Archive | November 2013

Christmas Stocking Stuffers Ideas

christmas-stockings-stuffersGiving Christmas stockings has been a typical Idea for Christmas ever since the earlier centuries when every house had a fireplace. Hanging them from mantelpieces, staircase railings, or even the Christmas trees themselves is becoming more and more common, despite the lack of fireplace, but finding proper gifts can be difficult. Gifts don’t need to be pricey or fancy to be lots of fun, no matter what the age group!.

Before you begin, make sure you understand who the stocking is intended for. Sometimes it’s easier to make generic stockings for everyone involved, but a lot of the time there’s some age variation involved. Are you filling the stocking of a small child or a grandparent? This is never a bad thing, people of all ages can enjoy the gift of a stocking, but keep in mind that sometimes adults are surprisingly unhappy to receive a stocking. It can be interpreted as insulting or as a gift only for children, but overall most people appreciate the thought and sentiment. Also keep in mind that individual interests, preferences, and what they may have asked for as an individual. Once you’ve discovered their preferences, sometimes it can be extra fun to pick a theme for a set of gifts.

Always aim for small gifts, so that they fit in the bag. Inexpensive Christmas gifts are usually a good idea, since they can be just as meaningful as something pricey. For children it’s always best to choose something that is likely to keep them entertained for hours on end. Books, crayons, and the classic slinky are always good choices for the younglings. For adults it’s best to chose items that are more useful than a slinky. Office gadgets, kitchen accessories, and small electronics are great for adults. Electronics (especially various car chargers) can get a bit pricey if you don’t know where to look, so make sure to compare prices on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, or other stores online.

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When you fill the stocking you should also consider the shape of the sock. Small items can either be placed at the top, to ensure they don’t get broken, or at the bottom, in the spirit of “saving the best for last” and prolonging the fun. Longer items can be placed in the leg of the stocking, and filler items can be placed randomly in the stocking to stuff it to the fullest. For even more fun, consider wrapping some of the more intense items to help build the excitement as well! please note that Now days the christmas trees, christmas stockings and christmas table settings has become an unavoidable part of Christmas Decorations

Personal Items. You may think adults or older children are difficult to shop for, but including personal items can be a great idea. Using shampoos and soap as stocking stuffers are always desirable, since they’re not only small but also useful. Hairbrushes, loofahs, hand lotions, and fancy soaps can also be used, as well as electric toothbrushes. Travel and trial items are usually the proper sizes to fit in stockings. If you know someone who travels a lot, or is going to travel after Christmas, these can be perfect gifts. Stress balls, or other stress reliving items can usually fit in a stocking as well. You can even include several in one stocking.

Discover the hobbies of your intended recipients hobbies. If someone wants to be an artist, try a simple paint set, or some pencils and a small traveling notebook for those artistic ideas on the go. If you’ve got a theme, you can combine an object and a gift card, for example a gift card to Barnes and noble inside a small book, or a tape measure connected to a coupon for home depot.

Go for traditional Christmas stocking stuffers. If you’re concerned about what kind of gifts to give, stick to traditional ideas like play dough, lego kits, Christmas cards with wonderful christmas messages or short Christmas Poems, balloons (even water balloons), stuffed animals, toy cars, or squirt guns. If you don’t want to be too predictable, add food and candy. A lot of different foods can fit into stockings. Different candies and fruit snacks for children, or bottled soda and beef jerky. For adults, you can add tea bags, coffee grounds, gum, or a chocolate orange. Chocolate oranges can be flavored in several different ways, and even regular oranges can be used considering that they fit so well in the bottom of the stockings. You can add some flavor to the top of the stocking by hooking candy canes over the rim or draping fancy shoelaces over the side to hint at more gifts to come.

Gadgets. Small technologies and gadgets are always a favorite among adults of any age. Pocket and car calendars, multi-tools, small school supplies (students and office workers always appreciate a small, easy to carry stapler). Alarm clocks, wristwatches, flashlights, etc. If you’re child is reaching that age, a cell phone may be expensive but not out of place. If you’re worried about the money involved, tracphones and pre-paid plans can make a cell phone cost effective and still exciting as a gift.

