Unique Gift Ideas For Aficionados of All Kinds

Themed gift ideas are some of the easiest types of gifts to purchase. In fact, today there are all sorts of items manufactured with an impressive medley of themes, making it simple to create a cute, extraordinary-looking gift basket. It’s best to make a list of ideas before you begin your shopping to avoid getting distracted and forgetting about something that you wanted to include in the gift basket.. Some ideas are presented below for various aficionados of all kinds. Simply purchase as many of the suggested or similar items as you can afford and a basket that will hold them.

Themed Gift Ideas

  • Gift ideas for the weather buff: a weather calendar, a book on weather-related topics, a weather-themed coffee mug, a weather vane, wind chimes, sun dial, outside thermometer, weather-themed wall art, and a DVD on hurricanes, storm series, or worst winter storms. Purchase a gift basket that will hold all of the items.
  • Gift ideas for  the traveler: a membership in AAA, a recently compiled collection of regional maps, and a few handy travel items, including a roll of quarters, flashlight, and first aid kit. You can either place the items in a large gift basket with a small duffle bag or you can purchase a large backpack to hold all of the gifts.
  • Gift ideas for  the gardener: a colorful array of new gardening supplies, books, and plants. Every gardener can use replacement tools after years of use so don’t worry that they might already have them.
  • Gift ideas for the fisherman: a deluxe tackle box, stuff to put inside the tackle box, a few books or DVDs on fishing, and a t-shirt with a fishing related theme.
  • Gift ideas for the deep-sea fisherman: a few tickets for fishing excursions throughout the season, DVDs about deep-sea fishing, and a fishing cap.
  • Gift ideas for the person with a new part-time career: items that will come in handy on the new job such as coupons for local eateries, date book, and stationary.
  • Gift ideas for the grandparent: a few photograph albums and journals, tickets or membership to a kid’s museum located near the grandchildren, coffee mugs stenciled with "grandparent," or key rings that have grandparent on them.
  • Gift ideas for the shut in: a year of premium television channels, prepaid membership to a book-a-month club, a month’s supply of canned goods, or a bunch of jigsaw puzzles.
  • Gift ideas for the college student: phone cards, snacks, stationary, gift cards, gift baskets filled with goodies, or prepaid memberships to movie theaters or local gyms.
  • Gift ideas for the tech-savvy individual: gift certificates to computer stores, computer software, or computer peripherals such as speakers and external hard drives.
  • Gift ideas for children: story books, videos or DVDs, music CDs, board games, computer games, toys, or gift cards.

Simply think about the kind of gifts  that you like and that you would like to receive. Then, think about the individual whom you are purchasing a gift for and try to come up with a unique spin on the type of gifts that they like. Include gift receipts whenever possible, just in case the gift recipient already has the item.

Gift Baskets, Gift Basket Shopping, Holiday Gifts, Christmas Baskets, Birthday, Get Well, Thank You

GIFT BASKETS ONLINE AT ADORABLE GIFT BASKETS where gift basket shopping is Secure, hassle free and just plain fun.

gift-baskets-send-gifts-basketWHAT ARE GIFT BASKET OCCASIONS?
Gift baskets make incredible gifts for anyone, anytime. You don't really need a special occasion to send a gift. Create an occasion and make it extra special.

WHAT DO GIFT BASKETS INCLUDE?
Items include Gourmet Food Gift Baskets, Tea, Coffee, Cheese, Crackers, Cakes Cheesecakes, Popcorn, Food, Candy, Cookies, Muffins, Baked Goods, Bread, Crackers, Chocolates, Sausage, Snacks, Candy, Fruit, Cheese, Bath, Relaxation Spa, Bath and Body Products, Candles, Flowers and more.
WHAT ARE GIFT BASKET IDEAS?
Gift basket ideas include thinking of you presents, promotional gifits, thanks, business client appreciation, weddings, mothers, housewarming, sympathy, grandparents day presents, husband, boyfriend, Mother, daughter, grandma, kids, clients, weddings, welcome, new home, over hill birthday, romantic, child, happy mothers day, bridal, promotional, professional, mothers, kids, promotions, special event, parties, celebrations, corporate events, condolence, wedding and bridal showers, bridesmaid favors, new year, care packages, gift boxes, cookie tins, fathers day, friends and family.

fruit-send-fruit-baskets WHAT ARE THEME GIFT BASKETS?

Theme baskets are Celebration gifts for almost any event such as Happy Birthday, New Babies, Thank You, Weddings, Coporate, New Mom, New Dad, Father's Day, Grandparents Day, Administrative Professional, Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, Real Estate Closing, Golf, Football, Fishing, Sports, Basketball, Over The Hill, Valentines Day, Easter, St Patricks Day, Cheer Up, Baby Showers, Retirement, July 4th, Customer Appreciation, Holiday, Christmas, Get Well, Staff Recongition, House Warming, Going Away Party, Anniversaries, Reunions and just about any other occasion.

The Holidays Are Here, Use Discount Coupon: SANTA To Receive 5% All Christmas Purchases

TF-DOUBLE-POINSETTIAAs soon as the weather turns colder our hearts jump up with the warm feeling of the holiday season and the excitement of gifts, fruits, sweets and cheer fill our minds. More than ever before, we wish to make the time of year more enjoyable, happier, much
more beautiful and colorful than all the rest of the year combined.

Adorable Gift Baskets online holiday gift selection provides you with so many different gifts, gift baskets and incredible gift ideas for memorable holiday gift-giving this festive season. Our complete holiday gift catalog affords you the opportunity to make the best holiday gift selections of great value and unsurpassed elegance.

Remember Holidays past when each year it was the same old drill of pushing your way through crowded shopping malls to find your gifts, standing in long checkout lines, dragging home pounds of luggage that had to be wrapped and standing in long lines at the post office. Well, great news, those days are long gone. We have taken the pain out of holiday shopping for you.

Online Holiday Gift Shopping at Adorable Gift Baskets is safe and secure enabling you to find perfect gift selections fast and easy. Shopping at Adorable Gift Baskets is a wonderful experience keeping you safe and comfortable in your own home or at your office. Simply point and click. We do the rest and you get all the credit.

Use Discount Coupon: SANTA.

Click here to shop now!

Tips to Find Delightful Gift Baskets Online

a-holiday-sweet-basketGift baskets bring joy and delight any time of the year.  Choosing the right gift basket is always easy when you shop online at Adorable Gift Baskets.  There are many to choose from and we've put together some tips to help you find just the right gift basket for your loved one, whether shopping for a friend, relative, spouse, child, or even a co-worker.

A Variety of Assortments

At Adorable Gift Baskets the baskets and containers used to make the basket made of wicker, rattan, wire, or other materials all of which are are upscale and high quality and well as their contents.  Some gift baskets are unique or decorative, made of items such as planters, bowls or bakeware, tubs, buckets, pails, treasure trunks, etc.  There are even gift containers that appeal to children such as trucks, sand buckets, or other fun containers.   Gift baskets are available  in a variety of assortments and sizes.  They might be adorned in ribbons and decorative bows with candies, goodies or other unique products.  Our packaging is beautiful and will appeal to your loved one as well as keep the items safe during the shipping process.  For most occasions you will have the gift basket shipped directly to your loved one's home, a hospital, funeral home, or workplace.  At Adorable Gift Baskets your gift is guaranteed to  survive the shipping process without any damage.

Consider the Occasion

Gift baskets themes are categorized  according to occasion or holiday. This simplifies the process and makes it easier to find the right basket for your loved one. Holiday gift baskets can include Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentine's Day, Hanukah, or a number of other holidays. For romance, there are baskets made specifically for romantic evenings or to say "I love you" to your sweetheart.  Gift baskets are also available for birthdays, thank you gifts, corporate gifts, kids' gifts, anniversaries, baby showers, weddings, bereavement, and many other special gift-giving times.  Use our convenient search feature or gift  categories to narrow your search.

