Getting Ready for the Holidays in 20 Steps: 5 Things to do Today

Getting Ready for the Holidays in 20 steps: 5 things to do Today

It's November and the kick-off of the Christmas season for 2012 is officially underway. Have you noticed that it gets earlier and earlier each year? This year, our local stores had Halloween decorations on one side of the aisle, and Christmas making an appearance on the other half.

Remember when Christmas ended last year and you told yourself – next Christmas I’m going to….  I’m not exactly sure what’s at the top of your list from Christmases past, but I’m going to introduce some of the most common Christmas regrets and how you can deal with those problems by starting now.

1.Make Travel arrangements soon

Christmas travel is expensive because everyone has places to be during the Christmas holidays.  When it comes to supply and demand, there is a lot of demand over Christmas holidays.  While you probably won’t find rock bottom prices around the holidays, but by shopping for plane tickets now, you are more likely to find a better deal. Be one of those early bookers. Don’t forget to rent a car if you will need that too.

2. Start your Christmas shopping now

I know it’s early, but the sooner you start, the better deals you’ll find along the way.  For those of you who do most of your shopping in the last week before Christmas, you’ll face two obstacles – the crowds and the cost.  You save money on Christmas by starting to shop sooner because you have more time to wait for deals or promotions.  You don’t need to buy everything by the end of the week, but if they have a toy for Johnny that is 50% off next week, then go ahead and buy it next week.

3, Create a Christmas budget

Since many people struggle to have a debt-free, it is important to make a Christmas budget.  Unfortunately, the popular approach to Christmas is buy now and then figure out the payments later.  Instead, why not get the cash now and buy gifts according to the budget you created?

4. Consider Adding a Family Tradition That Involves a Service.

Personally, I think Christmas focuses too much on getting and not enough on giving.  To instill the importance of service in our children, we’ve decided to add a ministry/service to part of our family Christmas tradition.  For the last few years, it has been donating food, clothing and distributing Christmas gifts at a local organization that caters to the less privileged in our community.

5. Make a Christmas list

My son always makes lists: birthday present lists, back-to-school lists and now his Christmas list.  If your family does lists, go ahead and finish it up so that it won’t be lingering any more

Why You Should Give Gifts on Thanksgiving



On Thursday, January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed, “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.

Starting in 1879 Thanksgiving Day was observed every year, but the date was initially a Thursday in November (sound familiar?). The date of celebration changed several times until, in 1957, it was officially declared to be the second Monday in October. The theme of the Thanksgiving holiday also changed each year to reflect an important event to be thankful for. In its early years it was for an abundant harvest and occasionally for a special anniversary

Thanksgiving has been meaningful to many cultures throughout the world for hundreds of years now. Since gift giving has not traditionally been popular at Thanksgiving, this will make it all that much more appreciated. With Thanksgiving being a celebration for families to enjoy together, giving gifts to business associates and friends could be a great way of showing a special thank you to these persons. At this time of the year a card or a handcrafted note of thanks can convey more meaning than at any other time throughout the year. If you give a present to a friend or associate, you will catch them completely off guard. This will carry an even stronger "thank you" message with it.

There are a lot of different ways in which people enjoy Thanksgiving. Some enjoy resting and relaxing while others watch NFL and still others like to visit with family and friends. Receiving any kind of gift is greatly appreciated. Custom made gifts add an even more special touch. While you may not have time to make your own gift you can purchase a gift basket that is tailored to any custom, hobby, or relationship.

Gift giving will produce unbelievably great results for business owners. If you work in an area in which your clients interact with one another regularly then you can purchase each person the same or similar gifts. Simply order the gifts ahead so that you will receive it in time to present it to them. Presenting a gift basket that a group of colleagues at an office can share is also a superb idea. “Giving thanks” at Thanksgiving is an excellent and effective way to show your appreciation without having to deal with the rush that exists around Christmas time.


9 Great Wedding Gift Ideas for Every Budget


You’ve been invited to a wedding and your first thought (after what to wear!) is what gift to buy for the bride and groom—and how much to spend. If you vow to give the perfect present without saying “I do” to debt, read on. Here are 9 ideas for generous and memorable gifts that will fit every budget…so you can focus on the fit of your new outfit.Laughing


Buy from the gift registry. You may think buying from the gift registry is a bit impersonal. But the happy couple likely needs specific items or wants to complete a set of dishes or glassware, and selecting from the registry is a fast and easy way to give them a gift you know they’ll love. 


Don’t forget the groom. Gift registries are often home déco and “bride” focused, but there is also a lot of “guy” stuff newlyweds need like lawnmowers, power tools and electronics.


Be creative. These days many couples have been living on their own, so they don’t need to set up an entire household—in fact, they may be merging two. Give them a special treat they can enjoy together like a weekend getaway to their favourite resort, scuba diving lessons or theatre tickets. 


Make it money. A wedding can be a big expense and most couples don’t want to dip into debt to celebrate this special occasion. When you give money, the bride and groom can choose to put it towards a down payment, their honeymoon or decide what they need most.


Give gift cards. If you’re not comfortable giving cash, gift cards are an excellent option. They can be really personal if you know the couples’ interests, and you can even contribute towards a special goal. For example, if they’re fixing up the backyard, Home Depot is an ideal choice, or if they want a new entertainment centre, a gift card from Best Buy or Future Shop is the perfect present. 


