A Few Unique And Original Xmas Present Ideas

With Xmas coming up, people around the UK are beginning to consider what they can buy each other for a present. However, it can be hard to think of original ideas every year, and some people feel a considerable amount of pressure to ensure the gifts they purchase are up to standard. Instead of leaving everything to the last moment, it is always advisable to begin deciding what to buy as soon as you can, and making your purchases early to avoid the Xmas rush. Here are a few unique and unusual present ideas, to enable you to get a head start with your Christmas purchases.

For the lover of animals in your life, you could give them a gift that is truly unique – the chance to adopt a polar bear! The pack contains a certificate of adoption, a soft polar bear, photo, fact sheets, and newsletter, and will help support the WWF in their important work to help save this beautiful species.

A bottle of personalised malt whisky and set of glasses would make a fantastic present for a scotch connoisseur, or anyone else who likes a little tipple during the Xmas period! Alternatively, for a wine lover, you could give a Laithwaites wine tasting evening for 2 people, offering a laid back experience and the chance to try up to 25 different types of wine.

For a really extravagant, one off thrill seekers experience, surely there would be nothing better than the opportunity to race a REAL Formula One grand prix car, to make this Xmas really unforgettable. The lucky recipient will receive a full days experience, which includes personal tuition in a variety of race specification vehicles, culminating in a drive in an actual grand prix car.

Alternatively, a Segway race experience for two, or dumper truck racing experience, could make for an equally unique, but rather more cost effective choice.

If you are wanting to buy a gift for a pregnant loved one, a Mum-To-Be Photoshoot could make for a fantastic indulgent gift, with trained photographers available at a variety of places across the UK to create a special memory.

Chinese Flying Lanterns, also known as ‘wishing lanterns’ are quickly becoming more and more popular, and it is no wonder why. Seeing them climb slowly into the night time sky, glowing mysteriously for approximately 20 minutes, is an astonishing and wondrous experience, making these a fantastic way to celebrate a special occasion.

Wondering what to buy for a chocolate lover? A Thorntons chocolate hamper would surely be a wonderful present, comprising milk, dark and white chocolates with fudge, toffee and nougat. You wouldn’t go wrong with this amazing gift made by the definitive chocolate maker. A cheaper but equally special alternative would be a Thorntons ‘Favourites’ Hamper, which gives great value.

A grow your own Manchester United football pitch would be the perfect gift to give to a football fan, which contains everything needed to grow a replica football pitch, and includes the same seeds that are used on the Old Trafford football pitch!.

With touch screen phones becoming more and more common, sometimes it is frustrating when it is cold to find that they do not function if you are wearing gloves! The solution is a pair of specially designed touchscreen gloves, which would be a great present for anyone with an iPhone or similar device.

Last but not least, if you were considering giving a designer fragrance as a gift, why not buy a design your own fragrance experience instead? This offers you the opportunity to design, name and wear your very own fragrance, just like the stars!

Hopefully you should now have a few more ideas about what Christmas presents to buy for your friends and relatives, to make this year really memorable. Happy shopping!

Thought of the Day – Family Conflict (Part I): How the Past Affects The Present

Passover was a dreaded holiday for me as a teenager growing up in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It was a time when my uncle, who thought of himself as a “lay Rabbi,” rose at the head of the table and straightened himself out as if he was the Chief Rabbi in the grandest synagogue in Europe. He ceremoniously opened the Haggadah, the text recited at the Seder on the first two nights of the Jewish Passover.

As he began reciting in Hebrew the narrative of the Jewish exodus from Egypt, my aunt looked adoringly at him. At the other end of the table, my mother rolled her eyes, my father grumbled curses under his breath, and I pretended the conflict and anger I saw didn’t exist. In this week’s three-part series, I’ll share some of my thoughts on the nature of family conflicts occurring at holiday gatherings.

Family Conflict and Reduced Inhibition and Expectations

Family gatherings during holidays are supposed to be happy events where we shove personal issues to the side, forgive past wrongs, and the “good” of the family is most important. The expectation is what happened in the past is irrelevant now, and the joy of the moment; Passover, Easter, or other holidays will sooth over unskillful behaviors as warm milk does to an upset stomach. Neither anecdotes are always successful.

Our Present is Based on Our Past

We don’t live in a vacuum where our lives were immaculately conceived. You don’t need to believe in Freudian psychology to understand what a person does in the present carries with them their past.

I’m sure my uncle’s love of the family during the Passover Seder was genuine. For a brief time, he was able to reinterpret or ignore how his past behaviors hurt the family. Unfortunately, those on the receiving end couldn’t forget. Regardless of how genuine his love, my parents couldn’t go beyond his past.