Choose a Gift Basket Theme for that Special Someone

Adorable Gift Baskets offers a number of themes to add a personal touch to your gift. You can choose a theme according to what your loved one enjoys. It could be golfing, music, reading, snacking on sweets and treats, drinking coffee, relaxing in the tub with spa bath products, or lighting candles for scent and decor. Does your loved one like to cook? A cutting board gift with accompanying foods might do the trick.  You can make the gift as unique and personal as you want.

Price and Shipping for Gift Baskets

Gift basket pricing can vary, depending on the size and type of basket as well as the assortment of products within. High quality baskets and assortments will cost a little more, but are usually well worth it.  Adorable Gift Baskets specialize in creative baskets to help you find that unique gift your loved one will treasure.  Use these tips to find that perfect, high quality gift at an affordable price.

Click here to shop now!

10 Characteristics of the Perfect Gift Basket

g-Metropolitan-Food-Gift-BasketGift baskets are unique, personal, and cater to certain needs or occasions.  Most gift baskets have a particular theme that's just right for holidays,anniversaries,birthdays,sympathy, or special celebrations. Outlined below are 10 characteristics of the perfect gift basket.  You can compare gift baskets while shopping using these thoughtful distinctions to find that perfect gift for your loved one.

1.  Gift Basket Appropriate for the Occasion

Since gift baskets often haveunique themes, be sure the one you choose fits the occasion.  For example, you wouldn't send a bubbly, cheery gift basket meant for a surprise birthday gift to someone who has a terminal illness. Instead, you might choose an inspirational gift basket with some goodies and inspirational reading materials. You wouldn't give a bath-and-beauty gift basket to someone who's just lost a loved one.  You would likely give them a gift designed specifically forbereavement.

2. Gift Basket Filled with High-Quality Products and Goodies

Find food gift baskets that are filled with high quality items and foods.  Look for brand name goodies when buying a basket with chocolates, cookies, coffee, candies, cheeses, and other gourmet food items. Also, look for baskets with other high quality products such as lotions, soaps, candles, bath-n-body products, toys, teddy bears, books, etc.  You might pay a little more for better quality, but your loved one will appreciate the careful choosing of their gift.

3.  Personalized Gift Basket

Gift baskets should be personalized to fit the recipient's likes.  At Adorable Gift Baskets, you will find hundreds of basket styles and assortments to choose from so it's easier now than ever to find just the right one. You can cater to their wants and needs all in one basket. Look for a theme that best suits them.  The gift basket might contain candy or chocolate, gourmet foods, soup, wine and cheese, coffee, an inspirational book or book of poems, business items, gift certificates, "breakfast in bed" foods, spa therapy products, baby products, kids' stuff, and many other great gifts.

4. Gift Basket that Cheers or Pampers Someone

The perfect gift basket will cheer and pamper your loved one. It will bring a smile, laughter, or uplift the soul in times of need. It will say "I love you" or "I'm thinking of you" on any special occasion. It will cheer the heart of a loved one who lives far away or a friend who's near and dear to your heart.

5.  Gift Basket Creates a Desire to Indulge

Your gift should be so delightful that it causes your loved one to be anxious about opening it and indulging in all the wonderful goodies within. The assortment of gourmet cookies or goodies should look, smell, and taste delicious.  Choose a gift that shouts "open me now and enjoy!"

6.  Gift Basket Makes Recipient Feel Loved and Appreciated

A well-chosen gift basket causes your loved one to feel loved and appreciated.  When you take the time to carefully choose a basket with all their favorite items, it lets them know that you took the time to be thoughtful of them.  They’ll know you truly want to meet their needs and bring happiness know matter what the occasion.

7. Gift Basket Packaged with Unique Detail and Delight

Packaging is one aspect that makes a gift basket really special.  Gifts can be packaged carelessly with no organization or thought, or they can be packaged with special care and creativity. Choose a gift basket that is packaged well with all the frills and designs to make it unique.  Look for colors and designs that your loved one would likely prefer. Be sure you can include a personal note to your loved one if you plan to order online and wish to have it delivered directly to their home.

8. Gift Basket Displays Generosity

Be generous with your gift.  Avoid shopping by price only, but spend a little more to get a quality basket that your friend or loved one will adore.  Consider shopping online at Adorable Gift Baskets to save gas money and time so you can spend a little more for a beautiful gift basket. You might find some great bargains around the holidays or a great free shipping offer on ahigh quality basket.

9.  Gift Basket Surprises the Recipient

Gift baskets can be sent to your loved ones as a surprise gift for their birthday, anniversary, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or other occasion. Have the basket delivered to their home unexpectedly or leave it on their desk at work when they're not around.  They'll be surprised when they see a gorgeous basket with all their favorite goodies!

10.  A Gift Basket Your Loved One Can Actually Use   

 Choose a gift basket  with useful items and delicious goodies that your loved one, and all those around them, can enjoy.

Click here to shop now!

Holiday Gift Basket Ideas, perfect holiday gift basket for everyone on your shopping list.

a-new-california-food-collect-gift-basketJust by exploring different avenues of your imagination, you can come up with many ideas for making the perfect Christmas basket. To begin with, you need to first decide who you are creating the gift basket for. Next you want to get an idea of something that person really likes. A gift basket that is put together with a certain person in mind according to what they like, shows you put forth an effort to picking out the perfect gift. You will find that the baskets are more appreciated if you spend a little time on putting them together.

For example, if you are putting together a gift basket for your thirteen year old niece, and her favorite things are makeup and music, you have many different ways to go. You could start off with picking out her favorite bottle of perfume, and then add several different shades of nail polish. You could then pick out a large bottle of fruity bubble bath, since this is a favorite when it comes to gifts for women. Find out her favorite music artist and finish the basket off with a couple CD’s by her favorite artist.

If you are putting together gift baskets for a large number of family members, or acquaintances, you may want to consider cooking. You could whip up a batch of homemade peanut brittle and wrap pieces individually. Next you can make your famous chocolate brownies. Chocolate chip cookies are another holiday favorite as well as hand decorated sugar cookies. Amish friendship bread can finish the basket off. Wrap your homemade goodies in red and green plastic wrap. Finish off the baskets by adding holiday bows. This way you can kill two birds with one stone. You just make enough goodies to fill several baskets at once.

Should you need a holiday gift basket for an office party, you could start off with a nice bottle of sparkling cider. You could then create a fresh fruit basket by adding several apples and oranges to the basket. Next, add some green and red seedless grapes for color, and to keep with the theme. Finish the basket with a chocolate dipping sauce or add chocolate dipped strawberries.

What about needing a gift basket for a man or male teenager? Most all teenage boys these days have some sort of gaming system that rules the TV after homework is done. You are going to want to find out what type of game system they have and a name of a game they may be interest in. Start you basket with that game. The newest rage with teenage boys after gaming systems is magazines about the games. These magazines contain codes that allow them to find different passageways to the games. Add a gaming magazine to your basket. Next, you can pick out a tee shirt that you think he would like. You can finish the gift basket with his favorite cologne.

These are just a few ideas on putting together the perfect holiday gift basket. You can come up with a million more yourself. Keep in mind that people all like different things. If you design a basket according to the persons likes, you will get an instantaneous smile. This will make the person feel special that you took the time to put together a basket just for them. The holidays are about making people feel special.

