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Category: Holidays

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 red…

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A Cupid Worthy Valentines Day Gift Exchange Game

A Cupid Worthy Valentines 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 card for…

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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 family…

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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 little more…

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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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Tips and Tricks for Throwing a Last Minute Party for New Year’s Eve

Tips and Tricks for Throwing a Last Minute Party for New Year’s Eve

Impromptu—it’s one of my favorite words, but funnily enough, impromptu gatherings always throw me for a loop. I prefer to plan and prepare for everything well in advance, but that changed last year when my husband and I decided to throw a last-minute party for New Year’s Eve. A day before the big countdown, we ran into a friend who asked if we had any New Year’s plans. I tried to change the subject, as I was looking forward to…

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Traditional Kwanzaa Gift Ideas to Make Homemade

Traditional Kwanzaa Gift Ideas to Make Homemade

I was in college the first time I was invited to a Kwanzaa celebration. Some girls in my dorm were hosting a Kwanzaa feast in the common room and asked if I wanted to come. Honored that they wanted me to witness this special celebration, I said yes. But in the days leading up to the event, I realized I didn’t know much about the holiday and decided to do some research. Kwanzaa first began in the 1960s as a…

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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 them…

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Inspiring New Year’s Eve Party Games for Adults

Inspiring New Year’s Eve Party Games for Adults

I’m not one for wild and crazy New Year’s parties. Instead, I like to slip on a cozy pair of slippers and spend the night at home with my husband, a few close friends, and a a bunch of yummy snacks. Every year, as the clock ticks closer and closer to midnight on December 31, we take some time to reflect on all the wonderful things the last year has brought. As we flip through photos of our adventures, our…

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Fun Thanksgiving Day Games For After Dinner

Fun Thanksgiving Day Games For After Dinner

A loud rumbling came from the living room. Then, suddenly, it stopped. My sister and I froze, terrified, until we heard a voice: “If you girls wanted more pie, you should have just asked!” While the grownups were taking their post-Thanksgiving naps, we decided to get that last slice of pie we assumed was off-limits. But when we woke my dad, he gladly served us another piece. It was a rare moment when the grownups and kids interacted after the…

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Gratitude-Inspired Thanksgiving Activities for Families

Gratitude-Inspired Thanksgiving Activities for Families

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”  —Melody Beattie The house smells of turkey and sage as my family eagerly gathers around the table. Like every year before, we join hands and take turns sharing what we are grateful for before tucking into…

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Enchanting Halloween Treat Bag Ideas for a School Classroom Party

Enchanting Halloween Treat Bag Ideas for a School Classroom Party

I haven’t always loved Halloween as much as I do now. I was a timid and sensitive kid so, naturally, Halloween was never my favorite holiday. It was too scary for me and all the candy gave me a tummy ache. But that all changed when my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Campbell, threw a Halloween classroom party. We bobbed for apples, drew faces on pumpkins, and danced to the monster mash. The best part, though, was the treat bags. Three parents…

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The 3 Most Spooktacular Halloween Party Games for Adults

The 3 Most Spooktacular Halloween Party Games for Adults

“Is that your cat?” I asked as I scooped handfuls of candy into the younger boy’s trick-or-treat bag. The older boy, holding the cat, said, “Yup! He loves Halloween just as much as we do.” I had been waiting all night for trick-or-treaters, but most seemed reluctant to approach my apartment which is, not kidding, behind a funeral home. But these kids had seen my lights from the street; I had orange lights in the shape of an arrow pointing…

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The Best Eid al-Fitr Gifts for Traditional Ramadan Gift Giving

The Best Eid al-Fitr Gifts for Traditional Ramadan Gift Giving

The sacred and solemn holiday of Ramadan is a time of prayer, of reflection, and of charity. It is a time of peace, where one prays for the world—and for themselves. It’s not for focusing on small worldly and bodily needs, such as food, but for seeking out your inner quietness for answers to spiritual matters. That makes it a time of fasting, when food cannot be eaten between dawn and dusk. To mark the end of that most holy…

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Ochugen and Oseibo Gift Ideas: Japanese Customs and the Tradition of Giving

Ochugen and Oseibo Gift Ideas: Japanese Customs and the Tradition of Giving

What do you say when you give someone a gift? No, not “here,” or “look, I got you a gift,” but what is your gift saying? What are the wordless messages you are passing along when someone opens that special thing you gave them? There are a million possibilities but at the core, at the purest level, you are saying: I value you. In Japan, gift-giving is less about the gift itself as the meaning behind it, which is why…

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Celebrating National Sugar Cookie Day With Recipes That Kids Can Make

