The Abominable Holiday Card (or Yeti ‘Nother Blog Post)

As things tend to go around here in the creative department, we refuse to settle for the easy option. If we want to get a message across, we’re going to get it across the Banyan way. Same goes for spreading a little holiday cheer. There’s your standard “Happy Holidays!” or “Merry Christmahanakwanzika!”

And then there’s the Banyan way….

The idea started off pretty simple: “Let’s send out a holiday card!”

HolidayCard-2014-BThen, the idea grew:

“Well, let’s do another version…a funny one.”

“Sure…how do you feel about yetis?!”

“I’m for them!  How do you feel about puns!?”

“I dig puns!”


Then it became:

“What if we combined the two cards and animated it…!?!?”


So, we did all three. I mean, why not?

We hope you enjoy each one.


Tis the Season…

For celebrating. For eating. For spending time with family and friends. For reflecting on a year gone by. For a new start. For the words “Creating Change for Good” to take on a slightly different meaning.

Here at Banyan, we spend a good bit of time on projects that benefit public health in some form or fashion – things like:

A portion of our 2013 canned food drive.

Our work supports those trying to make difference at the national and local level, in communities across the country and homes right down the street from you and me.

And around the holidays, we do our part to help those who live in our local neighborhoods. We’ve done several canned food drives through the years – never hurts to incorporate a bit of “friendly competition” between offices to boost the donations. Every little bit helps, right?

This year, we decided to adopt two families – one near St. Louis and one in Atlanta.

The STL team worked with Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service, filling two large boxes of gifts for each family member – a single mom and four children – and three boxes with food and paper products.

STL presents wrapped & ready to go!

The ATL team adopted a refugee family from Bhutan, to help their new beginning in the U.S. get off to a solid start. Working through the International Rescue Committee, our team shopped and organized five baskets full of household items. We donated items many of us probably take for granted; things like umbrellas, plates, pots and pans, silverware, and school supplies. We also tossed in some fun things for the two teens in the family.

Tis the season. To be joyful. To be grateful. To do unto others. To create a little Change for Good in your part of the world.

PicMonkey Collage

Our ATL team preparing baskets for an Atlanta-based refugee family from South Asia.


5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday

The holidays are a great opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends, celebrate life, to be grateful, and reflect on what’s important. They are also a time to appreciate the gift of health. You can enjoy the holidays with all the trimmings without necessarily gaining weight or losing your sanity.

A few of the tips I’ve gleaned during my time working in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Division of Community Health come in especially handy during this time of year:

  1. Enjoy Those Once a Year Holiday Treats – Just Eat Less of Them. The idea here is portion control. Go ahead and enjoy your grandmother’s pumpkin pie, just eat a smaller portion and skip the second helping. Don’t completely deprive yourself on festive days –  you only have so much willpower, and chances are you’ll end up overeating.
  2. Don’t Skip Meals. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.
  3. Drink Up – Water. Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. This can also help with weight management. Water simply helps the body feel full and thus you will consume fewer calories.
  4. Manage Stress. The holidays are for making memories with friends and family, but don’t stretch yourself thin doing it. Enjoy this time by keeping a check on commitments as well as over-spending.
  5. Stay Active. Park farther away from the mall when doing your holiday shopping. Take the stairs as often as possible or dance to your favorite holiday song while tree trimming.  As long as you’re doing them at a moderate or vigorous intensity for at least 10 minutes at a time, it’s physical activity. It is also a great stress reliever.

Small steps can add up to big improvements in your health year round.  How will you create healthy change for good this holiday season?

Giving Tuesday

Perhaps you were one of the brave, bolding facing down shoppers on Black Friday. Maybe you waited until Cyber Monday to do your holiday shopping. Or perhaps you’re still looking for that perfect gift – a meaningful way to give or give back. Look no further than Giving Tuesday – a global day dedicated to celebrating generosity.

Join charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world as we come together for one common purpose. Check it out and start creating your own Change for Good today!