Small Business Tip #8 – Holiday Cards

holiday card

The holidays are a perfect time to tell your customers how much you appreciate their business.

Skip the mass email and make the note sincere.

Send gorgeous holiday greeting cards!


Here’s how to tackle this small business task in five easy steps.

  1. Print a customer mailing list. Use decorative mailing labels to add a seasonal flare to plain envelopes.
  2. Choose festive cards and personalize them with a heartfelt message and signature.
  3. Seal the envelopes with shiny metallic envelope seals.
  4. Add return address labels to the envelopes.
  5. Take the cards to the post office to be weighed, stamped and mailed.

That’s it! So, are you ready to pick out holiday greeting cards?

This week at Paper Direct, enjoy a free gift with any order, free ground shipping when you spend $50 and 20% off your order if you spend $60. Use code WCRT1114 at checkout to get these special offers!

Then check out our entire small business guide to promoting your business around the holidays.

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Christmas Recognition Tip #8 – Award Ideas

award certificates from PaperDirect

Do you love the idea of showing employee appreciation, but just aren’t sure where to start? Make the award ceremony insightful and comical at the same time. Here’s a few award ideas to get the staff smiling!

  • Morning Person Award: Present this award to that employee you can always count on to keep the office coffee pot full or bring in doughnuts to spoil the staff.

  • Leadership Award: This employee is a go-getter and always ready to head-up the next project. We all know who this person is in the office, so why not call them out and make it official!

  • Best in Sales Award: Is there someone on the staff who crushes it every week, time after time, in their sales goals? Give them the recognition they deserve.

  • Rookie of the Year Award: Does your company work with interns? Give the hardest working newbie a shout out this holiday season.

  • Team Player Award: This award should be presented to the person who always goes above and beyond, even if their numbers aren’t top in office. Effort and talent should always be rewarded.

View other award ideas for employees here.

Now put your nominations in writing! Order awards for your top-performing staff members. This week at Paper Direct, enjoy a free gift with any order, free ground shipping when you spend $50 and 20% off your order if you spend $60. Use code WCRT1114 at checkout to get this deal!


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Christmas Party Planning Tip #8 – Activities

your familyAs guests arrive for the Christmas party, keep them entertained.

In addition to lingering over the appetizers and punch bowl, encourage party-goers to participate in one of these festive activities and games.

Photo Collage:

On the party invitations, ask each person to bring a printed snapshot of themselves from a holiday celebration as a child — with their name printed on the back of the image. Ask each person to pin their photo to a community bulletin board so everyone can guess who’s who.

Numbers Game:

Fill a large decorative jar with scrumptious holiday candy. Think gourmet chocolates or miniature macaroons! Have each person guess how many pieces are in the jar, and the one with the closest number wins the treats.

White Elephant:

If the party is a small, intimate gathering, ask each guest to bring a whimsical $10 white elephant gift. Settle in for a small gift exchange just before sitting down to dinner.

Crafting Area:

Set up a simple holiday ornament-making station and ask each guest to get creative. They can put their crafts on the Christmas tree for everyone to admire during the party, then later  take the ornament home as a favor.

As you plan party games and activities, be ready to recognize the winners with small gifts or award certificates. Keep it economical by ordering supplies this week from Paper Direct.

All orders receive a free gift! Also, enjoy free ground shipping on orders of $50 and 20% off orders of $60 or more. Use code WCRT1114 at checkout.

Be sure to view our entire Christmas party planning guide to help you along this season.


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How to Throw a Christmas Party Worthy of William & Kate

Christmas Lights

The Christmas season is filled with beauty and wonder with lights shimmering and goodwill overflowing. It is the perfect time to hold elegant gatherings and welcome family and friends into our lives to celebrate all we hold dear. Throwing a perfect Christmas party requires some planning, and when it comes to elegant Christmas parties its success rests in the details.

Throwing a Christmas party worthy of William and Kate may sound daunting, but when you break the process down into its components you see that not only is it doable, you will be amazed at how skilled you are at creating the kind of event that live on in the hearts of friends and family for years to come.

If you are planning a gathering this season, here’s how to throw a Christmas party worthy or royalty!

Select a Theme

Selecting a theme is helpful in keeping the party planning smooth keeping your efforts moving in one direction. The choices in everything from venues to decorations are plentiful, and having a theme can help you narrow down the possibilities from among the many worthy options.

Choose a Venue

christmas-ornamentsWhether your venue will be your home or another space, consider the flexibility of your options.

Can you use both indoor and outdoor areas? Is there enough seating? Can you add tables? Can the space be divided? Is there enough parking? Is it easily accessible?

The best part about choosing a venue is that any space can be made elegant.

