Thursday, February 5, 2009
Picking out just the right corporate Christmas gift idea can be a pretty difficult task. After all, what you get for your employees says a lot about what kind of boss you are. When I was coming up in the world of business, people tended to get very formal office Christmas gifts. The boss would buy senior members expensive wine, junior executives slightly less expensive wine, and everyone else Christmas ornaments, or other presents that reflected their low status in the company hierarchy.
Nowadays, that approach is not nearly that popular. In the modern workplace, after all, we are supposed to pretend that we are all equals - members of the same team, as it were. Although no one exactly believes this, it makes relationships between management and the workers easier and less strained. As such, the best approach is to have a corporate Christmas gift idea that is appropriate for everyone. You can privately get something nice for some of your senior partners, but it should be done in as inconspicuous a manner as possible. Publicly showing favoritism only invites trouble, particularly when you can already indicate which employees you favor through Christmas bonuses.
One of my personal favorite corporate Christmas gift ideas is to send everyone home with a bottle of Bristol Cream sherry. It is one of the most delightful wines you can have in the winter, and it is relatively inexpensive. If your office is facing hard times, however, you might want to consider going cheapter. If you can have your company print out personalized custom Christmas gifts, you can get away with a very cheap holiday present. Last year, for example, we gave everyone a candy basket. There were peanut butter cups, mints, and little chocolate Santas inside. The Christmas wrapping paper was printed with the company logo, and every single one had a personalized greeting card attached. It cost less than three dollars per basket, and it still seemed to make most of our employees feel appreciated.
Of course, you can always go with one of the old standbys. An ornament is probably the most classic corporate Christmas gift idea there is. It is pretty, inexpensive, and useful year after year. You can get a pewter Christmas tree ornament, a glass bauble, a miniature nutcracker, or whatever else might strike your fancy. Any of these will make a fine corporate Christmas gift idea without breaking the company bank!
Posted by Odini at 10:06 PM
Have you ever seen that movie with that one guy and he does that thing that's really cool? Okay, I just had to say that because I've heard it so many times before. You've surely heard the spiel yourself. Anyway, you've probably also seen the Christmas flick with the Griswalds. Yeah, that's right; you know the one I'm referring to. It's "The National Lampoons Christmas Vacation." That's a classic! It's all about the joys, struggles, and annoyances of the holidays. Oh, and then there's that amazing Christmas Yard Decoration scene. I mean this fellow goes all out. He's determined to have the best and most amazing decoration scheme on the block. How about you; does this hit close to home?
When it comes to the ever-popular Christmas Yard Decoration schemes, I'm not so big on it. Sure I like reindeer, Santa Clause and all his little elves. I like colorful lights and nativity scenes. i plain and simply don't take the time to do all this stuff. Furthermore, I can't imagine how much time and money folks put into Christmas Yard Decoration. Well, it hit me this year. I really haven't been contributing to the aesthetics of the neighborhood. Or at least the ones that pertain to the Christmas Holidays anyway. When it comes to Halloween I raise the bar. Anyway, this year is going to be different for me. The Christmas Yard Decoration thing is in the bag. I am going to raise the bar for my neighborhood. Heck. I may even piss off the guy across the street who loves to have the biggest and best every holiday season. I'm going to Lowe's and Home Depot to pick up all those amazing lights and illuminating reindeer. My yard is going to resemble the fricken North Poe headquarters of Santa himself. How's that for Christmas spirit?
Do you like to cruise the neighborhoods around Christmas time and check out the many homes with Christmas Yard Decoration schemes and lights galore? Of course you do. Hey, we all love to do this. It's very enticing and peaceful in some sense. Staring in awe at all those lights and all that Christmas spirit makes us feel good inside. What can I say; we're suckers for the holidays and Christmas Yard Decoration schemes.
Posted by Odini at 10:03 PM
Along with the giving of gifts at Christmas time comes the annoying task of choosing Christmas wrapping paper, wrapping the gift, and hoping the gift stays wrapped until it is opened. I suppose there are those that enjoy wrestling with Christmas wrapping paper, but I am not one of them. When I have only one or two gifts to wrap, it can be quite a pleasurable experience to wrap a gift and make it look just so, but when you have twenty or thirty, it just becomes a pain. We still do it, however, but despite the pain of wrapping so many, the joy of watching loved ones open those gifts is beyond compare.
