Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas Bake A Cake Recipes

This Christmas, lets experiment with a few amazing Christmas cake recipes. When it comes to food, a large delicious cake is a delight not to be deprived of. Whether the cake is ordered or baked at home, the quality is never compromised. Making a cake is fun. When the whole family from the little ones to the grown ups get set to bake a cake, there is sure to be a lot of spilling, filling and ofcourse loads of giggling. Check out the recipes below and prepare yourselves to indulge in that delightful experience.

  • Traditional Christmas Cake Recipe


12 oz plain flour, 1 tsp cinnamon,1 tsp mixed spice, A pinch of salt, 4 oz candied peel, 4 oz cherries, 2 lb dried fruits, 4 oz blanched almonds, 4 eggs, 4 tbsp sherry, Finely grated 1 lemon, 8 oz margarine, 8 oz sugar, 1 tbsp black treacle.


Sieve together all the dry ingredients.Mix the peel, fruit, cherries, chopped almonds and lemon rind. Whisk the eggs and sherry together. Beat the margarine, sugar and black treacle until soft. Add the flour and egg mixtures alternately to the margarine little by little till it has a thick paste consistency. Stir in the fruit mixture. Put into an 8-9 inch tin, lined with greaseproof paper round the sides and at the bottom. Now, tie a double band of brown paper round the outside of the rim, standing well up above the top of it. Put in hot oven. Bake for 3 1/4-3 1/2 hours at gas mark 3 for the first 1 1/2 hours, and then decrease to gas mark 2 for the remainder. Cool the cake in the tin, then store in an airtight container. Can be served hot or cold with custard or double cream respectively.

Note - Ensure this cake is made 3 weeks before Christmas.

  • Christmas Tree Cake


1 package cake mix,1 1/4 cups water,1/3 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 2 tubs Whipped fluffy white ready-to-spread frosting, Green colored sugar, 3 candy canes, broken to remove curved endsAssorted small gumdrops, if desired.


Make cake as directed for 13x9x2-inch rectangular pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour.Freeze cake uncovered 1 hour for easier frosting. From the middle of one short side, make a diagonal cut to each corner on opposite side, making 3 triangular pieces. Make tree shape by arranging 2 outer pieces with straight 13-inch sides together on aluminum foil-covered tray or cutting board; frost top. Place remaining center piece on top. Frost sides and top of cake. Press candy cane pieces in end of tree to make trunk. Sprinkle with colored sugar to look like boughs. Arrange gumdrops on cake to look like lights or ornaments. Store loosely covered.

  • Spiced Upside-Down Sweet Potato Cake Recipe


1 20-oz. can sliced pineapple, 1 T. butter, 1/4 C. packed light brown sugar, 1 t. ground ginger,1/4 C. dried cranberries,1 18.25-oz. package spice cake mix, 3 eggs,1/3 C. apple sauce,1 1/2 C. peeled and grated sweet potatoes, Whipped cream, Drain pineapple, reserving 3 tablespoons and 1/2 cup juice. Set aside one whole pineapple slice; cut 6 slices in half.


Preheat oven to 350° F. Put butter in a 9 x 2-inch springform cake pan and place in the oven until butter has melted; set aside. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, ginger and 3 tablespoons pineapple juice. Pour mixture into pan with melted butter and tilt to evenly distribute. Place whole pineapple ring in the center of the pan; arrange half slices in crescents around the center. Fill in spaces with dried cranberries. In a bowl, combine cake mix (dry), eggs, apple sauce, sweet potato and 1/2 cup pineapple juice. Using a fork, stir vigorously about 2 minutes, scraping sides until well mixed. Spread over pineapple in pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Invert onto platter, replacing any fruit that remains in the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

  • Almond Butter Cake


3 cups cake flour sifted, 3tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt, ¾ cup butter, 1 1/2 c sugar, 3 eggs, ½ cup finely chopped almonds, ½ cup finely cut raisins, 1 cup m, i tsp vanilla.


Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift together three times. Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly.Add nuts, raisins and beat well. Add flour, alternately with milk, a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Add vanilla. Bake in two greased 9-incb layer pans in moderate oven (375 degrees F.) 25 minutes, or until done. Spread Boiled Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Decorate top of cake with wreath of holly, using pieces of maraschino cherries or red cinnamon candies for berries, and slices of angelica or citron for leaves and stems. Or decorate with poinsettias made of candied cherries. Slice cherries in rings, cut rings in half, and arrange to form petals of poinsettias.

  • Christmas Fruit Cake


55gr dried apricots, 55gr figs, 55gr dates, 240gr sultanas, 240gr currants, 240gr raisins, 110gr mixed peel, 100gr pecans, plus a few for the top, 55gr cherries, ½ tsp perissian ess,5 eggs, 2 Tbs brandy or sherry or 4 1/2 Tbs rum, 250gr margarine, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 1/2 cups flour,1 tsp cinnamon,1 tsp nutmeg, 2 tsp honey, grated rind and juice of 1 lemon.


In a huge bowl, marinade fruit in brandy, sherry or rum overnight, the apricots need chopping. Cream margarine and sugar well, add eggs one at a time, mix thoroughly, add honey. Add flour and fruit alternatively to the mixture, mixing by hand with a wooden spoon. Place in a well lined pan, that has about 3 layers of brown paper or some cardboard in the base and around the edges followed by baking paper.Bake at 180 degrees for about 3 1/3 hours, place brown paper on top of cake after it starts to brown.Cool on a cake cooling rack, wrap in baking paper and foil then cling wrap. Place in a tin in a cool dark place to mature.
Tip - Place a dish of water in the oven as well to stop it from drying out.

  • Chocolate Eggnog Layer Cake


2 cups cake flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, plus 3 tablespoons extra for the pans, 2 teaspoons baking soda,1 teaspoon baking powder,1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup sugar,1/4 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled,1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1 cup dairy eggnog.


Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set oven rack at upper middle level. Lightly grease 2 9-inch springform pans. Dust pans with the extra cocoa and shake out excess.Beat together sugar and oil. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate and coffee.Add vanilla extract to eggnog. Beat flour mixture and eggnog mixture into chocolate mixture a little at a time, alternately. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again, briefly.Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center or when Cake looks almost black and glossy.Remove pans from oven and allow to cool on wire racks for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove cake from pans and allow to cool completely before frosting:

Chocolate Eggnog Icing


2 cups unsweetened cocoa, 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, 1 8-ounce brick cream cheese, 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled, 3/4 cup dairy eggnog, 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract.


Sift together the cocoa and powdered sugar to avoid lumps. Set aside.Cream together all other ingredients. Add cocoa mixture a little at a time. Beat on highest mixer setting for several minutes, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. Ice the cake and serve. Frosting is enough to generously frost 2 9-inch or 10-inch cake layer.

