Archive for December, 2010

What do you do on an ice-day holiday?

Driving in metro Atlanta is dangerous enough when the weather is clear and the roads are dry. Add ice or snow to the mix and the streets turn into a demolition derby disaster.

But wintry weather can have an upside. Some people take an ice day off, and nothing beats a well-timed break from work or school. Sadly, newspaper employees aren’t that lucky.

Because we at The AJC are required to work through rain, sleet, snow and natural disasters, please indulge us with stories about what you do when you get a snow or ice day off. What’s the best way to spend a surprise day off from work or school? Warming by the fire or maybe catching up on the latest season of “Mad Men?” Tell us about it.

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Gag gift exchange can bring holiday cheer to work

This is the time of year when many of us are trudging through stores and searching online for the perfect holiday presents for the folks on our gift lists. Despite the best intentions of getting an early start on buying jewelry for that special lady or the year’s hottest toy for little Johnny, holiday shopping can turn into a frantic, stress-filled race to get it done in time.

One of the season’s fun gift traditions, however, is a White Elephant gift exchange at work. White Elephant gift exchanges, sometimes known as Yankee Swaps, involve bringing an inexpensive, wrapped present that often is a gag gift or something used.

Based on a numbering system, the first participant opens his or her gift and shows it to the group. A second player gets an unopened gift and chooses to either unwrap it or swap it for the first person’s present. The exchange follows that pattern until all the gifts are opened. The game can have some variations but the idea is the same; lots of laughs …

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‘Tis the season for health care enrollment

Every year, the last half of November begins a season of holiday anticipation. Thoughts of turkey dinners, family gatherings and holiday shopping fill the heads of folks everywhere. A less pleasant task, however, is filling out your annual enrollment packet for work-based insurance benefits.

With changes due to new health care legislation, this year was even more important than most for many workers. Provisions affecting preventive care coverage, lifetime caps, flexible spending accounts, coverage of adult children and pre-existing conditions were just a few of the changes employees had to consider before making choices for 2011.

How did the process go for you this year? Did you do more research before filling out your enrollment packet? Was there any confusion? Did your costs go up? How much? Tell us about it.

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