Its Getting to be that Time: Make Way for Holiday Party Games

The holiday season is a great time to boost workplace morale and build rapport between new and established employees. Add these party games to your holiday celebrations to make them parties to remember:

Ribbon Tangle

Cut multiple lengths of ribbon 10 to 20 feet long, then attach a plastic spoon to one end. To the other end, attach a small gift like a chocolate bar or a pack of decorative sticky notes.

Wind the ribbons around one another and furniture in the room. Each player grabs a spoon and, without ever letting go of it, unwinds her way to her prize.

Camera Hot Potato 

While everyone is sitting down to eat, pass around a camera in timer mode. Each person must point the camera at his face for a moment before passing it on.

This game yields plenty of funny photos to remember the office party.

What’s the Word?

Before the party, spend a little time finding obscure words in the dictionary. Write them down on construction paper large enough to show to the group. Each person should come up with her own definition for every word.

Whoever gets the most laughs for her idea wins. Print up casual certificates in fun styles for the perfect award.

Christmas Wishes.

Many local charities put together wish lists for kids in need. Make keepsake ornaments and attach a card to each with a child’s name, age and a suggested gift. During the party, invite people to take an ornament and fill a wish.

These and other party games help shy employees mingle and allows everyone to bond for a stronger company and a more enjoyable workplace. During the holidays and throughout the year, make your business look its best. Keep your written communications professional and inviting with the wide range of products from PaperDirect.

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Christmas Recognition Tip #4 – Gifts

Christmas Recognition Gifts

Thank your employees for their hard work all year long. Whether you gift them a monetary bonus on their paychecks, hand each person a wrapped gift at a holiday party or tuck gift cards in personalized letters sent to each person’s home — they will appreciate it!

Make a Gift List

Start thinking of gift ideas now. Everyone should receive the same thing to be fair. Popular employer gifts during the holidays include:

  • Frozen hams for holiday meals
  • Gift cards to popular local retailers
  • Company stock options
  • Fruit baskets
  • Wine/Beer Variety Pack
  • Gifts from a Local Store
  • Gas Cards
  • Personalized Ornament
  • Office Gear Like mouse pads, mugs or pens
  • Sweatshirt or T shirt
  • Other SWAG items

For more Christmas-Inspired Office Gifts, browse PaperDirects selection of personalized items.

Keep a Budget in Mind

When brainstorming gift ideas, think of how much you can spend on each person. Don’t forget to include seasonal employees and consultants who help make your business run smoothly. Small businesses might only be able to afford a $25 gift, while larger companies bestow thousands of dollars in goodies to their employees.

No matter your budget, remember: its the thought that counts!

week4-onThis week we’re offering 15% off Holiday Border Papers to make correspondence with your staff festive and personalized.

Use code WCRT1014B at checkout to get this special offer.

View our entire guide to Christmas Recognition

[image via] 

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Christmas Party Planning Tip #4 – Order Invites

It’s time to tell everyone about your upcoming Christmas party! Don’t take the lazy route and send a text message or mass email. Keep things festive and personal by sending paper invitations in the mail. Here’s three quick possibilities:

Send and Seal Invites

christmas-send-and-seal
christmas-send-and-seal2
christmas-send-and-seal3

Keep things simple and use a tri-fold invitation. These compact greetings come in several holiday designs, from elegant to whimsical. The tear off segment is perfect for RSVPing.

Holiday Bordered Papers

holiday paper
Tropical santa Paper
Holiday Paper

If you prefer to type up a one-sheet invite, use bordered paper. This colorful option is a great choice when you need to include a map or lots of text in the correspondence.

Christmas Tickets

printable ticket
holiday printable ticket

Christmas tickets are a great alternative for invitations. You can use them to enter your guests into a raffle or hand them over for a free cocktail at the restaurant.  Use these Christmas tickets for your next party.

week4-7-onPlace your order for Christmas party invitations this week!

Get 15% off our Holiday Border Papers by using code WCRT1014B at checkout.

Then read our entire party planning guide. 

 

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Small Business Tip #4 – Get Personal

Remember how excited you were last time you received a handwritten card in the mail?

Bring that same joy to your customers and partners this Christmas.

small business get personal

To your Customers:

If your small business is growing in leaps and bounds, and you simply have too many customers in your database to address that many envelopes, wow them with a special customer appreciation postcard instead.