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Romantic Christmas Gifts For Her

Its Christmas eve and a special someone is waiting eagerly for you at home or a romantic restaurant. Dressed in your best, you approach her and are stunned by her ethereal presence and beauty. Just then you are shocked to find that you have forgotten to buy her a gift. Has such a situation ever arisen in your life? It happened with me once, and perhaps it was all the more embarassing because my girlfriend gifted me the gadget of my dreams while I stood sheepishly staring at the grinning waiter. But history is not about to repeat itself again. Look at the list of gifts below to know more.

  • Romantic Message in a Bottle ($14.95)- Christmas is the time to let loose all your feelings and emotions. Proclaim your love for her in the old fashioned way. An elegant parchment paper printed with a message of love rolled in a glass bottle...all set for its voyage to her heart.

  • Enduring Rose – Women love receiving thoughtful gifts which express your love for them. Enduring Rose has a collection of 24K gold trimmed and fully dipped roses replete with flowers that will never wither or fade, just like your love.

  • Diamond Rings or pendants- For those who are quite serious about their relationship and are either planning to carry it to the next level, i. e. marriage or have already taken the vows, this is an ideal gift. A diamond Heart Dangle Ring ($550), 14K Yellow and White Gold Diamond Heart Pendant ($200) are a few sparkling examples.

  • Planning to Propose? On Christmas Eve, use a red ribbon and tie the ring to the tree or simply set the ring box on a branch. Surround the tree with red rose petals; you can even sprinkle them on the tree branches.If she doesn't discover the ring on her own say, "I think Santa came early this year." As you're pointing to the ring say, "What is that on the tree?" When she discovers the ring, pop the question.

  • Scented and Colorful Candles- They signify the light and fragrance she has brought in your life. Make an intense impression by cooking a romantic candle light dinner for her served with red wine, soft music and bask in the glory of love.

  • A Romantic limousine ride- Book a limousine for the two of you. Present her with a beautiful gift basket packed with her favorite chocolates, cookies, wine and other delights. Roam the city streets with her in your arms and remember to drop in at one of the plush retsurants for dinner.

  • Personalised Photo Carved Lamp ($100- $199)- Find that one special romantic photo of the two of you together, one that reminds you of a moment or place when you got closer. These pictures are carved and assembled into an elegant frame which is then lit from behind to creat a charming one of a kind love lamp.

  • When We Met First Book ($45)- Show your loved one you are glad to have met her through this elegantly designed keepsake book that describes the year you met, with a love poem and a message from you. A His and Hers Shareable 'Together Forever' Pendant ($9.99) along with this is sure to create magic.

  • Tokens of my affection ($14.99)- Hugs, Kisses, Massages, Love and Wishes to share with her..these love tokens come in a red pouch with 'Token Of My Affection' written on it.

  • Italian Heart Sheped Watches ($248)- When she wears your heart out on her sleeve...oops! wrist in the shape of this watch, it will sure make you proud.

  • Another romantic way to give Christmas gifts is to note down the carol '12 days of Christmas'. On the first day, send her a single rose bud with the first line of the song, on the second, 2 red rose buds with the second line of the song and so on. Finally, your loved one will receive a beautiful red rose bouquet with 12 long-stemmed roses on Christmas and a big card wishing 'Merry Christmas! My Love.'

  • Passionate Red Flowers or a bouquet of love – Gorgeous and priceless.

  • Total Body Support Pillow ($119.95)- This pillow provides optimum support for lower extremities, while cushioning and maintaining proper spinal alighnment in any position.

  • Spa Treats($25.00- $49.00)- This is an experience of a lifetime. From a whole body massage to facials, wraps and spa treatment, the lovely damsel will have it all.

  • Surprise Getaway – Purchase tickets to a romantic destination and slip them into a leather airline ticket holder wrapping them together. Her face will light up with joy as she unwraps this amazing gift.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Corporate Christmas Gifts

Have you ever had to work on Christmas eve? I hope not but being part of the corporate world has its own hassles. Long hours, late night shifts and unscrupulous behaviour from various quarters are a part and parcel of professional life which an individual has to handle singlehandedly. On the flip side however, its a space where one makes long lasting relationships and friendships as well.I am speaking from personal experience. In fact people complain about their nagging bosses and backbiting colleagues. I would say every individual has some positive and negative qualities. Try presenting your boss or colleague with a really special gift this Christmas that you have heard them speaking about or expressing a strong desire to possess and and then see the difference.

  • Christmas Gift or Gourmet Gift Baskets – A fine selection of Holiday Gifts filled with warm Christmas favorites such as hot cocoa, gourmet coffees, cookies, chocolates, holiday pretzels, Pecan Crickle, brownies, popcorn, sausages, salmon and much more.
    Gourmet Holiday Sleigh ($49.99), Ghiradelli Chocolate Christmas Gift Box ($29.00), Godiva Chocolate Gift basket ($74.00), Snowflake Gift Tower($54.00), Premium Christmas Gift Basket ($79.99), Christmas Gift Basket – The Corporate Show Stopper (149.99)

  • Wine Christmas Baskets – A bottle of champagne or a bottle of wine...not a bad idea. But to spread the jolly cheer around, a wine basket packed with Cabernet Souvignon, Chardonnay Wine, Syrah, Dom Perignon Champagne, Chocolates, Chardonnay Cheese, Zinfandel wine, Mocha Truffles,Winterberry tea, Smoked Salmon, fruits, could just prove to be a marvellous gift idea.
    Christmas Cheer Wine Gift Basket ($69.00), Ofiice Party Wine Basket ($99.00), Champagne and Chocolate Gift Basket ($199.00), Fruit and Wine Basket ($79.00), Executive Gourmet Wine Basket ($250)

For more:

  • Corporate Watches and Clocks

Digital Clip Clock - ($1.74.$2.22)- 2-1/4''Diameter, Digital round clock.

The Roll About Clock- ($2.04- $2.64) – 2-1/2'', Roll About, Translucent, Digital.

Double Desk Clock -($2.22- $2.64)- Double Desk, LCD, Digital, Quartz, Perpetual Month Calender, Battery.

Multi Function Pedometer ($2.22-$2.76) – 2-1/4''*2'', Step Counter , Calorie Table, Digital Display, Battery Operated.

Bulova Watches- Bracelet A Capella($199), Frank Lloyd Wright Willits ($135.00)

Technomarine Watches- Alpha Sport ($399.00), Red Square Chrono ($459.00)

Skagen Watches – Euro Modern ($105.00), Dual Time Black Strap ($95.00), Skagen Link Saphhire (105.00)

Briefcase For 17'' Laptop ($290), made of Napa Leather

Man's Carry All Bag ( $155)

Italian Leather Business Tote ( $240), great colors, light weight and scratch resistant.
Monogrammed Briecases, wallets, cardholders are also ideal Corporate Christmas gifts

  • Flowers for that special lady in office
    Bunch of Red Roses ($5.99)
    Seasonal Flowers ($6.99)
    White Roses ($9.49)

  • Mugs – For a steaming cup of hot coffee in the shivering winter months, this is an ideal gift, a combo of beauty and variety.
    Personalised Mugs with the name of your boss inscribed on it.
    Customise Barware – Wine, Champagne Glasses, Beverage Mugs.