Four Easy Choices for a Hassle-Free Picnic

g-grand-indulgence-giftsThis article offers easy suggestions for a picnic any time of the year. The beauty of this list is that there is no planning required. Just take this article with you to the store and grab the items off the shelf. When you are at the store, you may find another item on the same shelf that you like better. Go ahead and grab it! Think of these ideas as jump-starters for picnic success.

These foods have been chosen carefully because they are inexpensive and do not require refrigeration. This is the perfect solution for a long car ride to your picnic destination. The only other items required are: a cooler with ice (for the drinks), plastic silverware, plates, cups, and napkins.

The first food is the appetizer of crackers and spreadable cheese. You can find an assortment of tasty, nonperishable cheeses in cans or jars at your grocery store. If you have packed a plastic knife, the cheese is easy to spread, but a fork or knife will also do the trick.

The second is food that does not require refrigeration. You can pack a loaf of bread, a bunch of fresh bananas, and a jar of peanut butter. For a yummy sandwich, spread one or two pieces of bread with peanut butter. Then add a layer of sliced banana pieces (like pepperonis on a pizza) in the middle. Some people might even prefer the added touch of a layer of mayonnaise on this sandwich.

The third item is a tray of fresh cut vegetables and a non-perishable container of French onion dip. If you are serving avid snackers, grab two or three containers of dip and a couple of bags of potato chips. French onion dip tastes great with potato chips. If you are anticipating guests with lactose intolerance, be sure to also grab a container of bean dip.

The dessert idea is simply selecting your favorite assortment of cookies (such as peanut butter or sugar cookies) from the dry goods aisle or the bakery. Cookies are popular among many eaters, and most cookies do not require refrigeration.

These recommended items should be easy to pick up in one quick trip to the grocery store. You can go on a spontaneous picnic and forget the trouble of meal planning. Don’t forget to pick up your favorite beverages to round out the meal. Enjoy your hassle-free picnic with easy cleanup and only dry food containers to bring home.

Click Here for more Picnic gift ideas...

Great Gift Ideas for Grandparents Who Have Everything

Surpassing preteens as the most difficult to buy for at the holidays, are our grandmas, grandpas and other seniors we know. They already seem to have everything they could possibly need or want. Vases, clocks, figurines and nice towels fill every room. When you ask them what they want for Christmas, they might tell you that they just want health and happiness for their family, or nothing at all, because they already have everything they need. As sweet as their answers can be, you still want to show them your love at the holidays, birthdays, Grandparent's Day, anniversaries, Easter and all occasions with a special gift.

Try some of the following gift ideas:

Gift Certificates. Encourage them to treat themselves by getting them a gift certificate in any amount within your budget. The great thing about these is that you know they will be able to select exactly what they want and will use and that they will think of you when they do. For a bonus, try to spend an afternoon taking them out to their favorite place yourself. You both will enjoy the time together.

Gourmet Gift Baskets. It is so easy to find a variety of delightful gift baskets to please any taste buds. There are also plenty of baskets which cater to certain diet restrictions, or conditions, in case you are worried about getting them something they can't eat. Try searching our online gift catalog for some great gift ideas. Send grandma and grandpa delicious cheese, fruit, crackers, teas, chocolates and jams. Just browse through our gourmet food gifts to find tasty snack food gift baskets, care packages, fresh baked cookies and a huge variety unique gift ideas. A thoughtfully selected gift basket is a gift which you know they will be sure to savor.

Flowers and Plants. You can sign them up for a flower of the month which will send them gorgeous bouquets every month, or every other month. Having fresh arrangements delivered to their home will fill them with happiness and warmth. For green thumb grandparent, you can do plants or send them a gardening gift basket as well.

So, maybe Grandpa has everything, but what grandfather wouldn't love to receive an antique gift chest filled with tasty snacks and treats. And grandmother is sure to enjoy a relaxing gift basket filled with bath and body products to help her relax. new set of pajamas once a year? Splurge on high-quality picnic basket filled with delicious picnic foods and sparkling cider. Or, buy them a good bedside book to polish off the bedtime package.

Coffee Gift Baskets are favorite gifts for grandparents. Grandmothers especially enjoy our charmingteapot gift baskets filled with all flavors of gourmet tea, tea cookies and goodies.

Is grandpa a sports fan? Then he's sure to enjoy one of our unique sports gift baskets. Golfing, fishing, football, racing fan; you will be able to find him the perfect gift to fit his interest.

Whatever you do buy, have fun with it. When in doubt, go with something practical you know they will use, or with something simple like flowers. Most grandparents will agree that they just want to spend time with their families, so make sure that you don't stress about their gifts. Enjoy the Christmas holidays with them, celebrate their birthday or anniversary with them, and they will always consider that the best gift.

Click here to shop now!

Holiday Gift Shop, Discount Coupons, Christmas Presents, Gifts, Gourmet Food and Fruit Gift Baskets, Chocolates, Cookies

discount-coupons-holiday-giftsThe Holidays Are Near - As soon as the weather turns colder our hearts jump up with the warm feeling of the holiday season and the excitement of gifts, fruits, sweets and cheer fill our minds. More than ever before, we wish to make the time of year more enjoyable, happier, much more beautiful and colorful than all the rest of the year combined.

Adorable Gift Baskets online holiday gift selection provides you with so many different gifts, gift baskets and incredible gift ideas for memorable holiday gift-giving this festive season. Our complete holiday gift catalog affords you the opportunity to make the best holiday gift selections of great value and unsurpassed elegance.

Remember Holidays Past when each year it was the same old drill of pushing your way through crowded shopping malls to find your gifts, standing in long checkout lines, dragging home pounds of luggage that had to be wrapped and standing in long lines at the post office. Well, great news, those days are long gone. We have taken the pain out of holiday shopping for you.

Online Holiday Gift Shopping at Adorable Gift Baskets is safe and secure enabling you to find perfect gift selections fast and easy. Shopping at Adorable Gift Baskets is a wonderful experience keeping you safe and comfortable in your own home or at your office. Simply point and click. We do the rest and you get all the credit.

Use Your Discount Coupon: SANTA to receive 5% off!
Click here to shop now!

Thank You Gift Ideas for Expressing Gratitude, Recognition, Appreciation and Thanks

g-thank-you-gift-boxThank you gift baskets are one of the most significant gestures to express ones appreciation, demonstrate recognition or to reward a contribution. Thank you gifts are often overlooked as a way to impress the other. Thank you gift ideas include gift baskets filled with gourmet food, fresh fruit, snacks, candy and thoughtful gifts that delight the person with much appreciation.

Thank you gift ideas vary for different occasions and individuals. In a business, for example, a thank you gift is perfect for your client after negotiations and can be a basket of fruit, bouquet full of flowers or a gourmet food basket.

A show of appreciation for staff members in a company is extremely important. Gifts of appreciation encourage employee loyalty and helps to ensure the futuristic growth of the company. Thank you gift ideas for the employees can be something which they enjoy such as a book gift, movie theme or snacks, relaxation gifts, a live plant or fresh cut flowers.

Your thank you gift should always be something which exceeds the expectation of the recipient. Gift baskets are affordable and the most popular of thank you gift ideas for the corporate employees.

Thank you gift ideas for your friends can be gift baskets of sweets, chocolates, cheese, cookies, gift towers etc. As per my opinion there aren’t many folks who don't like chocolates, and that may be the reason why everybody embraces chocolate as one of their perfect thank you gift ideas.

Giving praise and thanks for a specific task as soon as possible as the event occurs is the most effective way of conveying your gratitude. Adorable Gift Baskets offers the most memorable thank you gift baskets for clients, personal and corporate gift giving with fast delivery.
Click here to shop now!

Reindeer Food for Santa's Reindeer; A Gift For Kids To Give

reindeerThis week we’re going to talk about reindeer food. What do you leave out for Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve? I usually leave a couple of carrots near Santa’s milk and cookies for him to give to the reindeer when he returns to the sleigh.

