Episode 71

Yo-Ho Sending Christmas Cards

Published on: 15th December, 2021

Yo-Ho sending Christmas cards! It’s my favorite line from the iconic Twelve Pains of Christmas. But seriously, have you ever wondered why we send Christmas cards, how it started, and why don’t we take time to send notes to family and friends any other time of the year. 

Listen in for a history lesson on how the Christmas card tradition started, a discussion on why we should be sending cards throughout the year, not just at Christmas time. 

Drink of the Week: Last Word Cocktail

https://www.liquor.com/recipes/the-last-word/

This episode is sponsored by Nickerson, a full-service branding, marketing, and PR and communications agency with team members in Boston, LA, Miami, and NYC. https://nickersoncos.com/

Julie Brown:

Website- ​https://juliebrownbd.com/

Instagram- ​https://www.instagram.com/juliebrown_bd/

LinkedIn- ​https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-brown-b6942817/

Youtube- ​https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIwWVdayM2mYXzR9JNLJ55Q

Transcript
Julie:

Yo ho sending Christmas cards.

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It's one of my favorite lines from the iconic 12 pains of Christmas parody.

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The second best line is.

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She's a, which I hate.

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When one of the characters is talking about her, mother-in-law.

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But alas.

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It is that time of year.

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Time to get those Christmas cards in the mail to your friends and family.

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On average 1.5 billion.

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Christmas cards are mailed in the U S every holiday season.

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But have you ever wonder why we send Christmas cards, how it started?

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And why don't we take the time to send notes to family and friends,

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any other time of the year?

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Welcome to episode 70.

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One of this shit works.

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I'm your host, Julie Brown.

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And today we are discussing the simple act.

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Of sending cards.

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This episode is sponsored by Nickerson.

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A full service, branding, marketing PR and communications agency.

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With team members in Boston.

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Los Angeles, Miami and New York city visit them.

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At Nickerson C O S.

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Dot com.

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According to why christmas.com the custom of sending Christmas cards.

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As we know it today.

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We started in the UK in 1843 by sir Henry Cole.

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A government worker who helped set up the new Republic office, which

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is now called the post office.

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Where he was an assistant keeper and wondered how this service

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could be used by more people.

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Sir Henry came up with the idea of Christmas cards with his friend,

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John Horsley, who was an artist.

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They designed the first card and sold them for a shilling each.

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The card had three panels, the outer two panels should people caring for

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the poor and the center panel was a family having a large Christmas dinner.

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Some people didn't like the card because it showed a child being given

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a glass of wine, get over yourself.

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The message underneath the picture was and Merry Christmas and happy new year to you.

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About a thousand cards were printed and sold.

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The original cards were advertised with the slogan, just published a Christmas

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congratulations card, emblematic of an old English festivity to perpetuate kind

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of recollections between dear friends.

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The custom may have caught on because at this time in London, greeting cards

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could be mailed for a penny each.

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So thus began their tradition of sending pre-made Christmas cards.

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Instead of writing personal notes to people.

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Are there people on your Christmas list that you don't talk to at

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all throughout the year, and yet you still send them a card.

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I bet there are.

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But I also bet that there are people on your list that are really, really

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important to you, that you never send a note to any other time of the year.

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Why is that?

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Why don't we write letters anymore?

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Handwriting is one of the oldest forms of communication.

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And yet we so rarely send people notes instead.

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We take the easy road of sending a quick text or an email.

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But those forms of communication, very rarely provide the platform for us to

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really express how we feel about someone.

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A couple of years ago, I got a letter in the mail from my friend, Bernie.

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Bernie and his wife, Jan owned the condo next to us in Vermont.

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Now over the 17 years, we have been neighbors.

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We've become very close friends.

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Bernie and Jan are older than my parents and even, so we have formed such a

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special friendship, not only with them, but with their adult daughter.

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A couple of years ago, I got a letter in the mail from Bernie.

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It said that for every day of lent, he was writing a letter

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to someone special to him.

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In the letter, he went on to say how much our friendship meant to him.

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But also how much he cherished the fact that I had such a

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strong bond with his daughter.

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The litter literally brought tears to my eyes.

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Yes.

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All of us love each other.

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But there was something about seeing the words on the page that made it

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even more impactful and special.

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And I still have the card to this day.

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That's the thing about the cards.

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They're tactile.

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We hold them.

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In our hand, we feel the texture of the fabric.

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We look at the pen strokes.

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We read them and reread them.

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We keep them.

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We can't do that with text messages and emails.

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My Nana, you know, the hard ass one.

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She's 97.

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End stage dementia has completely ravaged her mind.

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She doesn't know who I am.