  • Golf Kits and accessories
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Do you feel guilty about having borrowed a pen from your colleague and having misplaced it? Is your boss fascinated about pens and pen holders? Well, its time to gift them the perfect pen sets they will cherish forever.

Cross Pens- Century II Gold Filled ($59-$99), Ion – a pen with a contemporary or rather futuristic design ($20), Morph Digital Writer ( $39), Townsend Chrome ($45-$75).

Mont Blanc Pens – Boheme, Classic Pure Silver, Classic Meisterstuck, Mozart Coral.

Parker pens- Duofold Black ($139- $269), Duofold Platinum ($139- $269), Mosaic Red LE ($215- $325)

Jade Glass Pen Holder ($24.95), Crystal Business Card and Pen Holder ($26.95)

  • Personalised Paper weights-Gem Cut Glass Oval Paperweights ($37.50), Standing Faceted Dome Glass Paperweight ($37.50)

  • Ecards- A free business e greeting card on the big day to say Merry Christmas is sure to fetch you recognition and appreciation.You can send cards to your boss, colleagues, clients and all at the same time and at no cost at all!

  • Crystal figurines Exquisite and attractive gift items
    Crystal Piano Trinket Box ($70), Crystal Guitar ($65), Crystal Dancing Figurine ($80), Cindrella Crystal Glass Slipper ($70), Crystal Cross ($70)

  • Brown Glass Ornaments- Glass Leaf Ornament ($17.95), Personalised Glass Cowboy Boot Ornement ($21.95)

  • T-Shirts, Shirts, Jackets and Sweaters

Monday, November 27, 2006

Gifts For Baby's First Christmas

The long sleepless nights, nappy and diaper changing sessions and 24 hours non stop efforts to understand the crying baby's demands. This and much more is experienced when your first child is born. But these are the true unforgettable moments of our lives. For the new mom or dad, this sweet angelic bundle of joy brings pots of happiness, love, luck and togetherness. The baby's cute unsteady steps, soft and innocent babblings, sweet satisfied little burps after every meal and tender yet unfettered expression of love, rejuvenates life and makes living an undeniably beautiful experience for any parent. This Christmas, shower your young one with gifts of love:

  • Country Cousins Rag Dolls ($28.42)- Dolls are any girl's best playmate, and when there is such an adorable dolly begging to be your friend, then who can deny her this privilege?

  • Melissa and Doug – Five foot tall giraffe ($79.95)- A life size pal, this soft and sweet darling will fill any child's heart with joy.

  • Christmas Groovy Girls Tessa Tannenbaum 2006 ($14.95)

  • Bunny Rabbit Chair ($94.77)- This wonderful soft rabbit beanbag sofa will delight any little one. Super soft and ultra comfortable, also full of vibrant colours; this is the perfect baby gift for any little boy or girl.

  • Fisher Price Classics - Chatter Telephone ($15.95)

  • Personalised Christmas Rudolph ($19.99)- “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, had a little shiny nose..”and he made a perfect Christmas toy as well lightng up the baby's merry face.

  • Color Changing Ducks ($12.30)- Great for baths and ponds, this duck is truly a quacking delight.

  • Dancing Ballerina Music Box coz babies love music, and besides its the best way to grab their attention and keep them quiet.

Traditional Spinning Top,Fun Fairy Doll, Teddy Bears, Lego Sets are other popular gift items this year.

  • Hooded Bath Towels ($29.99)- These hooded towels keep the toddlers cuddled up and warm. That soft snuggly feel is what all kids crave for, they are truly a baby's bath buddies.

  • Photo Cube with Sound ($16.99)- A musical toy and a photo frame as well, this multipurpose gift is one among my favorites.

  • Christmas Fleece Blanket ($19.99)

  • Huggies Animal Blankets ($19.95)- These blankets are cozy and just right for nap or bedtime. The fabric is cozy and huggable leaving the baby feeling warm and pampered.

  • Baby's First Christmas Glass Tree Decoration/ Ornaments -Solid glass tree decoration in pink or blue featuring the words 'Baby's First Christmas' and a pink or blue ribbon.

  • Baby's First Christmas: Music Box Lullabies CD (1998) by Jed Distler
    (Price Range: $2.19 - $5.77)

  • 'Baby's First Christmas' by Tomie de Paola ($2.75)-Helps babies learn the traditions and symbols that make the holiday season so special in this beautiful book.

  • Touchwood Classic Pine Cot ($695)- Comfort and safety are essential features when choosing a cot for your baby. This design conforms to the highest safety and quality standards.

  • Fisher Price Classical Chorus Baby Gym ($35)- The Singing Stars Gym offers fascinating rewards from baby’s earliest days of reaching, through sitting and playing, right up to a toddler’s love of standing and playing the piano keys.

  • Baby bracelets and personalised pendants

  • Baby Name print Frames ($35)

  • Handprint and Footprint Kits ($13.95)- Babies grow up really fast, these adorable tins with plaster to take the imprints of your baby's hands and feet will serve to keep the memories alive forever.

  • Wooden Nativity Scene ($32.99)-Perfect Christmas gift idea for a child - this brightly painted wooden nativity scene will be treasured for years to come.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

How To Make Christmas stockings?

Handmade ornaments, stockings or gifts have an eternal charm about them. Even today while rummaging through the drawers, when I suddenly chance upon a mitten carefully knit by my grandmom, it stirs within a wave of emotions and memories of childhood. Handmade stockings have an equally emotive quality. Though stockings are available in the market but some families like to adhere to the spirit of a traditional Christmas. It is based on an individual's choice for sure but for those who are looking for some tips on how to make Christmas stockings, I decided to put in a few inputs myself:

STEP 1: Use an old or inexpensive purchased Christmas stocking to make your own stocking pattern. Lay the stocking on a piece of brown paper and trace around the stocking with a pen or pencil, a 1/2 inch from the stocking edges. This will give you a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

STEP 2: Choose 1 yard of fabric for each Christmas stocking to be made and 1/4 yard of fabric for each cuff. Use a holiday print, quilted holiday fabric, or solid-color fabric or felt for your stocking. Make sure you have a coordinating thread color on hand.

STEP 3: Lay the stocking fabric on a flat work surface and fold it in half, lengthwise, right sides together. Pin your paper pattern to the fabric and use dressmaker shears to cut through the paper pattern and fabric along your marked line. Make sure you cut through both layers of fabric. Set these two pieces aside.

STEP 4: Place the stocking cuff fabric on your work surface. Use a fabric cutting board, a yardstick or ruler, and a fabric-marking pen to measure out two pieces of fabric that each measure 14 inches long. Use the top measurement of your stocking pattern for the width.

STEP 5: Fold each cuff piece in half, wrong sides together, so that you now have two pieces that are 7 inches in length and the top width of your stocking pattern.

STEP 6: Pin each folded cuff piece to the wrong side of a stocking piece so that all raw edges meet. Place pins at 1/2-inch intervals.

