TULIP is a great acronym for the doctrines of grace. But it's not very American. Here's another that may be easier to recall, next time people tell you that election, predestination, or Calvinism is "stupid." You can respond, yes:
Sovereignty: God is in charge - we are not. All things happen according to his foreordinate counsel - from the death of Christ to the last hair on our heads.
Total depravity: In Adam we fell and our natures became corrupt, so that we do not obey the law of God and are not able to.
Unconditional election: God has chosen some of humanity for himself, based only on himself and his love - not based on us and our merit.
Perseverance of the saints: God will finish the work of salvation that he begins at justification, saving to the uttermost those who approach Him in faith.
Irresistible grace: God's grace acts directly to convert the heart, change the will, and make a new creature, who then responds. God's grace does not have to wait for the creature's will, in order to effect a change.
Definite atonement: Christ's death was particularly intended to bring about the salvation of the elect: his sheep - those that the Father gave him out of the world.