Invitations, Place Cards, and Menus

An elegant part calls for very special invitations. Choose classic, high quality invitations, envelope and foil seals for added effect.  The invitation sets the stage for the party and gives guests clues as to how to dress and what to expect of the event. While you consider invitations, also consider place setting cards and printed menus so that they are all of equal quality and create a seamlessly beautiful display.

Consider Décor

One of the most important things to remember in how to throw an elegant Christmas party is décor. Choose elements that a luxurious feel such as an abundance of fabrics and fresh flowers. Consider lighting. Soft yellow lighting sets a warm mood, while light can appear harsh.

Setting the Table

Setting an elegant table is easy when you think about what is simply beautiful. Choose simple dinnerware that is a backdrop for your food and other decorations

Thanksgiving Table setting graphic

Food is always an important element in any party as it has so much to do with what makes an event memorable. For an elegant party, choose quality over quantity and remember to have alternatives such as vegetarian or gluten-free.


Choose entertainment that complements the theme of the event and does not compete for attention. If you have music, for example, it should not be so loud that guests cannot talk above it.

Now that you have the best tips for how to throw an elegant Christmas party all that is left is to send invitations and wait for RSVPs!

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5 Lavish Ideas for your Company Christmas Party


There is an old saying that “being kind helps your bottom line” and that’s especially true at Christmas.  Christmas parties are the perfect time to show your appreciation and build bonds of loyalty with your employees.  They’ve worked hard so why not surprise them with one of these lavish ideas for the company Christmas party?

Rent a Museum or Art Gallery

If you are looking for a sophisticated and stunning setting for your next Christmas party, consider renting a museum or art gallery of the evening. Many of them have stunning, one-of-a-kind spaces they are willing to rent for parties and other gatherings at incredibly reasonable rates.

Rent a Boat

Harbor lights are gorgeous over Christmas and if you live in a place close enough to enjoy them, consider renting a boat for your next party and share the wonder.

This lavish idea for the company party is great for sharing time in a completely relaxed atmosphere while rejuvenating company spirit.

Country Club Party

There is just something so refreshing about putting on your finest and enjoying an evening completely away from work—even if it happens to be with workmates!

A country club is a wonderful setting for the perfect company party because it is already set up for luxury entertaining. In fact, most of the work is already done for you so you can concentrate on making sure guests have a wonderful time.

Casino Royale Party

A Casino Royale party gives your guests the perfect opportunity to dress to kill while enjoying an extravagant experience, a la red carpet and martini glasses.

Focus on Food

foodAnother lavish idea for the company Christmas party is to follow the foodie trend. Great food is an important part of any party, and many successful parties make it the highlight and part of the entertainment.

Find a celebrity or popular chef in your area and work with them to develop ideas. You can even hire two chefs and have a meal that is a Top Chef Duel style!

Industry pros all echo the sentiment that holiday parties are not just a courtesy, but an essential part of building a successful company culture. With these ideas for a lavish company parties, you do not have to spend a fortune to make a huge impression on your guests.

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5 Out of the Box Ideas for Your Company Christmas Party

Formal dinners and cocktail parties are great, but they are not for everyone. If the traditional company Christmas party just doesn’t fit your company culture, it may be time to think out of the box.

Celebrating the holidays can be even more fun and memorable when you mix in a bit of the nontraditional and even a little wacky into the festivities.

Unique ideas for the company Christmas party:


Host a Murder Mystery Party

Murder mystery parties are always enough to pique interest, but add in elements of Christmas and you have a winning theme! You can make it as serious or as silly as you desire and even have sub themes, like CSI, Monk, or Psych.

Christmas Karaoke

For an office Christmas party full of laughs and plenty of YouTube ops, try a Christmas carol karaoke party. Select the season’s best jams and get let the festivities (and the hilarity ensue).

Campfire Christmas

party-hatNothing brings a group together like a campfire, so why not set up camp and celebrate?  The theme lends itself to less fussy foods and an outrageously great time. You can even set up tents for those who might want (or need) to sleep overnight.

A Christmas Story

Center your Christmas party theme around one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time, A Christmas Story.  Set in the 1940’s the movie theme elevates traditional ideas and makes them even more meaningful and nostalgic.  Don’t forget the leg lamp.

Speak Easy

Give your party a feeling of being forbidden with an underground or speak easy theme. Choose a secret location, give guests a necessary code word for entrance, and keep the lights low and the party seductively elegant. You can even have a “copper” break up the party and uncover contraband—cool employee gifts!

Now, with our unique ideas for the company Christmas party, you will want to get the Christmas party invitations out early and get set for an awesome time!

