Archive for the Christmas Category
The festive season has begun. It is the time to rejoice with your friends and family. It is the time to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ with full enthusiasm. However, people often get too much carried away with the parties and wreak havoc on the earth. Loads of waste materials, excess use of plastics, unnecessary use of fuel, etc. are some examples of how Christmas celebrations create a negative impact upon the environment. If you love Mother Nature just like Jesus, then it's time to go green in this season. This will help to fulfill 3 purposes – save environment, placate Santa Claus and protect your wallet.
Tips to have green Christmas party
Here are the 5 tips to throw a Christmas party while saving the environment and dollars.
1. Send eco-friendly Christmas cards: Most of the people send tons of Christmas cards to their friends and relatives. Almost all the Christmas cards are thrown into the trash or waste paper basket. Don't you want to be little different from others on this issue? If yes, then you can invite your friends and relatives through e-Cards this season. This way you'll be able to save paper. You can know about the people who will actually come to your party. You can plan accordingly and avoid overspending.
2. Use recyclable bags: Use bags that you can re-use at any point of time. You can make these bags on your own or you may buy from the market. You'll easily get bags made in recycled leather. These bags are smart, trendy and fashionable. You can use these bags for carrying goodies. You won't have to throw these bags once the festive season is over. You can use them in the next season also.
Apart from bags, you can use reusable water bottles. The earth is already filled up with heaps with plastics. If you want to save environment, then encourage others to use re-usable water bottles too.
3. Use LED lights in your house: Who doesn’t love to decorate the house with lights during Christmas? Unfortunately, these lights consume a lot of energy. Hence, you get a huge utility bill at end of the festive season.
Use LED lights to brighten your house and Christmas tree. These lights consume less energy and electricity than that of the incandescent lights. You don't require huge power sources for these bulbs. Moreover, they last for a long period of time.
4. Arrange a potluck party: Ask your friends, neighbors and colleagues to cook one food item and bring it into the party. Imagine the variety of food you'll have in the party without using much fuel. You won't cross your budget and yet can have a great meal with your friends.
5. Use disposable containers: Avoid non-recyclable containers just because they are less messy. Remember that these utensils lead to lots of wastes and create land pollution. Serve food in dishes and clean them up after the party is over. You don’t have to buy non-biodegradable plates and waste money. You can even request your friends to bring some dishes with them. There is no shame in asking your guests. In fact, they would love to be an active participant in the Christmas party.
Finally, use real Christmas trees instead of an artificial one. This will help you go green in the real sense. You can replant the tree every year. Take care of the tree and don't throw it away.
The festive season can burn a huge hole in your pocket if you’re not careful. In fact, it is estimated that people will spend as much as $750 on food, decorations, gifts, etc. during the festive season. People love to enjoy the festive season to the fullest. They want to forget about money during this time and love to buy presents for near and dear ones. This attitude makes people spend more than what they intend to do every year.
Some people do think that the festive season is just an excuse to forget good money habits. Well, this is certainly a good season to be less strict with your finances. However, too much liberty is not good for your financial health. It will make you spend a hefty amount of money.
5 Ways people often misuse money during the holiday season
Check out the 5 ways in which people often waste money during the festive season. Make sure you don't commit these mistakes. After all, your motto is to not only enjoy the festive season but also spend the rest of the year happily.
1. Not planning a holiday budget: People often forget to create a holiday budget and end up spending more than their means. So, create a budget at the very beginning of the holiday season. Determine the amount you'll spend for shopping and eating outs. Make sure you don’t exceed your budget.
2. Purchasing wrong items: You don’t get the best deals on everything during the festive season. For instance, it is best to purchase cars on the New Year’s Eve. You’ll get good deals on cruises during the summer. As far as apparels are concerned, you can get good deals on them not on Black Friday, but on Cyber Monday.
3. Buying without checking price: Don’t be so much caught up with the shopping frenzy that you forget to check the price of the commodities. Compare the price of every commodity. Find out which retailer is offering the best deal amidst the stiff competition. You can shop online to compare the price of the items easily.
4. Hitting the store without knowing what to buy: Stores are beautifully decorated with interesting goodies during the festive season. If you enter a store without having a shopping list, then chances are high that you’ll get caught up with the shopping frenzy very easily. It will be very easy for you to give in to sales tactics of the store owners. You'll easily cross your budget and get into debt problems.
5. Not paying credit card bills: Various stores are offering items at a discounted price. You may want to buy all the things from the stores by using your credit cards. However, remember if you fail to pay the credit card bills, then you'll have to pay extra interests rates. You won’t be able to save any money. Rather, you would end up spending all your money on credit cards.
If you would like to donate to charitable organizations during the festive season, make sure you don’t give money to every person who is collecting money for a cause. Choose an organization and donate money. Make sure you donate an amount which won’t let you cross your budget.
It often happens that you want to give Christmas gifts to your friends and relatives but are short of funds. You may want to pamper your loved ones with decent gifts but don't have requisite cash. Well, you may be surprised to know that there are some gifts you can give to your loved ones within your limited budget. Read on to know about 5 gifts you can give to your friends and family without spending many dollars.
