The History, Traditions, Beers & Fun Of Oktoberfest

The History, Traditions, Beers & Fun Of Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is much more than an almost 200-year-old party tradition. In 1809, Princess Therese Charlotte Luise von Sachsen-Hildburghausen was on the short list to become the bride of Napoleon Bonaparte. Crown Prince Ludwig, destined to become King Ludwig I of Bavaria, however, fearing that Napoleon would force him to marry a French princess, quickly chose Princess Therese as his German bride. On December 21 through 24, 1809, he visited Hildburghausen and chose Therese over her younger sister, Luise, who was…

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How To Beat The End Of Summer Blues

How To Beat The End Of Summer Blues

Sure, summer fun is over, but no need to get down-hearted. September is a month full of possibilities—the start of new school year, the beginning of fall, with our favorite holidays just around the corner, a time when a hint of promise floats in on cool evening breezes. We asked a few experts why they love September and how we can make the most of it. Here’s what they told us: Set a goal. Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert at…

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Useful Gifts For College Students: Creating the Ultimate Care Package

Useful Gifts For College Students: Creating the Ultimate Care Package

While it might not be as exciting to focus on useful gifts for college students over entertaining ones, in the long run, your college student will thank you. After all, when college students are off on their own for the first time, they’ll likely forget about those little things that used to be available as needed, like salt and pepper shakers or a fridge to hold perishables. Parents who don’t want their kids living off Ramen for…

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The History of Labor Day

The History of Labor Day

What’s Labor Day really all about? It’s the first Monday in September and the last hurrah of summer. The last BBQ , last camping trip, last pool party before the kids are back to school and work gets busy again. But what is Labor Day and why do we celebrate it? The History of Labor Day Labor Day is rooted in the rise of the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s. Laborers worldwide found steady work in factories and mines—but worker…

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How to Make Back to School More Fun

How to Make Back to School More Fun

It’s hard to think of anything more universally loved by kids than summer vacation. Camp, swimming , long, unscheduled days with friends—and, let’s be honest, parents who are a little bit more relaxed about screen time for a couple of months. As we say goodbye to the lazy days of summer, how can we help make back to school more fun for the whole family? Get Your School-Year Groove Back Amanda Carman, a teacher and owner of Excited2Learn suggests planning fun activities…

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How to Beat the Summer’s Almost Over Blues

How to Beat the Summer’s Almost Over Blues

Summer is not over yet, there’s still a few weeks left to lounge in your unicorn pool float or spend the day munching on nothing but ice cream and rosé. Enjoy every moment you can of these last few weeks, but know that the end is in sight. To ease the pain we all feel this time of year, we’ve come up with a few ways to beat the summer’s (almost) over blues. Plan a Staycation Vacations are an amazing end-of-summer tradition, but…

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The Art Of Japanese Gift Giving

The Art Of Japanese Gift Giving

I met my husband while teaching English in Japan many years ago. Last summer, we took our sons to Tokyo and Kyoto to see the country we’d fallen in love with. Before we’d even left Shinjuku Station, my boys were fascinated by the world’s greatest vending machines—and the mountains of beautifully wrapped treats and souvenirs on display at every train station and department store. The gorgeous boxes made even simple mochi treats seem like something special. The…

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Gift Ideas for a Long-Distance Relationship: So Close Yet So Far Away

Gift Ideas for a Long-Distance Relationship: So Close Yet So Far Away

Any couple who has tried it knows how challenging long-distance relationships can be, and sharing thoughtful presents is a good way to keep the spark alive. Some of my best gift ideas for a long-distance relationship occurred when I was in the military. It used to take a lot to keep my relationship going with my significant other, and I was constantly looking for clever ways to stay connected. I wanted to find a way to not…

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Summer Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

Summer Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

  It’s wedding season and for many of us, that also means it’s anniversary season. It’s time to celebrate the one you cherish most and show them how much you care, today and everyday. For many of us anniversaries can creep up, so plan ahead, set a yearly reminder in that calendar and make this time of year a time you focus on you and your special someone. From a once-in-a-lifetime hot air balloon ride to a personalized game with…

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10 Best Science Fiction Classics – An Anytime Gift Guide

10 Best Science Fiction Classics – An Anytime Gift Guide

Almost everyone loves a good book. Here at Elfster , books are some of our favorite gifts. So, without further ado, here is our guide to the top 10 classic science fiction novels of all time, suitable for giving year round. First, what qualifies a science fiction book to be considered among the “best?” Ideally it uses a great story and well-developed characters to explore concepts about, well, everything: society, race relations, religion, technological advancement, space, time, humanity’s place in space…

