Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

5 Tips for Sending Cards During the Holidays

5 Tips for Sending Cards During the Holidays
Sending holiday cards has a long tradition beginning with the first greeting card commissioned by Sir Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callcott Horsley in London on the 1st of May 1843. The central picture showed three generations of a family raising a toast to the card’s recipient. On both sides were scenes of charity, with food and clothing being given to the poor, This warm and fun tradition continues today in households all over the World. As the digital age continues to grow, the holiday season is usually the only time you may receive an influx of mail that you actually enjoy opening.

However, before you join in the fun and warm greetings of the Holiday, here are 5 tips to remember if you are planning to send out holiday cards to family and friends.

Send early – Whether it’s for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or New Year’s, make sure to give yourself enough time to address and mail out your holiday cards so that they are received on or before the intended holiday.

Don’t send family photos to business associates – Family and friends love receiving holiday cards with photos. However, it is not proper etiquette to send such personalized cards to your associates. Choose a more professional design for business contacts.

Include a return address– Even if you are 100% sure that you have the correct mailing address, include a return address just in case your card does not reach its targeted destination. Returned cards will help you manage and keep your card list up to date.

Include a handwritten note – Never send a card without your own personal touch, even if it’s just your signature. A small personalized note shows the person you cared enough to take time to address them personally.

Avoid sending a digital card – The only time a digital holiday card is appropriate is if you ONLY have a digital relationship (social networking friends) with the intended receiver. Otherwise, take the time to purchase and send imprinted cards for your holiday card distribution.
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The Protocol of Opening Gifts

Christmas…… the special time when we cherish the gift of giving. This holiday gives us the opportunity to show our appreciation to loved ones through gifts to brighten their Christmas. Not only are the receivers of the gifts anxious about what’s under the wrapping paper, but the gift givers are also anxious to see the reactions of the recipients, if the gift was a hit or miss. The givers are hoping they made the right decisions with gifts they picked especially for you.

Although it’s the thought that counts when it comes to gifts, we’ve all been in a situation where we may have not been too pleased with a gift we have received.

Here are a few things to keep in mind
  • If gifts are sent to you via mail, be sure to let the giver know when the gift arrives.
      Always read cards first! Reading the card first shows that you are connected to the emotional aspect of your gift.
        Make sure children unwrap all of their gifts before they start to play with a certain gift.
        Be sure not to ask receivers if they like the gift you gave.
          Do not ask where someone bought a gift.
            Never let someone know you don’t like the gift they gave you.
              Be sure not to put a gift in a box from a store where it wasn’t bought.
                Remove price tags from gifts before giving.
                  Have a sense of gratitude for every gift you receive.

                Remember, the holidays are a joyous occasion to be spent with family and friends and not just centered on gifts. It’s an overall time to be merry while enjoying the season.
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The Holiday Office Party

T’is the season for festive celebrations, and a renewed sense of hopefulness, holiday shopping, and legendary office parties. While workplace parties are a time to enjoy downtime with your coworkers and take your mind off of daily grind, it is critical not to lose yourself in the moment and to maintain your professional posture. Keep in mind that the office holiday party isn’t the last time you will see your coworkers and that you will see everyone in the office, bright and early on Monday morning.

We have prepared a few do’s and don’ts for this year’s holiday office party:

  • Conduct yourself professionally at all times.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Keep conversation positive and light.
  • Wear name badges the right side.
  • Avoid controversial conversations and debates.
  • Only bring a guest if the invitation specifies you can bring one.
  • Drink in moderation.
  • Be sure to carry beverages in your left hand; this leaves your right hand free for handshakes.
  • Thank the host before you leave.

  • Eat and speak at the same time.
  • Have too many drinks.
  • Discuss work matters at the event.
  • Over indulge in food; have a small bite to eat before the party.
  • Arrive too late or miss the holiday party.
  • Answer phone calls or text messages unless it is an emergency.
  • Become the subject of the highlight story from the party

We hope these tips are helpful during this holiday season. For more protocol and etiquette tips contact Protocol International today!
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Be the Host Who is the Most During the Holiday Season

I love the holiday season! Mr. Robertson and I always travel during Thanksgiving to be with his mom Wanda. Christmas season we slow down on the travel and settle in for celebrating in and around South Orange, NJ. ‘Tis the season to celebrate, decorate and entertain family and friends who we’ve missed and need to catch up with.