STEP 7: Use a sewing machine to stitch the cuff pieces to the stocking pieces. Sew 1/2 inch from the raw edges. Press the seams open with an iron.

STEP 8: Pin the two sewn stocking pieces together. Make sure that all edges match up evenly and that the right sides of the stocking pieces are facing each other. The pins should be perpendicular to the fabric edges.

STEP 9: Insert a folded length of ribbon or cording between stocking layers at the upper left cuff seam (to hang the stocking). The toe of the stocking should be pointing to your right. The ribbon or cording should be angled upward and inserted far enough between the layers to be caught in the 1/2-inch seam allowance.

STEP 10: Stitch along the edges of your stocking, 1/2 inch from the raw fabric edges. Remove the pins as you sew.

STEP 11: Turn the stocking right-side out and fold the cuff down so that the seam line is hidden inside the stocking.

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  • Christmas stockings coming in rich velour needs to be properly handled. Follow the pattern steps to bring out beautiful designs on the stockings. Suppose if you are planning to knit the figure of Santa Claus on the stocking, use bright cotton threads to carry on the sewing process. Beads, sequins and metallic threads can also be used. Santa Claus dressed in red and white attire reflects the traditional spirit of Santa. A blue cap on his head with works of beads should be finely dealt with to reach the perfect level. The background of the stocking should properly match with the color of the threads used to knit the entire body of Santa.
  • You can depict the picture of your pet dog on the stockings. Along with the dog knit the figure of a dog bone that your pet might be delighted to see. The color should go with the background of the stocking. Colorful silk ribbons may be applied as dog collar.
  • The ideal traditional patterns are small fir and pine trees, the bear, toy trains, reindeer, snowmen, the gingerbread man, rocking horse, sleigh and bells.
  • The spirit of freedom is reflected in a knitting pattern of a deer running into the night sky over the chimney, or with the design of a snowman with a scarf around his neck and a miniature broom in his hand.
  • Is music your passion or sailing through the waves your hobby, let it be patterned in your Christmas stockings. The black and white keys of the piano and the notes of a piece can feature as patterns. The sailing boats or the riding horses will also be quite attractive designs.
  • Personalize the Christmas stocking with your name.
  • Make an elegant Christmas stocking by using cotton velveteen for your stocking fabric and a quilted satin fabric for your cuff.
  • Add any trim or embroidery to the cuff and body of the stocking before you sew the stocking edges.
  • A man's stocking could be made in the shape of a work boot or sewn from plaid flannel with a pocket on the front. Use an old shirt.
  • A gardener's stocking could be made from burlap.
  • An executive's stocking could be made from striped shirting with a tie in front.

Paper Stockings

Thick brown paper (like grocery bag paper) or brown felt
Pencil, Scissors, Glue, A holepunch, Yarn, Markers or crayons

If you don’t want to spend much on fabrics, paper can also be a good medium for attractive stockings. With the most common things readily available at home, like thick brown paper, glue, yarn of any color and scissors, you can create magic. Make an outline of any stocking on a brown paper, and cut out two pieces of the same shape. Then join the two with glue, and pierce holes on the edges. You may weave ribbons or yarn through these holes, which may appear as laces. Ultimately, decorate it with poster colors by making patterns.

Dog Paw Stockings:


Scissors, pieces of light tan faux fur, each 24 by 13 inches, 2 pieces of dark tan faux fur, each 24 by 13 inches, Sheet of dark brown felt, 9 by 12 inches, Long sewing pins, Large-eye sewing needle, Dark brown embroidery floss, Clear tape, 9 inches of tan twist cord.

Cut 1 paw shape from each piece of the light tan fur and 1 from each piece of the dark tan fur. Cut paw pads from the brown felt. Pin the paw pads to the furry side of a dark tan paw and use the floss to whipstitch the pads in place. Pin together the 4 paws with the dark tan paws on the outside, furry sides out, and the light tan paws on the inside, furry sides in. Using the floss, whipstitch around the edges, sewing the paws together. Leave the top edges unsewn. At the top, sew together the front 2 edges, then the back 2. Fold down the top to make a cuff. Tape the ends of the cord to keep them from fraying, then sew the cord to the stocking for hanging.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Secret Behind Santa's Ho ho ho

Santa is famous for his hearty ‘ho ho ho’ greeting and laughter. But have we ever asked ourselves why? Yes, it goes well with the spirit of the season but there is more to it than just that. Research tells us that laughter provides a boost to all components of our immune system. It reduces stress and improves health! Laughter is a tremendous healing activity that Santa has been advocating since his inception. Santa maintains a happy disposition using laughter to keep our mood positive. He has been showing us how to handle life’s daily stresses with the magical health benefits of laughter.

Laughter protects the adrenal glands which are the major shock absorber hormones in the body, protecting us from the potential mental and physical impact that stress can cause. No wonder Santa is always healthy and has never missed a Christmas yet!

Have you ever seen a child laughing while watching cartoons? The ecstatic outburst of free flowing happiness is so infectious that it forces us to smile. A child exists within all of us, but social norms and our prosaic lives bring about early maturity stifling all hopes of innocent childish laughter. So lets promise this festive season to loosen up and shake hands with Santa committing ourselves to laughter and make the child within us be back.Just remember to ‘ho ho ho’ where ever you go and say goodbye to woe. Enjoy good hearty laughter this festive season and throughout the year!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Christmas Gifts For Dad

How about gifting dad an acre of land on the moon this Christmas? His deepest desire has always been to embark on a tour of the space and this unusual yet original gift will certainly pump up his spirits. Well I really dont have any plans to send him off so far, but to keep my loving dad smiling and living life king's size as he always does, here are a few gift ideas I came up with. Check them out and let me know your views:

  • Personalised Photo Frames ($59.99- $79.99) with touching poems and a childhood picture of mine with dad when we used to go fishing or camping together.
  • Digital Photo Frames

  • Elvis Drinking Glasses ($7.50) – A set of two Elvis Rock n Roll drinking glasses in a sturdy acetate box, would make a great Christmas Gift for the Rock n' Roll Dad.

  • Abbey Road Beatles Alarm Clock ($8.95) – Is your dad crazy about Beatles? Mine is. He has collected innumerable records and plays them for all his friends whever there is a party at his place. Guess this gift will remind him of the rock rock rocking 60s and the tantalising concerts he once attended.

  • Bar Butler ($29.95)- Bar butler 4 shot loaded receptacles to hold bottles of various sizes up to 1 Litre on a revolving stand. Each leakproof dispenser pours 2 half ounce measures approx. So why not enjoy your drinks in style with this fabulous heavy duty revolving drink dispenser, just get a glass and place it beneath the leak-proof dispenser and enjoy.

Check out: for more interesting ideas.

  • Eye Massager- The Eyezone Massager ($14.99) – My dad simply loves to read. He also spends quite a large portion of his time working on the computer. So I thought this eye massager would be a perfect stress reliever. What do you feel?

