Gift Giving

The No-Wrap Gift Guide

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this week you’ve probably stocked up on more loot than a chipmunk with a hoarding complex. But if the idea of wrapping one more present has your packing peanuts in a jumble, you might want to consider these nifty no-wrap solutions! Elf Week rookies, these tips won’t help you much on the Wrapping Paper Relay, but they’re sure to save you a bundle of time and energy this holiday season…

1.) Let Pretty Packaging Pull Its Weight

Festively designed products not only look spiffy under the Spruce, they practically do the work for you when it comes to presentation. We love this adorable package of Pancake Mix from Chasing Fireflies, and these Scented Candle Tins from Voluspa. With not a stitch of Scotch Tape in sight, they’ll be the prettiest gifts ever to grace your tree skirt.

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Christmas

Santa’s Choice: World Cookie Recipes

This Christmas, don’t be caught with your oven mitts off… We’re giving you a list of Santa’s all-time favorite cookie recipes from around the globe. With these international favorites on the plate, Santa is sure to stop by your place first this year!

Crumb roll, please…

Raspberry, Olive Oil and Thyme Shortbread (Great Britain)
Meringue and Raspberry Baskets “Korzinki” (Ukraine)
Ma’moul Cookies (Lebanon)
Chocolate-Dipped Palmieres (France)
Almond Cookies (China)

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DIY + Handmade

Easy-as-Pie Thanksgiving Placemats

History unfolds right before your pies, with this precious pop-up placemat idea! We love how PubliQue Living transforms plain sheets of recycled paper into charming table pieces for every occasion. But in the Pilgrim spirit of “making do,” this Thanksgiving, we just had to try the idea ourselves… DIY-style!

We armed Intern Steph with some Bristol Paper and an X-Acto knife, and told her to re-create the Mayflower for our Thanksgiving table… After a good cry, she got right to work and this was the result! Say what you will of her historical accuracy (or the judiciousness of giving an intern a knife), we think Stephanie did the pilgrims proud on this one, and here’s how you can create your own!

Materials:

• Large sheet of bristol paper or poster board
• X-acto knife
• Pencil

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Holidays

Ye Olde Thanksgiving Small-Talk

“Stick a fork in it.” This might be a top-notch tip for preparing a turkey, but we think it should generally be avoided in Thanksgiving dinner conversation. We know that families are under a lot of pressure to amp-up their suppertime small-talk, especially on this nationally sanctioned day of quality time. So to better prepare for a lull in the conversation, Elfster suggests you inject a splash of humor, and history, into this year’s festivities. You can get the Butterball rolling by using these pilgrim-approved words of thanks:

• Father, I am most mightily beholden to you for the generous portion of slaw.

• Mother, I see the lima bean casserole has not returned for this year’s festivities, and I give you many thanks.

• Grandpa, I am very much obliged to you for your tips on the art of turkey-basting, but please stand aside.

• Thanks with a bowed heart for sparing us the details of your last trip to the podiatrist, Uncle Jim.

• Aunt Midge, a thousand times I thank you for hinting at the parsley betwixt my teeth.

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Christmas

Announcing “Elf Week” 2010!

With the holidays closing in faster than Rudolph on a sugar rush, we’ve now officially entered what the reindeer call “Mush-Time”… and the Claus has got no room for error on his team! That’s why the week of December 20th, we’ll be devoting our entire agenda to the training and initiation of Santa’s most promising, up-and-coming little helpers. It’s called “Elf Week”… and it isn’t for the feeble-footed! As the name implies, it separates the Oafs from the Elves, building character and moral fiber with each event!

So how does one train for such a rigorous week? You could practice by bobbing for halibut, or birthing a set of reindeer twins. You might even try brushing up on your coal-mining skills for Santa’s Naughty List. But you’ll be glad to know, as a loyal Elfster blog reader, you’ll get an extra leg up in the competition.

In honor of Elf Week, we’ll be showing you a slew of helpful tips, tricks and holiday advice right here on Wish Fulfillment, the Elfster blog! As the event approaches, keep your eyes peeled for our fun and informative series of posts called “Elf-Help”.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at Elf Week 2010’s calendar of events:
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DIY + Handmade

DIY Fall Fridge-scape

A freezer-burned chicken cutlet is no reason to give your fridge the “cold shoulder” this fall! Here’s a simple way to clear the shelves and show your icebox some well-deserved appreciation. For a fabulously fanciful fridge, try this pretty new eco-friendly craft!
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