I’ve been thinking this over and the reindeer must be getting very tired of carrots. So I thought about what else reindeer might like to eat and I came up with a recipe. I also thought that children might like to eat some sort of reindeer Christmas treat. The following recipes are what I came up with.

Reindeer Food; What you will need:

  • 2 cups of oatmeal
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (if you don't have brown sugar, you may substitute white, however, brown is better for the reindeer.)
  • ½ cup carrots, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons of cake sprinkles
  • Water

    What to do:

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Add water a bit at a time and mix with your hands. When the mixture is crumbly, you are finished.
  • On Christmas Eve, spread the mixture across the front lawn for Santa’s reindeer.

    They will be able to have their snack while Santa is putting your gifts under the tree and enjoying his milk and cookies. The oats in the recipe will give Santa's reindeer lots of energy for their trip.

    Now for a snack for the good girls and boys on Santa’s list. This is fun and you will enjoy both making and eating these delicious muffins.

    Reindeer Muffins; What you will need:

  • 1 package of oatmeal muffin mix
  • ¼ cup of shredded carrots (be sure and shred them finely)
  • 2 chocolate chips (raisins can be substituted) for each muffin
  • chocolate icing
  • maraschino cherry for each muffin
  • red licorice

    What to do:

  • Make muffin mix according to the package directions
  • Add ¼ cup of shredded carrots
  • Bake according to package directions.
  • When muffins are done, remove them from the oven and let cool.
  • Ice with chocolate frosting. Add a cherry for the nose, chocolate chips or raisins for the eyes and 2 small pieces of red licorice for the antlers. Delicious!!!


    Click here to shop now!
  • How To Say Thank You, Thank You Gifts. Unique thank you gift baskets and gifts of thanks. Thank you gift ideas.

    The Wisconsin Cheeseman - Delicious Gifts Saying "Thank You!" Is More Than Good Manners. No matter what kind of business you have, you reach a point where you need to thank a customer, client, or visitor. Be it for a purchase, a sign-up or a referral.

    I have several years of experience in non-profit work, which included volunteer management. The rule of thumb there is you thank each volunteer 7 times for one action. No, you don't say 'thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.'

    You ought to thank them at various 'natural points': at the time they express interest in volunteering, at the time they show up to work, when they leave. But then you should also thank them in other ways. Often a thank you letter, printing their name (or group name) in a brochure or event flyer, and at the year end, offer a small thank you recognition, such as a certificate or an item with the organization's name on it.

    These little things make a person feel appreciated *and* keep them connected to your organization. Getting & training volunteers is an expensive part of operating a non-profit organization, so keeping them is much better in the long run. And it is no different in businesses that you run for profit. Everyone talks about how much cheaper it is to retain customers than it is to go out & attract new ones. So what are you doing to thank your customers, your clients? Here is a short list of both 'natural points' or places to say thank you on your website as well as other ways to surprise them:

    Subscriber sign-ups: When a surfer joins your email list, newsletter etc., they have shown interest in your company. They are pre-qualified. After they hit submit, send them to a Thank You Page, where there is an incredible offer to thank them for signing up. (Be sure to include a link back to your home page, so even if they decline the offer, they can still find you!)

    Those who buy items: Include with the order a 'bounce back' coupon with a special thank you discount or free item with their next purchase.

    Clients: Consider purchasing your clients gift subscriptions to their favorite professional magazines as thanks for their business. Each issue, they'll be reminded of you.

    Everyone: Keep a list of all clients/customers and do a yearly mailing. Pick a date to thank everyone for their support. I personally think this should not be Holiday theme one, as 'everyone' does that, and you are one of how many companies? But a solo one on say your company's anniversary, or some other unique date, means you will not have to compete for their attentions!

    Who: Other times to say 'Thank You'

    Referrals: Anyone who sends business your way deserves recognition. When you are late on shipping or providing a service - not just an emailed apology or explanation 'at the time' to announce it, but a follow up with sincerity! Service providers, vendors, those you network with - thank them for all they do to assist you, and remember, they are people with purchasing power themselves!

    How: What stands out. Send a personal, hand written Thank You Note. People who send personal notes are thought of as gracious, of having excellent manners, and since so few people do it, you'll appear as a clear cut above the rest! Sometimes, we try to be so creative, so original, we overlook the simple kindnesses. Classics do work. Who doesn't like to be thanked?!

    Article by Deanna Dahlsad

    Click here to shop now!

    Make Your Own Gift Baskets, Creative Gift Basket Ideas You'll Love, Fun Gifts To Make and Give

    Any gift basket containing gifts is, well, nice—but why not punch up the excitement factor of your gift collection with some creativity and pizzazz. The following article is full of ideas for giving the perfect gift "baskets" to family and friends for various special occasions.

    It’s an old idea that deserves a return to fashion—a bridal bouquet comprised of colorful sewing supplies like thread, embroidery thread, pin cushions, ribbons, etc…Even if your bride-to-be is not known to be a seamstress, this creative gift is more than a novelty. Anyone needs a needle and thread from time to time. If, however, she can’t sew a stitch, offer her a bouquet of pretty toiletries—small scented soaps, sachets, small containers of bubble bath etc…

    Or, go with her wedding’s color theme or that stick to "something blue" and fill a blue container or basket with all sorts of blue trinkets: hand mirror, picture frame, wedding album, sachets, scarf, pin, dishes, etc…

    A great gift for a first time apartment renter is to stuff a basic kitchen garbage can with cleaning supplies—the kind of useful stuff no one wants to buy, but will most certainly need. You might even decorate the can to match their décor. Fill with cleaning agents, sponges, dishtowels, soaps, sprays, scented candles, bristles, brushes—all the necessities to make for a clean place to live!

    Another great housewarming gift basket idea is to fill a large planter with seed packets, garden gloves, small watering can, gardening/landscaping guide, sun hat, gift certificate, small plant, etc…

    For the baker in the family, why not fill a huge dish drainer with some new muffin pans, recipe book, cookie cutters, decorative baking tins, a few sweets, etc…The dish drainer also makes a great hub for a glass collector filled with vintage glassware you’ve been collecting for them as well as antique painted dishes, etc…

    Sending a sweetie off to college? Purchase a college-size backpack and load it up with: toothbrush, toothpaste, pens, notebooks, journal, photo frame, disposable camera, treats, gift certificates to McDonalds or Starbucks, pocket dictionary, socks, and anything else that will fit and be a pleasant reminder of home for your college bound kid. An alternative is a hamper filled with all the supplies they’ll need to do their own laundry while away!

    Most men appreciate tools, so why not give a toolbox filled with handy gadgets, tools, and things for around the house like nails, picture hooks, various hardware items, etc…and a gift certificate tucked somewhere inside for something from his favorite store will be a nice touch!

    Buying for a guy that has it all? Get a hold of the biggest styrofoam cooler you can find and fill it with all the goodies he loves to munch on. Have a friend with champagne tastes? Fill a picnic basket with a great bottle of sparkling cider and small samples of tasty gourmet foods.

    Another idea for the hard-to-buy-for is to find out their home town, home state or where they attended college and fill it with items pertaining to the place: sweatshirt, t-shirt, keychain, cup warmer, buttons, bumper sticker, book, throw, commemorative items, etc…

    For the intellectual in the family, simply cover a cardboard box with some classical paper or prints of old maps and furnish with thoughtful items like a leather journal, a designer pen, tickets to a play in town, a magnifying glass, a special paperweight, some novel bookends, a magazine subscription and some books they may want to read.

