Elfster Blog http://blog.elfster.com Birthday & Holiday Party and Gift Exchange Ideas Mon, 10 Dec 2018 21:30:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 10 Secret Santa Strategies To Keep Your Giftee Guessing http://blog.elfster.com/2018/12/10/secret-santa-strategies-tactics/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 21:30:01 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10185 Playing dirty? Perhaps. Totally worth it? Oh, yeah. So you think Secret Santa is just a quaint little yuletide pastime, something akin to fireside chats and a merry jaunt around the mall in a tiny Victorian train? Don’t fall into the trap, folks. Secret Santa is, and always will be, a GAME. That’s right, a GAME. And in games, as in life, there are winners and there are losers in this game of strategy. A riddle: At the end of your yearly...

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Get into the Spirit of Christmas Without Spending a Dime http://blog.elfster.com/2018/12/03/how-to-get-into-the-spirit-of-christmas/ Mon, 03 Dec 2018 14:00:50 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10179 Christmas is the season of giving, but it doesn’t have to be the season of spending. If you’re ready to jump into the spirit of Christmas but don’t want to break your bank, try these fun ideas from Lauren Goldberg, founder and principal planner of New York-based Electric Celebrations . Get fancy… Dressing up instantly changes your mood and makes a regular trip out feel like a special occasion. Whether it’s your family shindig or brunch with friends, put on that dress that always sits...

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How To Host A Tree Trimming Party | Tips, Ideas and More http://blog.elfster.com/2018/11/26/how-to-host-tree-trimming-party/ Mon, 26 Nov 2018 14:00:21 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10175 This year, kick off the holiday season a little differently by inviting friends and family to help decorate your tree . Tree trimming parties are a great chance to get into the Christmas spirit together, before the whirlwind of shopping, travel, office parties, and kid-related holiday programs takes over. How to Host a Festive Tree Trimming Party Check out these tips from expert party planners on hosting a festive tree trimming party—from a relaxed family-friendly brunch to a more sophisticated evening gathering. Set the scene There’s no need...

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Sparking Controversy: White Christmas Lights or Multi-Colored? http://blog.elfster.com/2018/11/19/white-christmas-tree-lights-vs-colored/ Mon, 19 Nov 2018 14:00:17 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10170 Reflections on the only RIGHT answer. For all this talk of love and joy , nothing flips a switch in the hearts and minds of merry-makers like the same old holiday showdown that sets-off every season. We’re not talking about “Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?” Not “Eggnog or apple cider?” Not even “Harmless mall Santa or creepy old dude in a leisure suit?” (That’s a separate blog post.) The question in question is, of course: “White Christmas tree lights or multi-colored tree lights?”...

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Re-Think Your Christmas Newsletter | Ideas, Tips and Insights http://blog.elfster.com/2018/11/12/christmas-newsletter-ideas-tips-insights/ Mon, 12 Nov 2018 14:00:41 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10177 Oh, look at that. Little Preston landed himself on the Honor Roll this year. What mirth, what joy!  And what a load of self-serving humbug. Maybe you’ve noticed, or maybe you’ve skated by on the assumption that your life is that interesting, but Christmas card correspondence has reached peak redundancy in this age of constant communication. Social media gives us a platform to share, and over-share, life’s most moderately impressive moments. And yet, the barrage of bragging rights continues every...

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How To Give The Best Thanksgiving Toast http://blog.elfster.com/2018/11/05/thanksgiving-toasts/ Mon, 05 Nov 2018 14:00:20 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10021 The tradition of giving thanks for bountiful harvests has been around for thousands of years, probably from the dawn of agriculture. Harvest festivals and thanksgiving celebrations have been recorded by peoples such as the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, Chinese, Greeks and Romans. The Etiquette Scholar tells us the practice of friends toasting one another dates back to the Middle Ages. It resulted from people’s distrust of each other. Poisoning was so common that, as a cautionary measure, drinkers poured a bit of wine into each...

