Send your clients corporate Christmas cards. A great reminder that doubles as a business card.

Corporate Christmas cards are a great way to show your appreciation to clients

The corporate Christmas card is more common than ever. Especially since market research studies have shown that customers really do appreciate that personal touch. This is because most people resent doing business in what seems to be a technologically sophisticated and cold world. As is true of traditional Victorian Christmas card, the corporate Christmas card is an elegant way of reaching out and celebrating with others during the holiday season. In fact, even the first paper Christmas greeting was actually a form of business promotion as it was sent out to advertise the services of the printer who first invented the greeting card – John Callcoot Horseley.

Of course today’s corporate Christmas card comes in an infinite number of styles. As most businesses consider it to be another kind of business card, the corporate Christmas card can be considered a form of branding. Today’s corporate Christmas card may be more generic in terms of religion (referring to the season as the Happy Holidays as opposed to the Christian holiday of Christmas) so that non-Christian clients and customers are recognized and the card appeals to everyone.

There are many businesses both online and off that specialize in creating corporate Christmas cards. Most of these companies have a portfolio of looks that you can choose to represent your business. These design companies also artfully find a way to incorporate your company’s logo, motto or even a photograph into the design or message of the card. For an additional cost, most corporate Christmas card companies also allow you to print your own extensive and very personal holiday message inside of the card as well.

The corporate Christmas card is generally sent out to anyone who has anything to do with the company. Traditionally the corporate Christmas card is sent out to customers, employees, business-to-business partners and service providers.

As a rule of thumb you should always include all of your contact information, including your company’s address, phone number, email and website address somewhere on the corporate Christmas card. One good place to print these details is on the very bottom of the card on the front, or on the back lip of the envelope. This makes good business sense, as it serves as a reminder that you are in business and also renews your point of contact with customers who may have misplaced your business card. This is why even if you own a very small home business, sending out a corporate Christmas card is a great idea – it helps people remember that your business is still in existence. It also helps you compete with the big companies who are far too impersonal to send out a corporate Christmas card, and instead deluge people with flyers advertising sales that have very little to do with the spirit of the Christmas holidays.

If you’d like more information, like where to order customized business Christmas cards, Hallmarkis always a great place to start. Yes, they may be a little more expensive, but these will be top quality cards that your clients will remember.

A great Christmas gift idea for dad: a double edge safety razor!

If your dad is like mine, he’s been using disposable razors for many years.  Dads get set in their ways.  They see the advertisements on TV for those new, fancy 5 blade triple action razors.  They are supposed to give the best shave possible.  Yeah, right.  The problem is, disposables are expensive.  The newest, most popular heads can cost upwards of $3 a piece!!  Even when buying in bulk (10 or more in a package), the price is still well over $2 per unit.

Not to mention, these thin blades don’t last nearly as long as the old style double edge razor that your grandpa used to use.  If your dad has one of those Grizzly bear beards, the number of shaves per head is even less.  A guy can easily spend a few hundred dollars per year, just in disposable razors!

A personal favorite website of mine, called Badger & Blade, has TONS of great info on old fashioned shaving tips and accessories.

Here is my personal suggestion for you:  buy him a classic double edge safety razor and some blades.  A quality razor will cost less than $50.  Replacement blades cost 15 cents per blade or less!  Yes, you read that correctly.

For example, here is a model that’s really popular right now:  the Edwin Jagger DE89Lbl.  I personally own one of these, and it’s an EXCELLENT razor. It feels heavy in the hand, so you get a solid smooth shave. The chrome plating is very nice. It’s easy to maintain, as there are only 3 pieces. Changing blades is a snap.  This one also comes with some sample blades.

Amazon is a great place to find all the accessories for a classic shave.  I’d also suggest getting him some classic shave soap such as Taylor of Old Bond Sandalwood shaving creme.  This stuff is nice, and it smells wonderful!  Nothing but a smooth, close shave after using this stuff.

