365 Days of Christmas is keeping the spirit alive
all year to enliven your world.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm a Favorite

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Alexandra, the author of the blog ropcorn.com, informed me that my blog was chosen as one of her favorite Christmas blogs.  Each week she shares three new themes, three new blogs, three new favorites.  I am totally honored and amazed that she chose this blog.  Thank you, Alexandra!  

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Christmas Card

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Check out my awesomely beautiful Christmas cards at my main blog, All Things Cherished. You can find the whole card here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

8 Holiday-Related Injuries

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8 Holiday-Related Injuries That Are Surprisingly Common

The holidays are all fun and games until someone gets hurt. With all the hype and demands surrounding Christmas time, it’s no surprise that thousands of people are injured every year from falling off a ladder while stringing lights, cutting their finger while carving a turkey, or bumping their head in a fender bender outside of the mall. With a little more patience and a lot more caution, everyone could drastically reduce their chances of holiday-related injuries.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

H&S Candies . . . and a Giveaway!

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year
        so why not enjoy the most wonderful chocolate?! 

H&S Candies newest chocolate for the season is “Heart of Christmas” chocolate.  H&S chocolate is the perfect, delicious gift for all of your friends and family.  Unwrap an inspirational message with each scrumptious bite.  A portion of sales goes to Samaritan's Purse, a charity that provides aid to victims of war, poverty, natural disaster, and disease.

Now for even more chocolately goodness . . . Let's have a Chocolate Giveaway! 

The person who shares THIS post the most (via StumbleUpon, Twitter, AddThis.com, Facebook, blog post, etc).  What you need to do to enter is let me know in the comments section how you shared about this contest.  Only one comment for each way you shared please.

Ugly Sweater Store

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The Ugly Sweater Store is the original online store to purchase "ugly" sweaters for Christmas, Halloween, and everything in between. Of course, what is considered "ugly" is really in the eye of the beholder, so they offer a variety of sweaters on their site.

The idea of the Ugly Sweater Store materialized in 2008 while spending too much time on the congested highways of Chicago. Ugly sweater parties are a growing trend and everyone wants to have that perfect ugly sweater, but who has time to scour stores for the right sweater? Ugly Sweater Store will do the shopping for you.

All of their sweaters are unique and hand-picked with an expert eye for "ugly." We know that the more beads, bells, and bling, the more likely you are to be the talk of the party.

Heinous stripes, reindeer, candy canes, bells, beads, applique galore (and so much more) go from the trash heap to Holiday Fashion Chic.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gummibar's New Christmas Album

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The Internet sensation, Gummibär has been hard at work this holiday season recording his new Christmas album called Christmas Jollies! The new five track album includes five Christmas favorites including Jingle Bells, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, and O Christmas Tree. This one is sure to ring in the holiday cheer with kids and adults alike. The album can be purchased on iTunes or the official Gummibär website (where you can also stream the full songs for free before purchasing).

Merry Christmas from your favorite animated gummy bear!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Gift Suggestions

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To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Tree for the Desktop

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Go Joy

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‘Tis the season for giving and sharing. Visa’s theme for the holiday season is “Go Joy” which means spending time with friends and family and creating new traditions. To help create these joyful memories,  Visa is helping add joy to your holiday season.

Visa Signature cardholders will definitely want to check out Visa Signature’s Holiday Collection each day to see how you can get exclusive discounts on some of season’s most popular gift items. 

If you don’t have a Signature card, Visa is offering great holiday deals from merchants such as Brookstone, The Gap, Sears, The Banana Republic, and so much more. Check out the discounts and exciting deals.
Visa is also offering a weekly $5,000 giveaway on Amazon. When you purchase something on Amazon with your Visa card, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $5000 shopping spree so you can buy everything you’ll need for a cozy holiday shopping spree. You can find out more at Amazon.

Countdown to Christmas

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Hey mom, how many days until Christmas? Dad, when is Santa coming? Have you heard this once or twice before? If you have kids I know you have heard this more than twice before! :)

Next time they ask, you can answer - Christmas is in 10 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes and 10 seconds. Better yet, hand them your iPhone and let them figure it out for themselves. A new iPhone application is ready for this Christmas season.  The name of the app is called Holiday-3-2-1.

