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Category: Holidays

Elfster Group Supports Black-Owned Businesses for Juneteenth Gift Exchange

Elfster Group Supports Black-Owned Businesses for Juneteenth Gift Exchange

“If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho’ we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.” – Martin Luther King Jr. Today, communities all over the nation will come together to celebrate an unofficial holiday — Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day, Liberation Day and Jubilee Day) — to commemorate the abolition of slavery in the United…

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4 Fourth of July Party Games to Add a Unique Twist

4 Fourth of July Party Games to Add a Unique Twist

Summer, summer, summer! There’s no better time to celebrate freedom, family, friends, and fun. But how do you throw a unique party everyone will love?  Fourth of July party games are joyful, engaging, and provide excitement whether you’re gathering online or in-person for a midsummer holiday celebration. You can even host a Secret Santa gift exchange with Fourth of July gifts as part of your patriotic tribute. Then, you’re sure to make this the best holiday yet.  4 Fourth of…

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5 Out-of-this-World Star Wars Secret Santa Ideas

5 Out-of-this-World Star Wars Secret Santa Ideas

I don’t want to date myself, but I was excited to see Return of the Jedi in the theaters. I was young enough to be terrified of the Sarlacc and pretty freaked out by the Emperor, but at that point, it didn’t matter. I was a hooked Star Wars fan and have been ever since (so, like 15 years… right?).  I get pretty excited every May the 4th, and I bet you do, too. It’s the best day to have…

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5 Best Earth Day Gift Ideas for Work Parties

5 Best Earth Day Gift Ideas for Work Parties

I volunteer for the Party Planning Crew at my job. A few years ago, we were trying to plan an Earth Day party, and things started to get out of hand. We were going to have green eggs and ham, then tree-themed decorations, then balloons… and that’s when we realized we were forgetting the real meaning of the holiday.  Earth Day is a celebration of the planet and a renewal of our commitment to try to reduce our impact and…

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The Best Way to Make a Mother’s Day Wish List

The Best Way to Make a Mother’s Day Wish List

When I was a kid, I gave my mom a unicorn wallet for Mother’s Day. She asked me, “Is this a gift for me or for you?” Looking back, the number of unicorns in my collection was in the triple digits, while mom had exactly zero.  Fortunately, I’ve come a long way since then. Still, it can be tricky to figure out what to get for a mom who seems to have everything. The best way to ensure you pick…

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5 Easter Party Games that will Make Everyone Hoppy

5 Easter Party Games that will Make Everyone Hoppy

When I was a kid, we used to play in the cornfields behind my aunt’s house every Easter. Then, when I was 10, the cornfields were turned into a subdivision, complete with a big park. This was extremely exciting. There were places to run around! There were swings.  But things were, well, changing. The formerly distant outpost on the outskirts of Chicago was becoming more of a suburb. It was time to update some of our Easter traditions.  Everyone has…

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The 7 Best Eid Gift Ideas for Friends

The 7 Best Eid Gift Ideas for Friends

Ramadan can perhaps be understood as a gift you give to yourself. Through your faith, you are given the gift of quietude, of contemplation, or thoughtfulness. You give yourself the gift of thinking about others through charity. You have the gift of peace.  Eid, of course, is at the end of Ramadan, it in and of itself is a gift: the dawn at the end of the night; the new day for a newly-refreshed you. But, in addition to the…

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5 Fun Games to Play on Eid

5 Fun Games to Play on Eid

Chances are, when you think about Eid, you think about sweets. After all, after a month of fasting for Ramadan, the candies and breads and sticky gooey things of Eid are extremely satisfying. Across the Muslim world, there are hundreds of traditional sweet goods that remind you of breaking the fast.  That’s not all there is to Eid, of course. Eid is about getting together with family and friends to celebrate each other and your faith. Ramadan is a time…

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How to Make an Easter Wish List the Easy Way

How to Make an Easter Wish List the Easy Way

I have a confession about Spring: I don’t actually know what a crocus is. I know that people start to feel the warmth of Spring when the crocuses bloom from the ground, but I couldn’t identify one. It’s probably green? At least maybe the stem?  What I do know is that Spring, to me, is defined by Easter. Whether it’s a late or early Easter, it always carries with it an air of warmth, of sunshine peeking through the clouds,…