Group gifts are great. If you have a limited budget, get together with another friend or group of friends and contribute to a larger gift. Your money will go further and you can give the couple a big ticket item on their list they really want and need.  To give the newlyweds an ‘experience’, look into Life Experiences for ideas out of the ordinary.  


Personalize your present. You don’t have to spend a lot to give a memorable gift. Create a video montage or photo album with fun memories, or have a special photo framed and engraved to commemorate the occasion.  


At your service. Do you have a special skill or service you can provide for the wedding or the newlyweds’ new home such as flower arranging, cake decorating, a limo service, carpentry or landscaping? They’ll be grateful for these really practical and unique gifts.


Finally, give what you can. The old tradition of giving a gift that is the same value as the wedding dinner is passé. Today, a wedding invitation is given because you’re valued by the bride and groom and they want you to share their special day. Remember, any gift will be greatly appreciated.Smile


Reblogged. Great Article and tips By Debbie Frye, General Manager,

5 Tips to Make Your Clients Happy

The weather's still warm so summer's still on! Most people are happy to hear that even if we are in the latter part of August. Something else that makes people happy, your clients in particular, is to give them the assurance that every dollar they spend is worth it. A happy customer makes for a happier bottom line. And satisfied existing clients are your best source for future business. So here are a few tips to keep them smiling and hopefully loving you and what you do.


1. Put the clients needs first - Do lots of listening and ask smart questions. If you focus on what they want and the best way to provide it, they will be happy and your own success will follow.

2.Stay in touch with your client - Friendly phone calls, birthday and holiday cards, informative newsletters and even a cup of coffee at a nearby cafe are ways to show you care and can help them remember you. Let's not forget sending gifts !

3, Don't make promises you can't keep - In other words, create a reasonable set of expectations and do your very best to meet them ( go the extra mile whenever possible). You're better off surpassing expectations than promising somthing you can't deliver.  If you discover you are unable to meet up as planned or the results are not going to be what you expected, let your client know as asoon as possible.

4.Help your client network - As the opportunity arises, you can introduce them to contacts you have that they may find helpfull and vice versa.It's a wonderful thing to be able to do and it's something the client will remember and thank you for.

5. Don't sweat the small stuff - Remember the client is always right, even when he or she is wrong. Do your best to keep them happy!


MBOT Chair's Gala

I attended the Mississauga Board of Trade's Annual Chair's Gala the evening of April 7 at the Mississauga Convention Centre.  This year's theme was International: Experience the sights, sounds and tastes from around the world. And that we did. It was quite the event! The outgoing 2010 Chair of the Board of Directors, Syd Martin was recognized as well as Ignat Kaneff (CEO of Kaneff Group of Companies) who received the Lifetime Business Achievement Award. The three-course meal was excellent and for entertainment, several dance troupes from India, Pakistan and Southeast Asia performed. Let's not forget  the silent and live auctions which were a HUGE deal. A large number of the guests had their sights set on several of the items up for bid which included a brand spanking new iphone 4, gift certificates to several restaurants, signed NHL jerseys and a giant Royal Wedding themed gift basket from GSBB.

The A Factor

Welcome to our new and improved website ! At Blossom Baskets & Gifts, we've been busy over the summer making changes and updating things so we are really excited about the new look and improvements, all designed to serve you better.  Our recently published article in the August edition of the Mississauga Board of Trade magazine, will also get you thinking about how to serve your own clients better too and in so doing set yourself and your business apart! Happy reading.........


 The  "A" Factor by Jemine Jegede

You may have heard of the X Factor, a British television singing competition created by record producer Simon Cowell . The show is the biggest TV talent competition in Europe and the ex-American Idol judge will soon be introducing it to North America, adapting it to a U.S. format. The "X Factor" refers to that indefinable "something" that makes for star quality.

The “A Factor” is, also, that special something that sets you and your company apart from others. With the X factor, one may not readily be able to pinpoint what makes that person, product or service so exceptional but with the A Factor, the reason is apparent  -  it’s called APPRECIATION!  Successful companies, whether product or service based, don’t view client appreciation as a once-a-year activity. It has become a way of  life , woven into their daily operations and embedded in long-term planning. It’s essential for keeping current clients happy and developing a steady stream of referrals.

Everyone wants to feel valued--especially when people are making tough choices regarding their wallets. It’s important not to take customers’ patronage and support for granted. Regularly communicating that you care about your customers' success strengthens your connection to them--and differentiates you from competitors, giving you the “A” Factor.

As a business owner or manager, the following tips are among several that will keep your “A” game huge with clients throughout the year. Whatever you do though, be sincere. Customers can spot hype a mile away:

Say Thank You -Mothers teach their children three very important words when growing up – please and thank you.  It may seem quite fundamental but a simple thank you can mean so much and go a long way in expression of appreciation for work tendered.  Remember to use it generously in your business and personal communications, both verbal and written.

Put Them First– Ask customers what’s on their minds regularly. On the X Factor, the judges critique the contestants in order to help them improve their performances. Listen to what your customers are saying when they give you feedback with the aim of adapting your product or service to better meet their needs.
Avoid the Christmas Crunch - Most companies usually show customer appreciation at the end of the year around Christmas and Hanukah. Stand out from the crowd and do the unexpected! You don’t have to wait for a holiday to reach out to clients. Find an excuse to send a card, a small token gift or make a surprise phone call.

Have you ever heard the adage, “If you don’t take care of your customers, somebody else will?” Customers are people who simply want to be appreciated. Show them you care all year long and you're more likely to win their hearts . . . and their business.