Happy Holidays!

How to make friends and family feel at home when visiting for the Christmas holidays

Fifteen To Dinner

It’s that time of year again: the time when family and relatives visit for the holidays. Time to get the guest room in tip-top shape. Here are a few tips you can use to make relatives feel welcome during their stay. Whether you have a dedicated guest room with its own bath or a just den doing double-duty, there are easy ways to make your guests feel special.

  1. DECLUTTERED SPACE. Rarely-used guest rooms often get tapped as spillover storage space. Just remember, it’s not relaxing for your guests to sleep in a storage bunker. Pack up the knickknacks, spare clothing and general junk, and store it anyplace else. Guests should have at least a couple of empty drawers to put things away, and they should have closet space for hanging clothes. They should also be able to put a book and/or a bottle of water on a clutter-free nightstand. Bottom line: Give them space.
  2. SEATING AREA. These days, a lot of people travel with their laptops, so having a reading spot in the guest room, or even a desk with a chair, is ideal. For an extra thoughtful treat, offer visitors some reading material, such as local tour books, magazines or newspapers. If you want to go a step further, leave reading glasses alongside fun reads. Your guest doesn’t always want to be in the living room with everyone else. Everyone does need their own little space sometimes.
  3. LIGHTING. In general, lighting sets the mood for any space. Without the right light, a guest room can feel dingy and uncomfortable, while the perfect mix of natural and artificial light can make most any guest room cozy and cheerful. To start, bedside lamps on nightstands (or wall-mounted swing-arm lamps) are practically a must. Another overhead light is preferable. And a nightlight can be a great way to help guests unfamiliar with your home feel more comfortable.
  4. NICE LINENS. Sheets and towels are important, and today luxury linens are quite affordable. There’s nothing better than having beautiful linens to sleep on. If they can be pressed, they’re even better. It’s always important to wash sheets and towels that are brand new and to rewash clean sheets that have been sitting on the guest bed unused for weeks or months. Quality pillows are essential. Don’t skimp on the pillows. We don’t want to give our guests backaches.
  5. NICE TOILETRIES. To make an impression, break out the good stuff. In addition to the niceties, don’t forget the necessities, such as extra toilet paper and tissue. Make them easy to find in a guest-bath vanity. It’s also nice to pick up extra toiletries when they’re on sale and leave them in a basket for guests to use. Have a bar of soap, a razor, an extra toothbrush – things they might have forgotten.
  6. A PASHMINA. Many of our guests this time of year are fleeing blizzards. But many are also packing flip-flops, shorts and bathing suits, forgetting desert nights get quite cool. A pashmina or extra sweater in the closet can help them stay warm. And it’s always great to have a textured throw or extra blanket in the room.

Personalized Christmas gifts. A true way to show your holiday spirit.

While Christmas is certainly not lacking in the festive elements of a grand holiday, there are certain things that a person can do to create their own personal flair and flourish on the special day. Starting with a personalized Christmas gift and winding up with a delicious homemade turkey dinner is one spectacular way to show your family and friends how much you care this Christmas. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, either, and in the end the effort will demonstrate your love and affection a great deal.


One popular option for personalizing your Christmas gifts is to make them yourself. Create crafts or clothing items from simply materials and impress your family and friends with the creative side of you that they never knew existed. One of the best ways to expose yourself to the examples that are out there is to check out your local craft stores and some of the craft magazines that are available on the internet; they can introduce you to some cheap techniques to create a festive gift for the holidays.

Another option is to take a series of photographs of yourself and your family and create a Christmas letter complete with a photo slideshow. This helps long distance family members get up to speed on what your family is up to, and creates an immortal series of memories that will be considered priceless. As Christmas is a time for family, your gifts can reflect that in creative and fun ways that will impress everyone on your shopping list.