Holiday 3-2-1 is much more than an image and a counter (like all the other countdown apps) - it is a complete children's activity application with true interaction for the kids to be entertained while they watch the seconds tick away towards their favorite holiday. Holiday 3-2-1 comes with interactive scenes for Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

This app is available right now. Holiday 3-2-1 is good clean family fun for all ages! More information can be found at JayPee Softworks.

I wish I had a cellular phone that has applications.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Wreath Factory

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Check out all the beautiful and striking wreaths, from traditional to modern, at The Wreath Factory at Otter Creek.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Letters By Santa

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Letters by Santa offers parents, grandparents, and loved ones the opportunity to send a personally created letter to whomever they choose. The letters come postmarked from the North Pole (Alaska) with a write up of a few good deeds that the child or person has done in the past year. It's a great way to keep the spirit of believing in Santa alive and kicking. Come check out the site.

Letters by Santa is offering my readers a special coupon code -- STORM -- for $3.00 off the regular price.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

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Need some stocking stuffer ideas?  Not sure what to put in your loved one’s stocking this year?  For those that want to be creative and personable, think of what would make the other person smile.
You can make your loved one's holiday extra special this year, by adding in a mix of useful stocking stuffers, sentimental stocking stuffers, and personable stocking stuffers.

To make Christmas last a little bit longer, open stockings later in the day.   To make the festive feeling last even longer, wrap each stocking stuffer before filling up the stocking on Christmas Eve.

Young Kids (Elementary Age) Stocking Stuffers:
  • crayons
  • coloring book
  • markers
  • pencils
  • yo-yo
  • Matchbox cars
  • punching ball/balloon
  • small action figures
  • stuffed animals
  • stickers, sticker book
  • paint
  • glue
  • glue sticks
  • lip gloss
  • chapstick
  • comb
  • brush
  • mirror
  • costume jewelry
  • hair ties
  • hair bows
  • hair clips
  • mini photo album
  • notepads
  • small baby doll
  • Polly Pockets
  • Silly Bandz
  • Christmas socks
  • balls
  • Play Doh
Teen Girl Stocking Stuffers:
  • lipstick
  • fingernail polish
  • fake nails
  • compact mirror
  • necklace
  • bracelet
  • ring
  • bobby pins
  • travel-size hair spray
  • brush
  • perfume
  • lotion
  • body wash/shower gel
  • CDs 
  • concert tickets
  • pens
  • notepads
  • note cards
  • gift cards
  • cell phone cover
  • MP3 cover
  • cell phone charm
  • photo frame
  • craft kits
Teen Boy Stocking Stuffers:
  • cologne
  • aftershave
  • body wash/shower gel
  • pocket knife (for fishing or hunting)
  • comb
  • concert tickets
  • pens
  • cell phone cover
  • MP3 cover
  • CDs
  • boxers
  • gag gifts
  • flashlight
  • key chain
Women Stocking Stuffers:
  • perfume
  • body wash/shower gel
  • lipstick
  • mascara
  • blush
  • eye shadow
  • fingernail polish
  • lotion
  • candle
  • photo frame
  • necklace
  • bracelet
  • ring
  • earrings
  • barrettes
  • hair clips
  • CDs
  • gift cards
  • cell phone charm
  • pens
  • notepads
  • note cards
  • homemade coupons (bubble bath without interruption, back massage, breakfast in bed, do chore without being asked, etc.)
Men Stocking Stuffers:
  • wallet
  • lottery tickets
  • gift cards
  • cologne
  • aftershave
  • boxers
  • game tickets
  • concert tickets
  • key chain
  • flashlight
  • pocket knife
  • pens
  • CDs
  • bumper stickers
  • office supplies
With a bit of planning, it's easy to give your loved one a Christmas stocking that's extra special this year.

Suite101: Stocking Stuffer Ideas 
Suite 101: Christmas Stocking Stuffers for Children
Suite 101: Dollar Store Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Real Magic of Santa Claus

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Is Santa Real?  Eventually all kids will ask. This time need not be one of sadness and disappointment for the child or the adult.