Offer a special BOGO sale or major discount on the purchase of one item during the month of December. Here’s how to get these promotions out in the world:

  • Have a beefy mailing list? Mail the postcards. This super personal touch will surely grab the attention of your past customers.
  • Personally hand them to customers during November as they shop in your store. Either by slipping them in your customers bags as they check out, or stacking them near the checkout.
  • Create a Facebook offer. Offering a coupon on a platform like Facebook will get people to like your social profiles which allows you to re-market later on.

To Your Partners:

This holiday season take the time to reach out and thank the people who have helped your small business be successful. Stock the printer with festive paper and type a heartfelt letter of gratitude. Then tuck the signed notes into handwritten envelopes and send them out!

week4-7-onAre you ready to get started? This week we’re offering 15% off Holiday Border Papers.

Use code WCRT1014B at checkout to get the discount.

Also view our entire small business guide for Christmas planning.

 

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Christmas-Inspired Office Gifts for the Holiday Party

cute-christmas1Sincere appreciation for a job well done is always in season, but perhaps there is no better time to show your gratitude than during the Christmas season. Christmas office gifts are special because at a time when most people are under a lot of additional pressures and a time when they can most use recognition and encouragement.

Gifts of recognition do not have to be expensive, but they should be heartfelt and meaningful.  Christmas office awards make this easy because the tone and mood, which is often more reflective, is already set and does not need to be created. It is also a time when you can get away with giving more sentimental awards that might seem overly sentimental at other times of the year.

If you are looking for some Christmas-inspired office recognition awards, check out this list of ideas:

Merry Christmas1.       Create beautiful recognition certificates for often over-looked achievements such as “Cheerfulness” or being a team player. Pair it with something special, such as a gift certificate to a local retail store or restaurant.

2.       Give awards to those who work “behind the scenes” and not usually in the limelight. Show that you know and understand their work by giving something that solves a problem in addition to something that shows personal thanks.

3.       Acknowledge special achievements, such as attending development training or going back to school by providing funding for future activities.

4.       Give unusual awards. Creativity is everything in showing appreciation, so have fun with the idea. Give a rocket kit to someone who has launched some great ideas, or hiking gear to someone who has been “rock solid” in their performance.

5.       Consider office-wide recognition gifts, such as a surprise catered lunch, personalized gifts, or note of appreciation.

6.        Give special engraved awards for more difficult to measure achievements like volunteering and sacrificial service.

7.       Give them “coupons” for a day to sleep in or extended lunch hour.

Merry Christmas (1)

8.       Provide some act of service for them such as have their cars washed while they work.

9.       Send a gift to their home, such as plants, flowers, or sweets.

10.   Leave gifts of candy with a message on desks such as mints that say “you’re worth a mint to me” or a Kudos bar saying “great Job” and so forth.

Most employees cite recognition as the best motivator around. Whether you want to go all out or just want to do something small and meaningful, Christmas office awards are perfect for showing you care and for boosting morale.

 

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Small Business Tip #3 – Plan your Promotion

Small business christmas promotion

When you do something well, you want to do it again and again and again. This holiday season, draw on your most successful past holiday promotions for inspiration. Sometimes the wackiest ideas — like hosting a silly photo contest online or having an open house at the business with a carnival theme — are worth repeating.

Bring it Back

Start by pulling stats from those successful campaigns. What was the budget? How many people participated? What was the top selling product based on the promotion? How many new customers were added to the database after the event?

Once you determine which elements were winners, incorporate them into this year’s holiday promotion. If the campaign includes a physical gathering of potential customers, greet them with professionally printed holiday programs. This looks more festive than handing out business cards — and still puts all your company details in their grasp.

Is This your First Holiday Promotion?

If you didn’t participate in a holiday promotion last year and don’t have anything to pull from, don’t worry. Some inexpensive promotions include:

  • Social Media Contests
  • Good Deeds or Charitable Donations
  • Black Friday Sale
  • Buy One Get One Free Offers
  • Community Dinner or Night Out
  • Mailers with coupons or exclusive offers

week3-onThis week at Paper Direct, you can get 25% off holiday programs by entering code WCRT1014B at checkout. Enjoy!

 View our entire small business guide for Christmas promotions!

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Christmas Recognition Tip #3 – Spread the Word

Holiday Border Paper

You’ve made a list of employees who deserve to be recognized. A celebratory cake is on order. Now you need to tell everyone about the big event. Whether the employee recognition ceremony is part of the annual company holiday party, or a separate event, get the staff excited about the occasion.

