Posted in Holiday Fun

5 Reasons Why Recycled Art Makes Great Christmas Gifts

Date December 17th, 2009 Comment Comments Off on 5 Reasons Why Recycled Art Makes Great Christmas Gifts

By Lisa A Mason Platinum Quality Author

If you’re searching for something special for the holiday this year, recycled art makes great Christmas gifts for many different reasons. You could go out and buy the normal gifts that everyone is so use to getting each year. These include clothing or toys that were mass produced on an assembly line but fortunately, that’s not your only option. You could go all out and be different this year by searching for unique and special gifts such as recycled art.

If you’re a little unclear about what recycled art is, it’s simply any type of art that has been created from materials which have been recycled. The art can be any shape or size and be two or three dimensional. Basically, anything that qualifies as art and that was made from recycled products is consider recycled art.

5 reasons why recycled art makes great Christmas gifts:

1. It’s something different that shows you put a lot of time and though into the gift you choose.

2. You have a wide variety of options to choose from or you can even make your own art for gifts.

3. You can find something that would suit most any type of personality.

4. It gives you a chance to be creative and show a bit of your own personality while giving a gift to someone you love that shows how much you care.

5. Anytime you buy or make something from recyclable materials, you’re reducing the amount of trash that ends up in landfills.

Recycled art is a unique way to give a gift from the heart while doing your part to help the environment at the same time. It’s something that can make the holidays even more fun and exciting. Take a little time to check out your options today.

About the Author:

Lisa Mason is a freelance writer. with a specialty in Internet content and SEO articles and the author of How to Earn a Living Writing for the Internet as well as two poetry anthologies and a how-to poetry book. She has written thousands of articles, hundreds of ebooks and thousands of website pages and related content in her 10+ years as a professional writer.

Posted in Holiday Fun

Holiday Entertaining Ideas

Date December 16th, 2009 Comment Comments Off on Holiday Entertaining Ideas

By Resa Heart Platinum Quality Author

For many of us the holiday season is a chance to entertain our family and friends. There are so many opportunities and ways in which this can be accomplished. I think in part that is why we like and enjoy this time of year. It is easy to decorate our homes with Poinsettias, pine cones, and beautiful centerpieces. I decorate my mantle with fresh garland, oranges with cloves, pears, pomegranates and candles. I love scented candles that make our homes smell wonderful and give the room a glow. Lights on the house and wreaths on the door all tell us it’s the holiday season. Light a fire in the fireplace if you have one and relax with family or friends.

One of the most ideal ways to entertain is the holiday cocktail party. This is generally quite simple. One can send out written or printed invitations which I prefer over the trendy ‘e-vite’ mania. If it’s a small gathering phone call invitations are appropriate. Once you determine the number of guests attending you can start to write a list of drinks and appetizers you would like to serve. It is not necessary that you serve every drink under sun. Keep it simple by offering three or four drinks you know your guests will enjoy. You don’t want to stand near the stove all night, so serve hot and cold appetizers. People love Hot Bacon Dip and Hot Artichoke Dip with assorted crackers or pita chips. You could serve a cheese platter, a pesto bruschetta and fresh cold shrimp with cocktail sauce. The general rule is that you will need seven appetizer servings per person if cocktails are not followed by dinner. One more thing: You do not need to pull everything out the second your guests arrive. Take their coats, and serve drinks immediately, interest peaks when you bring something new out of the oven.

Having a holiday open house is an old fashioned favorite. It can be a Sunday afternoon family event or a Friday night after work event. Either way, it’s a nice way to say “stop by, and visit”. It’s also a crowd manager. People come and go at different times so you can invite more people knowing they won’t all be there at the same time. Either time of day you might consider serving small sandwiches, platters of holiday cookies and drinks. You can serve glasses of wine, hot chocolate or apple cider if children are attending. You could serve cups of soup in small soup bowls or coffee mugs like Creamy Potato and Leek Soup. Spiced nuts and candies are popular. Set up a pretty buffet, with a menu resting on a place card holder or small plate stand. Invite guests to serve themselves. Be prepared to restock your platters, so it looks fresh for newly arriving guests. And be sure to welcome everyone. If you have the time, fill a small cellophane

To me Christmas Eve is of the most cherished night of the year. Anticipating its arrival is especially fun if you have children. Generally, it’s a dinner event, and circumstances may dictate what you serve. If you have family for dinner you may already have traditions that transcend the years. Some people find themselves without family and invite friends that are in the same boat to share the holiday. Either way, serving good food and drinks are a must. I know families that go all out with appetizers, a cocktail hour, followed by hot soup, beautiful salads, ham or smoked turkey, potato and leek gratins, and roasted vegetables. Some people like to keep it simple with Christmas Eve soup, sandwiches and drinks. For me, I prefer the fancier Christmas evening dinner.

I want guests to walk in the door, think my house smells wonderful, the table is beautiful and the food is fantastic. I want a seasonal dessert like an eggnog cheesecake or a cheesecake covered in chocolate ganache. I like to serve Irish Coffee following dinner and call it a night after all we have to get to bed so Santa can come!

Christmas brunch at my house is a small gathering just grandparents and anyone else who does not have other plans for the day. I usually try to serve a new main dish so my guests don’t expect the same old thing, but other dishes are a constant. I always serve coffee, mimosas, juice, fresh fruit, a pastry of some variety and this year an egg, spinach and feta Casserole. I keep it simple. I set my table with place mats, napkins and pixie poinsettias. Then I used a pure white Corelle square set for a clean look at the table.

Last year I served Belgian waffles with pure maple syrup, fried ham, fresh fruit, cranberry juice and simple scrambled eggs. There is very little my dishwasher can’t handle, so clean up is easy. Everyone was happy, satisfied until dinner and ready for a nap. What could be better?

Finally, if you are lucky enough to be invited as a guest at someone’s house this holiday season, don’t arrive empty handed. When invited ask what you can bring. Even if they tell you just to bring yourself you can find many gifts they’ll really appreciate. One of my favorites is the Seasons Greetings Cheese Gift Basket you can find over at Trust me, your hosts will love you for it.