The Real Magic of Santa Claus, will answer their questions honestly, but in a way that won’t leave them disappointed. The book is a lesson in love and sharing. Children come away realizing they are part of something special.

Not only does the author tell a bit of the history of the man (who lived over 1,000 years ago), but he offers fun statistics about Santa (like how much milk he must drink if he gets a glass at every child's house) that make it clear to children Santa can't be real.

Or can he? The author gently explains how Santa Claus is real.
This is an excellent resource to introduce children to the real meaning behind the magic of Santa Claus.  Anthony answers questions truthfully.  The book allows the reader to come to their own conclusion.  Readers soon discover that the answer opens up a new chapter in their lives. 

Santa is not a man in a red suit -- he's based on a true figure who has taught us to be generous and caring -- but readers do find that Santa is real.

Written and Illustrated by Anthony Canamucio

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Food Safety Tips for Preparing Your Turkey Dinner

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‘Tis the season to be jolly and Christmas is just around the corner. Have you started planning the all-important Turkey dinner?

Whether you've got the whole family coming round or you're just cooking for two, you’ll need to remember a couple of food safety tips to ensure that your cooking is safe and stress free.

Defrosting the Turkey

Put your turkey into a dish, one large enough to catch ALL of the juices as it thaws. Be sure to remove the giblets too, as soon as possible, as this will help speed up the thawing process.

Place your turkey in the refrigerator ensuring it doesn’t touch any other foods. If you don't have enough room in the fridge, you can place the turkey in any cold room, i.e. the garage.

As your turkey thaws, pour away the liquid regularly. This will stop it overflowing in the dish and dripping onto other surfaces. It's a good idea to keep your children and pets away as you do this.

Important Tips

· Ensure you’ve left enough time in your plan for defrosting.
· Make sure your bird is properly defrosted all the way through.
· Check the middle cavity of the bird for ice crystals.

How to Store the Turkey

You must remember to keep your raw turkey away from other foods; this will stop harmful food bacteria from spreading. Ideally, you should keep your raw turkey at the bottom of the fridge so it can't drip down onto any other foods.

How to Prepare the Turkey

· Always wash your hands after touching raw poultry.
· Remember to clean anything the turkey has touched thoroughly.
· Don’t use the same knifes or chopping boards for raw turkey and vegetables

Cook the Turkey

If your turkey isn't cooked properly it will be full of harmful bacteria that will make anybody that eats it ill with food poisoning.

A large turkey can take hours to cook through properly, so make sure you plan well in advance.

Is your turkey cooked?
· Is all the meat white (not pink)?
· Do the juices run clear after piercing with a fork?
· Is the turkey boiling hot all the way through?

Adapted from Highspeedtraining.co.uk.  Highspeedtraining.co.uk compiled this guide to help you cook a safer Christmas dinner. We also award real, accredited food hygiene certificates to people who take part in our online food hygiene and safely courses.

Christmas Banner

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How excting it was to receive my very own Christmas banner, personalized exactly the way I wanted!

You can personalize your sign by color, by type of material (vinyl banner, corrugated plastic, static cling, poster paper, PVC, matte vinyl banner), by size (12"x18" to 24"x48" to custom sizing), by template, and by adding your individual wording and graphics.

To order your own Christmas sign, go to Signazon.

Nicole, the SEO Manager of Signazon, was very patient and treated me like I was their number one customer.  My order took less than a week to arrive. 

The great thing about the vinyl banner is that it is a low cost decoration that is completely weatherproof and can be reused for many years.

The website is quite easy to navigate.

Some of my favorite banners/signs are:
Christmas Banner
Holiday Party
Holiday Wishes
Christmas Peace

The banner I chose:

Christmas Ornaments

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Christmas Ornaments is a new website but the owners have been in the Christmas ornament business since 1983, providing discerning holiday shoppers with unique and distinctive holiday gifts, collectibles, and Christmas ornaments. Their holiday decorations and ornaments come from more than five dozen companies.

