In my last blog I wrote about the various items we hold in store for people in our facility.
I commented in passing on how, although much of our storage is given over to legal documents, there were quite a few other unusual things that our clients chose to keep in our warehouses.
Following that I had a note from one of our customers telling me that he felt his collection of items held at Admiral was probably the most “eclectic” (to use his word) that there was.
Obviously since I don’t go looking inside people’s storage section (every client of Admiral has their own unique area to store within) I am never sure what’s in the warehouse, and so I can’t actually check if this is a unique concept – but I have to admit this one does seem likely to be up there with the most unusual.
For this client not only stores his legal documents, deeds and contracts with us, along with sales receipts and older invoices for his business (which his son now runs) that have to be kept in place for seven years (just in case Revenue and Customs decide to have a rummage into one’s past). No he also keeps old Christmas cards.
Now as this is something that I don’t do (I tend to dispose of my cards on 12th night when the Christmas season officially comes to an end in my house) I was puzzled. And so since the information had been volunteered I decided to email him to ask why anyone would keep seasonal cards way past the season.
“I can only assume,” said my customer in reply, (and I felt with a certain imperiousness), “that you are somewhat younger than I. Sadly as one gets older one tends to get a little out of touch with one’s long-term friends.
“You don’t meet up for the birthday event or once a year get together. The Old Boys association of the school doesn’t do reunions for your year any more since too many of the class have passed on. So there are no meetings, no photos, and gradually the phone calls fade away. Christmas cards are a valuable memento of the past.”
I was, I have to say, suitably chastened. It was not an issue I had ever thought about, and I guess many of us don’t face until we get to an age when some of our long term friends are sadly not there any more.
As I say, I was somewhat put in my place by the reply. But I did ask one further question: did my client ever get the cards out? He said he did, each year, and although it was a sad moment recalling those no longer with us, he insisted it was also a positive moment. A value placed on past friendships which he was determined not to let slip away.
I don’t think I have been so moved over a Christmas message for many a year. To think that our storage facility is being used in this way, to keep past memories alive is, for me at least, utterly moving.
As a Christmas thought, I don’t believe I can find anything more powerful.
Have a Happy Christmas, and I hope to be sharing a few more thoughts with in you in the new year.