There's nothing wrong with going to the store this holiday season and buying a box of Christmas cards if that's all that you have the time to do. It's better to send out store bought cards than to not send out any greeting cards at all. Why send out cards? Sending out a card can be a way of showing someone that you were thinking about them if they're family or friends. Mailing out a Christmas card to a colleague or acquaintance makes good business sense. Store bought cards can easily be sent to either group. But if you have the time, personalized picture cards do add a special something that shows you went the extra mile. Personalized picture cards are more welcoming, and not only are they a great idea for friends and family, they're also a great idea for a business entrepreneur to send out to business contacts as well. People like seeing who they're working with it gives that personalized touch many businesses lack. With store bought cards - although there are some lovely designs to pick from, you're limited to what you find on the shelves. You can only buy what hundreds of other people are also buying. Store bought cards, no matter how lovely, cannot take the place of that personal touch. They don't allow the essence of what makes you who you are to shine through. By choosing personalized picture cards, you can pick out your own Christmas photo or a photo of a scene that has a special meaning for the front of your card. You get to choose the color options, the fonts for outside and inside and you get to pick out just the right words to get across the message you want to say. Did you know that if you're sending out personalized picture cards to business contacts, you could even use a picture featuring your business product? Don't aim for those same old, tired pictures - give your personalized Christmas card a twist. Breaking out from the ranks of being one in thousands will stand out and customers will remember you and your business. Also don't opt to choose the same bland Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas greeting. Having a personalized picture card is a great way to express yourself to say what you really feel in your heart. You can include the words from a favorite passage from a book that's in public domain (they're free and legal to use) or you can search quote collection sites for just the right words for those special individuals in your life. Again, there isn't anything wrong with buying store bought cards or choosing to go with a personalized picture card. Just choose whichever option suits your timeframe and your personality.
Are you looking forward to shopping this holiday season? Well brace yourself - so are millions of others. You're going to be in quite a crowd as you travel from retail store to retail store looking for the right gifts. An online Christmas shop can be your safe haven away from this chaos. Getting the right gift at the retail store is only half the battle. You'll have a lot of holiday traffic to maneuver your way through, long waits at traffic lights, it'll be stop and go all the way to each store. When you finally reach your destination, you'll find three to four cars waiting to zip into each free parking space or you'll be in a queue of cars waiting to drive down the aisles in hopes of finding a slot for your vehicle. Worse than that is having to park far from the store where safety can be an issue even in the daylight hours. Finally arriving inside the store, you find that the items you came to pick up have all sold out. Talk about frustrating! It's no surprise that more and more people prefer to buy gifts from an online Christmas shop. They get to avoid the crowds (and their germs), have no waiting in line hassles and can order any time they choose at their own convenience. Those opposed to online shopping bring up shipping costs and say they'd rather go to the store and save the money they'd pay in shipping. Okay, but let's figure out how much it really costs you to go to the retail store versus shopping online. Aside from the massive amount of time it takes to drive in the traffic, look for parking, wade through crowds of people and get checked out in long lines, there's also the issue of gas you're burning. Plenty of online stores offer free shipping like Amazon, for example, which offers free shipping on many orders over $25. Some have set rates for up to a particular price. For example, one store offers five dollar shipping on items tallying up to two hundred dollars. By shopping online, you get to order the items you want hassle free. You can even arrange for the items to be gift wrapped and delivered right to the recipient's door. It's like having a personal shopper at your beck and call.