Some of my favorite ornaments:
Holy Family
Paw Print Dog Bone
Close Brother and Sister
Angel Bell
Tasty Tudor
12 Days of Christmas Set
Ornament Stand
Holiday Around the Tree

The ornament I picked:

I picked the Noah's Ark ornament since I am an avid Noah's Ark Collector.  It's part of the Old World Christmas Collection.  I can't wait to hang my new ornament up on my tree.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Celebrity Holiday Cards that Make a Difference

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Tiny Prints holiday cards are known for standing out, but this year they're also taking a stand against a painful childhood disease. These stylish ornament cards were designed by some of your favorite celebrities to benefit the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, a volunteer organization dedicated to researching and curing the genetic skin disorder that affects thousands of children each year. It's your chance to send these holiday ornament cards that stand out and make a difference. Select any of the exclusive designs from the collection created by Reese Witherspoon, Courteney Cox, Rachel Zoe, Jennifer Garner, Kate Beckinsale, or Brooke Shields.

Christmas Gift Alternatives to Video Games

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Everyone knows that kids love video games. They're on nearly every child's wish list between the ages of 7-17. But at some point, you have to wonder if kids play video games just a bit too much. So this year, instead of getting them another Xbox 360 or Wii game, consider these electronic alternatives to video games.

Christmas Collectibles for the 2010 Holiday Season

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Everyone knows about the typical Jesus nativities for Christmas, but what about a Santa nativity? Sometimes the best Christmas decorations are the unique ones that few other people have or the ones that you make yourself. Traditional Christmas decor with Jesus and other religious themes is definitely beautiful, but when you are looking to spice up the holiday season with more than eggnog and a wreath, swapping Santa for other more traditional Christmas characters is a new and exciting way to accomplish this.

Read more.

10 Regrettable Christmas Toy Crazes

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As if the travel and family commitments didn't make Christmas crazy enough, the holiday season is often marked by a conspicuous consumption and pursuit for certain random products that's downright insane. Every year or two, some new fad hits the scene and sends kids into a frenzy and their parents into a fury, and just as quickly, those crazes are forgotten as shoppers move onto the next big thing. In a sense, every toy craze is regrettable, but the ones listed here are probably the worst.  Go to Online Degree for the full story.

Thanks, Anna, for sharing.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Personalized Free . . . and a Giveaway!

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You can find over 1,300 personalized Christmas ornaments at PersonalizedFree.com. There is a HUGE sale going on NOW so don't miss out. All orders ship in 2-3 days and they ship worldwide.

About Personalized Free

Wendy Simonsen runs her own business of personalizing Christmas ornaments at home with her family.

Personalized Free is proud to boast their 11th year in business online. Their family-run, home-based business is owned and operated by an entrepreneur stay-at-home mother and father team. Real people personalize each adorable ornament by hand with precision and love.

My Review

I love this ornament (though, this is not the ornament I originally picked). . . the personalization that includes my favorite hobby and my name makes this ornament the perfect gift for me.

At Personalized Free, the ornaments are cute, whimsical, fun, and, of course, personalized.

The site is super easy to navigate. You can search by occupation, hobbies, pets, sports, state, transportation, and many other themed categories. You can search by person -- grandparent, child, aunt, friend, etc.

The customer service provided by Wendy is top-notch. She is very patient and kind.

Personalized Christmas ornaments make great gifts for everyone on your gift list.

I have ordered from Personalized Free for several years because of the unique, heirloom-quality, personalized Christmas ornaments.


Wendy wants to help you jump-start either your Christmas decorating or Christmas shopping by giving you a chance to win one ornament of your choice, personalized however you wish, shipped to you for free!

To be entered into this giveaway, go to Personalized Free, check out the enormous selection, come back here, and tell me what ornament you want in the comments section. This will be the actual ornament you receive if you win, so take your time and pick out your favorite ornament.

This giveaway is open to all entrants, in the U.S. only, ages 18 and over, until 9 PM EST on Saturday, November 13th. A winner will be chosen by random number generator, notified by email, and posted online shortly thereafter. Have fun and good luck!