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Bday Gift Ideas For Your Best Friend: Make Her Birthday Special

Bday Gift Ideas For Your Best Friend: Make Her Birthday Special

I gave one of my greatest birthday gifts for my best friend when I was just a kid. On her 8th birthday, I got her a “best friends” necklace. You might remember the kind. It was actually two necklaces, connected by one heart, that you could split in half and share. To this day, we both still have our halves, even if they are a bit weathered from time. That’s the great thing about bday gift ideas for your best friend —even if what…

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How to Make Baby’s First Birthday Gift Registry

How to Make Baby’s First Birthday Gift Registry

Preparing for your baby’s first birthday party also creates another first for your baby: a first birthday gift registry. When you’re planning a first birthday party for your kid, I can’t recommend using an online registry highly enough. My first birthday party for my son went the way most first birthdays go; it wasn’t so much a party for my baby as it was a party about him. As a one-year-old, he had very little idea of what was going on—including…

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Celebrate Christmas in July with a Summer Gift Exchange

Celebrate Christmas in July with a Summer Gift Exchange

Christmas in July is the perfect excuse to plan a festive summer soiree and give guests all the holiday feels smack dab in the middle of the summer.  It’s also the perfect time to do a summer gift exchange since July is prime time for retailers to offer major deals on seasonal goodies. There are a few key elements you need to successfully pull off a Christmas in July gift exchange party. Planning A Christmas in July Party First off, you need some…

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The Best Fourth of July Gift Basket Ideas for a Patriotic Celebration

The Best Fourth of July Gift Basket Ideas for a Patriotic Celebration

If you’re looking for Fourth of July gift basket ideas, then your goal should be creating something patriotic, exciting, and useful. That’s what I focus on when I make favors for my annual Fourth of July barbecue to ensure my gift baskets will be a hit. I also look for items that are economical, as I’m buying a lot of baskets for a lot of people. Plus, Independence Day isn’t a time when you usually shell out…

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The History Of Father’s Day

The History Of Father’s Day

LiveScience.com tells us that one Sunday in May, 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd sat in a church in Spokane, Washington listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. She had never known a mother. Hers had died in childbirth, leaving her dad to raise the newborn Sonora and her five siblings by himself. On that day she decided that her father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War Veteran, should have a day established to honor him. The next year Sonora petitioned the city to recognize…

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Must-Have Wedding Registry Items: Creating the Perfect Wedding Wish List

Must-Have Wedding Registry Items: Creating the Perfect Wedding Wish List

It’s easy to miss the must-have wedding registry items that you’ll need to build a cohesive home for you and your partner when you’re in the midst of wedding planning. After all, there’s a lot to keep track of! When I was first married, I didn’t realize quite how much stuff I’d need. It was a bit of a learning curve when I discovered that my new husband lived a bare bones existence while everything I had…

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Celebrity Book Club Hosts Book Exchange to Express Love of Reading

Celebrity Book Club Hosts Book Exchange to Express Love of Reading

Read any good books lately? As I stare at the stack of unread books that has accumulated on my bedside table, I’m overwhelmed by my options. Like many folks, my favorite indulgence is curling up with a really good book to soothe my mind, but let’s face it, with our busy lifestyles these days, we don’t have much time to spare. So when it comes to how to spend my “me” time, I need a little help converting that “to-read” pile into my “best…

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How to Host the Best Secret Santa Book Exchange

How to Host the Best Secret Santa Book Exchange

A circle of moms in my neighborhood once hosted a Secret Santa book exchange but with a unique twist. We were supposed to give our giftee a book that best described us, and the receiver was supposed to guess their giver’s identity based on the book. It was a lot of fun and a really great way to get to know everyone. We enjoyed the event so much that we decided to make it an annual event….

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The Top Father’s Day Gift Basket Ideas

The Top Father’s Day Gift Basket Ideas

My dad is practically impossible to buy for. It seems like he already has everything and either wants for nothing or wants something so specific I’d have to be a mind reader to guess it.   I know I’m not alone in this issue. After all, dads are notoriously hard to buy for. So, every year when Father’s Day rolls around, I find myself scouring the internet for gift basket ideas . There’s a method to my madness. I figure if I focus on…

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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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