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Pour yourself some eggnog, dish up some cookies and check out some interesting reads I came across this week.

  • This week, Mindy Lockard, aka “The Gracious Girl,” wrote a lovely piece on workplace etiquette, specifically during the holidays. You can find the article here.
  • Did you know that on average $450 billion is spent every year in the United States on Christmas? Consider this: unemployment, the hungry, the thirsty, the cold people who sleep outside while we’re warm in our beds, the people who have to hike for miles everyday in third-world countries for clean water while we simply turn on the faucet. Here’s the question, How can we spend so much money, time and effort purchasing gifts that put us further into debt on meaningless material items? In short, this has NOTHING to do with Christmas. A church here in Portland has started a global movement with a simple message, spend less and give more. Forbes picked up on the story this week. Regardless of your beliefs, can’t we admit $450 billion a year is shameful when you consider what just $100 billion could do for neighborhoods here in Portland, your hometown or across the world. Here’s my call to action: What if we spent a little less on Christmas presents and instead gave that leftover money to a charity? Short on cash? Give your time. Serve at a soup kitchen, volunteer with a non-profit or bring a warm meal to a friend who’s ill or in need. We can all do something. This year, let’s have (and give) a merry Christmas.

[AC] Promo 2011 from Advent Conspiracy on Vimeo.

  • Speaking of overspending at Christmas, check out this video of a FedEx delivery guy throwing a big screen TV over a resident’s fence. Awesome part, the resident has a security camera by the front gate, caught the whole thing on camera and uploaded it to YouTube. It already has more than 3 million views. The resident uploaded the video on December 19th and just today, December 21st, FedEx Senior VP of US Operations, Matthew Thornton, released this statement on the company’s blog. While I think it came a little late, the apology took full responsibility for the actions of the employee and assures the public that it is making a genuine effort to make amends with both the customer whose item was damaged and the general public.
  • The January issue of Real Simple arrived in my mailbox on Monday and I found myself giving an audible “Amen!” to a couple of points made in an article called, “Social Disgraces.” A portion of the article titled, “Practice Good Facebook Etiquette,” can be found here in the online edition of the magazine. While this is a nice little slice, I still recommend picking up a copy of the January issue in print.

Did you come across any good reads this week? Please share in the comments section below.