Money can also be a creative idea. Two dollar bills can be used, and most banks carry them if you just ask. Wheat pennies, dollar coins, state quarters, and other interesting ideas can be used as well. Money doesn’t even need to be wrapped, but if you’re not careful it could get lost. Gift cards can be used as well, covering store purchases, or even music downloads and other online items.

Always remember to have fun when giving gifts. Include small gifts that are just for fun, like pretty stones or candles. Scented items are always friendly, but remember not to place them near chocolate least the chocolate take on the taste of whatever the scent was.

Pet lover Gifts. If you’ve got pets, or your friends or relations have pets, feel free to include them in the gifting as well! Dog or cat treats, collars, squeeky toys, and food bowls are great gift ideas, plus you can always include something for their owners such as a laser lights for chasing (this is especially good for cats).

So there you have it. Ways to brighten christmas morning before the official present opening begins. Ask around, discover who wants what, and always keep an eye out for small trinkets and enjoyable items to place in those traditional stockings at Christmas.

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Navratri Festival- The Festival of Worship and Dance

happy-navratri-wallpaperThe Hindu culture is a culture known for its customs, traditions and festivals. One such festival is that of Navratri, during which the Hindus worship their respective Gods and there is a lot of dancing involve in this festival as well. Literally, the term ‘Navratri’, in Sanskrit, means nine (nava) nights (ratri).

So, what happens during these nine nights? During these nine nights and days, nine types of Indian goddesses, that is, the ‘Devis’ are worshipped. This nine day festival of Navratri, is basically held to honor the Hindu Goddess Durga and her nine manifestations. Hindu mythology is very interesting and all the festivals that are celebrated today, by the Hindus, can be linked in one way or another to the Hindu mythology. Navratri, according to the Hindu mythology, is celebrated in honor of the victory of good over evil because Goddess Durga (Shakti) had killed a buffalo-headed demon named Mahshasura. This battle between Durga and the demon, lasted for nine days and night.

image :http://www.trackmystatus.in/navratri-wallpaper/

Now, during these nine days, Goddess Shakti is celebrated and worshipped in nine forms, namely: Maa Shailputri, Maa Brahmachaarini, Maa Chandraghanta, Maa Kushmaanda, Skanda Maa, Maa Kaatyayni, Maa Kaakratri, Maa Mahagauri and Maa Sidhidaarti. These nine goddesses are worshipped by the Hindus for prosperity, good health, knowledge and auspiciousness.

Navratri Puja:

The puja (worship) which is done during this festival, is very simple. Generally, fasts are observed during Navratri, however if one cannot fast, then they may simple recite the ‘mantra’ which goes something like “Om Ang Haring Kalimg Shreeng Maha Durgay Namah”.

Another important custom of this festival is that certain food items are recommended to be consumed, while others are to be avoided. Non-vegetarian food items are to be avoided and fruits or ‘Satvik’ fruits like Potatoes and Curd etc should be eaten. Onion and Garlic are also to be avoided.

The Puja is a very important part of all Hindu festivals and Navratri is no exception. The Hindus are to worship with’Vyavhaar and Acharan’ which means they need to worship the female deity with ‘bhav’ that is spiritual emotion.

Navratri Garba:

navratri2As mentioned earlier, that a lot of dancing is involved in Navratri. Folk dances or traditional dances, in Hindu culture, are a unique way of reflecting their beliefs, values and principles. Colorful costumes and traditional jewelries are adorned by Hindu men and women as they engage in their folk dances.

Garba and Dandiya are the two major folk dances of Gujrat. During Navratri, the Hindus dance the Garba dance, which is a pretty graceful dance. Hindus engage in Garba to please the goddess Durga.

Navratri Songs:

The Garba dance is danced to the upbeat, thumping tunes of the dhol. The Garba is a pretty fast dance, there is a lot of movement involved like going round in circles, clapping hands, twirling around etc hence, fast songs are usually selected for this purpose. Many famous Indian musical composers, have composed ‘Garba’ special songs which can be heard blasting from almost every corner in India, during this festival.