Bonus Entries (you may have one additional entry for each task you accomplish):

Some of the NEW original ornaments available:

Some of my favorite ornaments:

Hotel Chocolat

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The Christmas chocolate gift collection at Hotel Chocolat is brimming with exquisite gift ideas for everyone on your list this Christmas season, from stocking stuffers to jaw-dropping chocolate hampers for those extra-special people in your life.

What I Received
  1. Ultimate Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar
  2. Fruit & Nut Dark Chocolate Mini Wreath
  3. Tiddly Caramel Chocolate Santas
  4. Dasher the Chocolate Reindeer

My Review

When the package arrived, the festive atmosphere was  instantly set with the smell of chocolate in the air and the wonderfully decorated packages; no wrapping paper needed. I felt very spoiled and royal to receive such luxurious chocolates. The chocolates themselves are adorable, classy, ravishing . . . and oh so delightfully delicious. Yum!

Included with the package of chocolates was a thank you card . . . how sweet!

There are many chocolates available:
There are many chocolate selections, many exclusive choices to pick from -- who would of thought there were so many different sizes, shapes, and products of chocolate.  There are chocolates available for vegetarians, vegans, and diabetics.  This is the only site where I have seen such a huge selection.

You can search by type of chocolate or by person or by occasion.

The only drawback is the time it took to cross the ocean -- Hotel Chocolat is located in England -- to reach me, but the chocolates were received in plenty of time.  However, I'd suggest ordering early. 

There are two stores now open in Boston, MA, USA.  If you are within driving distance, I highly suggest you go to the store.

Hotel Chocolate, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA

The additional complements of the site are the sharing of chocolate recipes; the many chocolate celebrations available, such as birthday gifts, dinner party gifts, thank you gifts, and more; and the exclusive availability of chocolate products.

Tiny Prints

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Showcase your family at its best with hundreds of customizable holiday and Christmas designs.

Tiny Prints has brand new, beautiful, classy, elegant Christmas cards this year. You can personalize 100s of cards with your photographs and your words. You can choose from contemporary, vintage, classic, and whimsy designs. There are many options, such as color changes, layouts, and formats for each card.

I am so impressed with the variety of cards available for the holidays and Christmas.  I looked at 1,476 cards in the Christmas section because I am fastidious and wanted to give a thorough and complete review.

Some of my favorite cards:
Reindeer Imposter
Crafted Nativity
Caring World
Happy Everything
Chic Collage
Boroque Snowflake
Patchwork Wreath
Merry Circle
Winter Zephyr
Sweet Center
Historic Charm
Posted Wreath
Round Wreath
Beautiful Believe
Precious Tree, and
Graceful Whirls,
and many more (but I won't continue to bore you with my favs).

Can you guess what card is the one I ordered?

After narrowing down the list, which was very difficult to do with so many fabulous choices, my daughter, Cassandra, 9, joined me.  We went through my favorites and picked the one we liked the best.  We chose the card (1.) that most fittingly expressed our thoughts (we were able to chose our own words) and (2.) that was most suitable for the photos we thought were most appealing and enhanced our lives from the past year.

Take the time to browse through the wide variety of Christmas cards featuring traditional holiday symbols such as garland, Christmas trees, gingerbread, snowflakes, wreaths, reindeer, and holly. Whatever your family Christmas tradition may be, they have a card to complement it and your photograph. When you add a picture of your family, the cards are sure to be cherished by those who receive them. Tiny Prints will even mail your cards for you.

Tiny Prints Christmas cards stand apart due to the one-of-a-kind designs!

Your Wish Is Their Command

• If you aren't 100% satisfied, they'll reprint your order for free.
• Their customers rank them in the 95th percentile (for U.S. companies).
• Easily personalize and instantly preview your cards.
• Luxurious, eco-friendly paper, custom-made in Italy.
• Premium printing methods and top quality products.

Need Help? No Problem
• Enjoy online shopping with a personal touch.
• Etiquette experts are ready to answer questions seven days a week.
• Professional designers assigned to almost every order.
• Contact us at 877-300-9256, info@tinyprints.com, or chat.

