Spooky season is well behind us. Turkey time is now a thing of the past. The long lines of Black Friday are ancient history. Now we’re at the pinnacle of the holiday season.

The month of December means several festive holidays are right around the bend, bringing plenty of holiday cheer and end-of-year delight.

All that cheer and festivity doesn’t have to end at your independent pharmacy. Although your pharmacy is a certified healthcare destination, that doesn’t mean it can’t have a little bit of fun.

Here are a few ways holiday decorating can both help your patients and inject some seasonal cheer.

The Festive Side of Pharmacy

It’s the holiday season: snow might be falling, and your local coffee shop is selling its overpriced drinks with the red cup. Everyone else is getting in the holiday spirit, so why should that stop at the pharmacy?

Begin your holiday decorating journey by putting a small Christmas tree somewhere that’s easily visible but won’t obstruct your staff from walking up and down the pharmacy.

It’s the holidays after all — you’ll probably be running up and down for the whole day.

Further your holiday decorating journey by hanging up lights around your pharmacy (extra points if you get the multicolored Christmas lights). It’s a small act but those lights instantly give off that lovely holiday feel.

Add a holiday-themed appreciation board. Your staff can write little shoutouts to fellow coworkers, letting everyone know how much they appreciate them. Expressing even a tiny bit of gratitude can fill someone’s heart and make their day.

Put that leftover Halloween candy to good use by turning them into holiday sweets. The process is as follows: pour the Halloween candy into a holiday-themed bowl.

And just like that, you have holiday sweets that your staff and patients can enjoy.

Depending on where your pharmacy is located, you can determine what songs are playing over the loudspeaker.

Put that holiday playlist on blast. Whether the music is soft and subtle or shamelessly cheery, it’ll give your staff and patients a pep in their step.

Holiday Decorating on The Front End

Now it’s time to look beyond the pharmacy counter (for now).

If you own the entire building, spread the cheer throughout your store floor.

Much of the same rules from the prior section apply. Decorate your store to your heart’s content but not to the point where your customers have to make way for a life-sized Santa Claus statue.

The front end of your store is the perfect place for stocking stuffers and other “impulse” goods. The key to quality holiday decorating is to put out all the stops, and the front end is perfect for this.

Start with a pharmacy-branded gift card. You do have a pharmacy-branded gift card, right? If not, you better get on it.

Selling pharmacy-branded gift cards is like an unofficial loyalty program and, in turn, helps you build a loyal customer base. It’s also a tried and true marketing tool that empowers brand recognition.

Profit, customer loyalty, brand recognition  — you get it all.

Encourage the entire staff to wear their holiday favorites. That ugly Christmas sweater is just dying to say hello, and now is the time to do it.

Put up signs that highlight holiday discounts. Make sure those signs have that holiday flair we all know and love. Red and green are your best friend for this next month, so go use that to your heart’s content.

All in all, you can decorate your store’s front end any way you want. Different pharmacies have their own version of holiday cheer. One pharmacy’s method of holiday decorating won’t be the exact same as another’s.

Use your space to your advantage, showing your community that you’re full of holiday cheer while still delivering exceptional patient care. Speaking of which…

Get Ready for The Season Ahead

By now you should be a holiday decorating aficionado. Your pharmacy counter and the rest of the store floor are full of festive holiday decorations.

It took a while to hang up those lights and install that life-size Santa Claus inflatable, but pharmacy work never stops — not even for eggnog.

The end of the year approaches, which means your patients’ insurance plans are about to renew or change.

However, that usually happens after the new year. What you can do now is tell your patients to present next year’s insurance cards ahead of time so they can miss the inevitable new year traffic.

Beyond holiday decorating and festivities, the end of the year also means that most patients have met their deductible. Now they’ll want to use their insurance benefits as much as possible before the year’s end.

Expect a lot of early refill requests and HSA spending. The end of the year brings a special kind of hectic pharmacy work. Anticipate transfer requests from out-of-state pharmacies for patients traveling for the holiday.

This is completely parred for the course. It’s simply another contributing factor to the hectic holiday rush. Put everyone at ease with some quality holiday decorating. Your customers and staff will thank you for it.

Master the Art of Holiday Decorating

The holiday season is home to all sorts of festivities as well as anxieties. As the end of the year approaches, make your independent pharmacy a gentle reprieve from the hectic holiday stress.

It will be a time of stress and worry for many, so some holiday decorating can relieve some of the tension. Stuff those stockings and invest in some pharmacy-branded gift cards (if you haven’t already) as we approach the holiday season.

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