Celebrating National Sugar Cookie Day With Recipes That Kids Can Make

Comedian Gary Gulman said it best when he said, “Every cookie is a sugar cookie. A cookie without sugar is a cracker.” Sugar cookies have a reputation for being a bit basic in the baking world but, for me, they conjure up all sorts of delicious food memories from my childhood. There were the long days spent at my grandma’s house, when my mom would send me over with a box of sprinkles and all the makings for a basic…

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The Best Fourth of July Party Theme Ideas for Food, Fun, and Decor

The Best Fourth of July Party Theme Ideas for Food, Fun, and Decor

Fourth of July gatherings have always had a special place in my heart—the smells of the barbecues and sunscreen; the sights of folks in their red, white and blue attire; and the sounds of the crashing beach waves or the splashes of the swimming pool all add up to my favorite summer memories. Growing up, we’d alternate between wildly festive block parties at my aunt’s house and holidays spent at a little green cottage on the beach in Southern California….

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The Best Traditional Kwanzaa Gifts to Make and Give

The Best Traditional Kwanzaa Gifts to Make and Give

Kwanzaa has always been one of the world’s most exciting holidays, especially in North America. It is a burst of light and color, of sun and laughter, emerging brightly into the coldest and darkest days of the year. It’s a celebration of heritage, but it isn’t one stuck in the past. It creates a vibrant tapestry of the past, present, and future, looking toward the next day while honoring the last. Kwanzaa is a unique holiday in that it comes…

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Canadian-Themed Party Food and Game Ideas to Celebrate Canada Day in the USA

Canadian-Themed Party Food and Game Ideas to Celebrate Canada Day in the USA

On July 1st 1867, the nation of Canada was officially born with the enactment of the Constitution Act. Today, the country celebrates July 1st with all things red, white, and Canadian. And just two years ago, the holiday marked Canada’s big 1-5-0 birthday party. Celebrating the holidays of other nations is a fun way to explore pieces of history from an array of cultures that abound around us—like our red and white neighbors up north. Let’s help our friends celebrate…

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Unique Diwali Gift Ideas: Celebrate India’s Festival of Lights Around the World

Unique Diwali Gift Ideas: Celebrate India’s Festival of Lights Around the World

The word Diwali, with its upward-lilting last syllable, already carries within it a lightness and a note of grace. That’s fitting, too: A translation of the word reads “rows of lighted lamps,” a beautiful and warm image invoking peace, warmth, and openness. Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights in India and around the world, is one of the high points on the Hindu calendar, a day when light triumphed over darkness. And it’s that selfsame light that we…

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DIY Father’s Day Gifts from Daughter: Easy Last Minute Homemade Gift Basket Ideas

DIY Father’s Day Gifts from Daughter: Easy Last Minute Homemade Gift Basket Ideas

  “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person — he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano When I think of my father, there are poignant and particular things that come to mind: There’s the beep of the coffee maker when it’s finished brewing, and his hands pouring the hot coffee into his favorite sunshine yellow mugs from Hawaii; the countless warm San Diego evenings spent on the front patio where he barbecues chicken drumsticks or…

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Feliz Dia de la Reyes: Three Kings Day Gift Ideas for a Royal Celebration

Feliz Dia de la Reyes: Three Kings Day Gift Ideas for a Royal Celebration

The story of Christmas doesn’t begin or end on the 25th. There’s an entire holiday season full of parties and gifts that leads up to Christmas Day. And, for many around the world, a hugely important Yule-inspired holiday is celebrated after the new year: Three Kings Day (or The Feast of the Magi), known in many Latino cultures as Dias de la Reyes. It’s a day that is as venerated and fun-filled as Christmas morning. Dias de la Reyes, which…

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A Freilichen Purim! Gift Basket Ideas to Celebrate Spring, Community, and Life’s Joys

A Freilichen Purim! Gift Basket Ideas to Celebrate Spring, Community, and Life’s Joys

Late winter and early spring are, for everyone, imbued with a sense of rebirth and excitement. It’s a time to escape the long winter—and look forward to the light. For the Jewish people, though, it means something more. It is the time for Purim, to celebrate when they were saved from annihilation at the hands of the Persians. It’s more than a party for the rebirth of spring; it is celebrating the miracle of existence.  And what a celebration it…

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Patriotic Party Ideas for Your Memorial Day BBQs and Backyard Block Parties

Patriotic Party Ideas for Your Memorial Day BBQs and Backyard Block Parties

Memorial Day signifies the unofficial start of summer when light sweaters are replaced with swim suits and backpacks are replaced with beach bags. Growing up, this often meant holidays spent around a beach bonfire with roasted s’mores, grilled hot dogs, and homemade flag cakes. Some years, the holiday was spent at large backyard gatherings of close friends, with music, swimming, barbecues, and water balloon fights to fill the day. However you celebrate this weekend, in honor of those who have…

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