Mostly we love a cocktail party, sometimes intimate with one or two other couples, or often a real house party featuring Chef Jesse or Smart Cookie. As I contemplate some of our staple holiday celebrations and a new one or two, here are a few Protocol International entertaining tips I’d like to share.

  • Christmas décor helps to set the mood; an abundant Christmas tree, mistletoe above the door, garland cascading down the stairs. We always host the Annual Condo Holiday party, so we also mix in symbols of Hanukkah blue, silver and white candles and flowers and jelly donuts.

  • Make people feel welcome and comfortable so much that they want to come back. Make your space warm and inviting, so people really feel at home. I hate the feeling of being in someone’s home where it’s so fancy that you think you’re going to break everything. I want my guests to relax and have a good time.

  • Having a theme is fun. Suzanne D once told me that she has different themes and colorful decorations every year. Once you decide on a theme, you know what to look for whether you’re shopping at Tiffany’s, HomeGoods or Target. Everything from quirky decorations, candles, to beautiful china.

  • Be sure you have enough food. Mr. Robertson always makes sure to have certain items specific to certain people– George’s Hennessy, Uncle Wayne loves salmon salad, Sandi’s favorite Vodka.

  • Be sure to greet every guest when they arrive and make every effort to introduce folks as you get people mingling.

  • Have a great music playlist. In our house, we like to dance.

  • Dress to impress. As a host, wear a statement piece of jewelry or a fun shirt – it can be an instant conversation starter.

  • Enjoy the holidays. Let us know if you have any protocol or etiquette questions or challenges that you need to be answered to have a flawless holiday party experience.
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    Ready to Have an Amazing Thanksgiving

    Well can you believe it?! Thanksgiving is tomorrow. It marks the beginning of our holiday season. While I was in Bermuda I purchased a few wonderful things to prepare for the holidays. Preparation includes more than just a new linen tablecloth with matching napkins. As a jump start we would like to share a few Protocol International Thanksgiving Preparation tips

  • Invite at least one non-family member to ensure that everyone is on their best behavior, help temper tensions, and extend the bread and salt of welcome to neighbors and friends. It’s especially nice to ask someone from a different culture, for whom Thanksgiving is a curious novelty. As you explain the history of thanksgiving and tell the stories of your family celebration you’ll be reminded of why we celebrate.

  • There must be music: without it the gathering is missing something special and nostalgic. Selections can change throughout the meal. Perhaps make different people play the DJ role. Give your DJ some boundaries and choose your DJ considering their style, generation, so you ca mix it up. Our playlists include Marvin, the Eagles, James Brown, Miles Davis, Gregory Porter, Drake, The Manhattans, the Rolling Stones, Jay Z, Curtis Mayfield, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, A Tribe called Quest, Snoop, the temptations to name a few. We mostly like music the whole house will end up singing and depending on how late dancing to. What must be on your playlist?

  • No scented candles! Roasting turkey, stuffing, Mac n Cheese, Candide Sweets, and grandma’s pound cake that Rhonda has mastered should be the only aromas.

  • Clean, tidy, clean again. Pay extra attention to your bathrooms, which should be well stocked and absolutely spotless.

  • Organize your home so there is room for coats, a place for children to play, and somewhere for the adults to escape.(It’s perfectly acceptable to pile all of your junk into one room and declare it out of bounds.)

  • If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving at a restaurant, the usual rules of protocol and etiquette apply. But remember that most of the staff would rather be with their families than serving yours. When the check arrives…tip like Frank Sinatra or Floyd Mayweather.

  • Thanksgiving deserves a little pomp and ceremony. Hosts should prepare something to say at the start of the meal: grace or, a toast. This moment of reflection allows all to express their thanks for the food, family, and friends before them.

  • For more protocol international Thanksgiving tips let us know you want more. We love hearing from you.
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