Countdown to Christmas! Soup for Your Soul! Gift Giving Ideas and Triple T Farm Wedding Venue!
The Christmas holidays are in full swing! I am pleased to report that our little tree is decorated and our Polar Express train is running smoothly through our little village. Precious ornaments, stockings hung by the fireplace and wonderful holiday treats baking in the oven all make me so grateful for the season. Speaking of heavenly goodies...
I'll be posting some delicious desserts on my YouTube channel throughout the month of December. Click here and please subscribe so that you don't miss a single recipe. My New Orleans Style Bread Pudding video has been wildly successful so I thought I'd share it again. I made a second one last week for my family and tweaked the recipe by only using 1/4 cup of rum. It was fabulous!
Cooking and entertaining are two of my favorite things. I enjoy sharing my favorite recipes with all of you. Jump on my YouTube channel this week and let's cook together!
Triple T Farm's Wedding & Event Venue
The holiday season equals "engagement" time for many couples. Shortly after she says "yes" the quest for the perfect wedding venue begins. I'd like to introduce you to Triple T Farm located in Fruitdale, Alabama. I've been working with owner, Chad Turner for years and have watched his lovely venue grow to one of the most sought after wedding sites in the south.
It's no wonder that the property has become so popular among couples planning their wedding. Amenities include a climate controlled barn that can accommodate up to 300 guests! There is a large family home that has been converted into The Bridal House where the bride and her bridesmaids can get ready for the special event. Let's not forget about the groom! How does a Groom's Cabin, a fully stocked fishing pond and skeet shooting sound? The Silo-lined Courtyard is a favorite for guests kicking up their heels and enjoying the festivities. Imagine a venue that can handle parking for 200 cars! There are too many niceties to list! You'll need to check it out for yourself!
Chad and his staff have been honored to be a part of hundreds of couples' special moments. If you know anyone who is looking for a memorable place to exchange vows, this is it! For more information visit his website at www.tripletfarm1910.com. This beautiful destination is only an hour's drive northwest of Mobile.
Soup for Your Soul!
There are thousands of recipes for Broccoli Cheddar Soup out there and I've got a couple in my collection that I savor! Check out this week's Soup for the Soul by clicking here. This one is hearty enough to serve as an entree and is perfect for a bread bowl! Check out the video and let's get cooking!
Gift Giving Ideas from Richard Lindsey!
Shopping for employees can be challenging.
Check out these words of wisdom from Richard Lindsey's latest email.
Richard Lindsey's "Real World" Business Strategy Note: Go for the Non-Traditional EOY Employee Gifts
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward
That time of year again. Trouble for some small companies is, it’s that time in what may be yet another year of struggling on the bottom line. Still, you want to thank your employees for their hard work. How do you do it without breaking the bank?
There are many ways to say “thank you” quickly (even as 2022 runs out), even if you’re cash-strapped.
Hint: Go for more bang than buck.
If you give gifts as part of doing business — including thank yous for employees — you may be able to deduct all or part of the cost, but no more than 25 dollars for business gifts to each person during your tax year. Incidental costs — engraving, decorating, packaging, mailing — are generally not included in that limit.
Holiday gifts fall under de minimis benefits — what the IRS terms an item “considering its value and the frequency with which it is provided, is so small as to make accounting for it unreasonable or impractical.” (The IRS has previously ruled that individual items worth more than 100 dollars aren’t de minimis, just so you know.)
Cash or cash equivalent items (gift cards and the like) are never excludable from income. Gift certificates that allow your employee to receive an item that’s minimal in value, provided infrequently, and is “administratively impractical to account for” may be excludable as a de minimis benefit, depending on facts and circumstances, IRS says.
Whenever everybody’s favorite federal agency starts using phrases like “depending on facts and circumstances,” it’s only sensible to have a few questions. Feel free to check with us.
What to give
Gift cards. These are first to mind these days, and they offer a lot of pluses for both giver and receiver as an appreciation gift: flexible amounts (easy on your bottom line), fast delivery (whether plastic or electronic), and available for a lot of products from electronics to gas to food to clothes.