Not everyone knows how to wrap the perfect Christmas present. Some of the presents you see on display in stores look like they were wrapped by someone with decades of experience, while other presents look like they were wrapped by an octopus wearing oven mitts. Why do your gift wrapping skills leave you feeling frustrated to the point you're ready to just shove every gift in a bag and pronounce it finished? Is there an easy way to wrap the perfect Christmas present? Yes! The first step is to get everything you'll need for wrapping together in one localized area. If you have a small card table, those are the perfect height to use when you're wrapping. Never wrap a gift on your bed or on the sofa. Not only can you nick the bed linens or sofa with the scissors, but because of the give in the mattress or sofa cushion, you'll end up with wrinkles or lumps in the wrapping paper. Don't assume that just because you have an oddly shaped gift that it can't be wrapped well or that you won't be able to find a box to put it in. Even if you're baking homemade goodies to share, there are special boxes and tins just for putting food times in. Next, make sure you get boxes for the gifts that will fit inside boxes. If you have an oddly shaped large gift, know that you can find oversized boxes at moving companies. Boxes give you a flat, even surface to wrap. It also takes away the feel it and guess what it is temptation for those who can't wait for Christmas Day to find out what their gifts are. Don't play guessing games with the amount of wrapping paper you lay out for the gift. Measure the width and height of the gift with a ruler or measuring tape, then cut off that much wrapping paper leaving a little excess to make the corners nice and smooth. Situate the gift in the center of the wrapping paper. Pull up one side of the paper and using a small piece of tape, secure it to the gift. Pull up the other side, fold over a quarter inch of the paper so that it tucks under and tape it to the first side. If you don't like tape showing, you can use a heavy duty glue stick to secure the paper, just don't get the glue on the gift itself. To cover the line where you folded the paper, add a strip of Christmas ribbon or use fabric ribbon. You can add a store bought bough or one you created yourself. Remember that practice makes perfect and you can wrap like a pro!
Kids love everything about Christmas except waiting for the day to get here. With them taking a break from school, you'll often hear cries of, I don't have anything to do.You can keep them busy this holiday season with Christmas crafts that are easy and fun for the little ones to make. Christmas Placemat Craft: Using recycled Christmas cards, tear off the backs where the writing is. You'll need about three regular sized Christmas cards to make each placemat. Have the kids glue the cards decoration side up down on colored construction paper. When the glue dries, cover the craft front and back with clear contact paper, making sure there are no open ends or gaps. Kids love setting their plats on their own special Christmas place mat. Santa Ornament: This makes a great little gift for kids to make and give their friends or teachers too. Pick up large plastic ornaments at the craft store. These ornaments will open for you to put items inside. Open the ornament and fill it with peppermints. Secure it closed again. Using a medium sized wooden ball, glue on jiggly eyes. Once the eyes are set, glue the wooden ball onto the top the plastic ornament. Next, add cotton hair for the head, mustache and beard. Glue a red felt hat on top of the hair. At the base of the ornament, glue a long piece of black felt for Santa's belt. Glue the front bottom of the ornament to a thin wooden heart that's been painted black. The curves in the heart will be Santa's feet. Christmas Countdown Chain: For this popular craft, you'll need red and green construction paper cut into thin, even strips. The kids can decorate the paper strips with Christmas writing and glitter glue. Form the strips into connecting circles and glue each one closed. Once the glue is dry, hang the circle within easy reach of the child. Each day that passes until Christmas, the kids get to tear off one of the links of the chain. Candy Cane Reindeer: This craft is an oldie but a favorite among children. All you need are candy canes, jiggly eyes, pipe cleaners, mini pom-poms and glue. At the top of the candy cane, glue a pipe cleaner, twisting it into the shape of antlers. Glue jiggly eyes on either side of the reindeer head and add the nose to the end of the candy cane. Cookie Cutter Ornaments: To do this craft, you'll need an assortment of cookie cutters in various holiday shapes. The ones that work the best are snowmen, Santa, trees and bell shapes. Place each cookie cutter on colored construction paper. Trace around it. Cut it out. Have the kids decorate each cut out with glitter and mini pom-poms for Christmas balls on the tree. For the snowmen, use mini black pom-poms for his buttons. You can use jiggly eyes on the snowmen and Santa. Once each ornament is finished, use a hole puncher to punch a hole at the top. Thread thin ribbon through the hole and let the kids hang their special ornament from the tree.