    If you need something special for a little princess, consider filling an old jewelry box to the brim with jewelry you accumulate from yard sales and thrift stores. If she loves to play dress up, strands of faux pearls, dangling bracelets and rhinestone pins will be greatly appreciated.

    When it comes to furnishing your gift pantry with items, pick up medium-sized baskets whenever you can find them on clearance. They can be enhanced and decorated for any occasion. Add some red and green velvet to the handle and fill a basket with some lovely glass ornaments, a holiday cd and a small bottle of sparkling cider and you’ve got a great gift for any hostess as you make the holiday rounds. Antique teacups and saucers along with an infuser and some lovely herbal teas can easily fit into a small basket making for a very sweet remembrance.

    Packaging plays a major role in the creativity of your gift basket. Always be on the prowl for wood boxes you can make over, papers, ribbons or other items that can easily be stored until needed.

    Too busy to make your own gift basket? No problem! We've done all the work for you! Click here to choose one of our uniquely designed gift baskets. You'll find the perfect gift basket for every occasion!

    GIFT SHOPPING? Save Time & Money. Shop Online Now & Ship Later. Mail Order Gift Baskets & Gifts. A Major Benefit You Can't Afford to Miss

    holiday-gifts-click-here-to-shop-now

    Beat the Gift Rush:  Choose Gifts now and have them Shipped Later for Free! 

    Finding the perfect gift for a birthday, holiday or other special occasion is not always an easy task. 

    Fortunately, there are many occasions when a unique gift basket says it all.  Whether it's for a corporate holiday gift, family Christmas gift basket or even a get well, thank you or sympathy gift, you can find many holiday gift ideas online right from your own computer.

    If you're pressed for time or want to be sure the present arrives on time, you can buy now and have the gift basket shipped later to your home or directly to your loved one.  It's like mail order without the long wait!  You can even take advantage of save on your order! Below are several key benefits of buying your gift baskets now.

    No More Crowds for the Holidays

    It's no fun fighting the crowds as they rush to buy those last minute Christmas gifts.  That's why it is a good idea to shop for holiday gifts early. In fact, you can even shop for items like Christmas gift baskets online.  This can equal tremendous savings on your "X-mas" gift list!  Holiday gift baskets make wonderful - and inexpensive- Christmas gifts for loved ones, co-workers and close friends. 

    As you browse the online catalog , you'll feel like you’ve just switched places with Santa Claus!  Our gift basket catalog enables you to choose from many categories and gift basket styles.  Gourmet food baskets, chocolate gift baskets, coffee gift baskets, fruit baskets, golf theme baskets and care
    packages
    - these are all on the menu.  If gift baskets aren't your style, try a seasonal gift tower or seasonal gift box. 

    By taking advantage of free ground shipping and/or an advance delivery schedule for your Christmas gift baskets, you can have peace of mind knowing it will be delivered on time without costing a fortune!

    Corporate Holiday Gifts

    For a corporate holiday gift idea , why not plan ahead and order corporate gift baskets for your employees or clients?  Imagine the money you'll save by securing your corporate gift baskets now.  Gifts delivered ahead of time can be put away in a safe place until the holiday season.

    Plan Your Gift Giving Months in Advance

    Make a list of the presents you will need to buy for the next several months.  On the list you might include birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, special events and the names of those who will receive Christmas presents.  If you have a busy schedule, you can do all your shopping at once from your home without taking time out of your schedule for each occasion.

    A Convenient Way to Gift Shop

    Shopping from your home online is easy
    because you can take your time and choose gift baskets that fit well with the occasion and the person.  Also, you can shop any time of the day.  Gift basket shops online are not limited by openings and closings.  Browsing through online holiday gift baskets is a relaxing experience because there’s no rush and you have all the shopping “aisles” to yourself!

    Never Forget an Important Gift-Giving Occasion

    Are you forgetful?   Buying now enables you to do your gift shopping well in advance so you never have to forget another occasion.  Surprise your spouse by remembering your anniversary without constant reminders!  Distant loved ones will appreciate your thoughtfulness because you always send them a unique gift basket right on time for their birthday or the holidays.  There are seasonal gift baskets available online year round for occasions such as Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, etc. so you can always stay ahead of the game.

    You'll discover savings like never before by shopping for Christmas gift baskets and other gift items online.  With so many gift baskets to choose from, you can plan ahead for many occasions without worry!

    Memorable and Affordable Ideas for a Great Christmas Season

    Christmas is the best time of year for many people, and it is a time for family members and friends to gather together for good times, good food and of course lots of good presents. While many of us like to splurge on luxury goods at holiday time, it is possible to create some lasting Christmas memories without breaking the bank. The best Christmas presents are not always the most expensive ones, and in fact some of the most memorable presents are often the most affordable as well.

    In fact, some of the most special and memorable holiday gifts are special food items, created and given with love. Simply baking a dozen of your favorite Christmas cookies can provide a wonderful gift for the loved ones on your list. You may want to include a special family recipe with your cookies, so that those special friends and family members can create their own special gifts whenever they want.

    One of the best food based gifts to give or get is a mason jar filled with the dry ingredients needed for your favorite cookie recipe. Add flour, sugar and other dry ingredients to the jar, seal it well, and top it with an attractive bow. Then attach a colorful copy of your favorite cookie recipe and fasten it securely to the jar. This simple and inexpensive gift makes a great choice for teacher gifts, gifts for colleagues and contacts at work, and those last minute presents for relatives and friends who drop by unexpectedly.

    Homemade candles can make great gifts as well, and you can use those same mason jars to create some colorful and beautiful candles for family members, friends and coworkers. Melting different colors of wax can create some interesting and unique patterns, making each gift a special work of art.

    Other types of arts and crafts can also make wonderful and memorable gifts for those on your holiday list. The type of gift you choose will depend on your own skills and interests. For instance, if you love to paint or sketch, why not create a special portrait for family members and friends?

    Special personalized gifts are always a big hit at holiday time as well, and these personalized items can be quite inexpensive to create. Simply purchasing a number of different items, such as mugs, wine glasses, candles or picture frames, from your favorite store, and using your on creativity to personalize each item for family members and friends, can yield some truly memorable gifts for those you love. There is nothing quite as memorable as receiving a gift that was made just for you, and with a little bit of creativity creating such a gift is possible, no matter how small your holiday budget.


    Click here to shop now!

    Christmas Traditions Around The World


    Christmas lights, wreaths, snowmen, and stockings are just some of the things that come to mind when people think about Christmas.

    The Christmas holiday in the USA is celebrated with church services, gifts, carols, and food. Although individual families have different traditions, the general celebration is typically the same. Across the world, however, Christmas is celebrated in different ways. For instance, not all children eagerly wait for Santa. In other parts of the world, different Christmas characters are celebrated. Here are some countries that celebrate Christmas in slightly different ways than the USA.

    China
    Instead of decorating the Christmas tree with glass ball ornaments, the Chinese hang paper ornaments. These ornaments are usually in the shape of lanterns, flowers, and chains of many different colors. Chinese children do not wish for Santa Claus to arrive. Instead, they wait for Christmas Old Man to arrive and fill their stockings with goodies.

    Germany
    In the USA, typically an exchange of gifts occurs on Christmas Day. In Germany, however, December 6th is the day children wake up to find presents by their door. December 6th is called St. Claus day.

    Ireland
    Christmas in Ireland is more about religion than gift giving. The women in the house make pudding for Christmas, the Twelfth Night, and New Year. Each person living in the house is also given a seed cake. After the meal, food is left outside an unlocked door to symbolize hospitality.

    Mexico
    Mexican children are blindfolded on Christmas morning. They are taken to break a piñata filled with candy. While Mexican children receive gifts on Christmas day, they also get a gift on January 6th from the Three Wise Men.

