For years, Twist Office Products has been doing a toy drive for the Children of Aunt Martha's Children's Shelter.
The children receiving gifts are children receiving services at the Children’s Reception Center. They range from age 0 – 17, and are referred by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, local police, the juvenile justice system or other child welfare agencies.
Many of these children are entering the child welfare system for the first time. These will be the only gifts they receive this holiday season. Twist is excited to say the toys from the drive were delivered this morning, and nothing fills us with more holiday spirit.
We wish you a very merry holiday season, from our Twist family to yours.
This ingenious guide to holiday party etiquette was created by an employee to make functions, family or not, just a little bit more bearable.
Normally used when vying for a promotion or salary raise, this rubric is a light-hearted attempt to poke fun at the cutthroat competitive nature of moving up in corporate America.Examine it now to facilitate your upward path to party success, and replace "tequila" with "eggnog".
*note some names have been changed
There are a few things you should consider when shipping perishable goods to make sure they arrive intact.
We would like to thank our good friends at 3M, Scotch Brand for sharing these tips with us on their blog
One time, my office holiday party, which I lovingly referred to as "forced family fun," turned out better than I expected. For that day only, the entire office turned into a mini-golf course, with each department hosting their own unique hole and quirky obstacles. My coworkers got into it and got creative, and bonded. Now isn't that what the holidays are all about?
First, you must choose a theme. The theme can be indicative of the atmosphere you want at your party. Choose a holiday movie and set the scene! Or decorate your space to look like with a simple, but splendid winter theme. Maybe you want a dressy black and red affair! Just make sure it's filled with holiday spirit!
Now, the 5 G's...
1. Grub. If it's a more casual atmosphere, have each person bring their favorite holiday baked good. Or host a cookie exchange--each guest brings a dozen cookies and takes home a variety of at least a dozen!
2. Giveaways.Think about drawing for door prizes-everyone loves free stuff. It doesn't have to be big; a bottle of champagne or company T-shirt are just as fun to win as anything.
3. Games & contests. Healthy competition, like my aforementioned mini-golf office experience, is always a good idea. Ugly sweater contest? Gingerbread house making competition? Name that (holiday) tune or (holiday) movie are fun, too!
4. Give back. Have your coworkers band together to collect cans to donate to a local food pantry; better yet, volunteer together! When regular employees or volunteers are traveling for the holidays, places like animal shelters or homeless shelters need extra help.
5. Gift swap. White Elephant exchange, anyone? There are many variations, but the best types involve stealing other's presents. We played a version of this at my old office's holiday party and it would last a couple hours! Add in the holiday fruit punch and beverages and you've got yourself some laughs--and a random gift you never knew you needed!
Oh, and the 6th G---don't be a grinch.
Keeping track of dates and time is important if you want to beat the holiday rush, but equally important is taking advantage of some time saving shortcuts.
Here are some tips sure to help.
Addressing Made Easy
You can make short work of long mailing lists by using Avery Address Labels and free easy-to-use programs such as the Avery Wizard for Microsoft® Office or Avery Design & Print Online to create professional looking, custom-printed address labels in minutes. Visit avery.com/templates to find out more.
Check Your Zip Codes
Don’t let an incorrect zip code send your mail in the wrong direction. If in doubt, just go to www.usps.com and click on Look up a ZIP Code. Once you’ve got your mailing list in order (with full addresses and correct ZIP Codes) use the Avery Wizard or Avery Design & Print Online and get step-by-step instructions to mail merge your mailing list and print onto labels in minutes. If you don't have a spreadsheet with all of your names and addresses, you can start with our pre-formatted files for Microsoft® Excel or other database programs.
Reuse those boxes
Got a used box that would be perfect for something you need to ship, except it has its original shipping labels or other markings all over it? No problem. There’s no need to scratch off the old labels—all you need are Avery Shipping Labels with TrueBlock® Technology and free Avery Templates to format and print the new shipping address. You can also make old boxes look like new by covering up old markings with Avery Brown Kraft Shipping Labels. And because Avery Shipping Labels completely cover up everything underneath, your packages look neat, legible, and professional.
Avoid Post Office Lines
Why go to the Post Office when you can calculate and print official USPS postage right from your own PC? You can print postage using popular Avery 5160 Labels and Avery 8160 Labels at www.avery.com/postage, powered by Stamps.com. For new customers, check out the special introductory offer (valued at $100).