There are a variety of opportunities for holiday shoppers, including stores, catalogs and the internet. Below are 6 Christmas Shopping tips that should: Christmas Shopping Tip #1: Shop Early If youíre heading out to the mall this year, have your shopping list ready. It's a good idea to shop early in the season because, if you wait too long, that perfect gift may already be under someone elseís tree. Christmas Shopping Tip #2: Be Polite Always remember to be polite. The holidays are extremely busy and store employees are working overtime, so be patient as you wait for assistance. Christmas Shopping Tip #3: Layaway If you have a big list, but not quite a budget to match, consider a layaway. Many stores offer a convenient layaway plan, which would allow you to make payments up until Christmas. It saves you from having to charge up credit card bills or spend a lot of pocket money all at once, so consider a layaway if you have a big shopping list. Christmas Shopping Tip #4: Shop Online If you do decide to shop on the information superhighway this year, it will save you a lot of time standing in line at the mall. You can literally shop worldwide with the click of a button. Browse photos, compare prices, read customer reviews and see a huge variety of products without having to leave home. Best of all, in some cases, you wonít even have to pay sales tax on internet orders. Some stores offer free shipping, quantity discounts and all kids of other incentives to lure you into their site. In addition, several televised shopping networks have websites in which they offer an easy payment program on select items. This means that you make one payment, using a credit/debit card, and the product ships out to you immediately. The remaining payments are billed to your credit card, until the item is paid in full, for the specified number of months. Christmas Shopping Tip #5: Place Your Catalog Orders Early If youíre shopping from a catalog this year, be sure to place the order early. The most popular items sell out first, so get your order placed and on its way as soon as possible. Thereís no need to wait for a catalog to arrive in the mail because you can log on to the internet and find many catalog companies online with product photos, descriptions, size charts and special ëinternet onlyí sale prices. Christmas Shopping Tip #6: Buy in Bulk If you have a lot of people to buy for, and arenít exactly certain of their taste, consider buying in bulk. You can purchase a nice package of scented candles, divide them up into multiple gifts and present them with a beautiful bow wrapped around the glass jar. These types of gifts are ideal if you have teachers, doctors, co-workers or other special people that you want to wish a Merry Christmas. Another terrific idea is to purchase small Christmas tins and several bags of assorted miniature candies. Divide the candies up into each tin and present them with a beautiful bow on top. These are ideal gifts because they are thoughtful, but also budget conscious. You can purchase a pre-designed tin similar to the one described, but you will get a much better deal if you make your own. As an added bonus, you get to decide which candy to include, which isnít always the case with pre-packaged gifts. Happy shopping!
Decorating a Christmas stocking for everyone in the family is a favorite tradition in many families. Each person decorates the stocking and adds personal touches that show the kind of things they enjoy out of life. You don't have to have any artistic ability to make a Christmas stocking that reflects who you are. With all the traditional red and white stockings for sale, you can certainly go that route, but a plain stocking is sort of like a one size fits all article of clothing. It's made to fit one in a crowd, not made to stand out from the crowd. Why settle for the same kind of Christmas stocking that everyone else is also buying or making? Let who you are shine right down to all the decorations you use for the Christmas holiday. Start with a plain Christmas stocking in your favorite color - you might have to hunt for one since the red and white ones are the most traditional colors-but they are out there. Once you find it, you can write your name across the top of the stocking using a rainbow of glitter glue found in those handy no drip glue pens. Or you can write your name out in regular school glue and then sprinkle glitter or rhinestones in the glue. If you choose to do it with the regular glue, the stocking will take at least forty eight hours to dry completely. You can then write or draw whatever you want on the bottom of the stocking. Muslin stockings work best for drawing artwork directly on the material. If you do pick out a muslin stocking, though, make sure you put a thick piece of cardboard inside the stocking before you draw anything. Otherwise, the colors will bleed through to the back of the stocking. If drawing isn't your area of interest, then you can sew on appliqué cut outs of Christmas designs such as gingerbread houses, snowmen etc. You can also make muslin quilt stockings by sewing on quilt squares to make miniature Christmas quilts. If you're into music, you can even make music note quilts. Or for less sewing, you can simply iron on your favorite designs or use transfer patterns. With transfer patterns, you iron them on and then trace around the design with fabric paint. If you would prefer not to make a Christmas stocking, then you can buy one that reflects your personality. Are you a racecar fan? You can buy your favorite racecar stocking. If you're a die-hard football fan, then you can buy your favorite team stocking and proudly display your team spirit throughout the season. There are Christmas stockings available that will reflect your personality.
