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Flower arrangements in pastel shades and the softest yellows, peaches, warm pinks, creamy whites and subtle greens make us feel safe, snug and loved. Consider a nurturing floral arrangement for a new mother, a sick friend or a grieving loved one – anyone who would benefit from a caring, loving embrace.
© Society of American Florists
|Americans Weigh In on Saying “I'm Sorry” and “Thank You”|
For most Americans, it is harder to say, “Thank you” than “I'm sorry.” According to a February 2006 poll by International Communications Research, nearly two-thirds of respondents (65%) believe that saying “I'm sorry” is easy, while about the same number (67%) of Americans can remember a time when they were not properly thanked for a favor or act of kindness.
With the word “etiquette” defined as socially accepted behavior, Rebecca Cole, co-host of Discovery Channel's Surprise by Design and author of Flower Power, believes that expressing all kinds of emotions should be easy, especially for those who can't find the words.
“In the 21st century, with so many different ways to communicate without even using words – email, voicemail, text messaging – it's amazing that people don't routinely acknowledge the kindness of others in one way or another,” said Cole. “A simple ‘thank you' or ‘I'm sorry' can go a long way. Better yet, sending flowers helps you convey any message with added sincerity.”
Deciphering the Etiquette Dilemma
According to the Society of American Florists, the national trade association for the floral industry, five of the most common reasons people send flowers are to say thank you, I'm sorry, congratulations, get well and express sympathy. Cole shares her secrets for sending these sentiments.
According to Cole, ask your florist for an arrangement conveying a casual, hand-picked feeling, to say thank you with a very personal touch. In addition to a beautiful statement of thanks, the accompanying note card can say everything that is too hard to say in person.
Flowers are the traditional gift to get out of the doghouse because they easily make the statement, “I was wrong.” To apologize with sincerity, ask your florist for a nostalgic arrangement, using a blend of delicate warm and cool lavenders and pinks. Having opened the door to forgiveness, follow the delivery up with a phone call.
A bouquet of bold, contrasting colors is a fun-loving, playful way to say “Congratulations,” “Welcome home,” or “Great job.” You can even get creative with the container. For example, if a friend just got a new job, ask your florist to put the bouquet in a fun pencil holder or something that represents the occasion.
It's never easy comforting someone who has lost a loved one, but flowers can say what is often difficult to ex press in words. Flowers are usually sent to the funeral home to provide warmth and beauty to the service. If a service is not planned, grief experts recommend sending condolences to the bereaved person's home.
Choose a serene color scheme of light shades of green, misty blues and other cool hues to provide a moment of calm and let someone who is ill know you're thinking of them. When sending flowers to a hospital, it's helpful to have the name of the hospital, the patient's name and room number ready for your florist. It's also good to know the hospital's flower policy. Your florist will know about the hospitals in your area.
More Floral Savvy
Studies show the power of flowers on our happiness and well-being and that people who give flowers are considered to be thoughtful and sophisticated. Here are quick tips from Rebecca Cole on showing your sophisticated side:
“My tips are for people who want to let their friends and family know how much they appreciate them being part of their lives,” said Cole, “and for those who just want to be looked upon as thoughtful and sophisticated.”