A New Year, New Experiences, Navigate Them Gracefully

It’s a new year! Full of hope, promise and new beginnings. The year is a journey of possibilities, in work, romance, socially and with the city itself. An endless stream of occurrences and new experiences waiting to happen. It will be like all the other years, with ups and downs and who we are intrinsically will remain the same. However, the choices we make, how we handle the situations we encounter, will play a huge part in how the year unfolds.

Gracefully navigating the scenarios that life throws at us is a challenge we must accept. It’s not always easy but being able to dance through the obstacles with deft social finesse brings a certain confidence and great satisfaction.

I dream of a kinder gentler world swathed in a silky veil of civility. I know… dream on honey! But I can’t help it. So I am extending an invitation to all of you for a dialogue with me. Tell me your etiquette gripes and social conundrums so we can navigate life’s social mine fields with style, grace and finesse.

Weather it’s attending or hosting an event, preparing for a date, or meeting your future ex-mother in law, lay it on me. I want to help. Whatever your question, I guarantee that someone else has the same question. So don’t be shy.

I write about the modern urban lifestyle and how to navigate the social scenarios that arise with it. I provide answers and insights to etiquette questions. Taking a modern approach to etiquette, protocol and civility are important.

Weather you want to gripe about Hanukkah candles being lit too early, vent about some breeder running you over with her stroller, a date gone awful, or simply  going to meet the Queen. Let’s talk. And if you are hosting or invited to a wedding, baby shower, Bar Mitzvah or sunday brunch. let’s make sure your at your most gracious self.

My dear readers,

May this year bring you all that your heart desires,

Happy New Year!


Written by Samantha von Sperling for T2C.

The Holidays

Holidays in the city are glorious to the eye. Bright twinkling lights, foot traffic stopping shop windows that demand to be looked at! They promise a fantasy world of warm and wonderful holiday cheer and abundance. The bustle of holiday shoppers trudging through the cold with packages, trees and other holiday eccentricities have an energy and effort that rivals anything going on in Santa’s workshop. The air is filled with the familiar sound of holiday jingles and the incessant ringing of Salvation Army bells, reminding many of us of how lucky we are and to be charitable.

Sad that a season that is supposed to be about sharing, generosity and compassion has become about greed. I’ve worked in luxury goods and services for most of my adult life. The holiday hustle is a vital part of my livelihood. I have full respect for Black Friday and the impact it can have. I understand that money changing hands in a capitalist system in a recession economy is important. However, I do not understand opening stores on Thanksgiving and forcing employees to work under threat of losing their  jobs at a time when there is not enough work to go around.

Christmas is a religious holiday, not everyone celebrates it. But Thanksgiving is a national holiday and all inclusive. It is the most heavily traveled week of the year for us and a time when we go to great lengths to be with friends and family.

As a child I loved the progression of the holidays, Halloween followed by Thanksgiving followed by Christmas and Hanukah followed by New Years Eve. Each with their own set of traditions, customs, sweets, decorations, TV specials and festivities. By the time Valentine’s Day came around, spring was just around the corner!

Now Christmas is advertised with the onset of Halloween and Thanksgiving has been eclipsed by late night sales. Shame on us! Can’t we just not shop for one day?  One day, to just be and enjoy being with others?  I doubt that a few extra hours of the shops being opened will greatly affect the bottom line at a time when most people are learning how to do more with less anyway. Just one day of what’s really important- – sharing and spending time with friends and family would be so nice!

The holidays are hard for many people. The dark, the cold, feelings of remorse, loss, loneliness and scarcity are a reality for many. These circumstances can feel extra painful when seemingly surrounded by people reveling in opulence, in front of the warm glow of fireplaces, surrounded by loved ones. It’s enough to turn anyone into a Grinch.

This holiday season, let’s practice compassion, random acts of kindness, and generosity when we can. Peace on earth may be an impossible ideology but we do have the power to help each other through the holidays with a little kindness. It might not be world peace but it’s a step in the right direction.

Very best wishes and Happy Holidays!


Written by Samantha von Sperling for T2C.