Archive for November, 2009

hos-pi-tal-i-ty

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Hospitality by definition means;stkr_pineapple_text

1.
the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.
2.
the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.

We are now in full swing of the holidays, like it or not. Even though the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers linger on, it’s time to think red & green, holly & ivy, silver & gold.

With this comes a bit of anxiety, I know. Thanksgiving is like the warm up for all of us. It’s the practice run of having family and friends into our homes while dealing with the stress of planning the perfect meal and smiling all the while. So now you can ask yourself, how hospitable were you through it all?

I’ve been watching people all day long during the scurry of Thanksgiving prep time. There was the lady at the grocery store, on her cell phone, at the checkout. When the teenager gave her the receipt and said “Happy Thanksgiving” she answered with a grunt and moved on.  Ouch. Might that be me some days when I have so much going on that I can’t see straight? I think so. And we wonder why the younger generation grunts. They learn it somewhere.

So I’m unplugging for the next 30 days (maybe more if all works out). I’m taking my walks on the ocean without an iPod. I’m driving without my phone turned on. I’m turning my phone off at 6 pm before I sit down to dinner with my family.note_pineapple_text

I’m plugging in to what is happening around me. I’m going to look at the teenager handing me the receipt and be the first to say “Happy Holidays to you,” I’m going to look out the car window and actually see things I’m passing by, and I’m going to be listening to what my family and friends say, full sentence, without the interuption of a phone ring, text buzz or email bing.

In this particular line of work, I find people who are so hospitable and kind and those who… who must be under some unknown stress that keeps them from seeing the bigger picture. Let’s all try to be hospitable during this time that can be stressful. I think if we all smile a little bit more, reach out to one another a little more often, and just come out of the bubble a bit, we could all set a better example for those around us.

I chose the pineapple for this blog posting because it’s a sign of hospitality. You can often see wreaths made from pineapples in the southeast exhibiting a symbol of welcoming friendship. This wreath is available by order, click on the photo to go to their site. They have all kinds of pineapple items, even a nightlight!

So be hospitable. Be a good example to others. Send a note to a friend today, just because.

The Holiday Letter… Should you or Should you Not?

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Now that you have your holiday photo taken (hint, hint… get on it), it’s time to think about the holiday note to include. Let’s be honest here, not everyone loves to receive the holiday note, that is often a letter, and can even be… gasp… single spaced.sph_coneflowerbasketpad_coneflowerbasket_text 

If you include one of these, just know that some find them annoying.

Do I? It depends. I like to get an update on my friends, but I don’t really like reading a stuffed update.

I do want to hear what your everyday life is like and what makes you tick these days. I don’t want to hear about your fancy new car, all the A’s your kids get, and how many trophies each one of your children has added to their collection. It’s sort of bragging really.

Do tell me who you are sharing Christmas with or that you have a new garden full of hydrangeas that were more beautiful this year than last or that you’ve taken up the unicycle. You can even tell me about how you have done silly things in 2009 like leaving the sprinkler on in the garden for 17 hours straight… it will make me feel more normal since I made the same mistake! Sshhhh.

Tell me on pretty paper too. It’s a shame when someone sends a beautiful card and then they stick in a white piece of printer paper.  Many of these letters rub off on the pretty holiday card making it even worse.

Have no fear, Letters from Lilly has their stationery sheets that fit nicely inside all of our holiday cards. You can run them through your own printer, fold them once, and put them inside your card. The greatest part, besides the fact that the match in color, texture and design, is that they are a pleasant size to read. They aren’t the 8 1/2″ x 11″ notebook paper, they are  a fashionable stationery sheet.

So like the family photo that I am unable to help with, I can’t help write the family update for the year. Here are some tips though. Keep it short, double space it and … don’t brag. Just share happy things that make you smile throughout your everyday life.

World Series Baseball

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

corr_baseball_text“Take me out to the ballgame! Take me out with the crowd! Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks…”

I like the World Series as much as the rest of you, but I just can’t get into it unless my Cleveland Indians are playing.  Even then, I remember wanting the series to end so much, and why? Because I lived in the eastern time zone and we’d be up until midnight or later rooting on the Tribe.

I’ve been to the World Series. Twice. I wanted to stay home and watch it on TV. I knew I’d be able to follow it better (I like replays) and I knew I could sell my ticket… for lots. I didn’t know how much until I asked the guy sitting next to me how much he had paid for my neighbor’s seat. When I started to stew about it, my husband told me to leave the guy alone and watch the game. So I did.

Now it’s a little … I don’t know, it’s having trouble catching my attention. I’m getting dinner, listening to homework questions, and it’s warm outside. It was over by 8:30 last night. There isn’t any curling up on the couch to watch it anymore. It’s not 1995 for sure.  Where are my Indians?

So I’m ready for basketball, that’s always been my favorite anyway. Hey, I grew up in upstate New York with the Orangemen and the Pearl… does anyone even remember who he is?

So while baseball is happening, remember that we have a great baseball design for any age baseball fan. I haven’t seen an order come through for a holiday card with the baseball design, but it’s a thought for all you New York Yankees fans! I know the Phillies are still in the game too, I’m watching with one eye.