Designs To Love From Artists You Adore
• Shop thousands of exclusive designs by style, color, or event.
• New items added each week.
• Find cards from famous design studios and independent artists alike.
• More than 11,000 product reviews to help you shop.

My Review

It was a straight-forward process.  The quality is first-rate!  You have the choice to click on "live chat" throughout the process of picking your card and adding your personal touches.  I did not do this since I had no trouble placing the order.  The Tiny Prints site is easy to navigate and well organized.   There are many holidays and occasions to choose from -- birth announcements, birthday cards, invitations, thank you cards, wedding stationary, and much more  -- but Christmas, of course, is my favorite.  There are a lots of extras -- etiquette tips, mail service, party ideas, sample verses, etc. -- that make the site #1 in my book.  Even on the tightest of budgets, these cards are affordable and a great package deal!  I LOVE all the personal touches we were able to add to make the card more precious and more personalized.

Cassandra's Review (in her own words):
• The process was quick and easy.
• There were LOTS of cards to choose from.
• The service satisfied my picky mom. :)
• It was fun to see all the different cards.
• It was exciting to put all the personal touches on the card.
• I had a great time with my mom.

Read more raves and reviews.

Click the box above or in the side column to look at all those wonderful cards and place your order.  Let them know in the comments box that Storm sent you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tony's Stocking

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The interesting thing about Tony’s Stocking – a shippable, corrugated cardboard box shaped like a Christmas stocking -- is that it goes right through the mail, as is, no wrapping, no tape.  Just stuff it and ship it.  The best thing is there is no extra charge for shipping this unique shape.  When was the last time the box you shipped it in delivered as much excitement as the gift inside?

Tony’s Stocking, a unique, patent-pending stocking-box, is the innovative invention of Cathy Staller, whose son, Tony, is in the Air Force. When Tony was stationed away from home his first Christmas season, Cathy crafted a special stocking-shaped box out of cardboard and duct tape, filled it with goodies, and sent it  to him. Despite its “homemade” appearance, that first stocking brought so much joy to everyone who saw it that we decided to make it available to everyone. Nothing reminds us more about family and home than the traditional holiday stocking. Last year, hundreds of Tony’s Stockings were stuffed by volunteers and shipped to our troops overseas.

Tony's Stocking can be found at ShipShapeUSA.
Spread joy this Christmas, before your presents are even opened!

Tony's Stocking

* Made in the U.S.A.
* 90% Solar-powered manufacturing
* Recycled and recyclable materials
* Ships via USPS, UPS, FedEx, and more
* No extra shipping charges for unique shape
* Retail price: $5; wholesale pricing available
* Branding and customization available


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Christmas Blogs They Love

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I was lucky enough to be listed at Dobbies.com as part of their favorite Christmas blogs.

Monday, September 20, 2010

100 Days of Holidays

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100 Days of Holidays starts next week.  Create a holiday haven that will sparkle all season long the new 100 Days of Holidays e-mail newsletter. The FREE Better Homes and Gardens® holiday e-newsletter arrives daily starting September 24 and runs through January 1, from Halloween to New Years you’ll get an easy-to-read email filled with:

• Free pumpkin-carving stencils
• Complete Thanksgiving menus
• Stunning centerpiece ideas
• 100s of Christmas cookies
• Handmade ornaments you’ll love

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What Christmas Means to Me

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The brisk, quiet, star-lit nights
With people on the go
The hustle and bustle of shopping
While praying for it to snow

Decorating the tree and the house
A Nativity Scene on the lawn under the sky
Angels placed all around it
For all to see, who come by

Baking cookies and other treats
Addressing cards to send to friends
It can be busy and hectic
But you hope it will never end

Everyone is usually happy
With smiles all around
People greet others cheerfully
It is such a joyous sound

Children are filled with anticipation
Wondering what gifts they might get
Parents hide these treasured packages
So the children won’t see them yet

Many parties are held
Where people get together for fun
They talk about how exhausted they’ll be
Once the season is done

People go off their diets
And eat much more than they should
It’s difficult to pass up the food
Because all of it is so good

People start getting serious
As the special day draws near
Carolers sing wonderful songs
They are a joy to hear

The special day known as Christmas
Is the anniversary of Jesus’ birth
It’s a day that is held most holy
All around the earth

As we gather in churches on Christmas
Remember to thank God above
For sending His Son to redeem us
And filling our hearts with love

By Beverley Lawyer

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Christmas Thought of the Day - 2/18/10

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Christmas is here,
merry old Christmas,
gift bearing,
heart touching,
joy bringing Christmas.
~~ Washington Irving ~~

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Santa's Prayer

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The sleigh was all packed, the reindeer were fed,

But Santa still knelt by the side of the bed.

