This might as well be the last blog post for this year. While I am typing away, the kids are in the bath tub (cleaning up for Christmas eve), the Goose is in the fridge, the tree is set up and decorated and we eventually await another Christmas eve.

It's getting slower outside - the neighbours are home or start to pack up to visit their relatives. The bakery and the butcher shop I went to this morning had an astonishing level of organization to it - at the butcher shop they had two officials in yellow vests telling people where to park, ushering them to waiting lines or to the pick up counter in the backyard. Each of them with a "Ho-ho-ho!" or a "Merry Christmas everyone!". Never had that before - a very german way to organize the chaos on Christmas eves morning.

This was an overly stressful year for us - besides the pandemic I have been as busy as I had never been since a decade or so. And while my business was thriving, I can't help to see the decline all around us - Corona hit hard. A lot of small shops are closing, restaurants going out of business - our city center is devastated, only Barber Shops and a few little shops remain. In our village, the bakery will be closing come new years - no longer affordable to the owner. For us and all the elderly people, this means driving at least 5 km to the next bakery and this will add even more pressure on the remaining shops and the weekly farmers market to survive.

On the positive side, we started to set up a grass route movement in the village to organize a new general store for the village - planning will start in January and I am pretty hopeful that we will be able to come up with a working concept for a sustainable store that will bring back some life to the villages core.

From a business view, let me thank my colleagues at SIT GmbH and our Canadian Crew at Harbour Light for a fantastic year and most of all, all of our customers that had the confidence to work with us and to hopefully work with us in the future as well. May all of you stay healthy!

HCL awarded my one more time with being an HCL Ambassador for the next year as well. As always, this is a great pleasure and I look forward to hopefully see all of my peers early next year at Theo Heselmans fantastic Engage 2022 in Brugges, Belgium!

To all my readers of this blog, thanks for stopping by - merry Christmas and a great 2022 to all of you !

Heiko.