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I did not grow up in a very religious family. As a matter of fact, I think my father was an atheist. We didn't really talk about religion very often, and we only went to church a couple times a year. Nevertheless, we loved Christmas. There was the gift giving, the decorating, and most of all, the Christmas tree. Christmas trees were a fine tradition in my family. We would put more effort into decorating the tree every year than we would put in to almost anything. We would start picking out new Christmas decorations month ahead of time, get the whole room prepared, and finally go and pick out a tree.
Sometimes, we would have to get an artificial tree. We moved around a lot because of my dad's job, and some apartments simply won't accommodate a nice big Christmas tree. Nevertheless, some of the artificial Christmas trees were pretty nice. My favorite times, however, were when we got to go out to the woods and pick out a fresh tree to cut down and take back home. There is nothing like natural xmas trees. They have a beautiful scent, a natural look, and a majesty that imitations can never quite capture.
Of course, the Christmas tree ornaments are every bit as important as the tree itself. In my family, we would switch off duty as lead decorator. In particular, we would each have a chance to pick out the Christmas topper. One year, I even made a Christmas Star myself out of papier-mâché. When I saw it years later, I realized that it was not a very well made art project. At the time, however, I was so proud of it. All my family complimented me on it, and it looked great above that Christmas tree. It was one of the best Christmases that I remember, and I still have pictures of it to this very day.
Of course, Christmas lights are also an important part of getting your Christmas tree in shape. When I was growing up, all that we had were those old strands strung in series, the ones where all the lights will go out if one bulb goes out. I remember spending hours going through each individual light bulb, trying to find the culprit. When we got the newer, better quality ones it was a relief. After all, we were all sick of Christmases where the tree lights would go out at the last minute.
A Lighted Christmas Tree For the Holidays
Have you ever wondered how the tradition of cutting down a fir or pine tree, and attaching lights and ornaments to it came about? Well, according to various online sources, fir trees were not brought inside at Christmas time until the 16th century in Germany and England, and not until much later to America. Many other traditional holiday customs, including images of Santa Claus, holiday songs, hand blown glass ornaments, and the lighting of the Christmas tree originated in Europe as well. The legend of the latter is that Martin Luther originated the tradition of decorating trees in celebration of Christmas, by bringing a small fir tree indoors and decorating it with lighted candles in honor of Christ's birth. This practice slowly spread across Europe and came to the United States as immigrants brought their Christmas traditions with them.
Today, everyone has a lighted Christmas tree, and it certainly wouldn't be Christmas without it! You can go out and pick your tree, cut it down yourself or buy one that's already pre-cut. Bring it home and put your lights and decorations on and there you have it, or you can choose a pre-lighted artificial tree from any number of local and online retailers. Lowe's and Home Depot have a nice selection of pre-lit Christmas trees in all sizes and styles that require minimal set up. The advantage to purchasing a pre-lit Christmas tree is that you don't have to mess with untangling the light strands every season, just to get yourself tangled back up with them while getting dizzy going around tree placing them just right on the tree! That's what makes it fun though, wouldn't you agree? Put on some holiday music, and enjoy some tasty beverages with family members as you decorate the tree.
Let's not forget the natural trees in your yard that make beautiful, stunning lighted Christmas tree displays during the holiday season. Use solid colored lights or multi-colored strands that are available in various sizes to illuminate the trees in glowing color. Of course, make sure that the lights are safe to use outdoors, and use water-proof power supply cords. Enjoy a safe holiday season with family and friends while celebrating old traditions and discovering new favorites. This is a time of year to rekindle relationships and spend time with our loved ones, sit around the Christmas tree, open gifts, and of course, indulge in decadent holiday treats and feasts that everyone looks forward to! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Though there are great bags out there that you can use to give gifts to others, there is still always a need for Christmas gift wrap. Children love to rip things open, and they won’t have nearly as much fun ripping open a bag as they would if something were wrapped the traditional way. Also, some adults still love to unwrap, and having some gift bags and some wrap is always a great mix for friends and family alike. You don’t have to have Santa on your wrap if you don’t want to, and you can even make your own unique wraps on your own.
When shopping for Christmas gift wrap, you can find Santa, snowmen, snow flakes, and just about anything that a child would love to see under the tree on Christmas morning. If you are getting wrap for teens or adults, you can go with something more elegant if you wish. You can find great collections that come with different matching papers, or you can come up with your own mix. You can get silver and gold, and you can accent them with purples, blues, reds, and some pinks. Some like to get matching ribbons of all types, and even match these schemes with their tree.