Beat Stress With Originality

Most people dread Christmas shopping and save their entire list for one hurried and stressful last day at the shopping mall. This is foolish. NEVER wait until the last minute! Instead, consider saving time and money by creating your gifts from scratch with materials that you purchased months in advance or online through a crafts web site. Or, visit Good Housekeeping; they have an excellent page on homemade Christmas crafts. LOTS of great ideas there.

This can allow you the special feeling of not only creating your own gift, but saving the stress of those terrifying mall visits as well. No longer will you angle yourself into impossible parking spots and fight the crowds to find an unoriginal gift; instead, your Christmas plan is to take out the stresses of the holidays with your own creativity and design the perfect gift from the comfort of your own home. What could be better?

In today’s day and age of materialism, it’s nice to know that a personally crafted present made with love and friendship can still instil a warm feeling in the recipients of the gift. As we close in on the holiday season, it’s important to remember the purpose behind Christmas and spend our time reflecting and looking ahead to the next years of our lives. A good way to make this easy is to spend less time on the holiday rush, and spend more time with your family at home, creating your own gifts.

Outdoor Christmas light sets

We have all experienced the joy and excitement of driving around during the holiday season and looking at the variety of Christmas lights around the neighbourhood. It is this part of the Christmas spirit that makes us want to put up our very own outdoor Christmas light set and bring about the visitors to our own display of magical lights and colours. Around the holidays, sharing in the joy of setting up Christmas lights is an important part of the experience.

Another aspect of the Christmas light experience is the competition between neighbours to set up the most mind-blazingly electric display of Christmas pomposity to grace the street. Naturally, as your neighbours trot out their vulgarity of a Christmas display, you will always elect to go with taste and quality over incredulous quantity. For this reason, you select your Christmas lights and decorations with care and consideration so as to not blind your neighbour.

Instead, you intend to regale them with tales from Christmases past as you combine both the Christmas values of your culture with the holiday values of other cultures to creates a display that Santa himself would be proud of. There are no reindeer flying through the air on your front lawn; instead, you have chosen a tasteful string of lights to illuminate the fact that you have cut your lawn more than anyone else this year. This shows up, of course, even in winter.

A Question Of Honour

Of course, the biggest question about Christmas and the inevitable display competition is: “how far is too far?” The answer to that question lies in your own predilection, of course, and is entirely up to what you can handle. If you can sleep through thousands of lights and several watts of Christmas songs sung by imaginary robotic elves, then you can assume that your Christmas display is not over the top.

In the end, you do need to give some mild consideration to your neighbours and determine whether or not your Christmas display will end up costing them some of their much-needed holiday sleep. You wouldn’t want to interrupt the slumber of another simply because your alarmingly huge inflatable Santa is taking up an incredible about of space with his luminous reach to the chimney. Instead, consider your snoozing neighbour and try to come up with a way to make your display tasteful; it is the season, after all.

Ideas for Christmas tree themes. Try something a little different this year.

If you are a style maven who is a bit bored with the traditional, then you might be interested in unique christmas tree themes. Here are some unique theme suggestions that are sure to please.

The Christmas Cocktail Party Tree

This tree theme looks great on both big and small trees. First, if your tree is not a prelit, try stringing it with a set of novelty lights instead of the usual egg shaped lights. You can buy plastic novelty lights in the shape of Chinese Lanterns (for a 50’s feel), chili peppers (for that modern martini bar feel) and Pink Flamingos (for that Tiki cocktail party atmosphere.)

Then try decorating the tree with tiny cocktail parasols and multicolored cocktail picks. If your tree is really big, you could also decorate it with plastic champagne glasses onto which you have glued sequins or glitter. Miniature chocolates filled with liquor also make nice tree decorations.

The Gingerbread Tree

This most gorgeous of christmas tree themes never goes out of style. It looks best on a green or red tree. Decorate it with gingerbread man cookies, red glass balls, tons of candy canes, red velvet bows and homemade paper snowflake ornaments.