The biggest problem with Christmas wrapping paper is that it is often hard to use, and if you don’t get the right stuff, it rips when you least expect it, or doesn’t cover the gift properly. Christmas wrapping paper is often a pain to store, and by the time the next year rolls around, the paper you may have been saving has probably been crushed beyond any hope of saving.
If you have this problem, you have to find a way to save it. Some people like to buy Christmas wrapping paper right after the holiday to use the next year, and this must also be saved safely or the money you saved means nothing. You can buy bins that are especially made to store Christmas wrapping paper, or any other paper for that matter, safely and securely. You can also store tape, scissors, bows, and ribbons in the same container. When you do this, your Christmas wrapping paper is safe and secure, and left in exactly the same condition it was when you put it in there.
If Christmas wrapping paper really gets on your nerves, you have other options. Gift bags are very popular, and can be used to wrap all sorts of gifts. Many people use these almost exclusively, but there may always be a need to have at least some paper at your disposal. There may be an awkward sized gift that won’t fit into a bag without ripping it, or a gift that is simply too big for a bag. In these cases, it’s nice to have at least a few rolls of Christmas wrapping paper on hand. You can even use simply colored papers that can be used for an occasion throughout the year.
Posted by Odini at 10:02 PM
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Does your church need money? “Which church doesn't?” you say? There are always needs within a church – whether to pay the pastor, or replace the pews, or help the needy within the congregation....a church can always use more money. That's why many churches have a fundraising campaign sometime during the year.
Choosing A Church Fundraising Campaign
The first step is to decide what type of church fundraising campaign you want to do. Will it be a campaign to get each family within the fold to donate a specified about of money? Could each family give $100? Or $50? Or “whatever you can”? Sometimes these appeals for money for the church can be very successful, particularly if the members of the congregation feel like they are a part of the fold and that it is their responsibility to give back to the church. It can help to remind the congregation that their donations are a tax deduction – be sure to give receipts for tax purposes.
Another type of fundraising campaign your church can do is to give something in return for a donation. Perhaps they will get a name on a plaque on the wall for a large donation? Or a marker on a pew, showing they donated a large amount to the “building up of the kingdom.” Perhaps you will have a special prayer session where names submitted along with a donation stay on the prayer roll for a much longer time than usual.
Another idea for a church fundraising campaign is to have congregation members – particularly the women – donate recipes for a church cookbook fundraiser. Recipe books full of time-tested and well-worn recipes can make healthy profits for churches.
Getting The Word Out
No church fundraising campaign will be successful unless word gets out, loud and clear, to all the congregation. It can be mentioned on the church bulletin, or perhaps posted on the bulletin board at the church or mentioned over the pulpit. Unless people know about it, they can't participate. Once they know, they will likely be more than willing to help in whatever way they can – whether it is in writing a check, submitting a name, or typing up an old family recipe (and being willing to share it with the congregation – sometimes a sticking point for some women!).
Having An End In Sight
A church fundraising campaign can't go on too long, or the support will dwindle. People don't mind being asked to support a cause, but once they've made their decision about whether or not to participate, they don't want to hear about it more. Allow the church fundraising campaign to have an end. If you need more money, try again in six months or so.
Posted by Odini at 2:29 AM
Saturday, December 27, 2008
The holiday season is a time for family and memories. This is especially so when a wedding is associated with this special time of year. In order to truly capture the spirit of the season for your ceremony and reception you really want to choose the right Christmas wedding favors. Following are some great ideas for your event.
Ornaments are synonymous with the holiday season and they can make the perfect Christmas wedding favors as well. These might be the ideal presentation for your event and they can serve as useful decorations that will bring back great memories of your special day. There are a few approaches that you can take when preparing these particular items for your guests.
Many brides like the idea of making their own Christmas wedding favors. If you have the creative edge and the time to commit to the massive project then by all means, create your own. The ornaments will have special meaning if you put the time and effort into them and these Christmas wedding favors will be true keepsakes for friends and family alike.
Some brides just don’t have the time or the talent required to adopt such an undertaking. There is great news for less crafty individuals. You can purchase these Christmas wedding favors and many companies offer to personalize each and every one for your special event. This is a great approach that might not be as cost effective as the do-it-yourself method. However, what you spend in cash, you will save in time.
While ornaments are the perfect Christmas wedding favors for some brides, others may want to make a different kind of statement. Tradition is valuable on such an occasion and some brides embrace the idea of using traditional themes from the ceremony straight through to the reception.
