Party Line: You Get What You Give

While hearts and flowers have no doubt taken over your stores for Valentine's Day, this is our Halloween issue, and it's full of great ideas and products to help get you thinking about those fall holidays.

But first I'm going to ask you to do something that might seem a little bit off topic, but trust me on this one. Just once this week - perhaps in the spirit of Valentine's Day - I want you to give what you can share, not what you can spare.

Whether it's just a customer appreciation day, a gift card to an exemplary employee or a donation of balloons to a local event, give something from your business to someone in the community. It doesn't have to be expensive and it doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be from the heart.

This past holiday season in Michigan we had a "Secret Santa" movement of sorts start in our local Kmart stores, as strangers anonymously paid off thousands of dollars of layaway accounts, specifically choosing those that included items such as clothing and children's necessities. This movement spread across the country, and around $450,000 was paid off throughout the season, ensuring a happy holiday for those in need.

When we are in the position of the giver, we honor those we are helping when we remember the many people who have helped us.

So think about a time when someone did something small for you that made a big difference and pass that along if you can. Not everyone will "get it" or pay it forward themselves, but no one can fault you for being too nice or too thoughtful. And if they do, you can bet they will get what they give.

Will you?

P.S. After you do this, either post to the Party & Paper Facebook page or send me an email letting me know what you've done. Let's pay it forward!



Originally posted Monday, Jan. 23, 2012