Get into the Spirit of Christmas Without Spending a Dime

Get into the Spirit of Christmas Without Spending a Dime

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

How To Host A Tree Trimming Party | Tips, Ideas and More

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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Re-Think Your Christmas Newsletter | Ideas, Tips and Insights

Re-Think Your Christmas Newsletter | Ideas, Tips and Insights

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

How To Give The Best Thanksgiving Toast

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

Fun Facts About Thanksgiving and Its History

  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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Halloween Candy Trivia, Fun Facts and History

Halloween Candy Trivia, Fun Facts and History

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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A Cupid Worthy Valentine’s Day Gift Exchange Game

A Cupid Worthy Valentine’s Day Gift Exchange Game

I’ll never forget the first time I got mail. It wasn’t in my family’s actual mailbox; I was at school, and it was Valentine’s Day . The feeling of happiness that washed over me as I took all the cards out of the little mailbox I’d made from construction paper was like nothing else. There were notes from all my classmates, a token of our friendship. Granted, I was 6 and it was mandatory that if you made a…

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Chinese New Year Party Games

Chinese New Year Party Games

Every year on January 1st at 12:00 am, I can be found usually wearing some outlandish dress, bright and bold red lipstick, and covered in confetti. It’s my favorite holiday, but it wasn’t until college that I realized not everyone celebrates the new year on the Gregorian calendar’s schedule. My Chinese-American roommate brought me home one weekend to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year with her family, and I decided I wanted to find out more about the wonderful…

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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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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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