The History of Memorial Day

The History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is an American holiday established to honor men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military. It is observed on the last Monday in May. In 2018 it falls on May 28. The First Observances of Memorial Day More Americans died in the Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, than in any other conflict in U.S. history. The great number of fatalities led to the creation of the nation’s first national cemeteries. By…

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Baby Registry Checklist: Create a Comprehensive Wish List Online

Baby Registry Checklist: Create a Comprehensive Wish List Online

When you’re trying to plan for a new baby, I’ve found the best way to do it is to create a baby registry checklist. After all, there’s a lot to think about! While I was pregnant, I had a bit of trouble keeping everything I needed straight. Even though I created a pretty extensive wish list, one of my friends pointed out that I’d forgotten more than a few important necessities, like pacifiers and teething rings. Luckily,…

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Secret Santa Themes for Family Gift Exchanges: Getting Everyone Involved

Secret Santa Themes for Family Gift Exchanges: Getting Everyone Involved

“We need to dust! And wash the curtains. And can somebody please find the other air mattress?” Our house was in a flurry of activity because we had relatives coming to visit. Not just one or two people, either—we were hosting 12 people at our house for a family reunion. Getting the house ready seemed to take days, but my sister and I cleaned faster and more thoroughly than ever before, fueled on by our excitement at…

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The History of Mother’s Day

The History of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day’s Beginnings Elfster celebrates giving and no one gives more than the sometimes under-appreciated awesome moms everywhere. What better way to celebrate than to look back on the history of Mother’s Day? Our modern American Mother’s Day had antecedents. The ancient Greeks and Romans held festivals honoring the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. The most direct ancestor of the modern Mother’s Day, however, is the early Christian festival called “Mothering Sunday. This holiday dates back centuries to pre-Reformation days in Great Britain…

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Create an Online Classroom Wish List: Gifts For Teachers

Create an Online Classroom Wish List: Gifts For Teachers

“You got how many totes?” I asked my best friend Rena, a fifth grade teacher. It was the end of the school year , and while she appreciated the generosity of her students and their families, it was a little overwhelming for her to receive so many gifts. A dozen tote bags, countless mugs, and enough Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards to caffeinate an army were definitely a demonstration of her students’ affections, but also the result of parents shopping for someone they…

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Mother’s Day Gifts for the Woman Who Has Everything

Mother’s Day Gifts for the Woman Who Has Everything

What do you get the mom who seems to want for nothing? I find myself pondering this question every year. My mom doesn’t quite have everything, but she certainly seems to think she does, and it’s almost impossible to get her to produce wish lists on her own volition for her birthday , Christmas, and, of course, Mother’s Day. As someone who loves to shop and give gifts, it can leave me in a bit of a tough spot. I…

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50 Amazing Groups Staying Connected Year Round On Elfster

50 Amazing Groups Staying Connected Year Round On Elfster

At Elfster , we think every day should be a celebration!  It goes without saying: “ ‘Tis always the season of giving!” And since we’re in the business of bringing people together through acts of generosity all year long, we’re sharing the stories of some of the many ways people of shared interests are using Elfster to stay connected. Here’s our list — we checked it twice — of how 50 Amazing groups are staying connected and the…

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Spring Gift Basket Ideas For Celebrating the Season

Spring Gift Basket Ideas For Celebrating the Season

Every year, to celebrate Spring, my mother used to have a Spring Fling party. She’d invite our relatives over for an early season afternoon barbeque and decorate the house in Spring colors like yellow, green, and baby blue. My mom also used to make Spring gift baskets as party favors. She put a lot of work into them, as everyone got a basket that was uniquely their own. A couple years ago, I decided to carry on…

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Unexpected Gifts | The Joy and Power Of Anytime Giving

Unexpected Gifts | The Joy and Power Of Anytime Giving

Flowers picked from a friend’s garden and left on your porch just because. A latte from your favorite coffee shop sitting on your desk when you walk in the office, for no reason at all. A package from your best friend who just couldn’t resist buying you the earrings inside. Nothing fills us with little moments of unexpected joy quite like a gift given for no particular reason, at no particular time. “We enjoy things more when…

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Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day

Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day

Finding eco-friendly gift ideas is a lot easier now that sustainability and environmental awareness have become so widespread. That’s something I noticed when I was choosing gifts for my friends for our annual Earth Day party . There were so many options available, from small and large companies alike. Still, it’s wise to be selective with the gift you choose. After all, many companies claim their products are safe for the earth, but sometimes it’s hard to tell if that’s…

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Fun Earth Day Office Party Ideas

Fun Earth Day Office Party Ideas

Walking through the halls of my office building one day, I discovered something magnificent. While wandering down a rarely used hallway, I saw a door with a crack of light coming from underneath. I didn’t think there were any offices in that part of the building and, curiosity getting the best of me, I put my hand on the doorknob and opened it. To my surprise, the door opened not into a room but into a small outdoor…

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The Top Gift Ideas For Librarians: Celebrate National Library Workers Day

The Top Gift Ideas For Librarians: Celebrate National Library Workers Day

The room let off a golden, cozy glow that, when combined with its hushed atmosphere, quickly made it my favorite room in the school. The first time I saw the new library, I had visions of Belle from Beauty and the Beast as I looked wonderingly from towering shelf to towering shelf, each one filled to the top with beautiful stories. I wanted to read each and every one. Because I love reading so much, I became fast friends with the…

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Do You Take a Gift to a Quinceanera? An Etiquette Guide

Do You Take a Gift to a Quinceanera? An Etiquette Guide

“Do you take a gift to a Quinceanera?” I asked nervously. I was on the phone with my friend, Liz. She had invited me to the 15th birthday celebration for her daughter. I’d never attended a Quinceanera before, so I wasn’t sure what was expected of me. While Liz told me I didn’t need to bring anything, I wound up getting her daughter a small trinket, a charm bracelet with her birthstone colors. I was glad I did, too….