Upcoming Holidays

We would like to think the joy of a holiday or it’s greater meaning will overshadow “petty” disagreements. In the 1960′s many sociologists wrote about the role of rising expectations in social turmoil. They believed inequities and injustices weren’t as important in creating conflicts as was the belief things could be changed.

It may be prudent as you approach the new holiday season to adjust your expectations of what’s possible during your family gathering. You may not have a “want to-be” Rabbi in your family, but don’t expect your cousin’s irksome behaviors that irritated you forever to vanish because you wish they will.

In the next part of this three-part series, I’ll talk about why family truths are always relative. In the final part, I’ll suggest some attitudinal adjustments that worked in my counseling and coaching of families dealing with crises.

Top Ten Tips on Negotiating With a Prospective Employee

Have you ever wondered why there isn’t much written about negotiating the terms of a job offer? It’s because many dentists consider it an uncomfortable part of the Right hiring process. Many doctors fail to understand the process of compensation negotiation. It is not simply offering the lowest wage for services rendered. Communication, preparation, trust, a mutual understanding of each party’s position and willingness to compromise are the key ingredients of successful negotiations. In the end both parties must feel they have reached an agreement that serves their mutual interests.

Below are the 10 keys to successful compensation negotiation. Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this important strategic tool of compensation negotiation.

1. Do your homework. Make sure you have done your research on the wage you are offering for the position being offered. Uncovering wage information is not as difficult as it may seem. Consider the following resources:

  • Ask at least 3 of your dental colleagues for their pay scales.
  • Check out on-line salary surveys like http://www.salary.com.
  • Use job listings which indicate compensation for related positions.
  • Ask friends in different yet comparable professions (Chiropractic, Accountant, Physician, and Architect).

2. Never negotiate without an offer in mind. The only time to negotiate a compensation package is when you have a clear offer formulated in advance and you are prepared to put that offer on the table in writing.

3. Think relationship. Remember your offer negotiation is taking place in the spirit of developing a relationship with a prospective new employee. Put yourself in the position of the person on the other side of the desk and you’ll realize he/she is probably as uncomfortable as you are.

4. Leave your ego at the door. Avoid, at all costs the temptation to be egotistical. Avoid making wage discussions be part of an ego trip or part of a game. This is serious business for both you and the candidate.

5. Relax. It’s natural to feel uncomfortable and uneasy about discussing money.

6. Hold off. If asked early on in the interview process, “What is the pay?” Tell the prospect that you would prefer learning more about them, their talents and past performance before you discuss compensation and that you are confident you will be able to reach a mutual agreement about pay at that time.

7. Avoid showing the buying signs. Take time to ask questions relevant to the position and learn how the candidate has performed in similar positions and situations. When you extend the interview longer than planned, or you start talking about yourself, the practice, and its history or you ask about the prospects wage and benefits needs, you may come across as too eager. You may loose leverage in the wage negotiation process.

8. Maintain control. When all your issues have been addressed satisfactorily, make the wage offer. Summarize the requirements and expected outputs of the position and then disclose to the candidate the wage you are offering.

9. Make a clear offer while having a range in mind. When all questioning has been completed to your satisfaction, references have been checked and you believe this is the Right candidate, make an unambiguous and unmistakable offer. However, be prepared with a range (that is a wage that is competitive and you are comfortable with) that will allow you to enhance upwards if the candidate balks and he/she is the Right one for your office.

10. Offer up the whole enchilada. Many practices use a variety of benefits and incentives to attract high level talent beyond a base wage. Include all perks, benefits and extras that will be included in the compensation package. An increasing number of employers are offering flexible benefit packages, which allow employees a variety of choices regarding their benefits. Tell the prospect what the whole package will look like.

It is critical to develop a negotiation strategy just as you develop a strategy for handling standard interview questions. Make a clear distinction between the negotiation of a position and discussions about the wage to be offered. It will help if you keep in mind the first principle of successful negotiation: Do your homework and never negotiate without an offer in mind. Preparation is the key element in successful compensation negotiation. Negotiating compensation packages requires a positive approach and both you and your prospective new employee have individual interests at stake. Look for ways to reconcile both by creating opportunities for mutual gain.

BONUS:
11. Put your offer in writing. In the emotion and nervousness of the Negotiations, details can often be overlooked. In all fairness to you and your new employee, your agreement needs to be put in written form. The offer spells out the points of your agreement. This will dramatically reduce the chances for misunderstandings that may occur at a later date.