Celebrating An Office Thanksgiving

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The holidays seem to roll around faster and faster each year with less and less time to get ready for them. At least that’s how it seems to me, and as the unofficial office party organizer I’ve learned a few simple tips to help thing move smoothly.

Assuming your office does a chip in as we do where everyone either brings a dish or chips in to purchase one, then you the first thing you will need is a food sign up list. We store ours in a shared folder so everyone can see what others are bringing. We divide it up with spots for appetizers, side dishes, main dishes, desserts, paper goods and drinks. This way we ensure we have our bases covered.

Dollar stores are great for picking up some festive paper goods and utensils. Be sure whomever is signed up to pick these items up knows how many people will be attending so you don’t run short of things like napkins and plates.

Having a good party set up is essential to keeping people flowing through the buffet line and a brisk pace. Have all the paper goods, utensils set up at one table, salads etc. first followed by other food items and things like dressings, butter etc. that cause people to dawdle and the very end or ideally at a separate table as they exist the buffet table.

Be sure you have some clear guidelines on how long people can take to gather round for some food and socializing. You want to encourage your Thanksgiving office party time to be one where people take some time away from their desks and socialize and relax for a while. Check with your boss to see if some extra time can be gifted by the company to allow people the chance to participate in the festivities. Those little gestures by the company can be great morale booster. In fact, sometimes the company picks up the tab for a cake which is also appreciated.

One year, I handed out a little note leaf shaped pieces of paper to everyone and sent an email asking that they take a minute and write down something they are thankful for at work. They didn’t need to sign if they didn’t want to but merely drop it in a basket I had decorated near my desk. Before the party, I collected all the leaves and taped them up to the windows just next to where we all gathered to stuff ourselves full of goodies. I can’t tell you how much people enjoyed reading them. Some were funny, some were serious but for sure it put everyone in the mood of giving thanks. My boss really loved it and said it was her favorite office party to date.

Clean up – everyone’s least favorite part but if it is a task shared by all then the burden shouldn’t fall to just a few hands. After the party winds down, I like to send an email reminding everyone to clean up their dishes and help clean the general area.

With some good planning and organization your next Thanksgiving office party should be one that is enjoyed by all.

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Congratulations to our Third Round Winners!

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Perfect Famous Quotes For Your Thanksgiving Cards

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“We must find the time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” John F. Kennedy

Thinking about this quote, it is a pretty good idea and sending a Thanksgiving card is a unique way to express your thanks. What better time than Thanksgiving to show how grateful we are to the customers that have been loyal to our company? A Thanksgiving greeting card will most likely be the first to be received during the holiday season and it will be displayed the longest, giving you a jump on the holiday card rush.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.” Oprah Winfrey

Being grateful makes one treasure what one has more deeply and as Oprah points out we will be richer for it. People enjoy being thanked and appreciated; remember if you don’t appreciate your customers someone else will.

“What if, today, we were grateful for everything?” Charlie Brown

Good ol’ Charlie Brown, poor little kid doesn’t have much to be thankful for and yet he wants us to be grateful for everything. May sound naïve especially coming from a child but it makes sense and I’ll bet if you write this quote in your Thanksgiving greeting card the recipient will think it makes sense also.

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Why the Small Details Matter When Sending a Greeting Card

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Sending a greeting card is a wonderful gesture of kindness. For some reason the art of sending a greeting card is becoming very rare. Younger generations seem to be more into e-cards or shooting a text. However, it is important to keep this tradition alive. A lot of people receive tons of mail every day – junk, bills, political flyers, magazines for shopping or hobby reading. When you receive a greeting card it makes you feel special. Someone was thinking about you and wrote you a card, it is personal.

Every detail matters big or small. It could be a sticker, a stamp, a label, a seal, to the color of the envelope, deckled edge, or seal fast so many things you can see before getting to the prize, “the card.” I have always decorated my envelopes with a personal return label, stickers (that remind the recipient of me or themselves). Sometime I just do cupcake, balloons, presents, etc. … for birthday. Or I follow whatever holiday is around the time I am sending a card, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and St. Patrick’s Day.

The postage stamps – I look up every year what stamps are coming out and I stock up on the ones I like. Could be Disney, Pets, American Flag, Purple Hearts, Landmarks, Planets, so many to choose from – last year at Christmas I used Snoopy and Charlie Brown. They are good for Seasons Greetings or Happy Holidays. So many details and they all count. I have always had a nice response to my cards.