    Italy
    On Christmas, Italian family members gather around the Urn of Fate. They take turns drawing empty boxes and presents. Each person receives one gift. At night candles are lit and children recite poems by the candle light.

    South Africa
    In South Africa, Christmas falls during the summer. The celebration is similar to that of the USA. They decorate with wreaths, sing carols, give gifts, and have a feast. However, meals are usually eaten outdoors and December 26th is also declared a public holiday: Boxing Day.

    Families around the world have beautiful Christmas traditions. Learning about different cultures and traditions makes life fuller. The more people learn about other cultures, the more harmonious the world will be.

    Click here to shop now!

    How To Care For Flowers

    1. Remove any leaves that may be under water. While holding the stems under water in a sink or under running water, cut about one inch off each stem with a sharp knife or shears. DO NOT let the newly cut end dry off before transferring it back to your arrangement or other container.

    2. Water to which a good floral preservative has been added is the best solution in which to arrange fresh cut roses. Using it as recommended will provide additional days of vase life. Avoid using water from a water softener. If no floral preservative is available the following can be used; 1 can of 7up or sprite to 1 litre of water, 1 tablespoon of sugar added to water or a splash of hydrogen peroxide.

    3. Immediately after the stems are cut, place your roses in a deep vase of warm preservative solution (about 100 degrees F). If possible leave them in a cool dark room or refrigerator to 'condition' for 2 or 3 hours after arranging.

    4. If a florist's porous foam material is used in assembling the arrangement, it is important that it is thoroughly saturated in advance in water containing a floral preservative. Be sure that the rose stems are inserted firmly well below the solution level in the container. Do not move the stem ends after inserting them into the foam. This may leave an air pocket at the base of the stem.

    5. Display your fresh cut rose arrangements in a cool area out of direct sunlight and drafts. Roses are thirsty flowers. It is important to check to see that the vase is full and add preservative solution often. Be sure foam materials are completely saturated and the container is full daily. Any lilies received should have the pollen stamens removed as they open. This will enhance the life of the lily and prevent any staining from the pollen.

    Click here to shop now!

    Holiday food gifts, Christmas food gift basket delivery, unique holiday food packages, corporate and personal holiday food gifts delivered.

    gift-baskets-santa-couponHOLIDAY FOOD GIFTS - Among the thousands of holiday gift ideas, the perfect one that you can choose from would be holiday food gifts. Holiday food gifts containing gourmet food, cheese, chocolates, nuts, cookies and fresh fruits are really enjoyed by every body in every occasion. If you really love to give your dear ones a very special holiday, choose a holiday food gifts.

    Food gifts are perfect for the recipient who has everything. Fruits and chocolates are perfect not only for holidays but for all occasions. We always enjoy the festival with a delicious gourmet treat containing a variety of tasty food items. A gift basket is the perfect gift choice. Holiday foods are considered as the most desired family holiday gift and certainly a favorite among the youngsters as well. Kids love the colorful sweets and chocolates.

    During the Christmas holiday season every body loves to receive holiday goodies containing a variety of food items that delight the hearts of the recipients. A a variety of festive holiday gift baskets and gifts are depicted at the Adorable Gift Baskets online gift website. Each holiday food gift basket a unique gift item for the holidays. Select unique holiday gifts from a huge variety of holiday food gifts that are impressive and affordable. Our gift baskets are designed with utmost care to ensure that each gift basket is unique and special.

    Online Christmas holiday gift shopping at Adorable Gift Baskets makes your holiday shopping experience convenient, safe and handy. Take the stress out of Christmas shopping, finding a parking space, pushing through crowded shopping malls and standing in long lines to checkout. Holiday food gifts are easy to find and purchase through our secure online shopping cart. Shop now and save!
    Click here to shop now!

    A Fall Harvest of Great Autumn Gifts

    u-fall-festival-gift-baskets

    If you have fallen in love with the fall and want to give a special seasonal gift, there are plenty of items available that are perfectly suited to autumn. The following gift suggestions can be found to suit a wide range of budgets, but all imply fall and are ideal for autumn birthdays, celebrations or other special events.

    As fall is the traditional harvest season, giving the bountiful gift of food and drink is always appreciated and is suitable for wide range of recipients. Attending a late September soiree? Treat your hostess to a bottle of crisp chardonnay along with a delectable spice cake on a platter strewn with autumn leaves. Or, another version of this gift might be a fine bottle of merlot accompanying a tray of pumpkin bread. Fruit and vegetables heaping from a basket decorated with orange and brown ribbon is always a great remembrance.

    Be sure to stock your fall gift pantry with some autumn mugs and packs or gourmet apple cider. A mug designed with acorns, some cider mix and a few cinnamon sticks is a wonderful all-purpose remembrance that is seasonally thoughtful. A bottle of liquor or gourmet pumpkin spice coffee are other beverage choices to consider. To bolster up a small gift of this nature, give a recipe book filled with great drinks for cool weather to make at home. Keep in mind, that when giving a basket of food and drink, your garnishes will help give it autumn appeal—acorns, small ornamental gourds and dried fall flowers are perfect accompaniments.

    Fall scented candles are all purpose gifts as well. Stock your pantry with mulberry, evergreen, vanilla, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg fragranced candles in a variety of sizes. These can also be given in fall baskets along with a small trinket like a leaf-shaped candy dish, a small wreath of fall flowers, some native corn or even a small tin of candy corn. To bolster up this simple gift, add a hurricane, glass fairy lamp, tea light and votive candleholders, candle lighter, snuffer, etc…

    A great gift for someone special with a fall birthday could be a real maple leave covered in copper—great for a dresser or desk ornament. Jewelry with a fall motif is also a great idea: leaf, acorn and pumpkin pins; beads in fall colors; even acrylic pieces holding real dried fall flowers can be found. Of course books are great birthday gifts too—give your favorite gardener a novelty book about scarecrows, your favorite hostess a book about autumn accents and your favorite kid a book about farms during the harvest season.

    Some other gift items that can be given can easily be found designed with fall images: quilts or throws for cool autumn evenings, mugs and plates, welcome mats, sweaters, scarves, vests, jackets, socks, plant containers, pitchers, framed prints, book bags, wreath of fall flowers, table centerpiece, maple leaf stationary, rugs, picture frames, gourmet blend of nuts and nutcracker, leaf shaped soaps, fall stamps and stickers, all-purpose ceramic bowls, etc…

    Giving a seasonal gift reflects a special time of year and sets it apart from more ordinary gifts. Because fall precipitates the holidays, you might also include Halloween or Thanksgiving items too.

    Click here to shop now!

    Relax in the Spirit of Christmas, Tips On How To Make Your Holiday More Relaxed And Enjoyable:

    Gift wrap and holiday sales, parking lots and tree lots, traveling and spending: it can all be too much.  Many consumers are reporting the holidays are less and less enjoyable and more and more stressful these days.  We have to wonder -- is it self-imposed? Why are people pushing themselves so hard to achieve the "perfect" holiday?  And how is it they continue to miss that perfection no matter how hard they try -- no mater how much they spend? Perhaps it's that they have forgotten Christmas doesn't come in a box.  Perhaps they've lost track of the true spirit of the holidays.  Perhaps they are trying to purchase a spirit that was never for sale to begin with.  It has always just been there for the asking.

