It is December and two beautiful flowers are blooming at my house. A Christmas cactus that only shows its gorgeous red flowers in December, and a large collection of Knock Out roses that bloom red roses all year long. It is like customer service. Sometimes, we deliver great service right after something went wrong, or during Customer Service Week in early October, or when we know the snoopervisor is within earshot. But, great customer service is like the Knock Out roses. They show their best all the time.

Knock Out roses are also tenacious in their determination to show their special expressions. We live on a large lake. It means we share the territory with all manner of critters—fox, deer, armadillos, hawks, muskrats, rabbits, moccasins, raccoons, possum and lots of squirrels. Of particular concern to the Knock Out roses are the young beavers. After their parents kick them out of the nest, they are forced to forage on their own. They will risk being captured to get at the sap in the bark of a Knock Out rose bush. One year they came way into the yard and hit ten large rose bushes—a good fifty feet of radiant red flowers. And, they cut the bushes off right at the ground.

We thought the roses were goners forever and we would never have a shot at getting “yard of the month.” But, they grew back. Today, they are almost shoulder-high with hundreds of blooms. Just like a great service provider, they were determined to be their radiant best despite the circumstance of a not-so-nice beaver with no regard for beauty. It is the holiday season—a time to show your best service. Serve like the Knock Out roses. Don’t lose your service bloom in January; display proudly and radiantly all year long!