Tag Archive | "Christmas traditions"

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Decorating for Christmas: Should You Buy Your Decorations Online?

When it comes to Christmas, are you like many other Americans? If so, there is a good chance that you will be decorating your home for this coming Christmas season. Although a large number of individuals use the same decorations each year, there are others who like to buy new decorations every so often. If you are in the market for a new set of Christmas decorations where do you plan on shopping? With the recent increase in popularity of online shopping, there is a good chance that you may be interested in buying your Christmas decorations online. The only question is should you?

As previously mentioned, when it comes to shopping online, the popularity of it has rose in recent years. In fact, it seems as if the popularity of online shopping as skyrocketed. This has led many individuals, maybe even you, to believe that shopping online is the best way to shop. However, before you go right out and start buying your Christmas decorations online, you need to know that there are advantages and disadvantages to shopping online; advantages and disadvantages that may reaffirm your to decision to shop online or not to.

Perhaps, the biggest advantage to buying your Christmas decorations online is the selection of products that you will have to choose form. Online, you can, literally, find an unlimited number of retailers and individuals who specialize in selling Christmas decorations. You can easily find all different types of Christmas decorations online, including Christmas trees, Christmas tree ornaments, Christmas lights, Christmas figurines, and much more. In fact, in addition to the style of shopping, you will also find a wide variety of different prices.

The prices that you can find, while shopping for Christmas decorations online, is another one of the many benefits to buying your Christmas decorations over the internet. As previously mentioned, you can easily find a number of low-cost decorations, as well as top of the line, elegant decorations. Therefore, whether you are shopping for Christmas decorations that are affordable or Christmas decorations that are the best out there, you can easily find what you are looking for online. You can do so with a standard internet search. Your internet search will likely lead you to the online website of an online retailer or an individual who specializes in making or selling Christmas decorations.

In addition to the selection of Christmas decorations you will have, as well as the costs, you will also find that shopping online saves you time. What is nice about online shopping is that you can search for online retailers, search for Christmas decorations, place your order, and pay for your order, all while sitting from the comfort of your own home. You can save yourself a fairly large amount of time by finding and buying your Christmas decorations online, instead of having to drive around to multiple retail stores.

As mentioned above, there are also a few disadvantages to shopping for Christmas decorations online. In fact, there are very few disadvantages. One of those disadvantages is the shipping. When you order your items online, the items will be delivered directly to your door. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees as to how your item will arrive. You need to think about this when making a large online Christmas decoration purchase. It is best to double check and make sure that your package will be insured. Insurance will help to protect you from finically being responsible for a damaged package. With buying Christmas decorations online, it is also important to be cautious of the cost of shipping. Some online retailers charge more money for shipping than they need to. If the cost of shipping seems too high to you, you may want to refrain from making the purchase. With a little bit of research, you should easily be able to find the same or similar products with affordable shipping costs.

Since there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to buying your Christmas decorations online, you will need to determine whether you can, personally, benefit from doing your shopping online. In most cases, you will find that you can. In addition to buying your Christmas decorations online, you may also be able to find valuable tips and information on how to decorate your home for Christmas.

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Make Your Own Christmas Cards

If you are on a real tight budget this Christmas or just love to be crafty during the holidays here are some wonderful homemade Christmas card ideas for you to try this holiday season.

Potato Stamp Cards:

Supplies you may need for your homemade Christmas Cards:

  • Paper Bags or Craft Paper
  • Potatoes or Sponges
  • Paint or colored ink
  • Ribbons
  • Hole Punch
  • Ink Pen
  • Paring Knife (adult supervision)
  • Plastic Plate
  • Scissors

Step #1 – Check to see if you can find any left over envelopes. You can look in old Christmas card boxes or the drawer where mom or dad pays the bills (ask first). If you find any unused envelopes you can use them and you will need to be sure that the cards you make will fit inside these cards.

Step #2 – Measure the envelope (if you didn’t find any have mom or dad buy some for you).

