As we head into the holidays it’s probably worth thinking about what we spend, how we spend it and on whom we spend it… I represent brands that would be thrilled if you spent some of your hard earned money on them. And why shouldn’t they hope for that? They are in a commercial endeavor, looking to grow their businesses through acquisition of their products – it’s the cycle. Plus, practically, if this cycle works the economy, as they say, stays healthy, if not robust. But after an experience like Hurricane Sandy it’s worth remembering what the “holiday” really is about—sharing love.
Christmas (we’ll look at this holiday as it tends to be the predominant reason to celebrate) is firstly about the birth of a man that was also God and came to save the world. He didn’t come to do good and promote good, as so many people think and say, he came to save us – from ourselves. Good should follow and if it doesn’t, that’s our fault, not his. Whether you believe it or not, that is what we are taught. He was the gift to mankind and so we give gifts to each other, to show our love and appreciation for the people in our lives.
Secondly, Christmas is about a fat jolly fellow who lives in freezing temperatures with little people that make beautiful things. I don’t know about you, but I LOVED Santa Claus as a kid and I was devastated when I found out he wasn’t real.
This year, as we contemplate the year that went before, the storms, the volatility of the market, the upheaval and violence that seems to reign all over the world, and ALL the wonderful things that transpired for us individually, it’s probably worth considering the spirit of the holiday when choosing what to spend your money on. Obviously, I can’t give you advice, but children still love toys, and grown-ups still love toys! J Yet, a handwritten note or a long distance call can also give someone a lift just as much as a new pair of earrings. This year my family is still buying gifts for those closest to us, but the best part of all will be connecting with our long distance family and sending them love by word.
Sometimes, it's just good to celebrate those accomplishments in life. My agency created this "savvy news site". So proud of what we have done. Working on a television program, so stay tuned! Here's a sample!
Step 7: Prioritize -Rome wasn't built in a day and your workload won't be caught up in a day. Don't try to get up to speed immediately, just tackle the necessities first and move down the line.
For more savvy tips and tricks, please visit 24savvy.
So, one of the biggest deals about travel is what not to take with you - not what to take, what not to take. You have to remember that whatever you take with you has this strange and unnerving capacity of increasing in weight the longer the trip. You start off with a spring in your step and end up with dragging your heels (especially when they are in the suitcase girls).
Here are a couple ‘no no's’ for your consideration. Big books that end up weighing the weight of the tree they have been made from. Trouble is I like books. There are solutions, but more of that later. More than one suit for a guy will weigh you down, especially if it is anything less than summer weight cool wool. And how many shoes can you wear? (This is rhetorical by the way.) But the real shoulder breaker is the personal computer. It alone gives you more aches and pains than almost anything else. Something heavyish always becomes hellish to carry, whether slung, shouldered, or pulled.
Enter Kindle and then even better iPad, although the merits are argued –fiercely. Whoever wins the ‘I am best contest’ matters little, as having an iPad or Kindle to travel with will cut down on your physiotherapist’s bill. Strains, aches and shoulder surgery will become a thing of the past.
Lighten up and Bon Voyage.
As I've been traveling a ton lately, I thought I'd share my husband's take on traveling - he's also a world traveler. This piece was first published on my website 24/Savvy.com:
The first axiom of savvy travel is Don’t - but if you must the journey could be made a little less irritating if you do these simple things, and the more so if the flight lasts longer than 8 hours.
Arrive early at the airport so that stress is kept to a minimum. Travel has its own stresses - why exacerbate them.
Abuse not least you be abused.
Once on board, go ahead, knock yourself out with sleeping tablets, unless your blood is coagulation prone or your medic says you might die. Also watch for DVT, in fact any acronyms ending in D.
Avoid wine (with the exception of Penfolds Grange), actually don’t drink any alcohol, and don’t eat bread or anything that digests two days later. No coffee, although the quality on airlines is deterrent enough, and no tea. Drink lots of water and in this way you will avoid dehydration and DVT, as you’ll be up and down relieving yourself with enforced but healthy regularity.
And remember an airplane is not a runway – for sartorial touchdowns. Better to wear something comfortable and slightly unappealing (not pyjamas please) than crush your ‘labels.’ Black is a good color, as it is just a good color. But it also makes you look severe enough to assist in avoidance of mindless conversations with other passengers who have failed to heed any of my sage advice.
Buckle up, happy travels and arrive better looking, feeling better than those who thought long flights were a perfect excuse for the ingestion of questionable food, cheap wine and sleepless nights. Travel savvy, savvy ones.
It's a holiday weekend in the US and that means it's time for a getaway. And that means get outta town, or else! Or else what? Or else you may lose your mind.
Ok, I'm being dramatic, but I am in public relations. Basically, getting away (which can also mean just doing a "staycation") is mandatory for the business person, or just any person that works. Without a "time out" you can't see clearly, ideas dry up, resentment sets in and the reason you do what you do loses its meaning. Too bad America thrives on a work ethic that usually doesn't include real vacations and/or long weekend breaks. But if you don't work here you don't get paid. Though our taxes are high and our country is in debt, we don't have the kind of social system that picks you up when you're down (but that's a political blog).
So, my getaway included a long weekend with my friend and her young son. My husband is across the pond, so not available for fun. We went to a friend's cabin and within the first 30 minutes we got locked out (I knocked out the screen and climbed in through the window), I almost pushed my friend's son into a pond under the guise of saving him and we both discovered we had hours of work to do, after all. But hey, it's a getaway! Try it. You'll like it.
Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas? What does Christmas "look" like? Is it the unveiling of Simon Doonan's witty, irreverent windows at Barneys? Santa's reliably jovial appearance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? Salvation Army bells on every corner? The "miracle" tree at Rockefeller Center? The rush, bustle and flurry of gift buying, receiving, and yes, sadly occasionally returning? I guess the question on everyone's minds this year is what does a pared back Christmas look like? We're interested in observing how some of America's biggest brands are approaching their consumers this year, examining which carefully crafted holiday campaigns will set just the right tone and hit their mark:
Williams-Sonoma Brands: Thanks and Giving campaign to support St. Jude's Hospital. For the fourth year, a portion of proceeds from holiday purchases will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The campaign has helped raise over $6.6 million dollars for the cause. The takeaway?: Let your holiday purchases make a difference to those less fortunate.
The Gap Brands: NEW! Shopping made Simple: 4 Stores - 1 Checkout. Gap has finally, cleverly grouped their four brands (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Piperlime) into one shopping experience with one low flat-rate shipping price ($7), and free returns. The takeaway: Gap makes it easy to get through the holidays with your mind and wallet intact.
Barneys: Have a Hippy Holiday Sweepstakes: Barney's offers good vibrations with peace-themed gifts, free shipping on all online orders, and a chance to win a $2500 shopping gift card. The takeaway: Even luxe consumers could use a little lovin' this season.
Bath & Body Works: Experience the Season: Buy 1, Get 1 at 50% off: Bath and Body Works invites consumers to get in the holiday spirit with three new tantalizing fragrances, Twisted Peppermint, Vanilla Bean Noel, and Winter Candy Apple. The takeaway: You can get in on the holiday spirit even on a budget.