Etiquette Tips

Etiquette Tip of the Week: Time to Bring It 
By Callista Gould, Author and Certified Etiquette Instructor


You have an invitation to a Holiday party in someone’s home. You have responded affirmatively and enthusiastically to the R.S.V.P. and you can’t wait to go.


Should you bring something? Yes. But not a plus one, unless your invite says, “and guest.”

The thing to bring is a host/hostess gift. It’s a little token of thanks to your hosts for inviting you into their home for a dinner party, open house, sports watching event or any other kind of party.


It need not be expensive – somewhere in the $5-20 range. The best gifts for your hosts are found at local specialty stores or museum shops.

Here are some ideas:
* Gourmet coffee beans from a local coffee shop
* Small box of fine chocolates or mixed nuts from a candy store
* Note cards or other novelties from a museum shop
* Oddly colored or logoed golf or tennis balls from a pro shop
* Special toy, storybook or puzzle for hosts’ children from a toy store
* Pet gifts or bird seed from a pet supply store
* Fresh fruit from a market
* Spices from a spice store
* Specialty beer from a brewery or wine from a winery
* Anything related to hosts’ hobbies or interests

Whatever you bring, is meant to be enjoyed by your hosts at a later time, not served at the party. I once had a dinner party guest bring a bottle of wine and when it was not served, pick it up on the way out at the end of the evening.


The hosts need not send a thank you note for a host gift – that’s like saying, “Thank you for the thank you.”

So get your host/hostess gift and bring it. And after the party, don’t forget to write your hosts a thank you note.


More from Callista here


Movies and Video Games

In case you missed The Game Awards…

by Sean Daniel, movies and video games blogger


Video games have long since transcended bleeps and bloops. The interactive entertainment of today is highlighted by orchestral, visual, and storytelling achievements. The Game Awards are proof of this – an awards ceremony meant to honor games on multiple levels. It’s the Academy Awards for Mario – a live event streamed online and attended by many, including industry veterans.


2018’s ceremony has now come and gone and we have a new champion: God of War brought home the coveted Game of the Year award. From the skilled performances, particularly from Christopher Judge as Kratos, to the fantastic art style and carefully crafted storyline, it’s a game that deserves all its praise. The game also won the award for Best Action-Adventure Game and Best Game Direction, which is no easy feat.


Red Dead Redemption 2 also won many of the awards: for Best Narrative, Best Performance, Best Score/Soundtrack, and Best Audio Design. Stunning video games weren’t the only nominees and winners – there were other awards for categories such as e-sports and industry icons – but The Game Awards are about more than handing out trophies. The show airs several trailers too, including first looks and announcements of previously unrevealed games.


Let’s talk about a few of those. Mortal Kombat 11 was shown, in all its gory glory, with a fantastic cinematic trailer. The long-awaited sequel Psychonauts 2 was shown, which is something I personally am really excited for. A new Dragon Age game was teased, though I’ve heard it’s pretty far off. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order was revealed, but oddly, it’s a Nintendo Switch exclusive. Joker from Persona 5 was announced as a paid character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a sudden pairing between a PlayStation exclusive character and a first-party Nintendo game.


Top it all off with an excellent live orchestra and band, and you’ve got an event. There were performances from the game of the year award nominees, Super Smash Bros. UltimateDevil May Cry, and Red Dead Redemption 2.


The Game Awards celebrates the gaming community as a whole. If you don’t have time to sit through the re-runs of the three-hour-long ceremony online, at least check out some of the trailers and watch the highlights. There really is something for everyone.


Watch the God of War team accepting their award, along with The Game Awards Orchestra’s game of the year performance here.


-Sean Daniel


Business Marketing Tips from Al

Business Marketing Tips - The good news about holiday shopping


If you own a brick-and-mortar business one of your chief concerns is online shopping. A lot of money is going to Amazon and others. So when you watched videos of people shopping on Black Friday, you must have been happy. Many of those brick-and-mortar shoppers were millennials. Mix in some Generation Z's. Younger people are shopping at real stores! That's a whoo hoo!


What to do - reinforce it. Have imaging in your store outlining why people should shop at real, physical, in-your-town stores. But don't get preachy.

"Hey we're glad you're here!

  • Shopping at a physical store enables you to actually hold a product you are about to buy.
  • It saves you the hassle of returning something.
  • It eliminates environmental damage caused by extra courier trips when products are returned.
  • You can get advice. We can answer your questions. We can help you get the right product for you.

Stay away from benefits that are not directly related to the purchaser such as creating local jobs and supporting the local economy. As soon as your reasons sound political, consumers may think it's all about you and not them.


Reinforce why shopping at a local store is a good idea. Put your version on an 8-and-a-half x 11, in a plastic holder, near the payment device.


Email Al:


-Al Pervin, marketing strategist



2018-12 | 2018-11


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