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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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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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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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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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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The Best Secret Santa Funny Gifts for a Goofy Gift Exchange Game

The Best Secret Santa Funny Gifts for a Goofy Gift Exchange Game

Getting goofy for a Secret Santa gift exchange can be a bit difficult if you’re like me; the kind of person whose jokes are usually greeted by awkward silence. While most people are thrilled with a Secret Santa funny gift exchange, I usually struggle, wondering if my gag gift is going to fall flat. Lucky for me, the internet is a thing. You don’t have to be funny when you can buy funny—or at least get a few decent ideas for…

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Cool Tech Gifts Under $30 He’ll Love

Cool Tech Gifts Under $30 He’ll Love

Swat! Swat! I watched rapturously as my sister clicked around the screen. We had just gotten our first computer, a PC that came with a few floppy discs, including our favorite new game, Swat the Fly. God forbid we actually help our mom swat flies when summer rolled around, but this was cutting-edge technology! How far we’ve come since that first computer! These days, I have not one but two laptops, a smartphone, an e-reader…the list goes on…

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Creative Out-of-the-Box Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Creative Out-of-the-Box Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

I’ll never forget my first Valentine’s Day in high school. I was sixteen years old, head over heels for my high school sweetheart, and thrilled to finally be allowed to go on a date on a school night. I waited nervously at the window for him to drive up in his parents’ car, clutching a handmade card and the gift I’d bought him—his favorite cologne and chocolates. When he finally arrived, he came to the door with a dozen…

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National Have Fun at Work Day Game Ideas

National Have Fun at Work Day Game Ideas

I smelled the burning coffee before I saw it. My coworker Jana looked up from her desk and asked if anyone else smelled something funny; I took a big whiff, then bolted out of my chair and sprinted to the breakroom. It was January 2nd, and in my sleepy post-holiday state, I had forgotten to put a coffee filter in the machine! Going back to work after the holidays is always interesting. Summer is far away, everyone’s a…

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The Most Creative Gift Exchange Game Ideas for Your Next Party

The Most Creative Gift Exchange Game Ideas for Your Next Party

Gift exchanges aren’t just for Christmas, silly!”, my coworker Kathryn laughed as she closed her laptop and got up to refill her coffee. She had just told me she was planning a getaway weekend for the girls at our office at her parents’ lake house. But when she told me she was organizing a gift exchange for the occasion, she immediately picked up on my puzzled look. A few weeks later, ten of us ladies were tearing open…

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Relaxing After the Holidays: Gifts to Give Yourself

Relaxing After the Holidays: Gifts to Give Yourself

Let’s face it, the holidays can be draining. Now, I absolutely love Christmas and New Years, but by the end of the festivities, I am utterly exhausted. All the shopping , traveling, cooking, feasting, and visiting really takes it out of me, and I crave some quality downtime. It’s like I need a holiday from the holidays! Last year, I decided to do just that when the festivities were over. I wanted to start the year feeling rested and rejuvenated rather…

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Four Pampering Gift Ideas for Her Healthy New Year

Four Pampering Gift Ideas for Her Healthy New Year

Every January, as I sweep up balls of wrapping paper and Christmas cookie crumbs, I ponder how I’ll make a positive change in the coming months. Making New Year’s resolution is a fun and inspiring tradition for me, but my sister has been staunchly against resolutions for years, insisting no one ever keeps them anyway. However, this year brought some fairly serious health scares to my sister and she finally gave in, agreeing to make some resolutions to improve…

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Health and Fitness Gifts for Him to Kick Off a New Year

Health and Fitness Gifts for Him to Kick Off a New Year

I love my brother Sam, but wow, is he a pain to shop for! One year, I bought him a video game, but he never played it. His girlfriend Kelly later told me, in whispers, that he only played first-person shooters. I had gotten him the wrong kind of game! Then last year, he grew a beard, which he really got into. So I bought him a fancy beard grooming kit, complete with oils and brushes. When…

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Funny and Festive Secret Santa Game Reveal Ideas

Funny and Festive Secret Santa Game Reveal Ideas

“Please tell me! Pleeeease!” my niece begged over the phone. We were two weeks away from Christmas, and she was dying to know who drew her name for our family’s big Secret Santa game. “The surprise is part of the fun,” I explained, knowing full well that hearing such words was agony to a seven-year-old. I remembered how, when I was a kid, my sister and I would conspire with our cousins to trade gift recipients and…

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Easy Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

Easy Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

“They’re here! They’re here!” my kids squealed, running between the just knocked-upon front door and the kitchen, where I was elbow-deep in sugar cookie dough. My sister was slated to arrive for a Christmas visit that night, but she was two hours early. Not to worry! I thought, remembering all the time we spent meticulously cutting out and decorating cookies when we were kids. I wiped the dough off my hands and ran to the door, flinging…

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Hanukkah Gift Giving Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

Hanukkah Gift Giving Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

My best friend Sadie married the kindest, funniest, most thoughtful man. We always say she won the lottery with Evan! And while there are many things I admire about their relationship, what I find most interesting is their unique holiday traditions. Evan’s mom’s side of the family is Jewish, so Sadie celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas every year. As you can imagine, their December is jam-packed with celebration, gift-giving, and delicious feasts. A few years back, the two of…

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