  • Shine on Electric Shoe Polisher ($39.95) I am seriously getting this one for me as well. It is a perfect gift for any man who is simply tired of polishing his shoes every morning. Its handy and can be used right before an important meeting, a party and so on.

  • Santa Wine Caddy- ($69.00)- Hand crafted from recycled steel and copper that is cut, bent, welded and brushed, the Santa Wine Caddy is truly a unique gift. Pair it with a favorite wine and your dad will be saying a toast of thanks to you this holiday season!

  • Retro Music System ($299.00)- I can already visualise the smile on his face when he sees this one. I would say its a perfect Christmas gift for any dad.

  • World's Best Hammock ($109.95)- This hammock beats all, providing that ultimate tropical holiday experience. Will surely turn into any daddy's favorite retreat.

For Sporty Dads

  • Macro Blade Putter for the Golfer Dad($129.95)- Its revolutionary patented design features a unique grip that eliminates wrist break and gives one greater control of the putter head. It even features alignment lines on the top of the grip so you can hit it right where you want.

  • Gone Fishing ($54.99)- Includes: Eagle Claw Snelled Fish Hooks, Fishing Bobbers ~ Assorted Sizes for All Fishing,"Fish Bait" Candy Gummy Worms, Blue Crab Bay Clam Dip Packets, Blue Crab Bay Seafood Marinade & Grilling Sauce, Brook Trout Classic Fishing Mug, de Geneve French Vanilla Coffee, Smoked Salmon Cheese Spread, Grissini Traditional Original Breadsticks, Honey Roasted Peanuts, a Round Galvanized Tin Bucket with Brass Handles.

  • Boots- Yaktrax Walker ($17.97) for winter activities, Yaktrax Pro ( $24.97) for winter sports.

  • 101 Piece Tool Set ($117.95)- Components: Screwdrivers Bit sets, Allan wrenches, Pliers, Hammer Wrenches, Adjustable wrench, Retractable box cutter, Mini screwdriver set, Ratchet set Tape measure etc.

Peep into for more.

For tech savvy dads

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX1K Black Digital Camera $329.99
  • USB cup warmer $9.95- This USB-powered mug warmer keeps flat-bottomed ceramic or metal mug warm at your desk. For dads who love to have their coffee or tea steaming hot all morning long.

  • Laptops, DVD players, or iPods

For book lover dads

  • John Bunyan's Pilgrims' Progress

  • Micheal Ondaajte's Collection of Poetry

  • Stephen Hawking's Black Hole Mystery

Check out the following for more:

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Christmas Gifts For Mom

What is the magical word that symbolizes selfless love, endless affection, devotion, pain and sacrifice? Mother. She brings us into this world, molds us into worthier human beings, knows instantly when something is amiss and spends all her time and energy trying to fulfill our dreams and desires and make better our lives. There is simply no end to her patience and fortitude. Even today my sister and I look towards mom for emotional support and confide in her when in trouble. She has never asked for anything but has given us all without asking for it. Christmas is the best opportunity to show this gentle and unassuming woman the love, respect, and gratitude that we as kids feel for her; and to shower her with countless gifts.
Here is a carefully compiled list of gift ideas that might help you as well:

  • Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul Gift Basket ($49)- Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul II filled with heartwarming and endearing stories. Each story is sure to touch Mom and remind her how special she truly is!Also includes: A lightly scented pillar candle, potpourri, 6 oz. green tea body lotion, a tea single and yummy Too Good Gourmet dessert cookies.

  • Heated Massage Mat with Neck Therapy ($149.95)- With 10 massage points, soothing heat therapy, a luxurious velour cover and integrated neck cradle that provides a comforting Shiatsu neck massage, this body-length massage mat relaxes the entire body.

  • Heated Seat Cushion ($24.95) - This heated cushion will allow your mom to enjoy a more comfortable driving experience during the cold winter months. It heats the lower back/lumbar area as well as the bottom of the seat cushions enveloping the passengers in warmth.
  • Bath and Spa Gift Baskets – Foot Fetish Cream for Dry Feet ($24), Monogrammed Bath and Spa Shower Wraps ($42), Apple Cider Bath and Spa Gift Baskets ($45), and so on. Each can be individually bought or in entirety.
  • Spa Wish gift certificate for that ultimate pampering experience.

  • Ultimate Foot Spa, bath and pedicure ($69.95)

  • Chocolate Therapy Gift Set for Mom ($44.00)- To satisfy all your mom’s secret chocolate cravings, this pack which includes a 1 pound box of assorted gourmet chocolates and the award-winning book Chocolate Therapy: Dare to Discover Your Inner Center is the best Christmas gift that will soothe all her senses.

  • Almond Butter English Toffee Cheesecake ($24- $45)

  • Sewing Kit ($17)

  • Knitting needle case holder Paisley Knit Kit pocket ($21.95)- Moms are best at everything but knitting is certainly their forte. With this wonderful case made exclusively for holding needles of all sizes, she would be the topic of discussion and envy in her knitting circle of friends.

  • Do Not Disturb Relaxation Wrap (29.95) - After just one minute in the microwave, this Relaxation Wrap warms and appeases all the pain and stress in the neck and back providing comfort and inner peace.

  • Phone Sets- It is the best and the most handy device that connects us to mom. I found some really interesting collections you can also take a look at
    Antique and Vintage Telephones, Decorator or French Style phones, Novelty Phones etc with accessories that come in beautiful shapes and styles and affordable prices as well.

  • Garden gifts

    · Handpainted Garden Decor Tools Set ($30),
    · Gardeners Hand Soap - Herbal & Natural - Gift Set ($18)-
    A perfect ending to a day spent getting your hands dirty in the mud. Each Handmade Gift Set includes a 3 oz. bar of Gardener's Hand Soap, a natural fiber nailbrush, and an Ayate Cactus natural fiber washcloth.

  • Special Teddy Bear Gifts- THESE ARE NOT TOYS! They are decorative items that will ornament mom’s bedroom and bring back memories of her childhood and the journey from adolescence to motherhood.
    A guardian Angel Bear for Mom, Sophisticated Lady Bear, Gardener Bear (under$50)
    Administrative Professional Mom Bear, Work at Home Mom Bear, Veterinary Mom Bear
    ($30- $50)
    Fun in the sun bear for beach loving moms, sunflower bear, Karate Mom Bear (under$30)
    For more information on these unique, cute teddy bear gifts, check out

  • Ultra LED Booklights ($19.95)- No shadows, no hot spots, no squinting, no strain on the eyes! Just smooth, even light across the whole page. This clip-on book lamp utilizes new-patented LED Floodlight Technology for a wider, brighter swath of light.

  • Smart Candle Votive 2 Pack ( $24.95)- Candles are an essential part of any Christmas celebration. But with traditional candles come hot wax, mess, smoke, and a potential for burns and fires. This faux flame candle is "fueled" using triple-A batteries and simulates the soft natural glow of real candles.

