January 6, 2018

“The Crown” Christmas Cracker 2017 – Part 4

christmas cracker, paper crown, wise man, bean, plate, cake crumbs
“Who got the bean at your feast”

The Paper Crown


Wise or mischievous? The tradition of a paper crown in the Christmas cracker only started around the beginning of the 20th century. However it has two, much older, possible origins.

In one idea the crown belongs to the wise men who visited Christ at epiphany, the 6th of January. This idea is consistent with the kings bearing gifts to the Christ child. Those wise men, kings or astronomers followed the star to find the baby and were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod. What might we be warned about not doing in the New Year. Should we be going in a different direction?

Wise before the event

With the start of the New Year there is also room for more wisdom. It takes all sorts of wisdom to run a business and employ others. Networking and discussing how to do things is useful and we can all share wisdom so we are looking at new events to take part in and learn from. We will also try to offer some wisdom in our newsletters and posts. GDPR, for employees and workers will be a subject to provide more information on in January and we will also be looking at Will reviews. Offering staff information about “Why Making a Will is Important” is an idea we usually mention when it comes to New Year resolutions and there is plenty of information on our web site.

The crown may relate to another 12th night tradition. Almost the opposite of the wise men, was the idea of a night of “misrule”. One version of the tradition has it that a fruit cake made for 12th night included a bean. The person who found it was “elected” King for the night whether they were a servant, male or female. The order of things was therefore turned upside down. The King presided over the feast and ordered forfeits to others. A similar Lord of Misrule custom was practiced by the Romans at Saturnalia but fortunately the mock King in later British feasts wasn’t sacrificed at the end of the night. Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” may not refer to these event but people disguised as others fits with the theme. Things are not always being as they seem and hazards can ensue.


So where does that leave us at work? There are several possibilities. Addressing everyone as though they were a wise man has its advantages. Wisdom doesn’t always come, or go, with age. We are not all wise about all things. Remembering that others might see things differently and not be wrong, is a useful and difficult thought to take on. Talking to staff about issues can boost morale, increase satisfaction and produce imaginative solutions. It’s not a magic formula but sometimes there can be surprisingly good results.

Hidden Talent

The boss may not always know best in every situation and it takes a wise leader to know that. Putting employees in charge of the situation may sometimes be a way of taking that forward. From the employees point of view understanding the difficulties in making business decisions might at times be helpful and can have unexpected results. If you get a chance, listen to the Dads Army episode where Captain Mainwaring allows Fraser to take command. By Burns night the old boss was back in charge and to Fraser’s surprise Mainwaring shows he has hidden talents. But for now

may your New Year be crowned with success

and finally

Why is Santa afraid of chimneys? – He has claustrophobia – PS did you spot the theme?

Edit 47a4. This newsletter looks at new cases and employment related matters, which are likely to be of interest to many. However specialist advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking action based on comments in this newsletter, which is only intended as a brief note. For more information or if you have specific concerns phone me on 01233 714055 or e-mail.kirsten@moon-and-co.co.uk.

Previously  “The Snap” –  “The Joke” and “The Gift”

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