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Holiday Entertaining

Northern Ireland


200 Pixels

  200 Pixels by Jake
Quote of the month-
"I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!"
Bart Simpson

Puzzles - They're good for the brain. Grab some toothpicks and have fun.

#1. Move only 2 toothpicks such that you create a total of 6 squares.

#2. Move only 2 toothpicks such that the penny is no longer in the shovel.

#3. Move only 2 toothpicks such that you create a total of 2 triangles.

Click for the answers...

Thanks to Michael More for contributing to this month's puzzles.

Website of the month:
Ten by Ten

Wow! This is cool.

Have a great holiday season.
Talk to you next year.
'tis the season, as it were.

Visit Creativity Central's Shop for more great creativity items

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  Nuts & Bolts:
Creativity Central
St. Paul

Charlie Girsch
Maria Girsch

1111 Elway St.
Suite 609
St. Paul MN 55116-3236
ph 651.291.0745

Creativity Central

Ed Holahan
Jake More

5215 N. Ravenswood
Suite 307
Chicago, IL 60640
ph 773.293.4559
fax 773.293.4551

Creativity Central cNews
December 10, 2004
Volume 1, Issue 12

We hope you enjoyed reading this issue of Creativity Central cNews.

We'll bring you more exciting news from Creativity Central and our affiliates just one month from now on Monday, January 10, 2005.

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  Holiday Entertaining

by Ed Holahan

At Creativity Central we are fond of saying “NO MORE SAME OLD.” We are in the business of getting people into the habit of getting out of the habit. We offer the following hints as an out-of-the-gift-box approach to dining this holiday season.

Start with the House Rules.

Make sure that everyone present understands that you are in charge of everything. That means everything. No exceptions. If someone wants to make a toast, if someone wants to pass food to the left, if someone wants to change seats…anything. You are in charge of it.

I have found it helpful over the years to rent a “take a number machine” like at the bakery or deli and mount it to a wall in the room where you will be eating. Make sure to inform your guests that they will need a number if they are going to want anything out of the ordinary like bacon bits or shaved ginger or ice. In larger gatherings it is a good idea to warn people to take several numbers before sitting. It could be quite some time before their number comes up.

If elderly people are attending, offer to get a number for them, a low number if you are in their will. This will show that you are considerate but still very much in control.

Keep your conversation to a minimum. Talking is everyone else’s job. Your job is being in charge. Try short, punchy phrases like…”I imagine so,” “My uncle suffered from that,” and “Why are you here?” If people still don’t get it, try staring at a spot just above their eyes as they are talking. In short order they will find an excuse to leave the table. Make sure they use a number.

“Please, no gifts.” Don’t let that gift thing get started on your watch. You know where it leads and you don’t want to go there. If a guest arrives bearing a brightly wrapped package, be firm. Meet him or her at the door and adopt a wide stance saying, “I told you no gifts. You may have a glass of punch and then you must leave.” I guarantee you they won’t mess up again next year.

At exactly one hour and ten minutes after dinner begins, push back from the table and say, “That was great. Thanks for joining us. Let me know if you need help finding your coat.” Then walk around the table with a black, 50 gallon trash bag and start shoveling the scraps and paper plates into it.
Finally, try to make sure that each and every guest leaves with a meaningful parting thought from you. I like to write them down in advance with the appropriate guest’s name next to each phrase. People appreciate the personal touch. “Jim, next time no kids, OK?”

That about covers it. If you find that it’s difficult to remember all of this information just think of the bullet points.

  • You’re in charge.
  • Take a number.
  • Talk is cheap.
  • Time’s up.
  • No gifts.
  • See ya.
  • Happy Holidays!

    What do you think?
  A brief report from Northern Ireland 11/23-11/25 04  

by Charlie Girsch

Creativity Central trained 24 community leaders from both the North and South of Ireland for three days. As usual our focus was on attitude, commitment and tools. Every day we explored each of these values as we applied them to local and personal challenges that needed idea and solution finding. From a trainer's point of view it was just wonderful to see the participants explore and experiment with our exercises and open up in their thinking and doing.

Two immediate payoffs came as we used some of our Tools to brainstorm possible ways to get credit for the group that funded the training and ways to take a non-traditional group photo. Stimulated by some very creative "Get Your Butt Fired" thinking, a report of our training complete with interviews was broadcast by the BBC.

  Creativity Central Awards  

It Doesn’t take a rocket scientist Award:

Creativity Central will hand over one genuine "What If?" hat to the reader who shows us the product or service that answers some big challenge by applying the simplest of solutions. Submit your entry for January

Thanks to John Jeppesen for this one. He's December's winner and will receive one of our "What If?" hats for spotting this bit of ingenuity.

Photo/Graphic Specialties identified a need to find new market niches for its graphic services. This became the crossroads where passion and necessity intersect.

Let’s face it, MINI’s are an in-your-face kind of car. And until now, your choices for roof graphics were anything but. The Union Jack, while appropriate and correct for a British car, is, well, lame by modern standards.

Creativity Central will hand over one genuine "What If?" hat to the reader who has the best answer to the following question:

If necessity is the mother of invention, what is the father?

Submit your entry for January
  © Creativity Central cNews, 2004 All rights reserved