Step #3 – Cut out the brown paper bag to be the same height as the card but twice as wide as the card.

Step #4 – Cut the potatoe in half with an adult helping.

Cut out a Christmas tree shape on the exposed side of the potato (white not the skin).

Cut away potato from the outer edge of the tree that surrounds the tree. You can use three potatoes to cut out different sizes of trees.

Step #5 – Put the paint or ink onto the plastic plate

Dip the Potato Tree into the paint or ink, now place it on what will be the front of your card (one tree or you can make a group of trees).

Step #6 – Make two holes with the hole punch about a centimeter apart below the Christmas tree.

Step #7 – Insert one end of the ribbon through the left hole, and then put it through the other hole. Loop each end around back and through the opposite hole. Now, pull the ribbon out the front of the card. Tie the ribbon into a pretty Christmas bow.

Step #8 – Use the scissors to trim the ribbon.

You can stamp more trees on the inside or write a holiday greeting.

You can also place Christmas stickers on the card or place crayon ornaments on the trees.

You can also decorate the envelopes too.

Use the sponge instead of the potato or buy stamps in the store.

Easy Construction Paper Cards:

Every child knows how to make Christmas cards out of construction paper. You just fold a piece of construction paper in half. Decorate the one outside half like the front of a Christmas greeting card and write a greeting on the inside of the card. Use Christmas colors (green, red, purple). Use Christmas stickers to decorate the cards if you wish.

Left Over Christmas Cards:

If your family saves old Christmas cards ask if you can use them to make new cards.

You will need the old Christmas cards, construction paper, glue, pen, crayons or markers, and scissors to make these homemade cards.

Sort through the pile of old Christmas cards to find the front of your homemade card. Once you find one you like, cut the front off the old card. You can use parts and not the entire front if you like. You can also use more than one old card to make a different picture.

Fold the construction paper in half

Glue the old card picture onto the front of your construction paper card.

Using the pen, crayons or marker add to the picture, or draw new pictures to go with the old card picture.

Write a holiday greeting on the inside of the card with your pen. You can copy greetings from the old cards.

Ready Made Cards

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holiday food traditions

Developing Your Own Holiday Food Traditions

Every holiday season, many of us look forward to eating special treats made using long-held and cherished family recipes.  Many families have holiday food traditions they hold dear.  There are those who cannot imagine a holiday without Grandma’s date pinwheel cookies or Great Uncle Peter’s cornbread stuffing.  Year after year, we enjoy these treats and use them as a way to stay connected with our families and personal histories.

More than mere sustenance, the traditional foods we enjoy year after year are a source of family pride and lead to conversations about family members and fond memories of holidays past.  Family food traditions can be one of the most important parts of the holiday season for many people.

There was once, however, a time in each and every family history before those recipes existed.  Grandma had to make those date pinwheel cookies for the first time.  When she did, she may have placed them right next to sugar cookies made with her Grandma’s secret recipe, having no idea they would become such an integral part of the holiday.  Great Uncle Peter’s cornbread stuffing only came about because Great Aunt Beth was sick years ago and he had to come up with some way to stuff a bird himself on Christmas morning.  His reliance on a simple recipe card with a few personal touches started a family tradition, too.  Grandma and Great Uncle Peter didn’t intent to create a longstanding tradition that generation after generation would enjoy.  They simply hoped that they could add a little bit to the holiday meal by doing something different.

The holiday food traditions to which we now look forward were the byproducts of experimentation.  The creators of the original dishes may have never intended to make them again.  They just happened to feel like doing something different or adding something new to the holiday table.

Holiday food traditions are special to many of us, and it is wonderful to experience those comforting recipes each and every holiday.  It’s a great idea, however, to remember how those traditions began.  By realizing the source of those traditions, we can be spurred to create our own.

This holiday season consider doing something new.  Think about adding a different plate to the dinner or treat table.  Make a side dish not generally found on your holiday table or produce a cookie with which you are not familiar.  Try a few new ideas and see what happens.  Some of the new notions may not be universally well received.  Others may be enjoyed, but not to the extent of your family’s holiday classics.  One, however, might receive such rave reviews that you decide to try it again next year.

