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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Sparking Controversy: White Christmas Lights or Multi-Colored?

Sparking Controversy: White Christmas Lights or Multi-Colored?

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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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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How To Practice Gratitude For Greater Health and Happiness

How To Practice Gratitude For Greater Health and Happiness

‘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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Fall Hostess Gifts That Will Get You Invited Back

Fall Hostess Gifts That Will Get You Invited Back

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

Books to Hook Your Middle Schooler on Reading

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

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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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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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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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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Phish Chicks Group Hosts Music-Themed Gift Exchange To Celebrate Band

Phish Chicks Group Hosts Music-Themed Gift Exchange To Celebrate Band

It’s not just the music; it’s the lifestyle. And for the past three decades, the rock band Phish has created a community of devoted, and some might say obsessed, fans all over the world who can’t get enough of the band’s groovy jams. If you love them, it’s easy to get lost in the band’s music as you soak in the love and happiness they bring with them on tour. Over the course of the band’s time…

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Famous Last Words of Summer

Famous Last Words of Summer

A moment of silence for the summer season . It came. It went. It left us with sand in our car we’ve hardly had a chance to vacuum. To commemorate its passing, we’d like to pay homage to a seasonal tradition that is as American as reality TV and apple pie. We of course refer to the dysfunctional family vacation. This particular outing tends to meet a swift and sobering end; typically marked by a single, resonant quote which echoes on in…

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