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Hosting a holiday soiree

pre-party preparations

Establish your guest list for the same shop and same product ex best spotting scope, binoculars.

If you’d like to host a seasonal celebration with a combination of business associates, family and acquaintances, you needn’t be too concerned. “Worry less about mixing colleagues and friends, and more about having a group that will have common things to speak about.” says Candice Chan, creative director at Candice & Alison Luxury Events ( in Toronto. “Then decide how the group will intermingle.”


It’s a wonderful (simplified) life Part 1


Retail store

When economists began checking twice to see how this year’s American consumer answered the call to prime the fiscal pump with commercial Yuletide cheer, the news was less than festive: Holiday sales appeared to be the worst in several years, and may not even meet the 4.5 percent increase that some had predicted beforehand, that in itself a grim projection compared with the 7 percent growth retailers have clocked for each of the previous three seasons.


The Cohiba Cigar Divan


I have never thought of myself as a cigar man. For one thing, I don’t smoke. That alone might be thought rather an obstacle. And on those rare, social occasions where I might indulge in a proffered stogie, I most always regret it the following morning.

But I am a non-smoker, not an anti-smoker, and betwixt the two lies a world of difference. And so I had no qualms about accepting an invitation to a “Big Smok and Cocktails” put on to celebrate the official launch of a new Cuban cigar, much as I have happily attended weddings where a good friend’s choice of spouse was not necessarily to my own taste. The Big Smoke had two other things going for it as well: the invitation came from David Tang, and the party would be at his Cohiba Cigar Divan.


BP starts its Campaign for Real Shareholders

BP starts its Campaign for Real Shareholders

Buy a share in British Petroleum (now called BP) and the chairman’s thanks come with it. ‘I am pleased to welcome you,’ writes Peter Sutherland. ‘Thank you for the confidence you have demonstrated in BP through your investment.’ He sends you, not, as you might expect, a coffee-table pamphlet full of glossy pictures of tankers and drilling-rigs, but a guide to what being a shareholder means. It is a model. Newcomers will learn what a dividend is, when to expect it, and how a company which accounts in US dollars pays its dividends in sterling. Advanced students can test their knowledge of record dates and Crest. Those with some odd shares left over will be introduced to ShareGift, which can sell them and pass the proceeds to the owner’s chosen charity. I take it that BP has struck the first blow in a Campaign for Real Shareholders. Like real ale, they have been driven out by the financial equivalent of keg bitter, and corporate life is poorer and less diverse without them. Any chairman with any savvy (Mr Sutherland has plenty) would prefer them to ersatz shareholders–the stewards of other people’s money who give themselves the airs of owners and would gang up to cut his throat for an extra sixpence. My friend Sir Topham Hatt, who (as I reported last week) is hitting back at them by forming the Association of Fat Controllers, will sign up for BP’s campaign. Thanks, as he says, are a dividend, too: sometimes the only one.