What Would an Elf Do?

There are many reasons to be thankful at this time of year. Here’s one of mine: the movie “Elf.”

I know this might not be everyone’s idea of a reason to be grateful, but it’s genuinely one of my favorite things at this time of year. And it’s possible that I love it for mainly one scene. It’s where Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) brings home a huge Christmas tree. When his movie half-brother asks how they’re going to put the star on top, Buddy says, “I got it.” He grabs the star, makes a running leap and lands full body into the middle of the tree. The lights short out and the tree topples. I howl every time.

But I also love these overarching messages of the movie: There is a place for joy, and people — no matter how selfish — can change.

I felt a little like Buddy when I read a some of the articles in this month’s issue. For example, Julie A. Palm’s article on recycling at the factory level made me want to applaud. You might not think that waste reduction has much to do with the season of thankfulness and joy, but it does to me. The companies BedTimes talked with have put in efforts to reduce waste and recycle what they can. As Richard Diamonstein, managing director of Paramount Sleep, said, “We can make a difference by making an effort.”

Green and red elf hat isolated on white backgroundAnd then there’s Sam Malouf’s guest column. As president and chief executive officer of Malouf, he has gotten numerous awards for building a happy workplace. In this issue, he shares his top principles for creating such a positive culture. His No. 1 tip? Choose to be kind. It’s as simple as that. Kindness has a ripple effect and it should start at the top. “Leaders should set an example of respect that then spreads to every position and every person in the company,” he writes.

It was easy to envision the kind of company he has created, built on principles that seem like common sense. But we know that atmosphere doesn’t exist in all workplaces.

As this year draws to a close, many of us take time to reflect on the year past and make plans for the year ahead. As you look to 2019, you might want to check out the bedding outlook story to see what sleep products makers think of the current state of the mattress industry and what they consider to be the biggest challenges and opportunities of the year ahead. This annual story is always interesting reading, and we, as Denny Boyd, president of Boyd Sleep, said, can all be thankful that “demand for a good night’s sleep will not diminish.”

Before you know it, 2019, with all its wide-open promise, will be here. Take some time to be grateful for the good that has come from the past year. And then think about your vision for the year to come. Will it include more efficient manufacturing practices that reduce waste? Is it a desire to create a more welcoming work culture? Will it be a plan to address the challenges that may come? Whatever it may be, I hope you can find inspiration in these pages.

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