In our lives we are met with challenges that test our patience, our character, and sometimes all that we have held true to our personal image. Though we look for escapes they are not always available to us, the stress builds and we become less of who we want and more aggressive or more detached from our social structures. It can engulf so much of our lives we sometimes begin to think these feelings normal, all from negativity and stress. Stress at work can add to the already overwhelming amount of difficulties presented in life, but if we take a few short moments to collect ourselves, we can spare ourselves some weight from the boulders we each push uphill.
Available at all of our desks is a key to lower stress levels. While reading, take both hands and place them palm up on your desk. Rest your feet on the ground and relax your body against your chair. Close your eyes and breathe in heavily through your nostrils, expanding your abdomen as you do. Hold your mounted breath for a moment and exhale slowly, pulling your abdomen in as you do. While taking the time to focus on your breathing, tell yourself you are relaxed. Repeat it while you inhale, feel the weightlessness of your limbs. When you again open your eyes, repeat that you are relaxed. Whenever you feel stress or negativity, you can come back to this small meditative exercise for as long as necessary.
Stress at work can be out maneuvered by simply removing yourself from the situation momentarily to collect thoughts. Taking the time to focus on our breathing can again center ourselves when we spin away; taking the time to work through a stressful work situation can relieve us from continued negativity throughout the day. You deserve to feel as stress free as possible, and you can begin your journey today!
That time of the year is approaching once again, office holiday parties! A time where as a company we can all celebrate the year of hard work and commence with a great year ahead. I’m sure when the time starts rolling around many also start thinking “What can I contribute?” and “What should I bring to office holiday party?” I know for me it’s always daunting to try to please everyone with a dish. I want to be sure it’s something easy but at the same time appetizing for my co-workers. As we all know some people begin to receive a reputation for their dishes. Mark in our IT Dept. is known for the best guacamole and Debra in the Art Dept. is known for her delicious spinach dip!
So what are good things to bring to an office holiday party? I think dips and salads are the best go to foods for office parties. Egg salad, pasta salad & chips with dips are great appetizers. Shrimp with cocktail sauce, cucumber sandwiches & chicken wraps are also quick, easy meals to make. Of course we can’t forget the desserts! There will be brownies, cakes, muffins, and cookies, oh my! This season really is the most wonderful time of the year!
Operation Gratitude celebrated their historic One Millionth Care Package on Saturday, December 7, and The Gallery Collection is very proud to have played a part. In total, 7,500 cards were donated for the celebration which you can view here.
The Gallery Collection donated 5,000 collectible greeting cards to be given to the volunteers and everyone that helped make the one millionth care package a reality. These cards were then given a commemorative stamp and cancellation. Check out the below gallery to see the attendees getting their cards stamped.
We also donated 2,500 specially designed greeting cards to be signed and sent to the troops as a Thank You for their service. The below gallery includes some photographs of attendees writing their personalized thank you’s that went out to the troops.
It was such an honor and a privilege for us to be a part of this historic event. We again want to thank everyone at Operation Gratitude for the amazing service they provide and congratulate them on this amazing accomplishment!
Each year as Christmas approaches and I get ready to address the personalized Christmas cards I want to send, it brings back delightful memories of sitting together at the table with my mother, who has since deceased, as she prepared to send her cards to family and friends. Mom would reminisce about the events of the year that reminded her of special times she shared with friends and family that were meaningful and fun. After telling me all the wonderful stories and seeing me giggle, (I was about eight at the time), she would begin writing her cards in which she would include a personal message, relating to those fun times, specifically to each person she was addressing. It was a very special time for me to share in Mom’s past together with her, and I remember how pleased and delighted everyone was after reading their personalized greeting cards and called her to continue talking about those fun times.
Now, many, many years later, I find myself following in Mom’s footsteps. I, too, prepare myself for a trip down Memory Lane when getting ready to personalize my Christmas cards. Like Mom, I also get calls thanking me for the cards and it gives us a chance to chat about those wonderful times.
The Gallery Collection is pleased to announce a donation of 400 holiday cards and 400 birthday cards to Project Linus. Project Linus donates handmade security blankets to children in trauma, including children in hospitals, shelters, foster kids, children of military soldiers who are either deployed or fallen, or any other situation you can imagine.
By the end of 2013 Project Linus will have donated over 5 million blankets to children in need. Project Linus accepts handmade blankets of any style or size. Of course, financial donations are always needed. Most of chapters also accept donations of materials to make blankets.
They intend to use their cards by sending them to their very hardworking volunteer coordinators for Christmas. Project Linus has not been able to do this for a very long time. Also, they send birthday cards to each volunteer on their birthdays.
If you are interested in learning more about Project Linus, and other ways that you can help, you can visit their website at: http://www.projectlinus.org/
During the Holidays, I always get stressed out with buying Christmas gifts for my loved ones. And I happen to know my friends and family very well! It adds a degree of difficulty when you are buying Christmas gifts for coworkers. Especially if you are doing a Secret Santa and you get someone you don’t know!
Whether you know the person well or not, you can still give them a great gift that everyone will love and appreciate. Some of our go to Christmas gifts for coworkers are listed below!
Scarves – Scarves are a great gift for both men & women. Getting a coworker a nice scarf for the winter season is perfect especially if you live in a very cold area.
Flameless Candles – Flameless Candles are the new popular household gift to give during the holiday season. Unlike regular candles, flameless candles are much safer and kid friendly for those coworkers who have young children. They also have many great scents to choose from!