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Secret Santa for Eid: Tips for Celebrating with a Gift Exchange

Secret Santa for Eid: Tips for Celebrating with a Gift Exchange

There are few religious observations in the world with the solemnity and consecrating power of Ramadan, with its month of fasting, observance, and dedication. Consequently, there are few celebrations with as much joy and happiness as Eid al-Fitr, held at the end of Ramadan. It’s a time of cheer, joy, and gratitude.  And while that’s the basic outline—fasting during Ramadan, celebrating at Eid—there is no one way to recognize Eid. How could there be? Islam is a global religion that…

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How to Host an Eggcellent Easter Gift Exchange

How to Host an Eggcellent Easter Gift Exchange

When I was a kid, I had some questions about the Easter Bunny. Now, Santa—I got that guy. Big dude, cool sleigh, lots of presents. But why was the Easter Bunny hiding eggs? Why did he want us to color the eggs first? And why was he on his hind legs?  That said, there was candy, so I didn’t question it too much. You want to hide eggs? Knock yourself out, Bugs. I’ll be eating some jelly beans.  But that’s…

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Host the Perfect Galentine’s Day Gift Exchange to Celebrate Sisterhood

Host the Perfect Galentine’s Day Gift Exchange to Celebrate Sisterhood

My wife and I were discussing whether she and her friends were going to do something this year for Galentine’s Day on February 13th, and we started talking about what they’d done in the past. Of course, we could only go back so far. After all, the holiday was invented by a TV show in 2010.  But it doesn’t seem that way, does it? When Leslie Knope first told us about “Galentine’s Day” in Parks and Recreation, it was so…

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3 New Year’s Eve Gift Exchange Games to Start the Year Off Right

3 New Year’s Eve Gift Exchange Games to Start the Year Off Right

Saying the holidays are hectic is like saying water is wet. Everyone knows that. There’s so much hustle and bustle packed into a few short weeks. There are office parties and family parties and visits and shopping and more. New Year’s Eve comes almost as a surprise; like, “Oh yeah, now this.” That’s why we use New Year’s as a time to exhale, relax, and reflect. Our main tradition is to gather a small group of friends who we didn’t…

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How to Make a Hanukkah Wish List

How to Make a Hanukkah Wish List

Every year, our friends Greg and Becky throw a latke party for Hanukkah. Becky is Jewish, and they’re raising their children in that faith. Since the kids were born, it’s been interesting and fun to see the gatherings incorporate more and more of her family traditions. We’ve learned a lot about the history and importance of this joyful holiday. One question that often comes up from non-Jewish attendees is about gifts. Namely, “Do you have to give gifts for all…

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Top Inclusive Winter Holiday Gift Exchange Ideas

Top Inclusive Winter Holiday Gift Exchange Ideas

Every year, my wife and I host a Christmas party. We’ve got a playlist with both classics and obscure novelty songs, all the lights, a tree, eggnog, the whole nine yards. Over the years, it’s become a favorite tradition among our friends and family.   But last year, as we were making the playlist, we started talking about how weird it was that we only had Christmas music. After all, there are a lot of different holidays towards the end of…

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The History and Origins Of New Years Eve Celebrations

The History and Origins Of New Years Eve Celebrations

Saying farewell to the old year and welcoming in the new is a celebration observed around the world. In most countries it takes place on January 1. The festivities usually begin on December 31, which we call New Year’s Eve, and continue into the wee hours of January 1, New Year’s Day. The most popular traditions include attending parties, preparing and eating special New Year’s foods, watching fireworks displays and making resolutions for the coming year. The History Of New…

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How To Be Happy During The Christmas Holidays

How To Be Happy During The Christmas Holidays

Putting the “Me” Back in Merry: 15 Self-Serve Holiday Hacks What have you done for you lately? Don’t worry, Elfster is here to help. Somewhere between the age of childlike wonder, and getting all excited about car insurance, the holiday ritual loses its luster of revolving completely around you. We’ve all watched this scene play out: One day, Little Starry-Eyed You outgrows your finest pair of footie pajamas, and what happens next? The grown-ups suddenly buck! At the first sign of…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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