Seasons Greetings

As published in Azalea Magazine  Fall 2017.

Dust off that address book, it will soon be time again to send holiday
greeting cards. Here are some things to think about when selecting and
mailing your holiday hellos.

Who to include. Holiday cards are a great way to reach out to friends,
neighbors, close business associates, and family. Edit your list, and
check it twice!

What to send. Holiday photo cards have become increasingly popular.
Photo or not, be certain to include a personalized holiday verse and
your family name.

When to send. Update addresses and order custom cards in early
November. Mail your cards any time after Thanksgiving. Plan to send
cards so they arrive at their destination before Christmas Day.
January 1 is considered the official final day of the holiday card
season.

Hand write recipient addresses.  This gives your cards a personal
touch. A hand-addressed card is always more charming than a printed
label.

Include your return address.  This ensures that your recipients have
your current address every year and they can use it to send a card
back to you if they haven’t already.

Other Things to Keep in Mind when Sending Greeting Cards:

•   It is preferable to use stamps rather than run envelopes through a
postage meter.

•   Cards should be inserted into the back of the envelope face up so
that when the recipient opens the envelope the face of the card is in
front of them.

•   Plan to have extra 10-15 cards so that when a card arrives from
friends not on your original list, you can reciprocate.

There you have it! Here’s to enjoying the holiday card process and
always putting our most gracious foot (or should I say card) forward!

Wedding Guest Etiquette

Wedding Guest Etiquette

As published in Azalea Magazine  Summer 2017.

It’s June, which means wedding season is heating up. The following are
a few ground rules to help you navigate the dos and don’ts of being a
good wedding guest:

RSVP
Good wedding guest etiquette starts the minute you receive the invitation in the mail. As soon as you receive a formal invitation, respond yes or no. If there is not a response card be sure to reply using your own stationery.

Be On Time
It is best to arrive at least 20 minutes before the ceremony is set to begin. Stumbling in when the ceremony is already underway is both distracting and disrespectful to the couple.

Do Not Wear White
While rules for wedding attire are becoming more relaxed, traditionally, you would not wear white. White and ivory should be
left for the bride — and that still holds true today.

No Extras Please
The invitation is extended only to the persons whose names are on the
envelope. This means…
A wedding invitation is not transferable.
If your spouse can not attend, your sister or best friend can not fill in.
Do not assume that children or “plus ones” are allowed. They are not invited unless their names are listed on either the outside or inner envelope of the invitation.

Mail Large Gifts
Gifts are best sent to the bride’s home (or the return address on the
invitation) prior to the wedding. This saves guests the hassle of
having to transport the gifts, as well as saving the couple (or couple’s family members) the hassle of rounding up the gifts and getting them to the couple.

It is an honor to be invited to someone’s wedding. If there is ever a
time to rise to an occasion, this is it! Following these tips will
allow you to do just that.

How to Accept A Compliment

Etiquette: How To Accept A Compliment

As published in Azalea Magazine  Spring 2017.

We all like to be noticed and acknowledged for our accomplishments; but many times, when thanks or recognition does come our way, we tend to fumble the receipt.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you are honored with recognition:

Say thank you. When you receive a compliment, be it big or small, a simple “Thank you” is the most modest and graceful way to acknowledge the praise. If you have difficulty accepting compliments, it is okay to stop right there.

Express appreciation.  If a compliment is particularly heartwarming or special to you, perhaps follow up your “Thank you” with “I appreciate your kind words.” It is perfectly acceptable to tell the giver what the compliment means to you, how it makes you feel, or why you value it.

Be modest. We should never brag following a compliment. Even in jest, this type response can come across as conceited.

Never contradict. Avoid phrases like, “Oh, it’s no big deal,” or “Thanks, but it was nothing.” When you downplay, deflect, or deny a compliment you are devaluing the person who gave you the praise.

Recognize others when appropriate. If you are being complimented on a group effort be sure to point out the contributions of others. Respond with something such as, “We all put in a lot of effort; thank you for acknowledging our hard work.”

Do not feel compelled to return the favor. There is no need to offer a matching complement. Doing so may come across as insincere and is not the most effective way to accept praise.

Receiving compliments is a talent worth perfecting. Bottom-line is, to accept a compliment only requires a smile and a “Thank you.”

 

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Present Day

present

As published in Azalea Magazine  Winter 2016

It’s that time again. Holiday season is officially underway, which means the hunt for the perfect present has begun. It’s a cliché, but as you flock to the stores searching for the perfect gifts for friends and family members, keep in mind that gift giving is ultimately about the spirit or thought behind the present.

Here is a list of do’s and don’ts for gift giving this holiday season:

DO

Make a list.  Give presents to the people you want to show your appreciation to such as family and close friends.

Put thought into gifts. The biggest mistake people make when approaching holiday gifts is to buy what they would like, rather than what the recipient would like. Take time to really think about the gift recipient’s personal interests, needs, wants, likes and dislikes.

Consider presentation. The best way to present a gift is always beautifully wrapped and in person.

DON’T

Spend above your means. Gift giving is about being thoughtful and showing appreciation, it’s not about going into debt.

Leave the price tag on. It is not appropriate to show how much you spent on an item.

Expect anything in return. Giving is not an opportunity for quid pro quo. If the person reciprocates, that’s wonderful. However, if the giving is one-sided, be happy that you were the one doing the giving. After all, it is better to give than to receive, right?

While December is the biggest gift-giving month, there are endless reasons to give gifts throughout the year. The purpose of giving gifts is to bring joy to both the giver and receiver, promote goodwill, and make for a closer relationship. As we count down the days until Christmas, as with any gift giving occasion, just remember it truly is the thought that counts.