This tree looks great accented with white or gold beaded garland, a bushy red or white tinsel garland, or icicle-like garland. Top it with a Christmas themed stuffed white or brown teddy bear.

The Chocolate and Gold Tree

This is probably the trendiest of the themes described here. It looks wonderful on a red artificial tree. The color scheme in this case is reds, browns and golds. Tiny, twinkling gold and red lights look best. Think of the eighties when you decorate this one.

Decorate this tree with walnuts, pine cones and chocolates wrapped in foil. Gold chocolate coins are also a nice touch. Then tie large translucent gold and red ribbons (using the kind of ribbon that has bendable wire inside) onto the ends of the trees. The ultimate effect of this tree should be very opulent and lush.

The New Baby Tree

If you are celebrating the birth of a child or a child’s first birthday, this is a great tree to honor how happy you are about the new arrival. The decorations suggested look great on any kind of tree, but you could consider buying a small blue or pink artificial tree. This is a good idea so any toddlers or infants around can’t get their hands on pine needles. Also, if you buy pre-lit one, you don’t have to worry about them yanking lights and pulling the whole thing down. If you have lots of toddlers around then you might want to opt for a small ceramic Christmas tree until they are old enough not to grab at decorations and limbs.

Pink, mint green, lavender and blue frosted glass balls look particularly nice on pink or blue artificial trees. You can also decorate with baby toys, baby bottles filled with candy, teddy bears, baby booties and socks, pacifiers and wooden alphabet blocks. Little stuffed animals look great on this type of tree and a larger teddy bear or soft plush toy makes a great tree topper. If the baby is a girl you might want to consider topping the tree with a doll dressed as an angel.

The Peppermint Twist Tree

This theme looks fantastic on a bright white, pre-lit artificial tree. The color scheme is red and white but you can add a touch of green in the lights that you string around it. Purists, however, think that keeping the whole thing red and white in every way looks best.

When it comes to the decorations, stick with red and white round glass balls. Red and white frosted glass balls look much better than the conical ones. Also, festoon the branches with as many red and white peppermint candy canes as you can find. Remember, you can also stripe red or white glass balls with white or red glitter, by simply adding some glue in a striped shape to the ball and rolling it in the glitter bowl.

You can also accent this look with red and white ball shaped peppermint candies. A large lollipop with red and white striping and surrounded by a sunburst bouquet of candy canes makes a great tree topper.

The Sea Side Tree

This most unusual theme looks best on artificial trees in aqua or light blue colors. However, it would also suit any tree that has a coral color such as light orange or pink.

This tree is decorated with treasures from the sea; including seashells, sea horses, and ornaments made from aquarium decorations (treasure chests, coins and corals.) Strings of pearls can be used as a garland and novelty lights shaped like seashells or even fish can be strung to enhance the aquatic theme.

The Snow and Ice Tree

This is one of the most unusual tree themes, as it is white and icy blue instead of the more familiar red and green. First, decorate it with a garland of novelty lights shaped like icicles or snowflakes. Your decorations should be made of see-through plastic or crystal, so it looks like the tree is dripping with frozen, glittering shapes. Instead of cotton batten, drape the tree with faux spider webs or cotton shreddings, to simulate boughs heavy with snow. You can even mound this cotton at the ends of the bough so it looks like it has been clumped there.

Your final step is to spray the whole thing down generously with flocking. Flocking is simulated snow that comes in an aerosol can. You can spray this stuff on just about any kind of tree including artificial pre-lit and ceramic trees to make them look frostier.

This treatment is stunning on a white artificial tree, but it also looks great on red, purple, blue or other colors. The white provides a nice contrast to the tree’s original color.

How to properly wrap a Christmas gift. Learn to wrap like a pro!

Wrapping a Christmas gift doesn’t have to be complicated. All that matters is that the gift-wrapping, ribbons and attached card look like you put a lot of thought into them. Making a gift look like you put some thought into it means putting a bit of effort into the actual wrapping (or at least some money if you are a lousy gift wrapper.) However, remember that even a badly wrapped Christmas gift is better than one that appears to be generic.