Restaurant Gift Card – Who doesn’t like to go out to eat every once in a while?! Getting your coworker a restaurant gift card to a popular local chain is a wonderful gift to give around the holidays. It’s always nice to get out of the house during the winter and enjoy a nice family meal together, without having to cook yourself!
Home Made Cookies – My personal favorite gift to give a coworker around the holiday is home-made cookies! Nothing is better than receiving chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies to bring home. It really shows your fellow co-worker that you took the time out to make something from the heart!
Bottle of Wine – For those who enjoy relaxing with a nice glass of wine after work or the weekends, what better gift to give then a bottle of their favorite wine! If you don’t know their favorite, perhaps you can get them your favorite to try!
Gift giving around the office is such a fun way to celebrate the holidays in the office with your fellow coworkers and employees. It’s also a great way to learn more about each other and rejoice during the holiday season.
The Gallery Collection is pleased to announce a donation of 400 Thank You cards and 400 Holiday cards to Cards for Hospitalized Kids. Cards for Hospitalized Kids (CFHK) is an internationally recognized charitable organization that spreads hope and joy through uplifting, handmade cards sent to kids that are hospitalized and/or seriously ill.
Individuals and groups donate time and creativity to make handmade cards and send them to CFHK for distribution in hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses across the nation. Over 40,000 kids in hospitals in all 50 states have received cards from CFHK.
Cards for Hospitalized Kids will be using the greeting cards donated by The Gallery Collection as thanks and holiday greetings to all of their supporters for helping with such a wonderful cause.
For more information about Cards for Hospitalized Kids, and how you can help, please visit their website at http://www.cardsforhospitalizedkids.com/.
I had the best time last year while getting our Christmas cards ready for mailing. We decided to do them all together! It ended up being the most fun office Christmas party ever! We prepared the office conference room with enough chairs so that all 14 of us could sit. We had pens enough for everyone to sign their names and pass them to the next person to the right, one at a time we all signed in just about the same areas so there was enough room for everyone. When that task was complete we then divided up the mailing list of 375 clients, so that everyone had a similar number of cards to address, it turned out to be a page each of about 25 names.
Once that was all done, which is the serious part when we didn’t want any mistakes occurring, we then moved onto the stuffing and licking. After just a few envelopes, your tongue gets dry and sticky, so you need to wet your whistle! The owners are a really great couple and they made sure we all had a red solo cup with fruit filled sangria. Then began the sipping and laughing! By the time we were done with all that work we were enjoying each other’s company, discussing everything and anything except work. Once the work was complete the snacks came out, not to mention the owners had ordered a few pizza’s for all of us. It only took about an hour for the whole process. This was a Christmas party idea we will definitely do again, I suggest you try it!
The Gallery Collection recently made a 7,500 greeting card donation to Operation Gratitude for their 1 Millionth Care Package Celebration. Carolyn Blashek, the Founder and CEO of Operation Gratitude, was kind enough to provide us with some information about both Operation Gratitude and the upcoming One Millionth Care-Package Event. Read on below to learn more about what the organization does, and how it benefits the members of the military community.
How many items are included in each care package?
- What is Operation Gratitude?
- Operation Gratitude is a volunteer-based organization that annually sends 100,000+ care packages & letters of support to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Marines deployed in harm’s way & on ships at sea, to their children left behind, and to Wounded Warriors, Care Givers, Veterans, Military Families and First Responders.
- How did Operation Gratitude get started?
- In March 2003, Founder Carolyn Blashek met with a soldier who broke down at her desk after letting her know that he was going back on deployment and due to some of the personal issues he was experiencing at the time, he did not care if he made it back. It was then that Carolyn realized that troops need to believe that someone at home cares about them as an individual and Operation Gratitude was officially born.
- What is the Operation Gratitude One Millionth Care Package Event?
- On December 7th, 2013, Operation Gratitude will assemble and celebrate their One Millionth Care Package, which is something that no other organization has accomplished.
- When is the Operation Gratitude One Millionth Care package Event?
- How will the cards The Gallery Collection donated be used during the One Millionth Care Package Event?
- The 5,000 Thank you for Attending Cards will be distributed to everyone who attends the event as a token of appreciation for their attendance and help. There will also be another 2,500 Thank you for Your Service cards that will be used by attendees for signing and writing notes that will then be placed in the care packages that will be sent out. Get a closer look at the two sets of cards The Gallery Collection donated here.
- What are some of the things that will be happening during the One Millionth Care Package Event?
- Assembly of the “One Millionth” & “One Millionth & One” Packages
- Santa Claus Photo Ops and Giveaways
- Entertainment and Celebrity Surprises
- Games & Activities for Kids; Raffle and Door Prizes
- What kind of donations does Operation Gratitude Accept?
- Operation Gratitude accepts all kinds of items including things like DVDs, CDs, gift cards, toothpaste, deodorant and much much more. A complete list of wish items can be found at the below link:
Where does the assembly of the actual care packages take place?
- Each care package contains 50 or more donated snack, entertainment and personal care items.
Where can people go to find out more information about Operation Gratitude?
- Operation Gratitude conducts its Assembly Drives in the National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California where more than 15,000 local volunteers participate on-site and 250,000 volunteer hours are served per year.
- More information about Operation Gratitude can be found below:
- Information about the Millionth Care-Package event can be found below: