’ paradise here in New Zealand.

Our Sudburys team walk in a privileged position with business owners and clients around the country that means we often tackle challenges together. When the uncertainty of Covid was looming, Steve and I took the same steps as our clients did. We got our teams ready, we planned in the face of uncertainty, we tried to put kindness at the forefront of our decision making, and we focused on being grateful for the good we had around us. During work hours we Zoomed our clients as we planned for the worst and strategised for the best. We did the same after hours for our own business. And like businesses all around New Zealand, we identified challenges, opportunities, roadblocks and things that simply didn’t work in the context of a global pandemic.

This year presented us all with challenge, change and uncertainty. It also gave us much to be thankful for, and it presented ‘normal’ in a different light. As Directors, Steve and I have been inspired by our clients’ drive, focus and determination this year. Likewise, we have been blown away by our Sudburys team and the way they rose to tackle the challenges and change that this year threw at us head on. We share a vision that is a little out of the ordinary, and we are grateful and honoured at all those who choose to share in that vision – both our incredible clients and our amazing team!

I sometimes joke about having a crystal ball in my office, but the reality of it is we don’t know what challenges and change 2021 and beyond will bring. What we do know is that we will support our clients and our team to get through it with their sanity and a smile.

So, I put my tree up early. As this year comes to a close, I wanted to take a little more time than usual to be grateful. I want to enjoy the traditions and I want to savour the moments of hope and joy that come from time with loved ones and the New Zealand summer sun on my face.

To our team – thank you, each and every one of you.

And to all of those we have had the privilege to work with in 2020, on behalf of Steve, myself and the team at Sudburys, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.