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Christmas Recognition Tip #7 – Gift Ideas


When employees reach specific milestones in their career, present them with a meaningful gift. These celebrations often happen at incremental anniversaries, starting after five or 10 years with the company.

As the employee invests more time at the company, the gifts should progressively become more valuable. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

10 Meaningful Employee Gifts

  1. Tie tack of the company logo or the recipient’s initials

  2. An engraved pen

  3. Company apparel

  4. Food gift basket

  5. Monogrammed key fob

  6. A piece of jewelry

  7. A watch or pocket timepiece

  8. Television or gaming console

  9. A getaway weekend

  10. Bottle of Wine

Are you ready to start shopping? Don’t forget the cards! If you’re presenting the employee gifts at the annual company Christmas party, use holiday greeting cards.

Take 60% off cards this week at Paper Direct. Use code WCRT1014B at checkout to get the discount. Then view our entire recognition guide!


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Small Business Tip #7 – Give Back

giving back

Get your business in front of a huge audience this holiday season. Plan to host a public event or attend an activity that focuses on giving-back to the community and spreading holiday cheer. The key to a successful event? Leave the sales pitch back at the office!

  • Host an open house. Explain what your business does with free demonstrations or behind-the-scenes tours of the facility. Partner with a local charity and offer to accept donations at the event to help their cause.

  • Host a Penny Drive. A little friendly competition in the office is good for ya. Collect spare change and donate to a local food bank before Thanksgiving. This will build a relationship with other businesses and spread the good feeling.
  • Go to a local animal shelter for the day. As a team, offer to walk the dogs, groom the cats and clean out pet kennels. Be sure your employees are wearing coordinating T-shirts sporting the company logo. Take lots of pictures to post on your social media!

  • March in a holiday parade. Don your finest Christmas sweaters and pack a big box of candy. Hand out sweets to the kids and shake hands with the adults to put a personal face to your business — right in the heart of your community.

  • Coat Drive/ Toy Drive. Have employees bring in their extra clothes or toys to give away to those in need. These charitable actions can make others see your business on a whole new light.

No matter which event you choose, be sure to hand out free gifts to those who attend. Try coffee mugs filled with seasonal candy or colorful notepads.

This week enjoy 60% off your card order! Simply enter code WCRT1014B at checkout to get this limited-time discount.

Be sure to read our entire guide for small business for smooth sailing up the the new year.


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Christmas Party Planning Tip #7 – Gifts & Goodies


As guests gather for the Christmas party and toasts are made, plan to send home a token of gratitude and Christmas appreciation. Whether your guests are your best friends or your employees, celebrate them. A simple verbal recognition to the group, followed up with a gift or certificate presentation, makes the party extra engaging.

For the Office Party:

If you’ve never ordered or presented award certificates in the past, it’s simple.

  1. Choose a certificate style that highlights your key values such as excellence, achievement or performance. Many certificates can be customized with a company logo or motto.

  2. Have a calligrapher add the employee names to the certificates or use a decorative font.

  3. Sign each document and tuck them into individual certificate holders to keep them from folding or creasing.

  4. Keep a camera handy to get snapshots of each award recipient. Use the pictures in the company newsletter or on social media accounts.

For the Home Party:

If you have a little extra spending cash, consider sending guests home with a gift. Some simple and elegant gift ideas include:

  • Ornaments
  • Bottles of Wine
  • Homemade Coco Mix
  • Coffee
  • Cookie/Dessert Goodie Bag

There’s still time to order certificates, employee gifts and holiday greeting cards to present at the party.

This week we’re offering a huge discount. Simply enter code WCRT1014B at checkout to enjoy 60% off your holiday greeting card order.


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6 Free Santa Letter Templates from PaperDirect

We are excited to present 6 brand new and completely free Santa letter templates for penning the big guy.

Writing a letter to Santa has been a tradition in America for over a hundred years. Whether you decide to use these templates for your class or just print one out for your kids at home, we hope your kids get the response (and presents) they want this year.

Santa Letter Template #1:

Santa Letter 1

Santa Letter Template #2:

Santa Letter 2

Santa Letter Template #3:

Santa Letter 3

Santa Letter Template #4

Santa letter 4

Santa Letter Template #5

Santa Letter 5

Santa Letter Template #6

Santa Letter 6

Whether your kid is just learning to write or can fully scribe a letter, we’ve got a template for them. Simply click the image of the template you like to be taken to the print page.

Where should you send your kids Santa letter? The United States Postal Service has a yearly Santa program you can check out here.

Be sure to view our other elegant holiday border papers. These are great for Santa letter writing, Christmas invitations or anything else you can think of! Merry Christmas from PaperDirect.


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