Silver bells are the classic ideal of the perfect Christmas wedding favors. These items are closely tied to the holiday season but they are also traditionally tied to the theme of weddings as well. The silver bell favors can be used to chime the newly wed couple on and they also serve as great keepsakes as well.
You might want to combine the silver bell theme with the ornament favors, too. The silver bells can be personalized and designed to hang as decoration during the holiday season. There are plenty of other ideas that brides are adopting in their Christmas wedding favors. Choosing one that is right for you may take a little time but you will be glad that you made the investment.
Posted by Odini at 10:22 PM
When the beginning of December arrives, many families begin the holiday traditions. Some people start to prepare for their upcoming Christmas vacation. Families might be traveling elsewhere to enjoy the holidays with distant family members or they may be taking advantage of the travel season to find a Christmas vacation to someplace warm and exotic. If you have children, you probably are planning a Christmas vacation with other family members. You might be dreading the traveling horribly. Flights seem to be delayed more often when you have hyper children and you're in a hurry to get someplace quick. Children are already bouncing off of the walls knowing that Christmas is soon here and knowing they have a week or two off of school for their Christmas vacation. Parents find themselves wishing that the holidays were already over.
There are many things that can be done to make a Christmas vacation much more enjoyable. If you are traveling on a plane with children, be prepared. Know that most likely, you will be spending more time than planned in the airport waiting. Security is much stricter now, so dress and pack accordingly. You'll probably have to remove your shoes, so think ahead. The last thing you want to be doing is re-tying everyone's shoes at the airport when you're carrying luggage and in a hurry. Try to have family members wear comfortable, slip-on shoes that may cut down on time for everyone. Pack lots of games and entertainment for the kids. The newer the items are - the better. New coloring books, paperback books and games will keep kids busy for a bit longer than something that is already familiar to them. Avoid anything messy. Magic markers and Play-Doh are not things you want your kids to be experimenting with while traveling. The people across the aisle from you might not appreciate their clay sculptures falling all over the place. Give them headphones and music to listen to.
It is always a good idea to be organized when beginning your Christmas vacation. Knowing where your destination is and having everything mapped out might save you some headaches and arguments. Whether you're looking forward to your Christmas vacation or not, you don't want to turn into a family of grinches. A Christmas vacation should be somewhat enjoyable. Go to some great lengths ahead of time to ensure that it may turn out that way.
If you're thinking of traveling someplace isolated and wonderful for a Christmas vacation, you may find cheaper rates. More people are doing family-oriented activities for their Christmas vacation than traveling for pleasure. Some resorts may offer discounts or lower costs when spending your Christmas vacation with them. It could be a wise and economical decision. Whenever you arrive at your destination, no matter where it is, settle down to watch the famed movie, 'Christmas vacation'. You may realize how normal your family is afterall.
Posted by Odini at 10:20 PM
One great thing about the Christmas holiday is that you can do whatever you want, for the most part. Though not everyone celebrates Christmas, a majority of employers and school districts have time off at this time of the year, and there are times when these Christmas holidays are longer than a few days. That means that you can do more than just spend the day with your family, you can take a vacation if you like, or do just about anything else.
Many like to spend the holidays with family, but not everyone lives near family for many reasons. Children leave for college, and many times they may find a great job where they have gone after graduation, and decide to stay. They may even start their own families there. That means that each year for Christmas they must decide if they would like to travel to see family, and many of them do. Many companies understand this, and that is why you may have off more than just one or two days for the holidays.
You don’t have to visit family for Christmas holiday though, you can go just about anywhere you wish. If you have a yearning to learn about different cultures, there may be no better time than this to go. You could travel anywhere in the world to see how they celebrate Christmas, if that is something that is common within that country. If you want to see a Christmas in the middle of summer, you might want to consider traveling to Australia. You can also go to places like Asia or South America for your holiday.
Even better, your Christmas holiday doesn’t have to have anything to do with Christmas if you don’t want it to. You may not celebrate for personal or religious reasons, and you would like something special to do. You can take this time of the year when you may have a vacation from work to see any part of the world you wish, or perhaps just to get in a few days of skiing. Many travel companies have specials this time of the year, but plan early. Travel in December can be iffy because of high demand. You are better off planning and booking your reservations for flight and hotel early to ensure you get the dates you want at reasonable prices. Talk with your travel agent or look for specials online to get the best deals possible.
Posted by Odini at 10:18 PM