"Dear Father," he prayed "Be with me tonight.
There's much work to do and my schedule is tight.

I must jump in my sleigh and streak through the sky,
Knowing full well that a reindeer can't fly.

I will visit each household before the first light,
I'll cover the world and all in one night.

With sleigh bells a-ringing, I'll land on each roof,
Amid the soft clatter of each little hoof.

To get in the house is the difficult part,
So I'll slide down the chimney of each child's heart.

My sack will hold toys to grant all their wishes.
The supply will be endless like the loaves and the fishes.

I will fill all the stockings and not leave a track.
I'll eat every cookie that is left for my snack.

I can do all these things Lord, only through You,
I just need your blessing, then it's easy to do.

All this is to honor the birth of the One,
That was sent to redeem us, Your most Holy Son.

So to all of my friends, least Your glory I rob,
Please Lord, remind them who gave me this job."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Christmas Ride

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This video shows a family riding on a Santa sleigh in a Christmas decoration showroom placed at KD Decoratives offices in Huddersfield, UK. The displays are very detailed and have full light, sound effects, and singing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

8 Wonderful Gifts That Don't Cost A Cent

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You must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your responses, no second-guessing. Just listen.


Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, and pats on the back.  Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for your family and dose friends.


Clip and share cartoons and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”


It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered
for a lifetime, and may even change a life.


A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “That was wonderful,” can make someone’s day.


Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.


There are times when you want nothing more than to be left alone.  Be sensitive to that same need in others and give the gift of solitude when it seems needed.


The easiest way to feel good is to offer a kind word to someone.  Really, just a cheery “Hello,” or “How are you?” can go a long way.

~~ Farmers' Almanac, 2001 ~~

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Trees To Dye For

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Wrote an article today for the Christmas Examiner on dying bottlebrush trees.  Go check it out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Top Ten Favorite Things About Christmas 2009

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  1. My children still believe in Santa Claus.
  2. The gifts my children pick out for me from the school's Santa Shoppe or when I take them to the dollar store.
  3. The surprises.
  4. The happiness and laughter of my children as they open their gifts.
  5. The help from agencies so I am able to buy gifts for my children.
  6. The time spent with friends.
  7. Our annual Open House.
  8. I got 42 trees up and decorated. Whoo hoo!
  9. The annual baking of dozens of cookies. This year a new friend helped us bake.
  10. The fuzzy feeling I get when giving gifts to my friends.

Join Amanda, our hostess, and others as we list our Top Ten lists.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Thought of the Day - 1/11/10

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Christmas is the season of joy, of holiday greetings exchanged, of gift giving, and of families united.
~~ Norman Vincent Peale ~~

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Christmas Thought of the Day - 1/10/10

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Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.
~~ Charles Schulz ~~

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Santa Claus Is Here!

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Performed by HIllary Mason of the Hillarettes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas Thought of the Day - 1/4/10

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A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.

Special Effects to Make Every Gift Original

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Here are some easy and inventive ways to make every gift unique:

Give gifts character. For special presents, make tags from scratch. Use cookie cutters as a template and trace onto colored paper and cut out.

Make your mark. Stamp tags with yuletide wishes and images.

Trim with care. Scissors with fancy edges transform scraps of paper into delicate labels.

Stick it on. Dress up plain paper with metallic stickers - stars, snowflakes, hearts, dots - and your presents will twinkle.

Dress it up. Let the kids create designs on plain brown Kraft paper.

Be original. Use maps, newspaper, comics, posters, etc., to wrap your gift.