Check out this Youtube video

This takes you step by step through the process

Perhaps your biggest dilemma as a gift wrapper will be deciding whether or not you even need to use wrapping paper at all. Nowadays, you can buy ornamental or glossy paper bags that look just as good or even better then a bad gift wrap job. First of all, both bags and boxes look a lot neater than the wrapped Christmas gift. Second, many boxes and bags are made out of recycled material and are much more eco-friendly then wrapping paper.

Whether or not you bag, box or wrap, the gift is highly dependent on who the recipient is. For instance, it’s still quite traditional to wrap gifts in foil or paper, and then stick on a pre-made ribbon. If receiving a wrapped Christmas gift has some nostalgic and traditional meaning for a member of your family or a close friend, then they may not appreciate the formality of a box or a bag. In fact, in some situations, a bag can appear like you didn’t put much thought into the wrapping at all.

Market researchers have found that the appearance of a Christmas gift might be as important as what’s inside the packaging. They also discovered that how a Christmas gift is wrapped helps the recipient form an opinion of the giver. Therefore, bags and boxes are probably more appropriate than a wrapped gift in a corporate or business situation.

Another consideration before deciding how to package, has to do with what the gift actually is. For instance, it’s sometimes better to package clothing in a bag or box, as it easier for it to be folded and kept wrinkle free. Bags can also accommodate oddly shaped items such as stuffed animals or rolled up socks, better than wrapping paper can.

Bags come in different sizes that can help accommodate large items, and prevent tiny items from being lost. Gift boxes, on the other hand, are quite suitable for more expensive items such as jewelry, or a key to that new Jaguar sitting outside in the driveway.

Christmas gifts: don’t wait until the last minute to buy them!


Yes, it’s only August, but it’s never too early to to start thinking about Christmas gifts for your loved ones.  If you’re a procrastinator, like me, you might wait until December 23rd or 24th before you hit the stores.  BAD IDEA.  The stores are packed with people just like you.  This results heightened holiday anxiety, and may even take the thoughtfulness out of that special gift to your parents or significant other.

Waiting until the last minute also means you won’t be able to shop online and expect to receive that gift before the holiday.  Even if you do order on the 23rd with next day shipping, the post offices and parcel carriers are swamped with business at this time of the season.  Even if they promise to deliver on time, you still run the risk of something going wrong, and your gift shows up on the 26th.  Too late.  You missed the boat.

So what’s the answer?


It’s never too early to get your Christmas shopping list in order and get those gifts in line.  Some folks even buy gifts the week after Christmas for the NEXT holiday season, a full year ahead of time!  While this method doesn’t work so well with technology items, as they change so rapidly; clothing, decorations and other “evergreen” items (those which don’t go bad or expire with time) are great to buy a year or more ahead of time.

Keep an eye on discount sales

The sooner you plan, the more time you have to take advantage of sales throughout the year.  Has your dad been pining for a new double edge safety razor?  Or is mom wanting a new, top of the line juicer?

These are all things you can look for throughout the year, and save a little money.  Or, if you have a fixed budget for your loved ones, taking advantage of sales will allow you to buy MORE things for them!  Double Bonus!

Buying second hand

Another great idea is to keep an eye on local classified ads websites and buy swap sell groups on Facebook. I was visiting some friends in Australia last christmas and instead of taking gifts with me I was able to source some great bargains on second hand and even some new products on the local Townsville buy swap and sell website. Not only did I save money but my Aussie Family in Townsville loved the gifts. I did not even have to post or travel with them, triple Bonus!

Getting done early is satisfying

Whatever you choose to do, please don’t wait until the week before Christmas.  It causes you and the rest of your family nothing but stress and anguish.  Get it done early.  You can have the peace of mind of being finished before everyone else.

