Christmas, it is often said, is a time for giving…

It’s a joy to give to someone who is genuinely surprised and appreciates the thought that has gone into choosing or even making something special for a friend or loved one, or to show appreciation for someone who has been loyal or kind.

Some years my partner and I will plan and give special gifts to each other, that might have taken some saving for, or that fill a verbal wish list that was mentioned back in October… ”I’d love that book on Church doorways” or whatever the subject may be.

Anyway I definitely remember voicing, whilst we were both looking at pictures of James Bond’s Aston Martin’s over the years, and in particular, the one Sean Connery drove and helped make famous. (Incidentally the similar classic DB4’s/5’s driven by subsequent Bonds, proves that classic with bags of style is usually best and applies to clothes) would be more than alright to be presented with, on Christmas Day…!

I’ve double checked that this year we aren’t buying for each other, we will support each other’s charities instead, as well as the families’ charities. So other than an obligatory box of chocolates, which doesn’t count anyway in my partner’s eyes ‘as they are just breakfast’ we will enjoy opening presents from other people, friends and family… there’s always next year if God is willing, and maybe my partner is already organising a yearlong rebuild of a DB5… metallic bronze with deep red leather interior, with chrome wire wheels and…

Well I don’t need any clothes that’s for sure… okay a few ‘bigger ones’ maybe, but speaking of which, I was shocked on my recent visit to London at the state of dress adorning some of the great British public!

Alright we’ve had lock down/s and it strikes me that for some, this means carte blanche to invent a new set of rules… ”well ever since COVID, I’m not wearing suits you see, and of course no one wears ties these days, the whole thing has changed and people are not wearing smart anymore because of COVID “

Well to me, that’s a pretty lame excuse!

Maybe now is the time, to make more effort with our wardrobe and enjoy dressing smartly, however casual or formal our job requires us to do so. Show that we care, care about our appearance, hygiene and our work or business….look like we have a job or business and one that we want to keep.

No one surely wants to see their partner in ‘sweatpants’ all day, everyday…do they?

Talking of giving… we owe this to ourselves and to others.

“Are you open tomorrow?”… is a question, sometimes asked on Saturday afternoons in the shop.
Sunday is fine for shopping if you really don’t have time in the week and if you need your partners help and opinion, but we found that we were patronised by the people who couldn’t make their minds up or couldn’t give to themselves or were just filling their time whilst wasting others precious time.

Obie fernandez

Yesterday I received the opinions of a man in semi flared faded jeans, a non-descript beige ‘jumper’ and a beanie hat that resembled a condom, … ”how old fashioned everything was in our range of jackets”…really?… ”oh and what time are you open tomorrow? (Sunday)”

Another who claimed it was impossible to buy decent shirts in Harrogate, because we didn’t have a plain navy formal shirt in stock… talk about lockdown… locked up could be said ever so quietly under my breath.

Anyway I’m sounding like Scrooge now… ‘Tis the season to be jolly and show goodwill to all men….even ones who choose to wear grey baggy ‘condoms’ on their heads… ho, ho, ho.

I am pleased to say that despite some of the negativity from the ‘covid clad uniforms’ of the great unwashed, business has been brisk with the best August and November on record. We can’t please everyone and neither do we try… Rhodes-Wood has always taken a ‘rifle’ approach rather than a ‘shotgun’ approach, but I still firmly believe that we should be courteous to one another, not only at this time of year but throughout each and every day of the year.

What I do admire about many of our customers, is their ‘joie de vie’… going to the beat of their own drum, making up the rules, following their heart and their nose, rather than the crowd.

I will miss some familiar faces who regularly came through our doors at Christmas, we are born, we try to make a good life… and one day we are taken. Myself and my colleagues have some lovely memories of some remarkable people who were ‘taken’ last and this year… whom we won’t see again, one of our tailors of nearly 24 years, and some truly wonderful customers, some who did so much for humanity and good causes. However, we are blessed and wiser for having known them.

That said, let’s look into the sky on Christmas Eve as I always did as a boy, a black as night starry sky… hopefully with a prominent moon… waiting for Santa, whilst indoors there is a nativity scene with donkeys and Jesus in a manger…

I do hope Santa can fit a DB5 on his sleigh… and by the way I live at No 4, Santa… and I’ve been good… ’ish’ all year!

More importantly… May I wish you all a peaceful and Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year!
Please stay safe and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Happy Christmas


RW Christmas Banner