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Fun Facts About Thanksgiving and Its History http://blog.elfster.com/2018/10/22/fun-facts-thanksgiving-history/ Mon, 22 Oct 2018 21:00:56 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10024   Thanksgiving isn’t just about Native Americans, turkeys and watching football. In fact, turkey was not even served at the first Thanksgiving dinner. According to Charles C. Mann in his book, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus , the first meeting between the Pilgrims and the natives was a public relations affair. John Carver, the first governor of the Massachusetts colony, and Massasoit, leader of the Wampanoag Nation, negotiated a treaty. In it, the Wampanoag Nation agreed to allow the Pilgrims to stay there and to...

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How To Practice Gratitude For Greater Health and Happiness http://blog.elfster.com/2018/10/15/how-to-practice-gratitude-for-greater-health-and-happiness/ Mon, 15 Oct 2018 13:00:30 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10446 ‘Tis the season to give thanks , and it turns out counting your blessings is actually good for you. Tina B. Tessina, PhD, a California-based psychotherapist and author of  It Ends with You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction , tells us,  “Happy people have an easier life, bounce back from problems, and generate love. Research demonstrates we are hard-wired to focus on problems, which creates physically and emotionally damaging stress.” But Dr. Tessina has seen clients improve their well-being by changing their behavior. “Practicing gratitude helps you notice good things, reduce...

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Halloween Candy Trivia, Fun Facts and History http://blog.elfster.com/2018/10/08/halloween-candy-trivia-fun-facts-and-history/ Mon, 08 Oct 2018 13:00:47 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10019 According to History.com, Halloween , an American holiday celebrated every year on October 31, originated in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). Over 2,000 years ago the Celts occupied what is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and parts of France and Spain. November 1 was the beginning of the Celtic New Year. They believed that on the night before the New Year, the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. The Celtic priests, or Druids, built huge sacred bonfires...

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Fall Hostess Gifts That Will Get You Invited Back http://blog.elfster.com/2018/10/01/fall-hostess-gifts-that-will-get-you-invited-back/ Mon, 01 Oct 2018 13:00:20 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10499 The weather is getting crisp and the days are getting shorter. It’s time for the new school year, new football season and Halloween. With all of the social gatherings on the calendar this time of year, we’ve rounded up some ideas for what to bring the host or hostess to make sure you get invited back year after year! Tailgate Supplies It’s football season, and that means it’s tailgating time ! Don’t show up empty-handed to your next big tailgate. Instead bring something to...

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Books to Hook Your Middle Schooler on Reading http://blog.elfster.com/2018/09/24/middle-school-book-list-to-hook-your-child-on-reading/ Mon, 24 Sep 2018 13:30:22 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10344 I’m a life-long reader. I was that kid who couldn’t put a book down. In sixth grade alone, I tore through every book Agatha Christie ever wrote. When I had kids, I just assumed I’d given birth to fellow readers. Imagine my surprise when, as my boys entered elementary school, they preferred (gasp!) playing at the park with friends to being holed up with a book. When my oldest was in third grade, I was so grateful when Harry Potter fever hit...

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The History, Traditions, Beers & Fun Of Oktoberfest http://blog.elfster.com/2018/09/17/history-of-oktoberfest/ Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:00:33 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10273 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 http://blog.elfster.com/2018/09/10/how-to-beat-the-end-of-summer-blues/ Mon, 10 Sep 2018 13:00:06 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10298 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 http://blog.elfster.com/2018/09/03/useful-gifts-for-college-students-creating-the-ultimate-care-package/ Mon, 03 Sep 2018 13:00:50 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=9612 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 the next four...

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The History of Labor Day http://blog.elfster.com/2018/08/27/the-history-of-labor-day/ Mon, 27 Aug 2018 19:45:05 +0000 http://blog.elfster.com/?p=10014 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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