    Christmas isn't about setting a perfect table or outdoing the neighbors and the in-laws, Christmas should be about family, friends, hearth, and home.  And it's not what we give or what we receive that makes Christmas special; it's how we connect with and appreciate our homes and our loved ones.  Yes.  Easier said than done.   So, how do we step back from the hustle and bustle?  Here are a few tips to make your holiday more relaxed and enjoyable:

    • Simplify:
      We add so much weight to our lives -- Christmas is no exception -- overextending ourselves, trying be all things to all people.  Maybe it's time to forget getting a separate meaningful gift for every member of the PTA. The advent of the gift card is a wonderful opportunity for simplification.  If you are a purist and can't bear to give an electronic gift card, giving everyone in a group the same tasteful knickknack or charm may be the way to go. For the holiday table, don't feel the need to be super-host or -hostess.  Instant mashed potato mixes have come a long way in recent years and most supermarkets now have full bakeries to supply traditional pies.  Make no apologies.  Just embrace the spirit of Christmas and your guests will taste the love -- even in a pre-baked ham.

    • Take time out:
      Remember to smell the pine needles.  The most important step to relaxation is forcing ourselves stop and do it.  Forget about addressing all those cards for a while, put on a Christmas album, light a candle, turn on the tree lights and enjoy. A fantastic way to get into the holiday spirit is to take a few minutes to quietly meditate on what Christmas means -- why we give and receive, the tradition, the fun.  Fill your mind with happy memories and honest warm wishes and the Christmas spirit will shine from you all season long.

    • Remember:
      Pass on the traditions that you love.  Giving a gift is one thing -- it may last a year or two, or even a lifetime -- but a tradition will live on for generations to come.  Switch your focus from the material to the enduring simple pleasures.  Your children will not soon forget the lesson. Tell stories about happy holidays past.  Sing songs with your children.  Include them in your holiday crafts.  Remind yourself and others of the traditions you embraced, even if you can't recreate them every year.  Make the holiday about the past and the future.

    • Don't sweat it:
      Finally, as they say, "Don't sweat the small stuff."  Do what you enjoy and do it all with gusto.  But at the end of the day, make sure the details never become more important than the spirit of the holiday itself. Don't forget, no kid ever grew up wanting the perfect parent, just a loving one.  Make love and togetherness your focus and let the details fall where they may. 

    So much of the stress that we carry is within our power to let go.  Let's do ourselves a favor and "make time to take time" -- to remember what is truly important.  Protecting our minds from materialism is as simple as changing our focus to the pure and enduring ideals of the holiday. And who knows, perhaps we'll all have a bit merrier Christmas.

    Click here to shop now!

    Holidays Greetings include Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays, Happy Thanksgiving

    Graphic ChristmasHoliday greetings are a selection of greetings that are often spoken with good intentions to strangers, family, friends, or other people during the months of December and January. Holidays with greetings include Christmas, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving (in the USA), and (more recently) Hanukkah, Ramadan, and Kwanzaa in the United States. Some greetings are more prevalent than others, depending on the cultural and religious status of any given area.

    Typically, a greeting consists of the word "Happy" followed by the holiday, such as "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy New Year", although the phrase "Merry Christmas" is a notable exception. When one wishes to convey a greeting to another regardless of which particular holiday the other may personally observe, the collective phrase "Happy Holidays" is often used as a simple way to refer to all of the winter holidays, or to the three major American holidays of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. However, some controversy has aroused regarding the phrase "Happy Holidays" as an alleged attempt to diminish Christmas.

    Merry/Happy Christmas - The greetings and farewells "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Christmas" are traditionally used in North America, the United Kingdom, and Ireland beginning a few weeks prior to the Christmas holiday on December 25 of every year. "Merry" dominates in the United States; "happy" in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

    The phrase is often proffered when it is known that the receiver is a Christian or celebrates Christmas. In the beginning of the 21st century, as Christians in increasingly multi-cultural societies continue becoming more sensitive to and respectful of non-Christians and non-Christian faiths, the phrase has become somewhat less ubiquitous than it was in the 20th century. (However, the commercialization of the actual holiday continues unabated.) The nonreligious sometimes use the greeting as well, however in this case its meaning focuses more on the secular aspects of Christmas, rather than the Nativity of Jesus.

    As of 2005, this greeting still remains popular among countries with large Christian populations, including, among others, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and Mexico. It also remains popular in non-Christian areas such as the People's Republic of China and Japan, where Christmas is still widely celebrated due to Western influences. Though it has somewhat decreased in popularity in the United States and Canada over the past decades, polls from 2005 indicate that it is more popular than "Happy Holidays" or other alternatives.

    History of the phrase - "Merry", derived from the Old English myrige, originally meant merely "pleasant" rather than joyous or jolly (as in the phrase "merry month of May").

    Though Christmas has been celebrated since the 4th century AD, the first known usage of any Christmastime greeting, "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" (thus incorporating two greetings) was in an informal letter written by an English admiral in 1699. The same phrase appeared in the first Christmas card, produced in England in 1843, and in the popular secular carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

    The then relatively new term "Merry Christmas" figured prominently in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in 1843. The cynical Ebenezer Scrooge rudely deflects the friendly greeting and broods on the foolishness of those who utter it. "If I could work my will", says Scrooge, "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding." After the Spirits of Christmas effect his transformation, he is able to heartily exchange the wish with all he meets. The continued popularity of A Christmas Carol and the Victorian era Christmas traditions it typifies have led some to credit Dickens with popularizing, or even originating, the phrase "Merry Christmas".

    The alternative "Happy Christmas" gained wide usage in the late 19th century, and is still common in the United Kingdom and Ireland. One reason may be the alternative meaning, still current there, of "merry" as "tipsy" or "drunk". Queen Elizabeth II is said to prefer "Happy Christmas" for this reason. In American poet Clement Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (1823), the final line, originally written as "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night", has been changed in many editions to "Merry Christmas to all", perhaps indicating the relative popularity of the phrases in the United States.

    Happy Holidays - "Happy Holidays" is a seasonal greeting common in the United States and Canada, and is typically used during the holiday season. "Holiday" is derived from Middle English holidai meaning "holy day". It is used as an inclusive greeting during the holiday season around Christmas to those who do not celebrate it, but instead other winter holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

    In the United States, it can have several variations and meanings: As "Happy Holiday", an English translation of the Hebrew Hag Sameach greeting on Passover, Sukkot and Shavuot. As "Happy Holiday", a substitution for "Merry Christmas". As "Happy Holidays", a collective and inclusive wish for the period encompassing Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter solstice, Christmas and the New Year.

    In the United States, "Happy Holidays" (along with the similarly generalized "Season's Greetings") has become the common greeting in the public sphere within the past decade, such as department stores, public schools and greeting cards.

    Advocates of the phrase view it as an inclusive and inoffensive phrase that does not give precedence to one religion or occasion. Critics view it as an insipid alternative to "Merry Christmas", and view it as diminishing the role of Christianity in Christmas, or part of an alleged secular "War on Christmas". Others consider the controversy to be itself hysterical.

    A popular commercial variant is depicted in Honda ads that air during the holiday season. The automaker uses the slogan "Happy Honda Days", as wordplay on the phrase.

    "Happy Holiday" is also the name of a popular song by Irving Berlin.

    Season's Greetings - "Season's Greetings" is a greeting more commonly used as a motto on winter season greeting cards than as a spoken phrase. In addition to "Merry Christmas", Victorian Christmas cards bore a variety of salutations, including "Compliments of the Season" and "Christmas Greetings." By the late 19th century, "With the Season's Greetings" or simply "The Season's Greetings" began appearing. By the 1920s it had been shortened to "Season's Greetings, and has been a greeting card fixture ever since. Several White House Christmas cards, including President Eisenhower's 1955 card, have featured the phrase.

    Some people believe that the "Season" in "Season's Greetings" is referring to the Christmas season. Due to this some people consider replacing "Merry Christmas" with "Season's Greetings" as an attack on their religion. Others say that it is pandering to a plurality of consumers by businesses so that they will make more money by hopefully not offending anyone by saying "Merry Christmas". Similar controversy has surrounded use of the phrase "Happy Holidays".

