So, What’s Your Color ?


Are you ready to delve deep into your psyche ?  Not ? Ok then, maybe just nibble at the edges.  Anyway.  Check out what “The experts” say about color and how it relates to who you really are.  Take this to the bank.  They’re the experts right ?

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Take this test… if you dare !

Your favourite colour says a lot about your personality and deepest need. Love colour? Visit Your soul will be forever grateful.

Is your color really you ?  Did you find out what your innermost needs are ?  I would love to know what you found out about yourselves.  Leave a comment and let me know !


Holiday Small Talk Tips That Don’t Involve Work, Babies, or Politics

There is nothing I loathe more than small talk, and the holidays are just about the worst. Probably like many of you, I find myself attending a lot of holiday functions. I’ll go several holiday gatherings for various magazines I write for. I’ll attend my husband’s company party. I’ll drop in on a few open houses for area businesses. And ultimately, I’ll find myself running out of things to talk about at every single one of these functions. Like we need more stress this time of year, am I right?

The reality is, I like to talk to people. I’m naturally curious, and I enjoy asking questions. However, oftentimes I ask the wrong questions. You know the ones: those conversation enders instead of conversation starters. There’s the usual, “What do you do? What part of town do you live in? And do you have kids?” And for me, that last one is the ultimate doozy because I, in fact, do not have kids. So ends that conversation. Oops.

The more I think about it, the more I realize I not only hate asking those typical questions but answering them too. It’s difficult to describe my non-traditional career; it’s hurtful to explain why I’m not going home for the holidays, and it’s boring to talk about the same things over and over again. Who’s with me?!

This holiday season, I’m saying enough is enough when it comes to dreaded holiday small talk. Instead of avoiding it, I’m going to embrace it, thanks to the guidance of Erika Preval. Erika is an Atlanta-based etiquette expert who also owns a modern day charm school. After years working on Wall Street, writing for the likes of Southern Living, and being a personal shopper at Tiffany’s (hello dream job!), Erika knows her stuff when it comes to all things etiquette.

Start with a compliment.

Who doesn’t love hearing something positive about themselves? Preval explained that a tried-and-true way to start a conversation and get someone talking is to say something nice about them. “Compliments are great conversation starters, and with everyone dressed in their finest, you’ll likely have many occasions during the holidays to create an instant connection with the recipient when giving them,” she said. She emphasized that it’s important to think beyond the weather and focus instead on things people like talking about. “Chatting about upcoming travel plans, new restaurants, or even favorite (non-controversial) podcasts are also ways to keep the conversation going,” Preval added.

Recently, a hostess friend of mine said one of her favorite ways to start a conversation is to ask what someone did that day. I love that! Think of all of the answers that will come up in that response. Preval also said to be ready for what’s next. “Be armed with leading follow-up questions,” she explained. “‘Tell me more…’  expresses interest in what you’ve just heard and is a simple way to keep the conversation going.”


Know how to dip out graciously.

As a conversation starts to dwindle, it can become clear it’s time to move on. However, doing so without being awkward is, well, awkward. “When the conversation starts to wane and you’re beginning to feel like the rhythm has been lost, it’s time to move on,” Preval said. “You can graciously exit the conversation with, ‘I’ve really enjoyed catching up with you. Please excuse me…’ or by introducing them to another person who might be a better fit.”

Leaving a conversation to start a new one can also be a bit tricky, but Preval explained there are ways to do so with confidence. “If the group is open, enter with a simple greeting and introduce yourself,” she noted. “If you’ve overheard the subject matter of their current conversation, add to the discussion with your experiences or inquiries. ‘Did I hear you talking about ____? I’ve always wanted to go there. What is the one thing I shouldn’t miss when I visit?’”


Be confident around your coworkers (and don’t rely on liquid courage).

It can be tempting to head to the bar as soon as you get to a party, especially to calm your nerves. Avoid the temptation by giving yourself a little confidence–boosting pep-talk. “Often, when you’re employed in an office where co-workers are known to socialize, your interview was likely looking for a fit for both hard and social skills. Find confidence in that and be yourself,” Preval said. Of course, holiday parties are a time for revelry, so imbibing is often expected and anticipated, and that’s OK! However, keep it light, but professional. “If alcohol is present at an event with co-workers, it is OK to join them,” Preval explained. “Know your tolerance and take care to consume beverages that you’re familiar with to avoid unintentionally being over-served.” Another tip? Don’t feel pressured to drink. “A soda with lime, tonic with citrus, or holding the same glass of wine throughout your time together is perfectly fine,” Preval noted.

