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Personalised Christmas Cards

The recent down turn, recession, credit crunch, banking crisis – whatever you want to call it definitely affected Christmas card sales in 2008, especially the personalised corporate market. It compounded the already shrinking industry. Over the last five to six years less and less companies have sent Christmas cards, some have simply stopped as they see it as an unnecessary expenditure where as others have sent emails.

Some of the fall out from this reduced market place was more consolidation of the publishers and suppliers with Powell Publishing selling their personalised Christmas card business to CCA Occasions in February of 2009. This followed Taylor Corps purchase of CCA in late 2006 early 2007, which put two of the top three players in the market place together as one company – ‘Fine Impressions’ and ‘CCA’ created ‘CCA Occasions’. Will 2009 force more of the main players to either sell up or come together to keep the industry going – only time will tell?

Taylor Corp’s strategy in the UK market appears to be ‘buy up the competition until we’re the only player left’. Already perceived to have the market share it’ll be interesting to see what happens this year. The unfortunate result of one big player is a reduction of choice for the consumer as the brands get swallowed up, the overall number of Christmas card designs available is reduced. With the best will in the world CCA Occasions will not keep 160 of their own designs, 100 of Fine Impressions and 160 of Powell Publishing’s – they will consolidate the ranges, so there’s duplication across all their publications and brands. As such there will be less consumer choice and more saturation of the CCA Occasion cards.

The main players in the personalised Christmas card market place are,

CCA Ocassions
Collisons
Kingsmead
4c for Charity
Art in Design

Just about everyone else uses the cards produced by the above companies either by license or sales commission. Looking through the top online Christmas cards sites, the majority don’t produce Christmas cards they just sell them on behalf of the above publishers. Other companies produce mail order brochures with a mix of the main publisher’s cards, some do both. All of the main publishers go direct to the consumer as well as selling through a network of independent outlets.

So we’ll have to wait until January 2010 to see if the market continues to shrink and whether there’s further consolidation in this difficult market place. Lets hope Charity Christmas cards survive in omse form or another.

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Calvin “Loudmouth” Johnson & Johnny Winter – Lien On Your Body (Mortgage On Your Soul)


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Lend Fibromyalgia Support & Make a Difference in Somebody’s Life

For some people experiencing a multitude of illnesses, along with pain related to soft tissue which is called fibromyalgia, it may seem like the end of the world. Because the arthritis-related condition can cause an individual to feel gnawing pain all over and affects life in untold ways, obtaining fibromyalgia support through fellow sufferers can be of tremendous help.

It comes as a huge relief for many people grappling with fibromyalgia that there are now interactive sites dedicated not just to informing people about product breakthroughs and offering health tips and advice pertaining to the bodily condition (which affects a growing number of women), but also a venue to share experiences, love and support.

Most of the online sites on fibromyalgia that serve as support group also feature studies conducted and serves to enlighten, if not ease the signs & symptoms, of people suffering from the chronic pain condition. Monitored chat/discussion forums bring people — who are afflicted with fibromyalgia or have an immediate family member with the condition – in touch with the latest news updates and medical as well as psychological care that must be remembered or done along with the varied treatment options.

Some people who are not that familiar with fibromyalgia but who are keen on trying a comprehensive, integrated approach to alleviating their chronic pain condition will find tons of information from other people who have undergone the experience. Such is the beauty of support groups. Support groups also bring into focus expert medical opinion and effective products and treatment options, like natural herbal remedies, that fibromylagia sufferers may want to consider. Certain fibromyalgia support groups really take the time to listen and help address patient concerns. Some groups were started by medical practitioners strongly advocating patent-centered health care.

Through meetings, personal consultations, referrals and product discussions, people with fibromyalgia are empowered to take charge of their own health, rather than resigning to a lifetime of pain and suffering.

Indeed, fibromyalgia support groups offer enlightening information and significant help not just to patients, but to their caregivers or family members attending to them. Entertaining second thoughts on continuing your pain relievers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by your own doctor and seeking to try alternative treatment to alleviate your fibromyalgia? You can always turn to a support group devoted to helping people regain their health and take the path to wellness for useful advice. It is interesting to note that some support groups created to come to the assistance of fibromyalgia sufferers also provide fellowship time. This is important, considering that patients experience wide range of symptoms that include depression and anxiety
.
There’s a tendency to feel enormous relief in knowing that you are not alone as you fight a chronic condition threatening to take the life out of your years. On the other hand, if you were born predisposed to fibromyalgia and know fully well what factors are bound to set it off – a viral infection, extreme stress, an accident or injury or even exposure chemicals or certain medications, sharing these with others through a support group can be highly useful.

Sharing thoughts and insights through support groups can be a real eye-opener, both for the patient and his/her family. Beyond discussing coping mechanisms, support group members provide emotional support and foster lasting camaraderie to each other. People simply end up sharing more than know-how or experiences; some members end up actually sharing a piece of themselves in the process.

Jessie Mcknight is an expert in fibromyalgia treatment.  Learn how to eliminate the symptoms of fibromyalgia from your life today by visiting http://www.banishfibromyalgia.com.

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Mortgage Matters TALK 107.3 FM – Mortgage Matters TALK 107.3 FM Sponsored by GMFS Mortgage

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