  • Yoga Bags ($68) or Personalized Embroidered Yoga Mat Bags ($52)- Health conscious moms would truly love these trendy bags which include straps on the bottom designed to carry a yoga mat, a sweater or jacket. Then there is an aluminum key ring inside, water bottle/phone holders on outer sides of bag, specially-designed pockets to hold CDs and so on.

  • Vintage Style Brooch – They are highly popular this year and will accentuate your mom’s beauty reminding her of the good old days of yore. Penelope’s Vintage CZ Brooch ($115), Sterling Silver Vintage Style ($12.99)

  • Burberry Nova Check Cashmere Scarf ($139)

  • Mugs – You’re the greatest mom mug, Mom in any language mug, To a wonderful mom mug ($ 7.95)

  • Flowers and Ecards

Friday, November 17, 2006

Music Videos - The Christmas Collection

John Lennon - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) is a song that was "written" (see Skewball) by John Lennon with partial help from Yoko Ono (best known as the widow of John Lennon). It was recorded at Record Plant Studios in New York City in late October of 1971, with the help of producer Phil Spector. It features soaring, heavily echoed vocals, and a sing-along chorus. The children singing in the background were from the Harlem Community Choir and are credited on the song's single.
Closely related to the song: in late 1969, John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono rented billboards and posters in eleven cities around the world that read: "WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) Happy Christmas from John and Yoko." Five of the eleven cities included in the billboard campaign were New York, Tokyo, Rome, Amsterdam, and London.
In addition, it's been covered by Sarah McLachlan on her 2006 Christmas album, Wintersong.

Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas Is You

"All I Want for Christmas Is You" is a song written and produced by American singer Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff, and recorded for Carey's fifth album Merry Christmas (1994). Its protagonist declares that she doesn't care about Christmas presents or lights; all she wants for Christmas is to be with her lover. It was released as the album's first single in December 1994 (see 1994 in music), and reached the top ten in several non-U.S. countries.
According to The New Yorker, it is "one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon".
In 2000 the song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number eighty-three for one week. This was because after 1999, singles were capable of charting on the Hot 100 without a commercial release and the song had received enough radio airplay to appear on the chart. Billboard magazine has since added restrictions to Christmas songs, but with the growth of all-holiday-music formats in the U.S., the song is played on the radio at the end of every year. Although the song is ineligible for the Hot 100, it peaked high on the Hot Digital Tracks chart during the 2003 and 2004 Christmas seasons. In 2005 it rapidly ascended to number one on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Recurrents chart (for songs no longer eligible for the Hot 100), giving it a new peak. It also reached number one on the top 100 downloads chart at iTunes UK and iTunes USA, and became Carey's first number-one single on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart. In mid-November 2006 the song again entered the U.S. iTunes top 100.

You could also check this video featuring the Best Christmas Lights Display Ever

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Handmade Christmas ornaments

I am quite taken with these handmade gifts and crafts ideas. The whole process of cutting beautiful shapes and designs, then glueing them together to create lovely Christmas ornaments is really exciting. I tried a few ideas I came across on the net and must say, my girlfriend and mom were both quite impressed with my work.

Glass Ornaments

Clear Glass Ball Ornaments, Dye-Based Ink Refills, Glitter (ultra fine and any color)Ribbon, Raffia etc...Small paper or plastic cup (ornament needs to sit on top)

Take clear glass ball ornaments and remove the top. Rinse ornament out with water, drain water. ink Drop about 18-22 drops of one color of ink refill into the ornament. Swirl ink around the inside of the ornament until inside is covered.(Only add one color ink refill (dye based ink)) If there is excess ink, turn the bulb upside down and let the excess ink drain off into a paper/plastic cup.While draining, take a business card size piece of cardstock and fold in half hotdog style. Pour approximately 1/2 teaspoon glitter into the cardstock that is folded. Pour glitter into glass bulb, put a small piece of paper or plastic over opening, to protect your finger, now ...SHAKE vigorously. Shake the glitter around so that it doesn't form a big blob. Pour excess dyed glitter into a different paper/plastic cup. Put the top back on the ornament. Tie Organdy or Grosgrain Ribbon, Raffia or whatever you would like aroundthe top or just leave it plain.

Heavenly Angels

Sugar ice-cream cone, Three-ring pretzel, Royal icing (blend 1 egg white with 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar), Colored sugar, Tootsie Pop, Life Saver and red candy heart.

Using scissors, cut off 1/2 inch from the cone's point. Ice the cone and pretzel, then roll them in colored sugar. For the head, insert the lollipop's stick into the cone. Using the icing, affix the Life Saver to the head and the pretzel to the back of the cone. Add icing features and a candy heart.

Light Bulb Santa
Materials: Burnt out light bulb, Acrylic (craft) paint in white, red, flesh, black, and pink, Gold cord or ribbon, Hot glue, Black marker, Newspaper or paper towel, Paintbrush

Paint an oval for Santa's face with flesh acrylic paint in the center of the round part of the light bulb. Paint entire remaining round portion of light bulb with white acrylic paint. Paint neck of bulb red, and top (socket) of "hat" white. Allow to dry completely. Using black acrylic paint, dot on two eyes. Using black marker, draw on smile. Dip clean paintbrush into pink acrylic paint, dab off excess paint onto newspaper or paper towel. Gently blotch on pink cheeks. Touch up Santa's beard and hat brim with more white paint. Hot glue a loop of gold cord or ribbon to the back of the bulb. Craft glue is not recommended as it does not adhere as well as hot glue does. Hang!

Spoon Snowshoes

Wooden ice-cream spoons, Glue, Button, Toothpick, Ribbon, String

Draw a simple crisscross snowshoe pattern on 2 wooden ice-cream spoons. Hot-glue a length of pipe cleaner around the edge of each spoon, then glue together the spoons at the top. For each pole, glue a small button onto one end of a toothpick, then glue a loop of ribbon to the top of each pole. Finally, glue the poles to the snowshoes, tie a ribbon around the set, and tie on a string loop for hanging.

Mice Ornaments

Remove the tags from two Hershey's Kisses. Cut out mouse ears from pink felt, about 3/8-inch high. Using double-sided carpet tape, affix the bottoms of the ears to the flat side of one of the Kisses. Tape an 8-inch loop of fishing line behind the ears to form a hanger. With more double-sided carpet tape, join together the two flat sides of the Hershey's Kisses, with the mouse ears and fishing line loop pointing up. Add a pair of self-adhesive googly eyes. Slip a tail -- a 4-inch piece of curling ribbon -- under the foil. Now, see how they run (or disappear) from your tree!

Wishing Spool

Acrylic paint and brush, Wooden thread spool, Marker, Paper strip, cut to fit the width of the spool, Double-sided tape, Ribbon, Self-sticking label

Paint the spool and let it dry. Have your child write her Christmas list on the strip of paper. Roll the paper around the empty spool, using double-sided tape to fasten it, and leave some of the list hanging down (so Santa notices). Thread the ribbon through the spool's center and tie a knot at the top for hanging. Write your child's name on the self-sticking label. Affix it to the ribbon.