When a coworker comes up to you 10 days before Christmas, stressing about what they’re going to get everyone for the holidays, you can just smile with satisfaction and say, “I’m already done!!”

Happy Holidays!

Show your Christmas spirit with outdoor decorations. Show the world your holiday spirit!

Australia Lights Up For Christmas

Nothing shows that you have Christmas spirit more than outdoor decorations. All you have to do is visit your local home improvement store right after Thanksgiving, to see the multitudes of outdoor Christmas decorations. Christmas lights can be hung from gutters, trees, your porch overhang, or anywhere else on your property. There are also the stand-up figures such as Santa Clause or a group of reindeer. Your only limitations are how lavishly you wish to decorate your yard, and how much money you are willing to spend.

Lights and other ornaments, such as garland and hanging glass bulbs, are the most common outdoor decorations. Most people who want to show off their Christmas spirit without spending a lot of money, buy a string of lights. They hang the strings from porches, in their bushes and even from trees in the yard. Lights, along with other simple ornaments are great, outdoor decorations that show the world that you definitely have Christmas spirit.

If you have some money to spend, there are other outdoor decorations you can buy. You buy some stand up lawn figures. These decorations turn your yard into a virtual Christmas spirit showcase. For a little extra, you can even get animated figures (Santa waving his arms, for example). These types of outdoor decorations are the kind that make people want to drive by at slow speeds, just to see what each house has done next. It’s not uncommon for entire blocks to be done up so big that they create traffic jams of onlookers who want to see the newest and most elaborate outdoor Christmas displays.

For a lot of money, you can turn your house into a Christmas wonderland. This can be very costly, however. You should not only expect to spend a lot of money on the decorations but also on the electricity it takes to run it all.

Christmas is a time of celebration and the display of Christmas spirit. There are many ways to decorate, depending on how much you want to transform your yard and your budget.

Ideas for Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations does not have to be all about tinsel, shiny round bulbs and flashing lights. It does also does not have to be stuck in the traditional red and green color scheme. There are plenty of other materials, many of them natural, that can serve to make a unique Christmas decoration.

For instance the acorns that you find on the ground in fall make unique ornaments. You can spray paint them gold or silver, tie them together in a nosegay and even make a garland for the tree out of them. Another seed pod that you can use in a similar way is the pine cone. Pine cones are not only a traditional Christmas decoration they also look great decorating the mantelpiece, threaded together as a door wreath or as a garland snaking down a banister.

Another natural find that you can consider hanging in your tree is a bird’s nest. Whether artificial or real, a bird’s nest makes a fantastic Christmas decoration. You can frame the bird’s nest with ivy or violets, fill it with foil colored eggs or chocolate coins or place a replica of a white dove (or two) in its center.

Some types of flowers also look great when attached to a Christmas tree. You can get dried baby’s breath died red and green around Christmas time. It looks great bound as a nosegay and then attached to tree limbs or as a Christmas table topper. Poinsettias also look great attached to a tree, especially if it is a natural green tree.

For a natural yet sophisticated look you can collect branches from outside and arrange them on a mantelpiece or create a centerpiece for a Christmas table. You can also spray paint them silver, red, green or gold to make it more obvious as a Christmas tree decoration. The natural branches make unique wreaths and tabletop xmas trees especially if you combine them with the Chinese white money tree blossoms.

Instead of using ribbon or wire to attach a Christmas decoration to a tree consider using lace instead. Lace in an unusual color such as bright lime green can bring a startling neo-modern look to a Christmas tree.

Peacock feathers can be combined with silk flowers and other elements to create an opulent tree topper or christams decoration centerpiece.

Flags are finding their way more and more into Christmas decoration what with the prevalence of war across the world. Tiny flags can be used to make a tree topper, attached to the branches of a tree or added to a centerpiece. If you make a centerpiece it looks good decorated with red, white and blue ribbon and glass balls. This is a charming way of honoring those who are away at war.