My aunt was in a nursing home for 3 years. I sent her 2 cards a week. Decorated with stickers, special labels, picked out stamps (tried to be as different as I could for everything) – and most cards were sent with photos. Could be of our family, or flowers, or places I have gone, mostly animals – dogs and cats. She loved them and she started writing more too and moved herself out of the nursing home. It was wonderful and it really raised her spirits to be receiving such nice cards with all the effort.
The card is a symbol of love. It is the first thing you open as a gift. It shows love, kindness, celebration, prayer, some can be funny or tell a story, or just have a sentiment to say Thank you or I’m here for you. Cards can show off your family, the city you vacationed in, the city you live in, animals you love, and so much more. And then we have greetings, sympathy, with love, birthday, holidays, thank you, thinking of you, and so many more. Color of ink or foil, embossing, digital, foil stamping, refractive foils, glitter and sparkle, the quality of a good card the thickness and vibrant color – so many wonderful things.

Then what we write inside the card our personal messages. I know my family love seeing the personalization with our names printed in the card, but they also want gossip and news about our lives. So writing in the card is crucial. If you have great handwriting – perfect, but if not type it up. I have a friend that draws a picture in all his cards. I love it.

When sending a greeting card remember to put a little bit of Love in it and you will enjoy the response you receive too. I almost do a mini scrap book on all my cards. A small detail goes a long way. Happy Writing and remember the little things.

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Office Break Room Etiquette

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If you work in an office with a break room, you’ve probably taken advantage of it at some point. As with any shared space, it’s important that you and your colleagues don’t forget some common courtesies, intentionally or not. Here’s a quick list of things to remember about office break room etiquette.

Clean up after yourself. It always surprises me when I sit down to eat at a dirty table in a shared space. Crumbs, napkins, straw wrappers – strewn on the surface, left by the previous occupant. I wonder if they do the same in their own homes, assuming someone else will pick up after them. Here’s a word of advice: the office break room is not your home. Your co-workers should not spend part of their break cleaning up your mess. Be considerate and do it yourself!

This piece of office break room etiquette also applies to common areas such as the kitchen sink, the refrigerator, and the coffee station. If it’s your mess, take care of it!

Keep your hands off! Speaking of the refrigerator… If someone has gone through the trouble of bringing food to work, packing it and labeling it carefully with their name, that usually means they plan on eating it. Unless something is labeled “help yourself,” don’t!

Speak softly. The more people that fill a room, the louder it gets. Remember lunchtime in the school cafeteria? Ever been to a concert or sporting event before the main attraction starts? It’s great that co-workers can get together for a meal or a snack to catch up, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the room cares to hear their conversations. If you are a loud talker, try to watch your levels – there’s nothing less relaxing than hearing a conversation from across the room! Granted, the office break room isn’t the library – but there is a happy medium.

Feet off the furniture. So you timed your break perfectly and you have a whole table to yourself. Great! Do you know what’s not great? Your feet on the empty chair next to you. Someone has to sit there after you, and I can guarantee you they don’t want to sit where your feet have been. Break room chairs are not footrests. Again – be considerate!

Do not disturb. For many people, breaks and lunch times are the rare moment in a day to unwind and decompress. Don’t interrupt your co-worker’s lunch with a work question – that’s what email is for. And if someone has on a pair of headphones and their nose is in a book, take the hint: they can’t hear you because they’ve focused elsewhere, so catch them some other time.

People are different. We work differently, so of course, we play differently, too. The bottom line is, try to be considerate of your co-workers and follow common courtesies in shared spaces. In the long run, it will make for a happier work environment.

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Corporate holiday cards present a wonderful opportunity during the holidays to thank those colleagues and clients who have meant so much to us throughout the year. A simple but always appreciated gesture such as sending a holiday card can resonate in a powerful way. Nevertheless, there are some out there who are still wary of the inherent value of the corporate business holiday card. Perhaps as children these were the individuals who only received socks, encyclopedias, and root vegetables as presents, and have thus soured on the entire holiday experience. Maybe these inexplicably terrible presents have so scarred their entire beings that they are now sadly blinded to the obvious good that can come of sending business christmas cards. Whatever their reasons, as a warning to anyone tempted to adhere to the tenets of these anti-card senders, I’ve compiled a list of some of the worst advice ever told about giving business holiday cards. Names have been changed to protect the identities of the unseasonably cold perpetrators of this innately inane advice. Enjoy (if possible)!