Other ideas
*To make a very economical, shiny ornament, take the top of an aluminum can and punch a design with holes using an awl or other pointed tool. Glue a decorative trim around the edges. Hang with a ribbon, yard, or dental floss.
*Bring out your child's pictures and place them on a piece of supported felt and hang. You can also insert them into clear bulbs.
*Use old Christmas Cards. Cut them into the desired shape, and then use a hole punch around the edges. Whip stitch ribbon or yarn through the holes, or crochet around the edge.
*Get the whole family involved, and make colorful, old-fashioned paper chains. If you are going to use popcorn, be sure and let it sit a day after you pop it before you string it.
*Candy canes are great by themselves, and can also be made into reindeer by using pipe cleaners and gluing on eyes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make

The holidays are here and its a gala time for the kids. So what are you guys doing to keep them busy?
Know what I came up with to keep my 5 and 7 year old niece and nephew absorbed this holiday season? Making Christmas gifts! With cute photo frames and CD boxes, felt and ribbon bookmarks, personalised clocks or ornaments for the Christmas tree and more unique gift ideas available on the net, its time to enliven the atmosphere with this wonderful opportunity for the kids to enjoy fashioning creative gifts.

  • Felt and Ribbon Bookmarks
  • Required
    Scraps of felt and ribbons, PVA (white) glue, Sharp scissors, sequins, buttons or other adornments.

Mark and cut the felt into bookmark-sized pieces. Cut a length of ribbon for each bookmark so that it extends 5cm beyond the end of the felt, and carefully stick it down with white glue. Cut a heart shape out of matching or contrasting felt to cover the top of the ribbon. Stick the heart to the bookmark and embellish further as you like. The main part of the bookmark should be flat so decorations must be restricted to the top portion. Allow to dry thoroughly.

  • Photo Frames and CD boxes

Empty CD boxes, Scissors and glue, Craft supplies and household bits and pieces.

Cut a photo to a size smaller than the CD box. Fix the photo against the plastic with tape. Find a nice piece of cardboard/gift wrap. Cut this to fit snugly behind the photo and to the edges of the frame (4 ¾ inches wide, 5 ¼ inches high). Fix with glue or tape facing into the box. When the frame is finished, open the box out to stand it up, so that the backing protects the photo. Draw a line of glue on the outside edges of the front of the CD box and decorate with:
Tinsel, Little cut-outs of old cards, Small ornaments, Little ribbon bows, Gold and silver braid and ribbons, Red or green gingham ribbon. Christmas shapes of trees cut out of craft foam, Dried cranberries, Spices (cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks), Glitter, Miniature wrapped-up presents.

  • Christmas Card Handle Holder

Old Christmas Cards, Baby Food Jar ,Glue, Rubber Band, Salt

Cut out a pretty picture from an old card; small enough to fit on the side of a baby food jar. Cover the back of the picture with glue and stick it to the jar. Put a rubber band around the jar to hold picture in place till glue dries. Remove rubber band. Using a paintbrush, cover the outside of the jar with glue. Sprinkle salt over all of it to make the jar glisten. Let dry. Tie a piece of curling ribbon around the rim. Place candle inside.

  • Chocolate melting Spoons

Dip colored plastic spoons in melted dark, milk or white chocolate and top with glitter and sparkles. Wrap in clear or colored cellophane, tied with ribbon. For a special addition to this yummy gift, glue a photo onto a square of paper for a unique gift tag.

  • Personalized Ornaments

Kids can paint plain glass or plastic ball ornaments with fabric paint to make wonderful snowflakes or snowballs for a white Christmas indoors. The balls can be filled with curling ribbon to add color. A holiday message can also be inscribed.

Pop the plastic cover off an inexpensive clock and remove the clock face. Cut prepared artwork to the same size as the clock face and add numbers around the edge. Slide the artwork in place and replace the plastic cover.

  • Footprint T shirt

Step into a shallow dish with fabric paint in it (each kid in a differnt color) and then step on the t-shirt. Once the footprints are dry, a personalised message can be written using a black marker.

Kids can trace their hand onto a piece of brown craft foam or card stock. Cut this shape and add black marker hooves to the fingertips. Next, add red glitter glue collar with gold sequins for bells, then glue on a googly eye, a red pompom nose, and a tail cut from the brown craft foam/card stock. For the reindeer's antlers, cut a brownpipe cleaner in half, bend each half into two and curl the ends. Glue together the pipe cleaner pieces, holding them in place with a paper clip or clothesepin until the glue dries. Finally, glue in the antlers on the reindeer.

  • Sand Candles

Put sand in a bowl, pour water in it. Make a hole in the wet sand for placing the candle. Place shells on the sides. Take the smallest shell you can find and tie it to the wick and put it in the center bottom. Melt wax in a tin can. Pour the wax in the sand mold while holding the wick up to keep it straight. Hold the wick until the wax hardens. Dig about an inch away from the candle, a trench 6-10 inches deep and gently pull the candle out. Place the candle on the plate.

Find more ideas at

If you have any ideas and suggestions, feel free to share them with me and others as well by dropping them in the comment box.

Click on the links below for related posts on :

Christmas gift ideas for small kids.

A Child's dream Christmas party

Christmas stockings

Christmas with Santa Claus dolls

Monday, November 13, 2006

Christmas Tree Decorations

Decorating Xmas trees to make them look bright and beautiful is a favorite task for all of us. The eagerness with which children insist on staying up late to finish decorating and the warmth and love with which parents place the well wrapped gifts around the bottom of the tree is a cherished sight witnessed in every home on Christmas eve.
There are innumerable ways to decorate Yule trees:

Circling the tree with attractive garlands and wreaths

  • Beaded and Tinsel Garlands- Red jingle garlands with silver beads seperating them, iridescent icicle garlands, teardrop bead garlands, fa-la-la-la plastic words arranged in a sequence forming a unique garland, Hershey's chocolate garland etc. are a few varieties that can be wound around the branches to create an exotic look.
  • Branched garlands- Lush green regal pine garlands, or those made of Canadian Pine, Richmond Fir, lit with multiple lights look amazingly beautiful when hung from the branches of Christmas trees.
  • Another option is to string popcorn, cranberries, cereal, beads, etc. and hang these as garlands or make gingerbread cookies. Before baking, make a hole toward the top of each cookie using a straw. Bake and cool. String a ribbon through each cookie and hang them on your Christmas tree as a piece of decoration
  • A garland made of old and new Christmas cards is a poignant decoration as well

Decking the tree with glass ornaments
Animal ornaments of all shapes and colors, love ornaments, balls, food ornaments, ethnic pride ornaments to celebrate your family's heritage, Santa and snowmen ornaments, musical ornaments serving as an orchestra for the guests, religious ornaments, jingle bell ornaments and so on complement a well lit Christmas tree adding glamor to glory.
Mix special and more expensive ornaments with cheaper ones to make a greater impact. Filler and special ornaments can be placed on tips of boughs. Put some inside the branches too.


