Quick Hits

69% of Americans say the current political climate is responsible for them extending an act of generosity this year.  34% of Americans say they made a financial donation to a disaster relief cause this year.  46% of people do believe Americans are currently more generous than they were two years ago. 

Source: Yahoo Finance


The holiday season can certainly be stressful for some people, but it turns out the holidays aren’t the only time Americans feel stress. A new Gallup poll finds that 79% of Americans admit they are “frequently” (44%) or sometimes” (35%) stressed, while only 21% say they are “rarely” (17%) or never” stressed (4%).  Interestingly, lack of time to get things done isn’t necessarily what’s stressing people out. In fact, only 41% of people say there isn’t enough time in the day for them to get things done, while 59% say they have plenty of time.  So what is stressing people out? Apparently work and kids, because parents and those who are employed report being more stressed than those who don’t fall into those categories. Truth is, people who are 50 and older, and specifically those 65 and older, are more likely to say they don’t feel stress than younger generations.

Source: Gallup


A lot of people will want to recycle their Christmas wrapping after the holiday but not all things are recyclable.  Tips on how to correctly recycle Christmas wrapping include:

  • Bows – For the most part, bows aren’t welcome. Most bows are made of a plastic-paper composite that isn’t good for recycling into cardboard, plus the glue on them is also really bad. The good news, they are easy to re-use, so just hold them until next year and add some tape if they lose their stickiness. 
  • Wrapping Paper – The good news is most wrapping paper is okay to recycle, although there are some exceptions. Any paper that’s metallic, has glitter or has velvety flocking on it is a no-no. Regular wrapping paper that still has the tape on it is also totally fine.
  • Ribbons – These are a huge no when it comes to recycling. Ribbons, like plastic bags, twine and any other long and stringy item, can get wrapped around spinning shafts in the equipment used to recycle, which causes lots of problems. Kind of like when hair gets stuck around in your vacuum cleaner. 
  • Christmas Cards – Like wrapping paper, plain paper cards are totally okay to recycle, but shiny cards, and those printed on photo paper are just garbage, as are any with metallic embossing or glitter. 
  • Shipping Boxes – With all that online shopping you did you probably have a lot of cardboard boxes, and they are perfect to recycle, but it’s recommended to break them down flat in order to save room in recycling trucks for more boxes. 

Source: USA Today


So it happened again. You find yourself with just a few days left before Christmas and you still haven’t sent out your holiday cards. Luckily, there are all kinds of electronic greetings you can send for the season. Here’s a guide to what to write, who to send them to, and whether it’s okay to use e-cards, texts, and social media for your happy holidays messages, according to etiquette experts.

E-cards - Lots of people use these as a last-minute replacement for sending a card in the mail, but etiquette expert Elaine Swann recommends sticking to handwritten notes for those you interact with in person regularly. Her rule is “physical contact, physical card. Electronic contact, electronic card.” And when you do send an e-card, keep your message short and sweet.

Email: e-cards have all the bells, whistles, and colors that an email won’t have, but as long as you’re only sending it to a single person - not a group - the pros say this form of communication is still fine for business holiday greetings.

Texts: The etiquette experts recommend only using a text for holiday wishes to people you know well. And one thing to avoid at all costs? The dreaded group text. “Mass texting” should not be used for your season’s greetings, but feel free to dress up the text with bitmoji, emoji or a personal photo.

Social media: Want to post a holiday blast message on Insta or Facebook? The etiquette experts say that’s fine, as long as it’s “in-addition-to, not a replacement” to a personal greeting. Swann says it’s like a wreath on the door, a fine holiday pleasantry, but not the only way to wish your friends and family well this holiday.

Source: Moneyish


As much as we love the holidays and getting dressed up in general, dressing for festive seasonal soirees can be a nightmare. And this is why:

Sequins are tiny torture devices - Remember that cute sequin sleeveless top you love? Sure it looks good, but it also rubs the inside of your arms raw by the end of the night and the sparkle isn’t worth the pain.

If your outfit is bejeweled in any way, you'll get caught on something - All those festive beads, sequins, and bedazzling will get caught on something, like your tights, someone else’s dress, or the tablecloth by the end of the party.

You're forced to dress like it's summer when it's actually winter - It’s not easy to find a lovely, long-sleeved holiday party dress, so we end up in sleeveless frocks and we double down by wearing strappy or peep-toe shoes when it’s 35-degrees outside.

Searching for a dress that isn't red, green, blue, or metallic is nearly impossible - And try to find one that isn’t velvet, lamé, and glitter/sequins/sparkles of any kind. It’s not easy!

Tights are the worst - We have a love-hate relationship with our tights. Finding a pair in your drawer without runs or holes is hard and then we tug at them all night and they don’t even keep us that warm.

Losing a cold-weather accessory is pretty much a given - When you finally leave your holiday party, you’ll almost certainly have one less hat, glove, or scarf than what you showed up with. And that makes for a cold trip home in your sparkly sleeveless dress and open-toe shoes.

Source: Cosmopolitan

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Jay and Dawn

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