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Calling All Holiday Partiers! Who’s Naughty, Who’s Nice?

Santa and naughty or nice cartoon

By Monica Perdue

This time of the year we find ourselves at holiday parties and gatherings. Whether they are office parties, parties with friends, or family gatherings, some we look forward to and some we dread – maybe because we know some guests who know how to have fun and remain on the nice list and others who should probably go on Santa’s naughty list. Which are you?

Are you on the “Nice” or “Naughty” list? Take our quiz below to find out!

Cocktails 

  1. I enjoyed a drink or two, but didn’t overdo it. It was a nice getting to see everyone and celebrate.
  2. It’s a holiday party which means FREE drinks! I think everyone enjoyed my racy Santa jokes and hearing about my divorce in great detail. I think Joe from accounting drove me home . . .

Holiday Attire

  1. Wore this awesome new sequined tunic sweater and leggings with boots with some festive jewelry! I was so excited to show off my new outfit.
  2. The best part of the holiday party is you get to wear what you can’t to work! I got this slinky, sexy little number to show all the guys what they are missing after hours.

Mingling

  1. I met so many new people that I don’t get the chance to talk to from day to day.  I learned that Nancy and her husband are going away to Barbados for New Years and Joe is surprising his son with a bike for Christmas.
  2. I’ve got so much going on, I wasn’t able to get out of the office on time… so I was a little late. And things were just so dull that I decided to hop over to the next party! At least I made an appearance, right?

Dancing

  1. We all had fun dancing late into the night. It was such a great time!
  2. When the drinks are flowing and the music is going, I can’t help myself. I just want to dance, on the tables and bars – wherever will put me in the spotlight.  Did you see me twerk?

Invite Details

  1. The invite said to bring your spouse or companion. I was glad everyone got to meet him/her.  They’ve heard a lot about everyone, so it’s nice to put faces to names.
  2. I know the invite said it’s an employee only thing, but I don’t like to leave my girlfriend out. She stayed with me the whole night and only drank like 5 or so drinks. No biggie.

Transportation

  1. I had a few more drinks than planned, so I caught a cab home. It was pretty nice – they had them on standby to make sure everyone got home safe.
  2. Apparently I wrestled Dan for my car keys and lost, now I have to figure out how to get over to get my car.

If you chose mostly 1’s you’re in the clear, and have kept that halo for another year.  If you chose mostly 2’s,  expect some coal as you’re definitely on the naughty list this year and don’t be surprised if you are not invited back next year . . .

Whether you find yourself on the “Naughty” or “Nice” list, remember it’s the time of the year to have fun with friends, co-workers and family.  Just don’t have too much fun!

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The Three Most Common Fears That Hold Us Back

By Rebecca Chandler

Since October 18, 2010, I have kept an article from USA Today by Henry G. Brinton on my desk – because of a quote in it. I’ve read and re-read the quote and paraphrased it to others.

“. . . we can agree on things that we ought to fear,” says Thomas Hibbs, Professor of Ethics and Culture at Baylor University. The result is that “the pursuit of happiness gets transformed into the pursuit of freedom from unhappiness.”

I reference this often to check in with myself. Am I acting in ways that pursue happiness and success or are my actions simply diverting unhappiness and failure? Now, obviously, we all want to avoid unhappiness and failure, but at the same time, we don’t want to live in fear.

We can relate this to any aspect of our lives, but from a business perspective, this means looking at our everyday decisions as either pushing for success or averting failure. These are not the same thing. For example, here are three common fears that keep us avoiding failure instead of seeking success.

  1. Fear of change.

It’s easier to do the same things everyone else is doing or the same things we’ve always done. In an example taken from the book, “Blue Ocean Strategies,” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, Cirque du Soleil created a completely new “circus” from the Ringling Brothers variety. They took risks that set them apart from their competitors and created something so entirely new, they were no longer in the same category as their previous competitors. Food for thought – In what ways are you standing out from the crowd? For example, are you servicing your clients in a way that others don’t or can’t? If so, take this uniqueness and spread the word through an aggressive marketing campaign – so that consumers see you differently than others – and you stand out.

  1. Fear of learning.

Today’s world moves at break neck speed and the amount of information that streams at us constantly can be so completely overwhelming that we may feel ill-prepared to make decisions or have conversations because we feel we don’t have a full grasp of the available information. That feeling can make us avoid learning new things because new things change into more new things and the stress of keeping up with all these new things – gives us a headache. Let’s face it. It’s highly unlikely that we could become experts on everything. However, that’s no reason to abandon our natural curiosity. In business, this means examining new trends, technologies, or practices without the fear of having to fully master every nuance. The good news is that you can hire experts to help you with the detailed execution. You just need to understand enough to determine strategy and measure impact.