Design a simple, festive announcement on holiday border paper that can be posted around the office.

Here’s a few places to hang the colorful announcement:

  • Meeting rooms
  • Staff lounge and break areas
  • Restroom doors
  • Company cafeteria, daycare or exercise room
  • In elevators and on staircase doors

If you don’t have any holiday stationary on hand, Paper Direct has several styles to choose from. If this recognition ceremony will be an even bigger ordeal, consider sending holiday invitations to each employee’s house. This will create buzz surrounding the event and really get people excited to attend.

week3-onAs a bonus, this week we’re offering 25% off holiday programs products. Use code WCRT1014B when you checkout to get the savings.

Then view the entire recognition planning guide here.

 

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Christmas Party Planning Tip #3 – Reserve The Venue

Country Club Venue

You’re not the only one in town planning an amazing Christmas party. It’s time to finalize your party venue location and put down a deposit before someone steals your favorite location. But before signing any contracts, use your savvy business skills to negotiate the best deal possible.

Here’s a few questions to ask the venue’s event coordinator:

  1. Are appetizers for a cocktail hour included if the high-end catered meal is chosen?

  2. Does the venue have a house band that can play during dinner in lieu of hiring an outside band?

  3. If we pay to have a cash bar set up just for our guests in the party room, is it possible to upgrade the liquor choices at no additional cost?

  4. If we serve a full meal, in lieu of appetizers-only, can you include a complimentary dessert?

By asking for a package deal, or a combination of services and goods, you’re more likely to get a discount on one or more items you need!

Now that the venue is locked in, start designing your holiday programs. Include the name of the venue, party date, break down of the festivities by time (cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, etc.) and brainstorm a list of people to thank for making the party possible.

week3-onReady to get started? Paper Direct is offering 25% off holiday program printing this week.

Use code WCRT1014B at checkout to get this special offer.

Looking for more Christmas party planning tips? View our entire guide. 

 

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Thanksgiving Table Setting Guide [Graphic]

While there are many ways to set a table for Thanksgiving, we believe there should be a nice balance between elegantly formal and excessive utensils. Below is a Thanksgiving table setting graphic to help guide you this Thanksgiving:

How to Set a Table for Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving Table Setting

As you can see in the above graphic, you’ll need a few things for a proper Thanksgiving including:

Dinnerware:

  • Serving Plate
  • Salad Plate
  • Bread Plate

Stemware:

  • Wine Glass (you can have more than one wine glass if you are serving both red & white)
  • Water Glass
  • Coffee Cup and Saucer (not shown)

Flatware:

  • Dinner fork
  • Salad Fork
  • Cake Fork
  • Soup Spoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Dessert Spoon
  • Dinner Knife
  • Bread Knife

Accessories:

Things to keep in mind:

1. Formal table settings take up room. If you have a small table, you may want to place the napkin on top of the salad plate or even beautifully bundle your flatware in a Thanksgiving-themed holder.

2. While you may think your guests will surely eat their pumpkin cheesecake with a fork, others may want to use a spoon. Try not to ax any of the flatware for this reason.

3. You can use a variety of stemware for beverages. These includes wine glasses, water glasses, flutes for champagne, or even mason jars for a playful feel.

4. If you’re interested in giving your guests something to take home, consider writing a heartfelt “Why i’m thankful for you” on the back of their place cards. This will give them a treasure they can keep until next year.

5. We didn’t picture a cup and saucer, though most formal settings include one. Towards the end of the meal when other plates and cutlery have been cleared, set a cup and saucer directly in front of your guests. This way they can enjoy coffee or tea with or after their dessert.

PaperDirect wishes all a wonderful and warm Thanksgiving. We hope this table setting guides you to creating a lovely dinner to share stories, while making new traditions.

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Small Business Tip #2 – Competitive Analysis

Small Business Tip 2

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you’re a small business. Look to what both you and your competitors did last holiday season to drive sales when planning this year’s holiday promotion.

Ask yourself:

  • What worked well for your company?
  • What worked well for the competition?
  • What mistakes were made?

Take time to analyze the successes or failures from the past to determine what approach you should take this year. One way to get additional insight from both your customers and those of the competition is to send out a simple holiday postcard asking for feedback. Or direct recipients to a website with a 30-second survey and the chance to win a small prize.

week2-onPaper Direct can help you get started! This week enjoy 20% off holiday postcards. Enter code WCRT1014B at checkout to get this special discount.

See our entire guide on small business ideas for Christmas here. 

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