Over time, that simple decision to experiment may turn into part of your family’s traditional holiday table.  The new cookie recipe you find in a holiday recipe collection this year may eventually become a staple item that your great-grandchildren cannot imagine missing.

Traditions are important and enjoyable.  They form part of the essence of one’s family.  Wouldn’t it be nice to add your generation’s mark to the food traditions you all hold so dear?  Inventing new holiday traditions has no precise formula.  One cannot really intentionally “design” a new holiday food tradition.  They tend to grow over time.  However, new traditions do require a willingness to prepare an inventive new dish.  This holiday season, consider your potential role as a creator of a meaningful holiday tradition and add something new to the holiday feast.

Looking for more ideas on Holiday Food? Click Here!

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Christmas Dinner Ideas

Christmas Dinner SetupWhen the stockings have been filled then emptied and after Santa has made his appointed rounds families around the globe begin the preparations (or in some instances continue them) to prepare the family feast that is most often associated with Christmas Dinner. There are many traditions around the world though sadly far too few families have the opportunity to experience some of the rich traditions and delicious foods that mark the Christmas holidays in other corners of the globe, or even across each individual nation.

In certain parts of Italy, because of the Catholic tradition of abstaining from red meat on Christmas Eve day, there is a tradition of having fish for the evening meal. This is commonly referred to as a 7 fishes dinner and is a fascinating tradition for those who enjoy seafood. It’s certainly a new and refreshing dinner idea for many people if you are looking for something a little different from the ordinary. Even if fish really isn’t your food of choice there is no rule that says you can’t prepare a nice Italian feast for your Christmas dinner. The important thing is that you have friends and family gathered near and prepare the food with love. You do not have to have turkey or ham in order for the meal to qualify as Christmas and there is no reason that you have to stick with traditions that you really do not enjoy.

A traditional German Christmas dinner might be a neat tradition to try in America as well if you are looking to introduce your family to various cultures or just want to do a little something extraordinary for Christmas this year. One thing to note is that many Germans have their Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day. A traditional German Christmas dinner often consists of dishes such as stuffed Christmas Goose, Potato Dumplings, Red Cabbage, and Baked Apples for dessert. Of course you do not have to choose a traditional Christmas dinner for your Christmas German cuisine there are plenty of great German dishes that can be enjoyed if you wish to bring a German theme to your Christmas table. Do whatever tastes good and it might be best to choose foods that are relatively easy to prepare rather than those that are time consuming so that you can enjoy time with friends and family rather than cooped up in the kitchen.

If a taste of the UK is what you have in mind for your Christmas Dinner table then you might find the foods bring a flavor that is a little closer to home than you may realize. Popular Christmas dinner favorites in the UK include dishes such as roasted turkey, roasted potatoes, brussel sprouts, dressing, and pudding pie. One interesting tradition that is popular in the UK is that of Christmas crackers, which hold little gifts and goodies inside.

Another interesting choice for your Christmas table may be to include your favorite Mexican dishes for dinner. Most Americans have a soft spot for Mexican cuisine and it is definitely warming to eat on a cold winter’s day. The point is to make your Christmas dinner menu fun to eat, fun to prepare, and something that is likely to make your guests smile while building fond memories of your Christmas day.

The same may be said of most cuisines, even those from cultures that do not traditionally celebrate Christmas. Thai, Indian, Chinese foods make wonderful themes for a Christmas table if you are knowledgeable about the cuisine and willing to undertake the tasks of preparation as part of your Christmas dinner plans. The trick is really in finding dishes that are relatively simple to prepare, difficult to mess up, and can easily be skipped in the event that something does go wrong. There are tons of distractions on Christmas in most households and you do not want Christmas dinner ruined because one dish is proving difficult or impossible or (heaven forbid) gets burned, dropped on the floor, or eaten by the dog.

Check out our Gifts page where you can get free Christmas recipes

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