5 Interesting Christmas gifts
Here are the 5 interesting Christmas gifts that you can give to your friends and family without spending much money:
1.Home-made delicacies: Homemade delicacies make a good Christmas gift. Homemade chocolates, truffles, fudge are quite easy to make and are extremely delicious. You can even make some Victorian sweets, gingerbread, shortbread, carrot pineapple sweet bread, etc. and gift them to your friends. An interesting tip will be to keep these delicacies in beautiful boxes, tins and decorate them with ribbons.
2.Handmade crafts: If you're good at cross-stitching or crochet, then make your friends a Christmas gift utilizing the talent you have. You can make beautiful dishcloths, gloves, scarves, wall mats, etc for your friends and make them feel even more special.
3.Bouquet: Do you have a beautiful garden in your home? If yes, then you can give a beautiful bouquet to your friends. Pick your friend's favorite flowers from your and make a bouquet out of them. Your friends will surely love this gift.
4.Collage of pictures: A collage of pictures make a nice Christmas gift. You can make a collage of pictures and give them to your friends and family. You can collect pictures from their accounts in various social networking sites and print them. After printing the pictures, assemble them on a cardboard till it is completely covered with photographs. This will make them remember and preserve the beautiful moments of the bygone days.
5.Candle-light dinner: Prepare a delicious meal for your loved ones on the Christmas night. For instance, knock your friend's door with the meal you have cooked. Turn off the bulbs and light up scented candles in his/her dinning room. If your friend doesn't have proper dining room, then roll a carpet on the floor and place candles and pillows around them. Your friends can enjoy the food with each other's company.
Finally, you can record all the favorite songs of your friend in a blank CD and give it to him this Christmas. You can even put those songs in the CD that remind of you of them. Always remember Christmas gifts become special for your friends when they come from your heart and not from your money.
The recent American recession which took hold for almost three years has affected the financial health of the country drastically. This looming crisis adversely influenced almost every aspect of US life possible from real estate market to the Christmas shopping habits of the Americans. For the last three years the local stores have claimed to witness a sheer fall in the consumer spending during Christmas. However, it is being predicted that there may be a change in the scenario this Christmas. According to Reuters, shoppers may spend more for their Christmas shopping this December 2010, for the first time ever since the recession struck the US economy.
The Reuters reported that in accordance with a retailing trade group’s survey, consumers may spend an average of $688.87 this Christmas season. This survey released by the National Retail Federation states that there may be an increase of 1 % from 2009 in the consumer spending. Thus, there may be a sales growth of 2.3%, this Christmas. However, the recession is still not over and several families are still struggling to overcome the financial distress caused by this recession. Thus, the following points will provide you with some tips to tactfully enjoy your shopping for Christmas even during recession.
Tips for surviving Christmas during recession
Here are some tips you need to follow while shopping for Christmas this year 2010.
- Budget – Plan a realistic budget and find out what you can afford. Create a list of all the items that you require for your Christmas and write down the dollar amount that you need to spend on them. However, you must also make sure to forgo certain things in case your list of items exceeds your budget. Such budgeting will also help you stay out of debt trouble in future.
- Frugal shopping – If you want to keep your wallet happy, go for frugal shopping this year. Shop at thrift stores or dollar stores and you may get just what you want at a much lesser price.
- Clip coupons – Newspapers and magazines are usually filled with money-saving coupons. Shop with those coupons and you may eventually save some dollars. You can also consider going for sales and discounts while shopping for your Christmas.
Apart from the tips mentioned above, you can also consider shopping online as this can save you a lot of money. You can try to earn some extra cash yourself by selling items that you do not need any longer. You can also consider having a swap party with friends where you can exchange items and have a set of brand new teams without paying anything. Thus, follow these tips and take pleasure in your Christmas shopping despite the recession.
Christmas without Santa Claus? I just can't imagine. I was casually browsing through the net when I suddenly stumbled upon some interesting facts about Christmas and Santa Claus. I want to share some interesting information with you all.
Santa Claus - the Legend
According to folklore, origin of Stanta Claus legend can be traced back to thousands of years. Sometime around 280 A.D there lived a monk called Saint Nicholas in Patara, a place near Myra of Turkey. He was renowned for his kindness. He gave away all his inherited belongings and wealth to the poor and moved to the countryside for serving the destitute and sick. One of the most popular folklore about St. Nicholas is that he saved 3 sisters from being sold by their father into prostitution. He gave dowry to their father for marrying them off. St. Nicholas's good deeds made him popular among the masses and soon he came to be known as a protector of Children. December 6, his death anniversary, is celebrated as his Feast Day.
How did Saint Nicholas become Santa Claus?
In Dutch, Saint Nicholas was pronounced as Sint Nikolaas. Name of Sint Nikolaas was shortened to Sinter Klass. "Santa Claus" evolved from St. Nicholas's shortened name "Sinter Klass". Legends of Saint Nicholas started to become popular in America during the end of 18th century and slowly but steadily transformed from Sinter Klass to Santa Claus.
Some more Santa facts?
When did Christmas become popular in America?
Christmas started to gain popularity from 19th century. Americans transformed Christmas from a raucous festival holiday to a family oriented peaceful festival.
During the early nineteenth century, rioting during Christmas season was a common phenomenon. In one such Christmas riot in the year 1928, New York police first came out to maintain peace in the city. From this time period, people belonging to the upper classes began to change Christmas celebration from a raucous one to a peaceful get-together of the entire family.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL