Unique Gifts for the Man Who Has Everything

The gift-giving season is fast approaching, and for many people the biggest challenge is finding a great gift for a husband, boyfriend or father. If the man in your life seems to have everything, and claims that there is nothing he particularly wants this year, what is a person to do? Socks and neck ties always make for boring gifts.

One ideal option for any man is a neon sign. He can hang it in his man cave or garage and have a unique piece of decoration that’s also personal. The man in your life will love the bright light of his new neon sign.

neon-signsThere are thousands of different neon signs out there, but not all of them are appropriate for a man cave. He probably doesn’t want a sign advertising facial waxing burning bright while the game is on. To give your man’s favorite room in the house some personal character, look for these kinds of neon signs.

Sports

He can show his allegiance to his favorite college or professional sports team by putting their sign on his wall. If he never misses a game and sits on the edge of his seat until the final second ticks off the clock, a neon sign lets everyone know he is a true fan. There are options featuring team logos, mascots, signature colors and iconic dates. No matter what sport he loves, there’s a neon sign he will be proud to hang on his wall.

Beer

For a lot of guys, the man cave doubles as a home bar. Complete that authentic tavern look by putting up a neon sign for his favorite beer. Better still, put signs up for all his favorite beers. Beer signs are one of the most common neon creations, and there is a look, style and brand for any man. If beer is not his thing, look for his favorite brand of spirits.

Hobbies

Does he love riding motorcycles, surfing or playing poker? Hang a custom sign up in his man cave that looks like a revving bike or a royal flush. He can show off his true passions to anyone who is invited inside. Don’t expect to find a neon sign in the shape of knitting needles, but for all other hobbies, you’re covered.

Work

He works hard and takes pride in being good at what he does. There are lots of neon signs that are meant to show off a trade. If he is a mechanic, firefighter or member of the armed services, outfit his man cave with a neon sign that tells everyone what he does. If you can’t find one to represent his job, think about having a custom one made.

Neon signs are unique gifts that every man enjoys. You can conveniently order one from your own home and have it delivered right to your front door. You can even have a custom one made with any pictures, colors or words that he likes. The possibilities are endless, and this is one gift he’s definitely not expecting this year.

 

Image Source: www.flickr.com/photos/valeriebb/3376879953

Original Source: http://blog.allneonsigns.com/gifts-for-men/unique-gifts-man-everything

Thanksgiving in America: A Holiday for All

Thanksgiving is unique among American holidays. Unlike most other major celebrations, it has no religious or political connection. It is simply a time for people to gather together, enjoy a great meal, and think about the things they are thankful for. Thanksgiving is a holiday no matter where you came from or what faith you subscribe to.

thanksgiving-mealHistory of Thanksgiving
Historians disagree about the exact date of the first Thanksgiving. It is unlikely that the Puritans of the 17th century ever dined on turkey and potatoes with the local Indians, but the celebration is almost as old as the country itself. In 1795, President George Washington made an official proclamation setting aside February 19th as “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” At the time, and for many years after, Thanksgiving was celebrated in a religious context as a time to give thanks for the blessings of God.

In 1863, with the Civil War raging, Abraham Lincoln made another proclamation about Thanksgiving. He set the date as the last Thursday in November, the day it is still observed on today. Before this, Thanksgiving was celebrated on a different day in every state, but President Lincoln made it into an official national holiday.

Thanksgiving Meals
For some Thanksgiving remains a religious holiday, but for many it is simply a time to come together and enjoy a great meal. Turkey and stuffing are the traditional dishes, but some people prefer to break with tradition. Immigrant families often use Thanksgiving as an occasion to cook their favorite dishes from their native lands. Some families allow each member to pick a favorite food, from macaroni and cheese to pizza, and serve them all as a feast. There are Thanksgiving meals based around fish, soup or vegan dishes. The point is simply to cook foods that everyone enjoys as a reminder of life’s good fortune.

Thanksgiving Traditions
Watching or playing football are common Thanksgiving traditions, but most families have their own traditions that they come back to year after year. Some spend the morning of Thanksgiving going for a family hike or running a 5K. Many families have a favorite movie that they always watch after everyone is stuffed from the meal. In one unusual instance, a family saves all of the bones from the turkey and tries to reassemble the skeleton as a kind of jigsaw puzzle. After these traditions are repeated over and over, they become as essential to the holiday as the favorite foods.

Thanksgiving in the Military
Military families understand better than most that Thanksgiving is not about the food or the yearly rituals, but simply being together with each other. It is not easy for any family when one of its members is deployed, but it is always harder around the holidays. Thanksgiving, being such a fundamentally American holiday, would not be possible were it not for the sacrifice made by the brave men and women in the military. You have a lot to be thankful for, but this Thanksgiving, be sure to keep military families in your thoughts and be grateful for the sacrifice they make for us all.

 

Image Source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Happy_Thanksgiving_%284138758719%29.jpg

Original Source: http://blog.allneonsigns.com/all-neon-signs-news-events/thanksgiving-america-holiday/

College Football: America’s True Pastime

253911295_cce6e9f461_o

College Football: America’s True Pastime

On Saturdays throughout the fall, millions of people take part in the excitement of college football. They pour into stadiums in the tens of thousands often with painted chests and elaborate costumes. And if they can’t make it to the game, they often gather together with alumni to cheer on their alma mater and share in the energy of the sport.

College football is a big deal in America, and in terms of fan interest and revenue, it rivals all of the professional sports. Some people even choose where they will go to college based on how they feel about its football team. The football team is a symbol of the school as a whole, and when the team wins, the whole school has something to feel proud about. Read on to learn how football made its way into college athletics, and how some of today’s fans take showing their support to the next level.

History of College Football

The first ever college football game took place in 1869 between Rutgers and Princeton. The rules they played by would eventually evolve into the game we know now, but that first game looked more like a soccer match than a gridiron competition. The game was inspired by rugby, but in its early form there were no standardized rules, and teams at different schools often played by wildly different interpretations.

The game developed throughout the 19th century, becoming formalized and gaining popularity. The sport was notable for its violence. Over a 15 year period, as many as 330 college athletes died on the field while playing football. That led to rule changes and new safety measures, and the body tasked with overseeing this process eventually developed into the NCAA.

The forward pass was added to the rules in 1910, and the game took on the form many of us recognize as football. It grew in popularity throughout the 20th century, even as the NFL began to offer a professional product. Today, college football is the most watched college sport, and there are six college stadiums in the United States that have a seating capacity over 100,000.

Famous College Football Traditions

College football teams often have a rabid fan base made up largely of 18-22 year olds. That leads to a lot of enthusiasm. Unique traditions have sprouted up around the country and are considered sacred by some die hard fans. These are a few of the most colorful.

  • Arkansas Razorbacks fans raise their hands in the air and call out “woo, pig sooie” as a rallying cry.
  • Florida Gators fans do the “gator chomp” to intimidate rival fans. The gesture looks like an alligator’s mouth snapping shut.
  • When the Oklahoma Sooners score, two horses pull a covered wagon across the field.
  • Before every home game, a member of the USC band runs to the middle of the field and stabs a sword through the middle of the USC logo.

If you love college football and have a favorite team, one of the best ways to show your support is with a custom neon sign. You can have the teams colors, logo, and mascot glowing brightly before each game. You can even create a custom sign to root on your team in your own unique way. Before next season, make sure you are ready to be the biggest fan from your school.

Image Source: www.flickr.com/photos/greerjasona/253911295

Original Source: http://blog.allneonsigns.com/sports-memorabilia/college-football-americas-true-pastime

Grabbing the Attention of Your Future Customers

246812291_af23fa873d_o

If you look around your office, you will probably find pens, pads of paper, and magnets that have the name and logo of other businesses on them. This is known as “swag” and it is one of the most common ways for businesses to create familiarity amongst customers. Everyone appreciates a free gift, and if it has an advertising message about a business on it, it communicates that message over and over again.

No matter what kind of business you are in, you can use swag as a powerful advertising tool. Typically swag gifts are low-cost, and they present a significant return on your marketing investment. It is important to plan your strategy effectively though, or you may just be handing out gifts that end up in the trash. Make sure to keep the following considerations in mind before you order swag for your business.

Use Items That Have Value

One of the biggest challenges when using swag is coming up with a gift that is inexpensive to produce in bulk, but that has actual value for the people you are giving it to. That is why so many businesses rely on office supplies as their gift. If possible, tailor your swag to the kind of business you run. For instance, if you run a restaurant, give out free plastic cups with your name on the side. Above all, make sure that whatever you give out is something that people will want to hold on to and use regularly.

Brand Yourself Carefully

The point of swag is to create familiarity. Ideally, your future customers will recognize your company name or logo when they see it in person because they remember it from the swag they were given. Design any gift you give out to provide a simple, clear message. Make the name of your business the focal point, and then surround it with logos, signature colors, or slogans that are unique to your business. Avoid including too much information or you risk making your message confusing.

Find the Right Place to Distribute

People like to get gifts, but they don’t want to feel like they are having junk forced on them. Find a friendly and organic way to distribute your swag, (this weekend Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas is doing it in a big way as well as FanFest in Downtown Austin) so that it feels like something special and not just another piece of advertising. Act graciously if someone declines your swag, and make sure you are not giving the same people the same pieces of swag over and over again.

Tie It All Together

As we mentioned earlier, swag is all about creating familiarity. That is why it is so important to tie your swag into the look of your business. Make sure that you have clear and bright signage so that when people see it, they will remember your name from the swag they got. Use the same colors and logos so that there is no confusion. You can even use custom led signs to advertise that you have swag to give out. A custom neon sign is a great way to communicate crucial information about your business to everyone who passes by. With a the right sign, you can transform your swag into customers.

Image Source: www.flickr.com/photos/vox/246812291

Original Source: http://blog.allneonsigns.com/business-signs/grabbing-attention-future-customers

How to Make Your Small Business Stand Out in the Crowd

4440501893_5da6e636c9_oMarketing is more important for small businesses than it has ever been before. As larger outlets have begun offering many of the same services and product offerings that small businesses have built their reputation on, the level of competition in the marketplace is intense. That is why it is crucial to take steps to attract new customers and keep old ones.

Luckily, there are a number of low cost marketing strategies that have proven themselves to be effective. These range from classic tactics like effective signage, to newer 21st century customer outreach approaches based online. If you want your small business to get noticed and thrive, even in a tough economy, make an investment in one or all of these marketing strategies.

Loyalty Programs

Many small businesses have relied on some sort of loyalty program to encourage customers to come back over and over again. For instance, a sandwich shop might offer customers a free meal after they have purchased 10 sandwiches. Strategies like this are both exciting for the customer, and cost effective for the business. If you do institute a loyalty program, make sure that everyone who comes through the door knows about it, and make it as easy as possible to participate.

Coupons

Never underestimate the power of a discount. Shoppers are always looking for a value, and the right coupon can attract streams of new business. You can opt to print out paper coupons and distribute them through the mail or local media, or you can choose to participate in online coupon programs like Groupon or Living Social. Make sure that the deal you offer is appealing enough to entice customers, but not so generous that it erases your profits.

Collaboration

If you have a relationship with other small businesses near you, or in complementary industries, find a way to combine your marketing efforts. You can use the other business as a way to distribute advertising about what you do, or to offer joint discounts. The key is to identify the businesses that your potential customers are likely to frequent, and to create an arrangement that is mutually beneficial for both businesses.

Signage

A custom neon sign one of the oldest marketing strategies for a good reason. Customers need to know who you are, what you do, and why you do it better than the competition. The right neon sign or led sign is a way to communicate all this crucial information to anyone who passes by the front of your business. A simple open sign, closed sign, or one that lists your operating hours can bring in a surprising amount of business. There are lots of techniques for creating effective signage, but neon signs have shown themselves to be unmissable. They are bright, colorful, and they communicate something about your business day or night.

Marketing your small business does not have to be a challenge as long as you approach the task thoughtfully. Identify your target customers, and then figure out what is appealing about your business. Creativity goes a lot farther than a big budget, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. If you give potential customers a compelling reason to visit your business, they will be excited about walking through the front door.

Image Source: www.flickr.com/photos/31474974@N07/4440501893
Original Source: http://blog.allneonsigns.com/business-strategy/make-small-business-stand-crowd

Epilepsy Awareness in the Workplace

Epilepsy Awareness monthNovember is Epilepsy Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time to brush up on the epilepsy preparedness in your workplace. With an estimated 50 million people worldwide suffering from this condition, you need to be ready if a customer, employee, or visitor ever suffers a seizure.

Being able to handle this kind of event is an important part of workplace safety. That is why you should train yourself and all of your employees to spot the signs of an impending seizure and be proactive about stepping in. In order to make sure that everyone who comes into your business is safe, follow this guide.

Recognizing the Signs of Epilepsy

Seizures are one of the most common and dramatic symptoms of epilepsy. When someone begins having one, it is crucial to step in immediately to protect the epileptic and the people around them. It is hard to make generalizations about the nature of epileptic seizures because they present themselves in many forms, but it is important to watch out for certain common signs of an impending seizure.

  • A distant, unbroken stare or periods of rapid blinking
  • Stiffening of the body and jerking of the arms and legs
  • Sudden breathing problems
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Falling for no apparent reason

It is often easier for the epileptic to predict the onset of a seizure than the people around them. Watch out for the tell tale signs, and be sure to respond quickly if someone in your business announces that a seizure is coming on.

Helping a Person Having an Epileptic Seizure

There is no easy way for an untrained medical professional to stop a seizure, but there are steps that you and your employees can take to keep an epileptic in the midst of an episode safe.

  • Help the person lie down, and place something under their head
  • Remove the person’s glasses, purse, or backpack and loosen any clothing around the neck
  • Move any hard or sharp objects away from the person
  • Make sure someone is with the epileptic at all times
  • Do not place anything in the mouth of someone having a seizure

The final and most important step that you can take is to ensure that you and everyone around the epileptic stay calm. This can be a dramatic moment, but if you keep a cool head and reassure the spectators that everything will be OK you can avoid panic and confusion. If the person is hurt in the episode you need to call 911, but if they are a known epileptic with a history of seizures a medical intervention may not be necessary.

Being prepared for the needs of epileptics must be a part of your workplace safety initiative. Include response training as part of your employee orientation, and put up the necessary signage to remind everyone that safety is a paramount concern. With the right preparation, you can protect everyone who walks through your door.

Image Source: perchedinatree.blogspot.com/2012/11/three-things-november-means.html

Original Source: http://blog.allneonsigns.com/business-signs/epilepsy-awareness-workplace

The Heimlich Maneuver: A Crucial Component of Workplace Safety

Abdominal_thrusts3

No matter what kind of business you are in, the threat of choking is one you need to be concerned about. Whether it is a customer at your restaurant whose airway is obstructed by food they have been served, or an employee in your break room choking on their lunch, you should be prepared. That is why it is so important to include Heimlich Maneuver training as part of your workplace safety procedures.

This simple maneuver has been shown to be an effective way to remove blockages and restore airflow to choking victims. It takes no special medical training, and can be performed by men and women, young and old alike. If you are invested in the safety of your employees and customers, you need to educate yourself on the Heimlich Maneuver.

Identifying a Choking Victim

It is important to differentiate between a person who is choking and someone who is simply coughing or having trouble breathing. These are a few of the symptoms to look for.

  • The victim is unable to speak
  • Breathing is labored and wheezing
  • There is an involuntary cough or vomiting sound
  • The victim clutches their throat and attempts to remove the obstruction with their fingers.
  • Their face turns blue and they lose consciousness

Any one or all of these may be symptoms of a choking victim.

Techniques for Performing the Heimlich Maneuver

Before performing the Heimlich Maneuver, encourage the choking victim to cough, and strike them forcefully on the center of the back. If this fails to dislodge the obstruction, it will be necessary to initiate the Heimlich Maneuver. These are the steps for performing it safely and effectively.

  • Position yourself behind the choking victim, and wrap your arms around their waist.
  • Form a fist and place your hand, thumb side in, directly above the victim’s navel. Grab the fist tightly with your other hand.
  • Pull the fist inward and upward forcefully to create air pressure behind the obstruction.
  • If the victim is laying down, straddle them facing their head and perform the same movements discussed above.

Keep in mind that it may take several thrusts to remove the obstruction, and the victim may experience bruises or even broken bones as a result of the emergency treatment. For this reason, it is not safe to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on victims younger than a year old. Victims should seek out professional medical attention after their breathing is restored.

Keeping Your Employees Prepared

Make Heimlich Maneuver training a part of the new employee orientation process, especially if you run a business in the food service industry. Once your staff understands what to do, make sure they are looking out for signs of choking and prepared to take action in the heat of the moment. Put up signage and other reminders about the importance of workplace safety and the most important steps to take in an emergency. With the right preparation, you can protect everyone at your business from the unexpected.

Image Source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Abdominal_thrusts3.jpg

Original Source: http://blog.allneonsigns.com/business-signs/heimlich-maneuver-crucial-component-workplace-safety

The Rich Traditions of All Saints’ Day

1280px-St.Petersburg_Russia_White_Night_Pepsi_Sign

Around the world, Christians celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1st. The holiday is primarily a Catholic tradition, but Anglicans, Methodists, and Lutherans also participate. This important day is a chance to honor all of the saints, both known and unknown.

The celebration of All Saints’ Day takes many forms depending on the house of worship and the area of the country. It is both a joyous occasion and also a solemn one. Honoring saints and martyrs has always been an important part of Christian tradition, and All Saints’ Day presents the opportunity to honor all of them together. Even if you are not a member of the faith, All Saints’ Day has a fascinating history and is an important date on many people’s calendar.

History of All Saints Day

Since the early days of the Christian church it has been a practice to honor a martyr’s death at the site of the martyrdom. As the church began to grow, the practice spread from dioceses to dioceses, and these martyrs were given their own days of remembrance. It was common, however, for early Christian martyrs to face persecution on the same day, and as their ranks grew, it became impossible to give each one their own day of remembrance.

By the fourth century churches were observing a collective day of remembrance for all those that had given their lives to the faith. Originally, this was celebrated in the spring following Pentecost. It was not until the 8th century that the November 1st date for All Saints’ Day was made official.

Links to Halloween

The connection between All Saints’ Day and Halloween has to do with more than just their spots next to each other on the calendar. Halloween was originally called “All Hollows Eve.” Hollows is another word for holy, so the observance of Halloween has always been linked to the fact that All Saints’ Day happens directly after it.

Early Christian leaders often incorporated existing holiday celebrations into their worship as a way of growing the appeal of the faith. Some scholars believe that the date of All Saints’ Day was deliberately moved to November to align with pagan fall festivals. Pagan beliefs placed a strong emphasis on the supernatural and the presence of spirits on earth. As a way to discourage this line of thinking, Christian leaders began to characterize these wandering spirits as evil. That is why Halloween is celebrated with frights and scares. It was also common for children to spend the holiday going door to door and asking for small cakes, a practice we now call trick-or-treating.

Symbols of All Saints’ Day

There are a number of symbols that are associate specifically with All Saints’ Day. These include a sheaf of wheat, the hand of God, crowns, and any imagery associated with the saints. All Saints’ Day is generally a time to honor the dead, whether they be saints or friends and family. Any image that recalls their memory can also be a potent part of the holiday. Different cultures celebrate the occasion in different ways, and there is a long list of regional and national symbols that international churches attach to All Saints’ Day.

If you are a member of the faith, or simply someone who appreciates the symbols, signs and traditions of the church, All Saints’ Day is an important time of the year. It gives everyone a chance to remember the people that were important to them. After the fun of Halloween is over, keep in mind that there is another major holiday the very next day.

Image Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Savior_on_Blood

Original Source: http://blog.allneonsigns.com/nostalgic-signs/14