Ultimately, have fun! Whether you’re slowly sipping on jingle juice or confidently rocking around the Christmas tree, enjoy yourself. Erika’s final piece of advice? “Please don’t enter the event in search of the WiFi password. Unless you’re expecting a call, your phone should be put away at social events. Connect with the people your feet are facing instead those you interact with virtually.” Cheers to a successful holiday party season!

Conversation Questions–Christmas II

More Christmas questions for you to ask.

Photo by Canva


When do you open Christmas presents? (On what day? At what time?)
When do you put up a Christmas tree?
If you don’t put up a Christmas tree, do you put up other decorations?
When does your family decorate the Christmas tree?
Where are you going for Christmas vacation?
Where do you think Santa Claus is from?
Where will you go on Christmas Day?
Who do you expect to receive presents from?
Who is Santa Claus?
Do you know the history of Santa Claus?
At what age did you begin not believing in Santa Claus?
Who was at your house last Christmas?
Who will you give presents to this year?
Who would you like to be with on Christmas?
Will you go skiing during the Christmas vacation?
Will you have a Christmas party at your home?
Will you spend Christmas vacation with your family or your friends?
Will you travel abroad during the Christmas vacation?
Would you like to go skating during Christmas vacation?
Why do people give out Christmas cards with gifts and presents at Christmas time?
Why some people do not like Christmas?
Do people behave differently during Christmas? Do they try to be better?
Do you donate something (money, clothes…) to charities?
Do you give something to homeless people?
How long do Christmas trees last?
Do you use an artificial tree?
What do you usually do on Christmas day?
What people usually do on Christmas day?
Why do people sometimes write “Christmas” with an “X”? (Xmas)
Do you have a big and delicious dinner on Christmas day?
Does it break your heart knowing that your children have grown up and this year will be their last Christmas at home?
If you had a million dollars, what would you do during Christmas time?
If you could change something about Christmas time, what would it be?
When do you put up your Christmas tree?
How is Christmas celebrated in the United States?
Do you have a big and delicious dinner in Christmas?
What kind of food do you usually eat in your country?
Do you remember Christmas celebrations you had as a child?
What was the most regretful thing about this year?
Does it break your heart knowing that your children have grown up and this year will be their last Christmas at home?
What did you get for Christmas? What did you give for Christmas?
What’s the best thing you left out for Santa Clause to eat on Christmas?
Trivia: In what 1942 movie was the song ‘White Christmas” first sung?
Do you ever think about the real meaning of Christmas?
Do you go skiing at Christmas time?
Whose birthday is celebrated on Christmas?
Which comes first, Christmas or New Year’s Day?
What is the significance of a Christmas tree?
What does it represent for you?


Christmas Questions I & II by:

Conversation Questions–Christmas I


Let’s talk about Christmas !