If you’re trying to say thanks while watching your budget, the thought really counts. If your staff size allows, try to get each person something they as an individual would like. Maybe one of your folks is always talking (when they should be working, but that’s a story for another time of year …) about the movie they just went to. Maybe another staffer shops at Target every single weekend. Tailoring a gift card to such folks is easy, and they’ll appreciate even a smaller gift if they think you devoted thought to it.
Name brands might also buy you more appreciation than embossing. Is the expense of putting your company name on something really going to impress an employee more than a retail name they respect (Yeti tumblers and mugs, for instance, or a North Face beanie)?
Work-related. Too often all of us fall back on a coffee mug with the company name. That can work of course, but what about comfort at work? Use your eyes and ears for a few days and see if somebody would like a blanket to keep at their desk. Or a recharging station, a lunch box or bag, a desk fan, or a smartphone pop socket. Do they eat lunch at their desk? How about a desktop vacuum cleaner?
You can get many of these for little more than a $20 bill — and every time your folks ward off a chill or cool down after coming in from lunch, they’ll think of you. With fondness. And that’s one of the big points. (These gifts work for either remote or in-office situations, by the way.)
For the individual. Again, if staff size allows, think for a sec or ask a few questions discreetly of co-workers. Does your staffer love or despise candy, honey, chocolate, or cookies? Don’t leap at these choices just because they’re familiar. Does the worker embrace green living (stainless steel straws)? Spend a lot of time outdoors (sunscreen, lip balm, or touchscreen gloves)? Travel a lot (sleep mask, neck pillow, or packing cubes)?
A last point: Give the gifts in a way that embarrasses no one. Maybe leave it on their desk with a nice wrap job and card when they’re not looking. Email them the electronic gift card on the weekend.
A little effort can help make sure the delivery is part of the gift, discreet, and individual. After all, that doesn’t cost anything. ~ Richard Lindsey
Lindsey & Waldo CPA
Give to The Great Cupboard Fill Food Drive!
It is time to shop your pantry and put together a box or bag of goodies for those less fortunate. Drop off donations at one of the above locations by December 20th! Thank you in advance!
Celebrate the Season!
Marcello & Jack are getting excited about the upcoming festivities. I decorated the "apartment" and ordered some new PJ's for the cold weather. With a high of 77 today, it will be awhile before the boys don their space explorer attire. I mentioned the pajamas because they are on top of the kennel and I wanted to take the opportunity to give praise to a huge company. Chewy.com has the BEST customer service in the business. I have the dog's food on auto ship and have never encountered an issue.
Here is a short story about what happened recently. I ordered PJ's for the boys and when they arrived, I realized that Marcello needed a size up. I emailed Chewy and you aren't going to believe what happened. They put the correct size in my online cart, credited me for the ones that were too small and asked me to donate them to a local shelter or someone in need. They waved the shipping charge and put the new items in the post. I ended up giving the small ones to Rebecca at Apollo's Paws to pass on to one of her clients on a fixed income. I appreciate a company the size of this one that practices "local values".
Some people find the holidays especially difficult. If that resonates with you the best thing to do is take action. Go for a walk around the block, call a good friend or meet up for coffee. Take a shower and get out of your sweatpants! Blast your favorite tunes and dance "like no one is watching" around your home. One of my mentors suggests that you carry a little notebook and write down everything good that happens to you during the day. Trust me, you will end up with 20 - 30 things. They may be small and seemingly insignificant however the goodness adds up quickly!
In contrast if you try to "recall" the good things at the end of your day, your list will be short; perhaps 2-3 items. I challenge you to try this little practice tomorrow and watch the blues disappear.
We are headed out the door this evening to LODA Artwalk and we'll probably grab a delicious po-boy at Debris! There are tons of things happening this month along the Gulf Coast! Enjoy your weekend and next week as well! ~ Charlsie