  1. Fear of confrontation.

I’m not suggesting that we become argumentative or overtly aggressive, but saying the things others want to hear versus saying what you really think is sometimes so much easier. A productive dialogue involves listening, considering, and communicating in a collaborative way and can result in better conclusions. But – speaking your mind sometimes results in risk of rejection or ridicule, so we remain silent or agreeable in order to avoid that uncomfortable feeling. Some of us could wallpaper our offices in rejected or bad ideas, but none of our good ideas will ever get implemented if we are afraid to communicate them. Like the lottery, we will not win every time, but we can’t win if we don’t play. In your business dealings, are you being honest with buyers, sellers, colleagues, and vendors in a productive way? Are you forming opinions before you’ve listened fully and considered what they have to say? You may even have a totally new outcome to an old conversation because now you’ve conquered the fear of saying what you really think and allowed others to respond.

One of my favorite movies is an Australian film, “Strictly Ballroom,” an early work of Baz Lurhmann, director of “The Great Gatsby,” and “Moulin Rouge!” The plot revolves around a ballroom dance competition in which the main characters dare to introduce “new steps,” to the competition – to great opposition. The main characters press on – inspired by an elder’s advice that “a life lived in fear is a life half-lived.” I won’t spoil the ending for you (because you really should watch this movie), but I think the quote has one of the most important lessons we can learn – that overcoming the fear of unhappiness and failure opens more doors to more happiness and more success.

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Home for Sale for the Holidays? Use it to Your Advantage!

by Monica Perdue

Just because your house is on the market doesn’t mean you have to be Scrooge this holiday season. Sharing your holiday cheer can actually be advantageous this time of the year. Check out these DO’s and DON’Ts for holiday home staging.

DO’s:

Photo from blog.outdoorlights.com

  • White holiday lights are always in style. Accent your home’s positives with minimal string lighting along the lines of your home. And stick with white lights.  Yes it may be simple, but it is classy. Candle light accents in the windows also add to the design. Families driving around during the holidays will notice your home over others and may even grab a brochure when they realize it’s for sale!

Images from homedesign.marthastewart.com

  • Share your cheer and don’t be afraid to celebrate. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or another holiday, it is ok to show your cheer. Put up your tree, it may accentuate the high ceilings, display your Menorah in a big window to add ambiance, and light the Kinara candles and celebrate. A home is a place where families gather and celebrate many occasions. This is no exception.  Don’t put your beliefs and celebration on hold for the sale.

Photo from creativebeautyhealth.com

  • Decorate with colors that compliment. Holiday colors can clash, so be aware of color schemes that fit well together. If your house has earth tones, your color options are pretty open from red and green to silver and gold. But if you have a cool color pallet in your home, try sticking with complimentary accents like white and gold or silver.
  • Think Martha Stewart.  Holiday decorating can be a great and inexpensive way to spruce up your living space without too much trouble or cost. Check out some great ideas on marthastewart.com, BetterHomesandGardens.com, and hgtv.com. Setting out a bowl of pine cones sprinkled with glitter, a homemade ornament wreath, or a simple garland can all add a simple “wow” factor.
  • And definitely add to the ambiance of the holidays with scented candles, oils, Photo from SheKnows.compotpourri, freshly baked cookies and more.  This time of the year has so many yummy smells from pumpkin pie (and bread) to cinnamon and cranberry, not to mention holiday cookies. Who wouldn’t want to come in from the cold to the scent of  warm cookies or hot coco?

 

DON’Ts

    • Photo from FlickrInflatable Explosions are BAD. Yes they may be appealing to the kids, but they are truly eye sores and not something that will prove positive to prospective buyers. They are even worse when not inflated, and generally during daylight hours they are not… it actually looks like they died all over your lawn.  “I’m melting.  I’m melting… ahhhhhh”

Photo from RoadSideAmerica.com

  • Don’t hide your home. Too many decorations can lead buyers astray. Cluttered rooms full of decorations can hide the positive elements of your house. Decorate the mantel with simple garland and avoid personalized stockings. Make sure the tree isn’t too big for the space, and avoid doing multiple trees.
  • Don’t over-emphasize your religion. While it’s important you are comfortable and able to enjoy the season, you don’t want to offend anyone. Avoid showcasing over sized nativity scenes or other religious symbols.

 

Decorations or no decorations, we hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday season!
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