Navratri Chaniya Choli:

Indian festivals are a great opportunities for the Indian women to dress up in gorgeous traditional clothes. When it comes to Navratri, women mostly opt for either saris, or chaniya cholis in bright, bold colors.

Chaniya Cholis look extremely graceful and when the women folk dance to the garba tunes, in their beautifully embellished chaniya cholis, they look even prettier. Some of these cholis are embellished with mirror work, resham embroidery etc and are available in many beautiful colors, so there are quite a few options available to the Indian females to choose from!

Navratri MehndI:

A beautiful chaniya choli, with gorgeous earrings and a nice pair of shoes, but the outfit still feels incomplete if you have not put mehndi on your hands and feet. Mehndi or ‘Henna’ is a simple way of adorning your hands and making them look even prettier. Basically, putting gorgeous mehandi designs on hands and feet just makes everything look more festive.

There are a number of Henna designs which the girls can choose from. They can either put it on their hands themselves, or ask their friends, sisters and cousins to do so, or they can even seek a professional mehndi artist.

Navratri Food:

During Navratri, fasts are observed. Though they are not mandatory, but a large number of people do keep their fasts during this festival. This fasting of theirs asks them to abstain from regular food items, meat is to be avoided, vegetables like onions and garlic are also not allowed. The simpler food items, like most fruits and vegetables like potatoes are allowed to be eaten.

Fasting is one of the main ritual of Navratri. Many special dishes are made which can be taken by those who are fasting. Amongst the most common of such dishes is ‘sabudana wada’, which is actually a western Indian snack. It is easily available throughout India.

It is high in carbohydrate, tasty, high in protein and makes up for a crispy fried snack. The very good thing about this snack is that it gives you enough energy, which would last for the entire day of fasting. Though it takes quite some time to prepare this dish, hence it needs to be prepared in advance. They are served hot, with tea and delicious, spicy chutneys.

Navratri Wishes:

Navratri Festival is an occasion of happiness. The Hindus celebrate this festival with a lot of zeal, enthusiasm and fervor. They worship their goddess, and sing and dance, till their heart’s content. The focus is on spreading the happiness around and across. Many greeting card companies keep navratri cards which contain beautiful navratri wishes, which you can buy and give them to your loved ones, to let them know that you wish them happiness on this beautiful occasion. The younger lot would probably prefer text messaging their friends and family, so they too can select a number of wishes specially written for the festival of Navratri.

Easy Thanksgiving Craft Ideas

Well, Thanksgiving is not just about eating food that our mom or dad prepared for the family. We should still keep the true essence of thanksgiving in our heart. Let’s express our gratitude and appreciation for all the blessings and fruitful days we had for the year. One way to express it is through prayers on thanksgiving. This is where family gathers and offer their gratitude. Thanksgiving is also a perfect time to bond and reunite with the family. For busy bodies, it’s a perfect opportunity to rekindle the bond between the parents and children. It’s time for crafting!

So, want to bring out your child’s creative side this Thanksgiving? Be sure to check these great and easy creative crafts kids can do this Thanksgiving. All of them are made from simple, household items and are very easy to make. Kids will enjoy making these simple crafts and their inner artist is sure to shine.

Thanksgiving Turkey Bag

This can be a nice yet easy thanksgiving craft to start with. Turkey is one of the commonly dishes you can find in your dinner table and one of the popular entity associated with Thanksgiving Day. Therefore, it is not surprising to include this in making crafts. So what do you need for this craft?

  • Construction Papers
  • Marker (Black)
  • Tissue or Newspaper
  • Red Streamer
  • Scissor
  • Stapler
  • Glue or Tape

How to Make A Turkey Thankful Bag

  1. Firstly, fill the paper bag with tissue or newspaper.
  2. Then, fold the upper part of the bag and fasten it with stapler or tape.
  3. Use the black marker to draw turkey feathers. Then, cut it out.
  4. On each wing, tell them to write about things they are grateful for. Once done, paste it on the back of your stuffed paper bag.
  5. To create a turkey head, draw and cutout turkey in a construction paper with contrast color. Draw a nose and beak.
  6. Then, cut a heart shape in another colored construction paper and write the words “thank you for”.