It's holiday time again and what should you get for him? He has everything, so what else could there possibly be? There are plenty of unique ideas for the man who's difficult to shop for. Gift Idea For Him #1: Naming a Star in His Honor If the man in your life is also a star in your eyes, let him know with the perfect Christmas gift idea. There are many online novelty stores, which offer star naming kits. For a set price, you can have a star named after the man in your life. The complete kits come with a certificate, a map so that he can locate his special star and other information about star naming and astronomy. You can also select a date in which the star was officially named. Maybe itís an Anniversary or Birthday. Perhaps, itís in honor of Christmas. The star naming service will imprint any date that you choose on the certificate. Many of the stores offer custom framing, or you can find a frame at a local department store. If heís into astronomy, of just to let him know that you think heís a star, this is a great gift. In addition, itís unlikely that most people would already have a star named after them so this would be very original. Gift Idea For Him #2: A Watch If you want to let him know that you love it timeless, buy him a watch. It's practical, thoughtful and carries a wonderful meaning. Slip a note inside the watch box, which reads "Time flies when Iím with you." Gold watches are nice and they donít always have to be expensive. Shop around at some of the online stores and browse their huge selection of watches. Gift Idea For Him #3: Tools If the gentleman in your life is also the homeís handyman, consider a toolkit. There are some terrific kits, which contain hundreds of items, which are available and make wonderful Christmas gift ideas. When searching for the perfect toolkit, keep in mind what he likes to do. If he prefers to build things, look for a kit with the tools necessary for building. If he likes to repair, look for a kit with a lot of fix-it tools and spare gadgets. You know what they say - busy hands are happy hands. Gift Idea For Him #4: Unique Sports Items If your guy is a sports nut, consider the ultimate unique gift. Log on to his favorite teamís website and read about any construction or new projects being built for use by the team. Many times, during construction of a new facility or building, the teams will sell customized bricks to help with financing of the project. You could purchase a brick used for construction, have it engraved with his name and present a certificate to let him know that he will forever be a part of his favorite sports team. If his favorite team is building a new stadium or other brick structure, the brick would be used and forever remain as part of the facility. Talk about a homerun, this will be it! A better Christmas gift idea, for a sports fan, would be difficult to find. If he is a race fan, check out the Auto Racing Hall of Fame, where you can purchase actual race- items of top drivers for less than $100.00, which includes the Certificate of Authenticity. Gift Idea For Him #5: A Gift Card If youíve looked all around and still canít find the perfect gift, consider a gift card. For the man that is truly impossible to shop for, let him do the shopping for himself. Gift cards are great because they give the recipient an opportunity to buy anything in the store, as determined by the value of the gift card, without spending a dime.
How can you shop for a woman who already owns everything she wants? It's not as difficult as you may think because there's always a unique approach at buying for the woman who seemingly has a closet full of clothes or a box full of jewelry. Besides, there's always room for one more outfit or piece of jewelry. Gift Idea For Her #1: Diamonds Diamonds are timeless and always in style. The most commonly found are white diamonds, but what about a blue, cognac or black diamond? These are becoming more readily available and are quite stunning. They are certainly not something that you see at the local jewelry store without seeing a huge price tag to match. If you're looking for a nice selection of jewelry for Christmas gift ideas, at an affordable price, browse around the internet and compare prices. Gift Idea For Her #2: Snuggly Pajamas Being that Christmas falls in winter, itís always nice to have a pair of snuggly pajamas for those chilly evenings. Fleece pants come in a variety of adorable designs and, matched with a cotton t-shirt, are perfectly comfortable for an evening at home and make wonderful Christmas gift ideas. Gift Idea For Her #3: Naming a Star in Her Honor If she is the star in your life, let her know by naming a star in her honor. There are quite a few novelty stores online, which offer star naming services. For a set price, you can name a star, give it a dedication date and present it as a gift to the special lady in your life. Along with a star information kit, the buyer receives a certificate suitable for framing and a map to indicate the location of the star. The specialty store usually offers a framing package, but you can save some big bucks if you buy a nice frame at a local store and frame it yourself. It's almost certain that she doesn't already have her own star, so this will be a truly unique Christmas gift idea. Gift Idea For Her #4: Foot Massager How many times does she say how nice it would be to sit down? What if, while she was sitting, she could get a foot massage? There are plenty of foot massagers, especially near the holidays, that are made available for sale. Some have water to give a spa-like treatment while others allow you to slip your foot inside just as you would a slipper. Either would make a nice gift for the woman whoís on her feet all day. Gift Idea For Her #5: Personalized Birthstone Ring Personalization is always a nice Christmas gift idea. Consider a personalized birthstone ring or a ring which includes the birthstones of the special people in her life. An initial pin is also a great way to go and a classic addition to a turtleneck sweater, as well. Gift Idea For Her #6: A Gift Certificate If all else fails, consider a gift certificate or gift card for use at her favorite store. This option is terrific for the woman who is truly impossible to shop for because, this way, she can do the shopping for herself. When selecting a store, make sure itís one that she frequents so that you know itís a favorite. A box of her favorite chocolates, or other candy, would also make a thoughtful touch.