If your child is giving gifts, you can have them make their own Christmas gift wrap, and it is sure to be loved by grandparents and aunts and uncles. You can get plain brown shipping paper, or any other plain paper you wish, and have them use their hands to make painted handprints all over the paper. Once it has dried, you can then use it to wrap the gifts they are giving. They can decorate the paper with sparkles or glitter if they wish. It’s really up to them. They may even have some ideas you never thought of, so ask for their input.
Shopping for Christmas gift wrap is pretty easy. Most stores carry it around the Christmas season, and some will wrap things for you if time is an issue. Some just don’t like to wrap, so this is perfect for them. You can also find it online, and might be able to order it with whatever gifts you might be buying online. If you really want to save some money, buy some after the holidays have past, and gift wrap is marked down quite a bit. You can put it away for next year, and won’t have to worry about getting it along with everything else on your Christmas shopping list the next year.
There are a few times a year when children get to show their mom how much they really mean to them. Though many think of birthday or Mother’s Day first, Christmas is also a great time to do this. They are much less likely to make a fuss if you spend a little more on them this day, and what you get will always be good enough, even if you feel you have missed the mark. When you worry that you won’t get the right Christmas gift for mother, you should take some time to think about who she is as a person before you buy.
You may already know the personality of your mom quite well, even though you may not live with her any more. By this I mean that you probably know if she has all that she wants, and that she wouldn’t dream of giving you a suggestion. That means you are on your own. Other mothers may have a few things they would really like to have, but you may have a hard time getting that information out of them. If you are lucky, you have one of the moms who will fill you in on a few things she would like without too much prodding. That means you have a head start on your Christmas gift for mother.
There are some moms who will love what you get no matter what it is, but she may end up returning many of the things she gets that she feels are not useful or needed. This type of mom is often very practical, and she probably doesn’t put quite as much emotional connection to gifts as other moms. This is when you might want to think of a Christmas gift for mother that goes along the lines of something she would like to do rather than an item. You could get her a gift certificate for almost anything. Think about her hobbies and what she does with her spare time, and the perfect ideas will come to you.
Most moms also treasure things that are homemade. If you are an adult, you might not feel up to making things, or you may think you have no talent in that area. If you have children, you can have them make things for Grandma. These might be some of the best gifts most moms can get. If you are still stuck, even with some gifts from the children, snoop around bit to see if there is something that she needs. Just remember, get a Christmas gift for mother that is not practical. Don’t get a blender, and don’t buy a vacuum. This is one time of the year when her gift should be for her enjoyment, and not a reminder of all the work she might do all day.
One of my biggest challenges each year is coming up with the best Christmas gift for grandparents that I can find. This is hard because my grandparents don’t really need much, and a ‘no gift’ rule has been in place for a few years now. I, of course, ignore this, but I do make sure I find something simple, and perhaps something that might not be too expensive so they don’t feel like they have to reciprocate. My grandmother is ill, so shopping is a chore for them. This makes shopping for them a bit tricky for me, and it might be for you as well - though your reasons may be different.
My grandparents love the outdoors. They had their own dairy farm right up until retirement, and that meant they worked outside most of the time. They love all that comes with nature, and this always gives me a direction when thinking about a Christmas gift for grandparents. I like to find something like a birdfeeder to get them, complete with a bag of seed to go with it. These are not expensive, so they didn’t complain when I gave it to them. I also got them a squirrel feeder one year, which helps keep the squirrels out of the bird feed.
Don’t worry if your grandparents are not outdoor lovers like mine. All you have to do is think about what they like to do to get ideas for Christmas gift for grandparents. If they love to travel, or perhaps always dreamed about doing so, you may know where they have been or wish to go. Look in a bookstore or online for a picture book about that country. They will enjoy it very much. If they are readers, get them some magazine subscriptions that they might like, or a few books that are along the same lines in story as things they already like to read.
Many like to get one thing that works for both when getting a Christmas gift for grandparents. That always works well too. These things are usually decorative touches like a clock or perhaps a wreath. Just keep their style and their interests in mind as you shop, and you should have no problem finding something they can enjoy. You can ask them what they would like, but you probably already know they going to tell you that you shouldn’t buy for them. Instead, do a search for gifts by what they are interested in, and see what comes up online. There are great ideas out there, and the perfect gift is waiting.