shutterstock photo


  • Did it snow last year at Christmas?
  • Did you believe in Santa Claus when you were a child?
  • Did you enjoy last Christmas?
  • Do people behave differently during Christmas?
    • Do they try to be better?
    • Do you donate something (money, clothes…) to charities?
    • Do you give something to homeless people?
  • Do you attend any special religious ceremonies during the Christmas season?
  • Do you celebrate Christmas in your country?
  • Do you celebrate Christmas in a special way?
  • Do you celebrate Christmas in a traditional way?
    • Do you have a traditional Christmas?
  • Do you decorate the outside of your house for Christmas?
  • Do you eat a turkey dinner for your Christmas dinner?
  • Do you enjoy Christmas time?
  • Do you enjoy singing Christmas songs?
  • Do you exchange presents with your friends at school?
  • Do you go to church on Christmas day?
  • Do you hang up a stocking?
  • Do you have a Christmas party at school?
  • Do you have a Christmas tree?
    • If so, how do you decorate it?
    • When do you put it up?
    • When do you take it down?
    • Is it real or artificial?
  • Do you have a part-time job during Christmas vacation?
  • Do you have any plans to go to a Christmas party?
  • Do you know why Christmas is celebrated around the world?
  • Do you know the history of Christmas?
  • Do you remember when you found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real/ or when your children found out? What was your/their reaction like?
  • Do you see your relatives at Christmas time?
  • Do you think Christmas is depressing? (There is a high suicide rate at this time of year.)
  • Do you think we will have a white Christmas this year?
  • Do you usually put up Christmas decorations in your house? (Do you usually decorate your home?)
    • How about at your school of the place where you work?
    • Does you school have a Christmas play?
    • Does your family have any special Christmas traditions?
    • Does your town get decorated at Christmas?
      • What kind of decorations?
    • Have you already finished your Christmas shopping?
    • Have you ever celebrated Christmas in a foreign country?
    • Have you ever made your own Christmas cards?
      • If so, how did you make them?
    • How do you usually spend New Year’s Eve? How about New Year’s Day?
    • How long do you keep your Christmas tree up after Christmas?
    • How long is your Christmas vacation?
    • How many Christmas cards did you receive last year?
    • How many Christmas cards do you send?
    • How many presents do you usually give?
    • If you are not a Christian, does the intense focus on Christmas in the U.S. make you feel bad in any way (e.g., ignored, dismissed, angry, etc.)?
    • If you could go anywhere during Christmas vacation, where would you go?
    • In how many languages did you write Christmas cards?
    • Is there a holiday similar to Christmas in your home country?
    • Is your Christmas tree a real tree or an artificial tree?
    • What are some popular foods for the Christmas season?
    • What are you going to buy your boyfriend/girlfriend for their Christmas present?
    • What did you do last year on Christmas Day?
    • How did you celebrate Christmas last year?
    • What do you eat on Christmas Day?
    • What do you usually do for Christmas?
    • What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?
    • What does your family eat for Christmas dinner?
    • What is Christmas like in your hometown?
      • What is Christmas like in your country?
    • What is the best Christmas present you have ever gotten?
    • What is the most expensive Christmas present you plan to buy?
    • What is the typical menu for a Christmas meal in your family? (… in your country?)
    • What is the weather like in your country around Christmas time?
    • What is your attitude toward the commercialization of the Christmas season?
      • Is Christmas becoming too commercialized?
    • What is your favorite Christmas carol?
    • What is your favorite Christmas song?
      • Are there any special songs in your country that you don’t hear here?
    • What kind of interesting things do you do for Christmas in your home country?
    • What kind of presents do you expect to get this Christmas?
    • What time do you wake up on Christmas day?
    • What time does your family open the presents?
    • What traditions do you have during the Christmas season?
    • What was the best present your received last Christmas?
    • What will you buy your parents?
    • What will you do on Christmas day?
    • What will you eat on Christmas Day?
    • What would you like to get for your Christmas present?
    • What’s your favorite Christmas song?
    • When do you do your Christmas shopping?
        What kind of presents do you buy?

      • Who do you buy them for?
      • About how much do you spend per person?
    • When do you give Christmas presents? (On what day? At what time?)

Conversation Questions–Gifts

Gift, Christmas, Surprise, Packed, Packaging


  • What kinds of gifts do you like to give?
  • Have you ever re-gifted something?
  • If you don’t like a gift, how long should you keep it?
  • What gift will you give your home-stay family when you leave?
  • What was your last gift?
  • What gift will you give your boyfriend/girlfriend for their birthday?
  • Is there a special gift you like to get?
  • What kinds of gifts do you like to get?
  • Do you ever give or get a knick-knack as a gift?
  • How did you like your last gift?
  • Did you ever get a gift you didn’t like?
  • What gift do you recommend someone give in your culture?
    • For children?
    • For parents?
    • For spouses?
    • For boyfriend?
    • For Girlfriend?
  • What gift would you most like to get?
  • What was the best gift you ever received?
  • How do you thank someone who gave you a gift?
  • What kinds of gifts do you think the other people in the class need?
  • Who was the last person you gave a gift to?
  • Is it enough for a husband/boyfriend to give flowers to his wife/girlfriend on her birthday?
  • What are the times of the year that you give gifts?
  • What are some of the things that you do not give as gifts in your country?
  • What do you think of people who give gifts?