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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas ideas’

The spirit of sharing and giving can be found everywhere.

#1 – Free Printable Gift Tags
There are many websites that provide free printable gift tags for all occasions. Just do a Google search for free printable gift tags and select the page that you want to print. Insert white card stock into your color printer, print, and cut out! Here’s a site that had cute Christmas tags.

#2 – Baking Tip
With holiday baking in full swing, consider this tip: Cookies will spread during baking if you’ve allowed the butter to get too soft, so refrigerate your dough for a couple of hours before baking. Bottom line: When putting a sheet of cookies into the oven to bake, the cooler the cookie dough, the less it will spread.

#3 – Looking for a Unique Gift That Gives Back?
My cousin Laurie is a high school principal. She, along with her daughters Alison and Kelly, and friend Nancy, an intervention specialist, have started a project called BeBuddies. Laurie and her team create one-of-a-kind, handmade BeBuddies. They are asking people to, “Please adopt one this holiday season and support youth who are finding ways to develop their skills and avoid further contact with the juvenile justice system. Every dollar from the sale of BeBuddies will bring resources to teens from 14-18 who are on probation.” Suggested adoption fee for a very cute and unique BeBuddy is $20.00. For more information email BeBuddies@gmail.com. Adopt a BeBuddy and help high-risk youth!

#4 – Christmas Tree Trivia – True or False
A. Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since about 1850.
B. It is considered bad luck to put up your Christmas tree before the 1st of December.
C. In the first week, a tree in your home will consume as much as a quart of water per day.
D. Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska.
E. Thomas Edison’s assistants came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees.
F. Christmas trees generally take 6-8 years to mature.
G. You should never burn your Christmas tree in the fireplace. It can contribute to creosote buildup.

Answers: All true!

#5 – Perspectives on Stress From Catherine Pulsifer
When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go.

Things could be a lot worse, the stress of the situation always could be worse, but I am alive and I have a lot to be thankful for – so I shall not waste my days with stress and frustrations – Life is too short!

I’m in a holidaze, but hope your holiday season is stress free!

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There’s nothing new about pomanders. As a matter of fact pomanders were used in the late Middle Ages through the 17th century to protect against infection and mask against bad smells. Today pomanders are primarily used as room fresheners. According to Wikipedia, the word pomander originates from the French “pomme d’ambre, i.e. apple of amber, is a ball made of perfumes, such as ambergris (whence the name), musk, or civet.”

Modern day pomanders are generally apples or citrus fruit studded with whole cloves. To spice up my life (Ha! Ha!) and get me in the mood for Christmas, I decided to make some citrus pomanders. I purchased oranges, lemons, limes and a jar of whole cloves. Costco is a good place to purchase these items in bulk and inexpensively. Because I didn’t want my home to smell like a dentist’s office, I decided not to follow tradition and chose not to cover the entire surface of the fruit. Hearts, stars, and patterns were more in line with my style.

I washed the fruit first and poured the cloves in a little bowl. If you are really a detail-type person, you could separate in advance the headless cloves from the head-still-intact ones. Unbelievably, I did not do this. Working on a plate, I selected the side of the fruit I wanted to highlight and used cookie cutters to outline the desired design. Holding the cookie cutter in place, I gently poked holes around the outside of the cookie cutter with a bamboo skewer. The cutter may have to be gently rocked from side to side to adequately work the design around the contour of the fruit. Space the holes about one-fourth inch apart, or for a denser-looking design, place them closer together. Push a whole clove into each of the holes.

Had I checked in with Martha Stewart first, I would have used rubber bands to create straight lines and would have shaken my pomanders in Orrisroot (available at health food stores) which is a perfume fixative. Live and learn!

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