    A differing opinion states that this saying is much more neutral and avoids elevating any one "holy" day over another. It may even be used to be more inclusive of other winter holidays (such as Kwanzaa or Hanukkah), or to acknowledge the possibility that the sayer does not believe in anything holy, including "holy-days".

    Technically speaking, "Season's Greetings" could apply throughout the year, as each season has its own particular set of accepted behavior and greetings.

    Wikipedia, free encyclopedia

    Click here to shop now!

    Shop Early for the Holidays and Save

    holiday-gifts-click-here-to-shop-nowThe Christmas season usually brings out the best in people. It is a time when joy and goodwill is spread around like no other. But it is also a time that wrecks havoc on most financial budgets. The months immediately following Christmas are usually spent trying to pay off holiday debt.

    Instead of doing all your shopping at once and incurring a large debt it is better to start early and space your shopping ventures out. Use cash to pay whenever possible. That way your purchase is paid for. Many people use credit cards to do their holiday shopping and then struggle to pay down their balances. If you buy items with cash you are not accruing the interest charges. Your purchase is simple and complete with no lasting negative financial effects. Of course, having the cash on hand to do so is not always an option.

    One way to help alleviate high credit card bills is to take advantage of sales and make cash purchases as often as possible. Many prudent shoppers watch sales papers steadfastly in order to take advantage of sales throughout the year. They then purchase gift items to put away for the coming holiday season. You probably aren’t thinking about Christmas in June but just try to keep gift items in mind when shopping. It doesn’t hurt to keep an eye open.

    It’s also helpful to keep a list of those people you’ll be shopping for during the holidays. Know your friends and relatives. It’s not that difficult to have a fairly good idea of what those you are close to need and want. Perhaps you see that coffee makers are on sale. You remember that Aunt Martha had recently mentioned needing a new one. You have a bit of money to spare so you purchase the coffee maker and cross Aunt Martha off your list.

    Seasonal sales are also a good time to find holiday gift bargains and so are sales that take place right after Christmas if you don’t mind being a real early bird shopper. If you’re not particularly pleased with roaming through stores behind slow shoppers who refuse to move and let you pass by, try shopping online. Personally, I would rather shop online any day since I’m not really a “store” person. I still can’t quite grasp what my teenage daughter finds so fascinating about the mall.

    As for alternative gift ideas you may want to give concert or theater tickets or even a subscription to a favorite magazine. For the person who has everything and is pleased with nothing, consider a gift of food. Everyone has to eat, right? Cookies, cakes and candy are always welcome gifts since they delight the palate and please the hard to please. Pies, brownies, cupcakes, pudding, cinnamon rolls, banana nut bread and poppy seed rolls are also good choices.

    Don’t be a last minute shopper and don’t be steeped in debt until next Christmas. Be alert to gift ideas throughout the entire year.

    Click here to shop now!

    Great Holiday Gift Ideas; Last Minute Gifts to Keep on Hand This Christmas

    go-cuddles-n-cookie-basketThe Holiday Season brings with it the delightful possibility of unexpected guests. Old friends, out of town family members, and neighbors we don't visit with as often as we'd like each may stop in for a bit of Christmas cheer. If a surprise visitor rings your bell this season, don't be caught off guard. Keep a few of these easy gift ideas tucked away and you'll have something ready for anyone who comes by.

    A Gift Certificate - Next time you are shopping at your favorite store, pick up a few gift certificates to keep tucked away in your box of gifts for unexpected visitors. Gift certificates are an excellent choice in this situation because if you don't need to give them away, you can use them yourself and you won't be out any extra money. To make these gift certificates a bit more personal, pick up an inexpensive gift certificate holder designed for this purpose. Many Christmas themed holders are available and you can even make your own if you look for an inexpensive Christmas decoration or ornament into which you might tuck the certificate.

    A Home Fragrance - Home fragrance makes a perfect gift for just about anyone. Home fragrance can take many forms, but the most attractive for gift giving is a candle. Choose candles that are neutral in color and if the candles are not wrapped, be sure to keep them stored in air tight, zip to close bags to keep the strength of the fragrance strong. Gifts like these can be arranged in inexpensive baskets, or other creative containers
    available for purchase at a local dollar store.

    A Good Book - Keep your eyes open for good books that might make nice gifts. Nonfiction usually works better in this situation, but a good fiction piece having to do with Christmas or New Year's would be appropriate too. Pick up a clever bookmark to tuck inside each book and consider writing a personal message inside the front cover before presenting it to the recipient.

    Baked Goods - If you are handy in the baking area, consider baking up a few batches of your favorite cookies. Double bag them in zip to close freezer bags and tuck them away in the freezer until you need them. Keep a few Christmas themed cookie tins on hand to put them in when you present them as gifts.

    Keep a collection of gifts like these tucked away during the Christmas season and avoid the awkwardness of not having a special something for unexpected guests.
    Click here to shop now!

    Before Father Christmas – the Gifts of the Three Kings

    cb-Christmas-joy-gift-baskets

    Father Christmas, or Santa Claus, is quite a recent Christmas tradition. But gift giving began with the very first Christmas, when the Three Kings brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Christ child.

    In Spanish tradition, the Three Kings – Los Reyes Magos - are still the gift givers on Christmas Eve, and though Father Christmas has spread his influence in Spain, the charming legend of the Three Kings continues to this day.

    The Three Kings do not arrive until the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. This is the Twelfth Day of Christmas and marks the end of the celebrations. Like Father Christmas, children can write to the Three Kings and ask for gifts. Spanish stores hire people to dress up as the Three Kings as part of Christmas displays, and nativity scenes, or nacimientos, always include the Kings in royal regalia.

    It is customary for village people to go out carrying torches and making a great noise to meet the Three Kings as they arrive with presents for the children, who are told that the Kings have sneaked past when they fail to materialize. But in many bigger towns and cities, a grand procession is held, with the Three Kings arriving on a float, boat or riding donkeys, or even camels, distributing handfuls of candies to the waiting crowds of children. This parade is called the cabalgata.

    Instead of hanging out their stockings, children place shoes by their beds for the Kings to fill with candies, nuts and gifts. One of the most loved Christmas candies is a sweet nougat confection called Turron, popular for five centuries.

    While little is known of the original Three Kings, legends have grown up around them. In the Bible they are called Magi, or Wise Men, astronomer priests who plotted their course by the stars to the birthplace of Christ. They receive only the briefest mention in the Bible, and that does not include their names. It was only presumed there were actually three of them, because they brought three gifts.

    But somehow these mysterious visitors to Christ’s crib took hold in the public imagination. By the Eighth Century, they were named Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar. Melchior is traditionally the oldest of the three, a seer old man with white hair and a long white beard. Gaspar (also known as Casper) is younger, with dark hair and beard, or sometimes clean shaven, and Balthazar is always depicted as a black man, King of Ethiopia.

    The three gifts they brought to the Christ Child have many interpretations. The simplest one is that all three – gold, frankincense and myrrh – were precious substances, suitable gifts for the babe who would become the King of Kings. But they also have more abstract meanings.
    Melchior brought the gold, which later came to be associated with the purity of Christ’s love; Gaspar brought frankincense, later associated with the incense burners in church ritual; and Balthazar brought myrrh, a bitter substance used in embalming, which came to be associated with the Passion of the Christ.

    Legend tells that the Three Kings later helped spread the Word of Christ, and that today their remains are buried in Cologne Cathedral. The Shrine of the Three Kings is a magnificent gold sarcophagus, but whether it actually contains the bones of Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar is a moot point.

    Nor does it really matter, because they continue to live on and bring joy to small children all over Spain.

    Click here to shop now!