Create an attractive display of teddies at the bottom of the tree. Dress them up in red or green clothes. Put the Christmas gifts beside the teddies. It will make a perfect gift display and would adorn the living room too.

Christmas tree toppers
I still remember how the elders in the family meaning my grandpa and dad would lift me so that I could place the star on top of the Christmas tree. Those were the days.

Popular this year are Magic star, Santa Claus, Angel tree toppers with multicolored lights and an assortment of other battery operated ones.

Rustic leaves, bird nests, silk flowers, glittering twigs, twig wreaths, small flags add color, style and a designer touch.

For further tips on how to decorate christmas trees:

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Artificial Christmas Trees

  • The first artificial trees were tabletop feather trees, made from green-dyed goose feathers wound onto sticks drilled into a larger one, like the branches on a tree. Originating in Germany in the 19th century , the first feather trees came to the U.S. In 1913.
    Nowadays, people are increasingly drawn towards artificial Christmas trees since they are easy to maintain and last longer. Prelit ones are also available in the market. This is a major attraction for individuals faced with continuous work pressure who find little time to decorate their trees. Artificial Christmas trees are also a favorite among many parents who find it difficult to keep their kids away from the pines and needles that keep dropping every now and then from real trees. As a result, a number of online stores are offering great discounts on such trees. The following is an account of different kinds of artificial Christmas trees popular this season.

  • 4 Foot natural wood trunk artificial Alpine Christmas Tree with lights and a weighted stand. ($27.99)
    Each tree has 341 wired tips and 100 pre-strung (pre-tested) lights.

  • 3' Artificial Alpine Christmas Trees with 70 clear plug-in lights. ($23.69 ea. / 4 or more $14.99 ea.) This 3 foot natural trunk alpine tree is fully wired with 179 tips. The base is weighted metal.

  • 4 Foot (including the pot) mixed pine artificial Christmas tree with 261 wired tips and 150 clear lights comes potted in urn ($77.99)
    Each tree has 261 wired tips and 150 pre-strung (pre-tested) lights. The pot is resin and weighted. The pot stands 14" high with a 9½" diameter. The base is 6.5" square.

  • Miniature Christmas trees- 12 inch Pine Trees ($1.39 each)- A 12" miniature Canadian Pine Christmas Tree with a natural wood trunk. Each tree has 60 wired tips. Great for Santa dollmakers, gingerbread house displays and Brio train sets.

  • 2' Artificial Balsam Pine Christmas Tree with 35 clear plug-in lights ($11.19)This 2 foot balsam pine tree is fully wired and easy to assemble. Comes with a stand and is of a perfect size for a table top display.

  • Ashton Berry Spruce (Price range $299.95- $370.)
    Combines 3 styles of branch tips. Predominantely medium green in color with just a hint of blue green, the tip design incorporates the combination of hard needle, sculptured and rounded styles. Varying lengths add dimension and texture. It has 601 tips and 450 lights.

  • 7.5' to 9 ft Colonial Fir ( $598.00- & $899.50)
    Medium green in color, this tree has multiple sized sculptured branch tips with short balsam type needles. Available in multi or clear bulbs, it is easy to set up and can be folded up for convenient storage.

  • 6.5' Tinsel Christmas Tree, Slim, Pre Lit, Red ($370.00)
    Fiery Red in color, these unique Christmas trees whose branches come with metallic tinsel
    needles and 1,042 tips add warmth and glory to the Christmas celebration.

  • Bethlehem 54' Woodland Pine Summit Tree, 7320 Clear C7 Lamps ($93,800.00 )
    These trees are perfect for malls, theme parks, office complexes and other commercial settings. Designate your custom tree height, from 14 feet to 40 feet and beyond. The lush needles are made of extra thick, crush resistant PVC. Branches are UV treated for outdoor resilience.

  • White Christmas trees
    A lighted white Christmas tree can create a glorious look in a master bedroom or enclosed patio. Placing this near the front door will help to enhance the beauty of the doorway as well.

Much in vogue last year, these gravity defying trees will take your neighbors and guests completely by surprise. It offers more room for the accumulation of presents underneath. It is pet-friendly. The unique shape also allows the tree to stand in places that do not accommodate a traditional holiday tree, such as in between two armchairs or in a corner. It has 1250 lifelike PVC branch tips that are carefully pre-strung with 600 bright clear commercial-grade lights. The inverted shape makes it easier to see ornaments, which hang away from the dense needles and do not get lost in the foliage.

Below is a list of a few online retail stores offering these and other multidunious artificial Christmas trees for us to choose from:

Friday, November 10, 2006

Our Top Twelve Christmas Gifts For All

Ten Hot Gift items for Christmas
An insight into the upcoming hot and trendy gifts for Generation Z- TMX Elmo, Sony Playstation3, HP Photo smart R967....belt up for the joy ride! Click
here to read more

Xmas Gift Ideas for Keep Fit Fanatics
For those who love to workout but cannot find time to hit the gym, here comes a list of exercise aids and accessories that will set your heart racing.
Click to read.

Funky Christmas Gifts for Teenagers
Enter a teen's paradise equipped with the latest gadgets and gizmos. Funky and unconventional, these maverick gift ideas will strengthen the bond between you and your teenage son/daughter.

Christmas Gifts at Low and Affordable Prices
A gift handmade or bought, expensive or not is a token of your love and appreciation for others. Click
here to find affordable and unpretentious gift ideas that will help you decide what to buy and where from at low and un-extravagant prices.

Christmas Gifts for Grand Dad
An idol, a wonderful friend, philosopher and guide, my grandfather deserves the very best and so does yours. Check out these gift items listed
here and honor your grandpa with them for being a pillar of strength.

Christmas Gifts for Grandma
For all grandkids who just can't wait to say 'Merry Christmas' to their beloved grandmother, just click on this
link for some exciting gift ideas that will make her face light up with joy.

Christmas Gifts for Men
Coming from a man, this might sound cliché, but even men love being pampered with gifts. So click
here to take a look at these trendsetters and make a dash for them before anybody else does.

Christmas Gifts for Women
Most men tend to feel slightly dizzy when it comes to buying a gift for any of their female acquaintances.
Here is a well chalked out solution that might help.

Gifts for Pregnant Women: Christmas ideas
Time to make that special lady in your life, be it your wife, sister or close friend bounce back from her pre or post pregnancy worries. Click
here to know how.

Top Christmas Gifts for Your Overweight Child
Struggling with what to buy your child this Christmas? Anxious about purchasing something that might add to his weight problems?
Here is a list of gift items that will make your child jump with joy and you heave a sigh of relief.

Christmas Gift Trends 2006
What is the latest buzz about town? Which gift item or idea is in and which is out? What is old and what is new? Click on this
link to find out.

Christmas Toy Trends
Make your child's dream toy appear before his eyes this Christmas. Here is a list of playthings that might help you take your pick.
Click to read