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Thanksgiving Turkey Centerpiece

Do you want to put a turkey craft on your table on a thanksgiving dinner? This is an easy craft for you and for your kid. All you need are:

  • Yarn (Brown)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Foam or Thick Cardboard with different colors
  • White Button

First, wrap some layers of yarn around your hand. This will give you thick layers of yarn that will serve as the head of the turkey craft. When you achieve the desired thickness, slide it off your hand and tie both ends so it won’t get untied. On one part of the bundle, tie some orange yarns in cut into the middle. This will serve as the feet. Once secured, cut the middle part of the bundle so that it will create feathers of the turkey. Then, attach the button that will serve as the eyes of the turkey. Have some handprint on the foam or cardboard. Cut it out. Make sure that you use your both hands in tracing so that it will get alternating spaces, leaving a fan-like craft. Glue it together and then attach the turkey on it.

Advent Gratitude Turkey

A simple turkey drawn and cut out using construction paper and tacked on a board or the wall. It’s very simple and easy to make, it’s the routine, and the lesson to be taught that is important in this craft. Every night after dinner get paper feathers from the construction paper and have your kids paste them on the turkey. They are to draw on the feathers what they are grateful for every night. This activity will instill in them the value of gratitude for even the smallest things in life. And when times get hard, they will remember memories as this, shared in a loving and grateful home.

Hand Paint Turkey

Have your kids simply put their hands on some washable paint. The outlines of their outstretched palms produce the effect or outline of a turkey. As shown on the paper, it can made into a cute greeting card for a parent.

Thanksgiving Scrapbook Paper Turkey

Using patterned paper that can be obtained at any store you can make this cute turkey scrapbook. Only basic materials are needed such as:

  • Brown construction Paper
  • Patterned scrapbook paper (fall colors)
  • Scissors
  • Clothespins
  • Markers
  • Glue

Cut out the shape of a bowling pin on the brown construction paper. Cut out 6 feather patterns on the scrapbook paper. Attach with glue on the back of the bowling pin body. Cut a small triangle from the scrapbook paper and attach to the top of the bowling pin shape as the turkey’s nose. Draw it’s face ( eyes and mouth ). Use the clothespins to keep him upright as his legs. For extra support, you can glue a popsicle stick on the back. And you now have a little paper turkey!

Thankfulness Tree

Thankful-treeHave a tree that express your thankful thoughts. This thanksgiving craft is quite easy to make and only require minimal number of materials. You just need:

  • Colored Papers (Brown, and Orange)
  • Crayons
  • Pencil
  • Markers
  • Glue

How to make a thankful tree.

  1. Clear off a space on your wall. Then, trace a tree trunk on it using a pencil. Make the marker as light as possible.
  2. Then, glue some brown paper on it. It will create a trunk for the tree.
  3. Trace your kid’s hands on your orange colored paper. Cut them out. These handprints will serve as the leaves of your thankful tree.
  4. Have your kids write the things they are grateful for on your leaf cutouts.
  5. Then, paste the leaves on the wall.

Gratitude Turkey Treat Jar

This craft combines leftover treats from Halloween so you can maximize all the sweets.
What you will need:

  • Leftover candies
  • Baby food jar
  • Scissors, markers
  • Googly eyes
  • Colored cardstock
  • Glue, tape

Make sure that the treats you get will fit in the jar. Fill the jar with the treats. Close the lid tight. Draw and cut the feathers. Write on the feathers what you and your child are thankful for. Cut a little triangle for the beak. Use double-sided tape to stick the feathers on the back of the jar. Then glue the googly eyes on the jar and tape the beak on. And there you have your turkey treat jar!

How to Make Turkey Hat