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How to Play Secret Santa Year-Round: Gift Swap Ideas for Every Event

How to Play Secret Santa Year-Round: Gift Swap Ideas for Every Event

Gifts aren’t just for Christmas, so there’s no reason why you can’t have Secret Santa gift exchanges year-round. In my family and in my workplace, we celebrate a lot of milestones every year, from anniversaries to Yom Kippur. A lot of those parties involve gifts, so knowing how to play Secret Santa is often the key to making sure everyone walks away happy. After all, we’ve all had those awkward exchanges where one of our coworkers didn’t get anything while someone else…

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Alpha Kappa Alpha Exchanges Sorority Sister Gifts in Honor of Sorority’s History

Alpha Kappa Alpha Exchanges Sorority Sister Gifts in Honor of Sorority’s History

Over a century ago, nine college co-eds attending Howard University—a historically black college in the heart of our nation’s capitol—had a common dream to make the world a better place. At the dawn of the 20th century, society as they knew it was mostly male-dominated and segregated. But despite the struggles they faced in their own lives, this inspiring group of collegians was well aware of the opportunities that being “college-educated women of color” brought them—just one generation removed…

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50th Birthday Gift Ideas for Mom to Create Golden Memories

50th Birthday Gift Ideas for Mom to Create Golden Memories

Turning 50 is a major milestone in anyone’s life, so when you’re looking for 50th birthday gift ideas for mom, you want something special. When my mom turned 50, I was pretty broke so I thought my gift options were limited. However, there are many ways to get your mom a great 50th birthday gift without breaking the bank. I wound up putting together a fun package of items all tied to the 50th milestone, and she loved it!…

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Gift Exchange Gifts Under $10 That Feel Like a Million Bucks

Gift Exchange Gifts Under $10 That Feel Like a Million Bucks

“Wow! Ten dollars!” I was in 8th grade when my allowance received a generous boost from $5 to $10. Sure, it came along with extra responsibilities (vacuuming the stairs, how I loathe thee), but with those $10 in my hand, I felt like a millionaire. These days, $10 doesn’t quite seem like the incredible haul it once did. $10 is two lattes, a half-tank of gas on a good day, a sandwich. But there are still ways…

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Cool Gift Exchange Gifts Under $25

Cool Gift Exchange Gifts Under $25

“Another one?” I asked my coworker, Jenny, over the phone. “Yup, another one!” she replied, an uncharacteristic pep in her voice. She’d just told me that for the third time that year, my boss was holding an office gift exchange . The first time was for the holidays, the second for the anniversary of our company’s founding, and now, it was just something to liven up the summer doldrums . Jenny was usually a bit of a sourpuss, but she looked forward to the gift exchanges as…

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St. Patrick’s Day Workplace Ideas for an Office Party

St. Patrick’s Day Workplace Ideas for an Office Party

Last year, as I was looking up St. Patrick’s Day workplace ideas, my son suggested “snakes” as a theme. When I asked why, he picked such a weird—and creepy—theme, he said to me “St. Patrick’s Day is to celebrate when the Pied Piper got all the snakes out of Ireland, right?” While he was a bit mixed up on that, his heart was in the right place and he did give me a good idea. A lot of people don’t…

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The Best 50th Birthday Gift Ideas for Dad

The Best 50th Birthday Gift Ideas for Dad

I’ll never forget my dad’s 50th birthday . Not because of the party, but rather because my sister and I have never had a better time poking fun at my dad (an incorrigible prankster, jokester, and pot-stirrer) for being “over-the-hill” in the weeks before and after his birthday. Though we had a blast making jokes, it really was an important event. With 15 years of parenting and more than 30 years of working under his belt, he had crossed…

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The Best Easter Basket Ideas for a Teenager

The Best Easter Basket Ideas for a Teenager

It was Easter . The doorbell rang. My sister and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes, but we still scrambled off the couch to see who was there. Like every year since we could remember, on our doorstep were two large and colorful baskets, left for us by the Easter bunny. Now, both of us were in high school, so our enthusiasm for the holiday had waned somewhat. It’s a lot easier to plan Easter parties for kids and toddlers !…

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Online Community For Members 50+ Shares Weight Loss Encouragement Gifts and Support

Online Community For Members 50+ Shares Weight Loss Encouragement Gifts and Support

They say, 50 is the new 30, and I’d really love to believe it. But let’s face it, age happens. When we become those “ women of a certain age,” we may not always recognize the person gazing back at us in the mirror, either physically or mentally. Growing older with grace takes dedication to our own well-being, determination to face the challenges life sends our way, and lots of hard work. No one has all the answers…

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How to Play Secret Santa the Virtual Way Online

How to Play Secret Santa the Virtual Way Online

I raced down the stairs of my apartment building to eagerly check my mailbox for what seemed like the 10th time that day. A gift from my Secret Santa was due any day, and I couldn’t wait to see what it was and who had picked my present. My best friends and I, scattered across the country, couldn’t be together for our annual Secret Santa gift exchange, but instead of giving up, we just moved everything online. It makes…

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Oscar-Inspired Red Carpet Party Games for Adults

Oscar-Inspired Red Carpet Party Games for Adults

Here are a few game ideas to spice up Oscar Night. Don’t get me wrong – I love watching the Oscars each year, but I’ve got to admit, sometimes I get a little bored. I mean, I love all the glitz and glamour, but it just seems to go on forever. In fact, last year, I fell asleep and missed Viola Davis’ acceptance speech for best supporting actress. Of course, I YouTubed it later, but I was a little…

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