Homemade Christmas decorations are some of the most unique. They are also a lot of fun because you can enjoy them with your family. Below are 4 fun and easy to make homemade Christmas decorations: Popcorn Stringing If you like strung popcorn, itís really simple to make. Start with a big bowl of popcorn (unbuttered, of course) and string it piece by piece using a standard sewing needle and thread. Make sure thereís plenty of popcorn because, if youíre stringing it for garland, youíre going to need a lot. Cranberry Stringing Much like the popcorn stringing method, many people used to string cranberries using a standard needle and thread. Again, make sure thereís plenty to go around if youíre going to use it as garland. Most importantly, and I know itís tempting, donít eat all the decorations. Save some for the Christmas tree. Paper Chains One of the greatest memories of decorating for Christmas, as a child, has to be the traditional paper chains. Using green and red construction paper, cut horizontal strips of each color. Fold them into a circle and seal with tape. Scotch tape is recommended and, if you use this when your child is young, the smell will always remind them of Christmas. It will likely become "Christmas tape" to them. Once you have a complete circle, take another strip in an alternating color and run it through the first circle. Next, fold it around and seal with tape. Complete this step until you have a big strand of paper garland in red and green. You and your child will enjoy doing this together and it will create wonderful memories for you both. Lighted Wreath If you love the look of a lighted wreath, but donít quite have a budget for one of the more expensive ones, consider another option. You can purchase a plain green wreath very inexpensively. A small strand of lights can cost anywhere from $1.00 to $3.00. But, put them together and you have the look of a professionally lighted Christmas wreath. For this project, you could use either clear or multi-colored Christmas lights. Simply take the plain green wreath and wrap the lights around in a design similar to the stripes on a candy cane. Once youíve gone all the way around, tuck the last light into the green of the wreath. Make sure that you place it near an electric outlet because there wonít be a lot of extra cord. Now that youíre ready, plug it in and see your very own design. A red bow is a nice touch, but not necessary. As people drive by, they will see a beautifully lit wreath in your window and they will have no idea that you saved a few bucks by wrapping the lights yourself.
The Twelve Days of Christmas is one of the most famous Christmas carols ever written. It has been sung for a great many years, and is known the world over. To most it is a delightful hymn, but it was originally created with a very serious intent. In England between the years of 1558 and 1829, it was illegal to practice Catholicism in public or private. It was essentially a crime to be Catholic in England during those years. The Twelve Days of Christmas was written to help preserve the traditions of the Catholic faith during the years that Catholicism was banned in England. The song is steeped in symbolism, and the fact that it is so well known throughout the world is a testament to the faith of the followers of the Catholic doctrine. The symbols contained in the song are as follows: 1st verse - "True Love" refers to God. 2nd verse - "2 Turtle Doves" refers to the Old and New Testaments. 3rd verse - "3 French Hens" refers to Faith, Hope, and Charity. 4th verse - "4 Calling Birds" refers to the Four Gospels or the Four Evangelists. 5th verse - "5 Golden Rings" refers to the first five Books of the Old Testament. 6th verse - "6 Geese-a-laying" refers to the six days of creation. 7th verse - "7 Swans-a-swimming" refers to the seven sacraments. 8th verse - "8 Maids-a-milking" refers to the eight beatitudes. 9th verse - "9 Ladies dancing" refers to the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. 10th verse - "10 Lords-a-leaping" refers to the Ten Commandments. 11th verse - "11 Pipers piping" refers to the eleven faithful apostles. 12th verse - "12 Drummers drumming" refers to the twelve points of the Apostleís creed. I love this song. It is, by far, my favorite Christmas carol. I had no idea about the symbols contained in the song, until I googled the song lyrics one afternoon. I find it very interesting that a song we all know so well could contain so many hidden meanings. I would never have guessed that it was anything more than lovely Christmas carol. Itís always nice to learn something new, especially about the wonderful celebration of Christmas. I hope you learned something, too. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!