Christmas Gift Baskets
With Christmas fast approaching, it's time to get going on our preparations for the festive season. However, shopping for great gifts for family and friends can be a shocking jolt to your wallet. Here's where homemade gifts really shine. One unbeatable gift idea is to make Christmas gift baskets. You don't need to stick with the traditional sausage, cheese, tea and jam themes. Here's your chance to give a truly thoughtful, personalized and beautiful gift that comes from the heart. Chances are good that the recipient will treasure a personalized Christmas gift basket over a cashmere sweater.
All you need for a perfectly lovely Christmas gift basket is wrapping paper, ribbon, contents and of course, the basket. Now's the time to let your imagination run free.
Perhaps your recipient is crazy about quilting. You can go to any large fabric store and pick up “fat quarters” which are ¼ to ½ yard remnants of fabric, usually packaged in groups of similar fabric types. Quilters love these. Ask the store clerk about the hot new quilter's gadgets. Spools of metallic quilter's threads, fancy trims and ribbons are welcome treats in Christmas gift baskets for quilters. Choose a basket shape that can serve to store supplies after the contents are used.
Fishing enthusiasts enjoy all that tackle. You'll find aisles of lures and bait and assorted gadgetry. The avid cook never met a utensil, tool, bread pan or garlic press they didn't like. Whatever your giftee's interests, there are specialty stores that cater to them.
Just match the interests of your recipient to any basket idea. This technique makes it easy to develop your theme, colors and decorations.
Today, there are so many shapes and sizes of baskets readily available, you're sure to find beautiful choices suited to every person on your list. Craft stores, hardware stores, grocery stores, flea markets and pet stores are good places to look.
Wrapping papers are almost limitless, from foils and holographic papers to fancy tissue printed designs. Tissue paper is well suited as an elegant liner for all Christmas gift baskets. Christmas gift baskets containing food look beautiful when the entire basket is wrapped in cellophane with a fancy gold or lace ribbon. Silk flowers, holly sprigs and tiny ornaments may be attached with a glue gun. Think of the possibilities.
Christmas gift baskets are winners for everyone. Your recipients are delighted. Your feet are saved a few miles of walking in crowded malls. Your wallet is fat and happy. You get the fun of putting each memorable basket together, which helps get your Christmas spirit up and running. Say, do I smell cookies baking?
There is something reassuring about seeing a Christmas wreath on the door. My family was never the type to decorate extravagantly. Most of the time, we would not put up outdoor Christmas lights at all, and trimming the tree would take less than an hour. My folks were very religious, and they thought that all of the bright lights and glitter took away from honoring the true meaning of Christmas. Nonetheless, they always put up a Christmas wreath.
Every single year, we would go out and gather cedar boughs, ribbons, berries, and pieces of tinsel to make our very own holiday wreath. We did not go to Christmas village to get a tree – there was a tree farm just down the road, and it was never much of a project to get one. We only had a few vintage Christmas decorations to put up, so the wreath was the big high point of the season.
To me, it is sad that making Christmas wreaths is starting to become a lost art. Don't get me wrong – I've seen a lot of artificial Christmas wreath designs that look good. Still, there is something that is just so pleasant about weaving together branches and ribbons to make your very own seasonal decorations. Even if you have never made your own do it yourself Christmas ornaments, you should consider trying your hand at making your own Christmas tree wreath. Taking the time to make your own makes it more special somehow.
There are many different ways to go about making a Christmas wreath, but all of them are pretty straightforward. Basically, all you have to do is weave together branches, flowers, and whatever else you want in your decorating wreath. Usually, it is good to start with a base of relatively thick branches. Some sturdy pine boughs are a great way to hold the structure together, and provide a nice, verdant backdrop to the rest of the thing. You should weave them fairly tightly, but not tight enough to start stripping the needles off of them. After all, the whole point of using pine boughs is the pretty color and nice smell they give.
After that, you can go ahead and add anything you want to it. Basically, all you have to do is weave the stems and branches of the flowers between those of the pine boughs. Look at the Christmas wreath selection in your local store for ideas. Anything you see on artificial Christmas wreaths can be used on real, handmade ones as well.
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