Kris Krybaby – “Would I ever give a corporate holiday card? Only if I get one first.”
Dr. Sandy Gauze, MD – “Sending out corporate holiday cards can be the start of a worldwide epidemic of paper cuts. The suffering that these holiday cards may induce causing seconds or dare I say possibly minutes of minor acute pain is not worth the risk. Don’t proliferate such misery and agony. Please, trust me, I’m a doctor.”

Rudolph Reignfear – “The propagation of corporate business holiday cards will only usher in the end of a fantastic era of sending last minute holiday text messages. The loss of the art of the holiday text message can cause irreparable harm to the very fabric of our society as our fingers will undoubtedly atrophy from underuse. This significant loss of digital muscle mass, coupled with an assured epidemic of paper cuts espoused by renowned physician Dr. Sandy Gauze, will so incapacitate the public at large that civilization as we know it could possibly crumble like the ruins of ancient Greece. Do you really want to risk sparking Armageddon with corporate holiday cards?”

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Reasons to Send Calendar Cards for the Holidays

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Does it frustrate you that your Holiday Cards just get thrown out every year? No matter how soon you send them it just feels like you are delivering them to your recipient’s trashcan. While some people do save them year after year, many do not. If you want a more economical way to send Holiday cheer, try sending Calendar Cards this year. At The Gallery Collection, there is a wide variety of calendars so you will be hard-pressed to find one you don’t like!

Another reason to send Calendar Cards for the holidays is because it is an all-inclusive gesture for people who might not celebrate the same Holiday. You could even choose to create a Calendar Card using a personal photo, which could be an updated photo of your family for relatives! A Calendar Card is a thoughtful gift that isn’t too much but also feels like something substantial because it is so practical. When you order a Calendar Card from the Gallery Collection you are able to add up to 5 lines of custom text at the bottom, which is included in the price. This is a great way to add any sentiment you want, even including contact information (or hours of operation for your business if you are sending to clients).

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Thanksgiving Cards vs. Holiday Cards

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It’s an age old debate. Should we send Thanksgiving Cards? If yes, are we going to send Christmas/Holiday Cards as well? I’m here to tell you that both sides don’t need to be at odds. Go ahead and send your Holiday card as you normally do each year, but you should also consider sending that Thanksgiving card too. Here’s my reasons why.

We have a small yet successful company and our customers always seem to enjoy receiving the Holiday Cards we make sure we send every year. They tell us it’s something they look forward to each fall. Last year, we decide to send a Thanksgiving card and ended up with an overwhelmingly great response from everyone! I think they appreciated the fact it kicked off the holiday season a bit earlier than expected.

From a personal standpoint, we did love that the cards put our name out there in a positive, welcome manner – well before any of our competitors. Also, there seems to be more time and manpower available to handle Thanksgiving Cards being addressed and mailed well before the hectic schedule of the holidays gets into full swing.

If you’re looking for a new way to get your customer’s attention and have them think of you as forward thinking and on-the-ball, consider also sending a Thanksgiving Card for this year. There are some beautiful designs available on this website and excellent greeting to choose from. The Gallery Collection has each and every time created outstanding cards for us to be proud of. The service is always quick and efficient and ordering is fairly painless. Couldn’t recommend them more highly.

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Congratulations to our Second Round Winners!

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Presenting…Your Brand!

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I have been selling computer software for over ten years and the main thing I have learned is that you need to not only have a good product but you need to have a good presentation. Know your product in and out so any questions that are thrown at you can be answered. But do not skimp on presentation. I have seen it too many times in my world where the presentation underwhelms and does the product a disservice.

Something as simple as creating a branded presentation folder can go a long way to impressing perspective clients. Slap a nice logo, foil stamped and engraved…put your company name on there and now you have a piece of art that will hold your presentation documents but also brand you as the company continues to use that folder after you have gone.

Now the product you are selling has to have some usability for you to make a sale but do not forget showmanship. From the dialogue to the folder, make sure you are on top of your game for every pitch you give. Get that brand face front and forward. The more the perspective client sees you the more they will remember you. Good luck selling!

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