Each year at this time we invite our employees, customers, vendors, friends and family to join with us in collecting toys for the children who end up spending the holidays at the Aunt Martha's Children's Reception Center. These children have been removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect.
There are numerous toy drives during the holiday season. Many are for children of low income families. While all children are very important, they are spending the holidays surrounded by family and friends. The children at Aunt Martha's are not. Spending time with these children, you can see the heartbreak and desperation in their eyes. They are unsure of their future and what the next few days, weeks and months bring. Where will they be living? Does anyone love them? Are they valued by anyone?
Your small gift or donation can show these children that someone does care! The children receiving services at the Children’s Reception Center range from age 0 – 21, male and female. Gifts for any age is appreciated. We can arrange for our drivers to pick up your gift, or you can drop off gifts at 945 Edgewood Ave, Suite A. Wood Dale, IL. 60191
For more information on Aunt Martha's please go to www.auntmarthas.org
This blog post was originally posted on the Smead Organamics blog
Coping with holiday stress is a huge concern for many people. Many people try to pack months worth of activities into just 6 short weeks. Most individuals admit to having stress directly related to this time of year. For mental and physical health reasons, coping with holiday stress is very important. In fact, there are four holiday stress-inducers that you can try eliminating to make your holiday season actually feel like a holiday:
By: Audrey Thomas, Certified Professional Organizer®
If you're one of the 40 million or so Americans who travel at Thanksgiving, you know what a hassle it can be. But with a plan in hand you can ease some of the stress and strain by following these dos and don’ts.
Do Plan Your Flight Early. In late summer or early fall, sign up for airline price notifications. Be sure to include flights for surrounding airports, because even if it means a longer drive from your home or to your final destination, the savings could be well worth it. Keep in mind that early bird discounts are often first posted on Twitter or Facebook, so if you're not a social media fan, now might be a good time to start.
Don't Travel on the Busiest Days. The day before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after are the busiest travel days of the year. Avoid the chaos by flying out on Tuesday, or get a really good deal by leaving home on Thanksgiving morning. You can save 15-20 percent on airfare and still make it in time for dinner. If your schedule allows, return home on Friday when everyone else heads to the mall for Black Friday deals, or Monday when the airport crowds have tapered off.
Don't Over Pack. Since most airlines charge for checked bags, pack light and carry it on. Keep in mind that everyone else will have the same idea so take a bag that's small enough to shove under the seat if the overhead bins are full. Consider shipping bulky items or early holiday presents ahead of time versus lugging them onto the plane.
Do Put Your Smart Phone to Use. Everything you need is right at your fingertips! Keep track of your flight status, parking, weather alerts, airport volume, gate changes, restaurants, and last-minute shopping deals by loading up with all the relevant apps. Many airlines are using Twitter to keep passengers up-to-date about last minute changes, another good reason to be a follower.
Do Consider a Plan B - Driving. Driving to your destination can save you time, allow you to pack more, and eliminate airport headaches. It does, however, come with its own challenges. Highways, especially around major metropolitan areas, can become very congested, and the weather can turn dicey that time of year. Follow some of the same advice above: plan ahead, leave early and use technology like your smart phone or GPS system to stay informed.
Don't Forget to Secure Your Home Before Leaving. Do not post your travel plans on social media sites. Stop mail, newspapers, and deliveries and use timers to operate lights at various times throughout the house and day. You can ease your worries further by keeping an eye on your home using a web-based home security system that allows you to check your home via phone or laptop.
Happy safe travels and a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Are you looking for a way to celebrate Independence Day around the office but are not quite sure how? Food. The answer is always food. Here's a quick--and one of my favorite family--recipes for success from Kraft Foods:
American Flag Cake
It's great because it's easy to make (takes only about 15 minutes) and share with coworkers without too much hassle, but is obviously very festive. You'll be a huge hit! Happy Independence Day!
Why Americans Are Weird
I recently read an article about a list of things that are strangely--and solely American. Here are a few of my favorites from "93 Weird Things About The U.S. That Americans Don’t Realize Are Weird":
#35-Obsession with coffee.
#84-The lack of annual leave from work.
#89-Talking about work and asking what people do for a living in great detail at a social function.
If that tickled your fancy, you can check out the other 90 ways Americans are weird.
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