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Or who anyone is for that matter?

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When she has visitors, she's confused and saddened because she knows she's supposed

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to remember who people are, but she can't.

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A little while ago, I started writing her letters.

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Her memories have abandoned her.

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So I decided that each week I would send her a new memory.

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The last one I wrote was a memory from when I was about maybe 10.

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I was obsessed with the WWF.

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Like I can still remember all of the OJI wrestlers from that time.

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Hulk Hogan.

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Andre, the giant Georgie animal steel ravishing, Rick rude.

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Randy macho man Savage.

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The British bulldogs, Hacksaw Jim Dugan.

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Jake, the snake Roberts.

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So many more, but my all time favorite.

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At all time, favorite?

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Was Ricky, the dragon Steamboat.

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Lucky for me.

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My mom's friend, Jerry was also a WWF nutcase, and he took me to the

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local arena when the WWF came to town.

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And I got to see Ricky, the dragon Steamboat in person.

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Oh, my God.

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Always in heaven.

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When I found out I was going to be able to go, I made my Nana

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make me a poster of a dragon.

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Now the thing about my Nana is that she was an amazing artist.

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She could sketch and paint.

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She could do anything free hand.

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And she made me the most amazing poster to bring to the match.

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And while Ricky was walking down the aisle to the squared circle, he saw my

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poster and he pointed to it and smiled.

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I just about died.

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So I wrote her a letter to tell her this story.

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My mom says she reads each letter between five and 10 times a day.

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I guess she reads it and within an hour or so has forgotten that she read it.

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So she rereads it again.

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She gets to relive these moments multiple times a day.

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If these letters are good for her, they are almost as cathartic for me.

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As I found a steady way to communicate with a Nana who no longer knows who I am.

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So if you know me, you know, I hate new year's resolutions, so I'm not

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going to make you take on a new year's resolution to write more

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notes to the people in your life.

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But I am going to ask that you think about it.

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Can you send notes that aren't Christmas cards or thank you notes.

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These are obvious.

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Can you take the time to write a note to someone.

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Uh, memory or just to tell them how much they mean to you.

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It's not weird or too much.

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Even if our society wants you to think it is.

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I guarantee that you will make someone's day.

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And that feeling will last.

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Bernie wrote me that letter years ago.

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And I still think about it.

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My father-in-law died unexpectedly in August.

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In the days and weeks after he died, our mailbox was full

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of letters of condolences.

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Each card meant so much to us.

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Each note that people wrote, touched us and helped us through

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an impossibly difficult time.

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Letter's matter.

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Words matter.

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Letters are unexpected.

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And when we see them, they are associated with delight and happiness.

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You have the power to do that for someone in your life and in your network.

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Okay.

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You ready for this aptly named cocktail for this episode?

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The cocktail is called the last word cocktail.

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That's also something my Nana used to say to me when I was young, you always

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have to have the last word or don't you.

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She had a lot of things to say,

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Uh, the last word was first served at the Detroit athletic club circa 1915.

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Created just before the start of prohibition, likely by a

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bartender named Frank Fogarty.

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It's one of the cocktail Cannon's most successful prohibition era drinks.

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Here's what you're going to need.

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Three-fourths sounds of gin.

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Three fours ounce of green chartreuse.

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Now I didn't have green shirt.

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True.

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So I used Puppy.

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Um, they're both, uh, aromatic herbal liquors and the agenda P is what I had.

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So that's what I used.

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Three, four three-fourths ounce of maraschino liquor.

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Three-fourths ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice.

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And one of those maraschino cherries.

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Um, as a garnish, what you're going to do is you're going to add the

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gin, the green chartreuse, or for me, or you just Maraschino liqueur

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and lime juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well chilled.

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And then you're going to strain that into a lovely coupe glass and

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garnish it with that Brandy cherry.

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There you have it friends.

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I hope this episode has inspired you to write a note to someone

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who is important to you.

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Speaking of writing.

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If you hadn't had a chance to leave an iTunes review, that would be

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amazing if you just went ahead and did that, I'd be so appreciative.

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And until next week.

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Cheers.

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This Shit Works
The people you meet can 100% Change Your Life! Networking is how you meet those people. Which sucks because you hate networking, you think you're bad at networking, and you certainly don’t have time to network. Bullshit! Welcome to This Shit Works, a weekly podcast hosted by entrepreneur, CEO, public speaker, author, business development strategist and networking coach Julie Brown. Just don’t call her Downtown Julie Brown - she doesn’t like that.

Each week Julie will bring to you her no nonsense tips, tricks and conversations around networking your way to more friends, more adventures and way more success!
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