Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Low Cost Gifts for Mom on Mothers Day

By: Nicola Kennedy

You don't have a lot of money to spend this year for her, but you want something special for your mom. Here are some ideas that will take little or nothing to get or make.

A photo album is always nice to have around the house. So if you have many photos that have never made into an album, here is your chance to do something very special and it won't cost but a few dollars to do.

Go to your local thrift store and look for some old binders and some nice fabric, if you don't have any at home. Then all you need is some pages that you can put your photos on. Decorate the binder for Mother's Day and decorate the pages with the pictures on them with captions, buttons, lace, and charms, sort of like a scrapbook. This way the picture get put into an album and you make a inexpensive Mother's Day gift for your mom.

Here are some silly but lovable and low cost gifts for mom, that are both meant to be funny or personal or both. She would treasure them for ever.

If she is a coffee or tea drinker then a Paint Your Own Mug would an excellent choice, with a painting done in your very hand, every time she takes a drink she will remember the time and love put into this wonderful gift, she would be the envy of all her friends.

Now with this handy kit, she can be paid for being a football widow. As referee, she is in charge! Getting ignored? Yellow Card! Got his mates over again? Red Card! Each card carries a penalty for the family from simply doing the laundry to taking her on a holiday - let the punishment fit the crime....

Mom is afraid of spiders and other bugs? The Spider Catcher is an innovative new product which uses two sets bristles to gently catch the spider, carefully trapping it until you release it outside.

With a trigger at one end and the bristles at the other, there is no need for Mom to spend nights on the couch because a spider has decided to move into the bedroom!

Author Bio

Nicola Kennedy has enjoyed some great Mother's Days, both as a grateful mom and a loving daughter. She can help you find great Mother's Day gifts with tips and news, information and views at

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Yummy Yuletide Recipes You Will Love

Of all the traditions you'll embrace this Christmas season, few are as resplendent and revered as a bounteous holiday feast. A table full of family and friends with cups that runneth over truly brings joy to the occasion. Here are a handful of recipes to help with your holiday dinner preparations.

We're not chefs and space constraints do not allow us to plan your entire meal, but the recipes here are easy, time tested and will make a nice addition to the other dishes you plan to produce.

Whether you opt for ham, turkey or roast beef as your meat of choice, you won't go wrong with a side of garlic-cheese mashed potatoes. Give this recipe a whirl:

Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

3 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced

8 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed

9 tablespoons butter, softened

3/4 cup half and half

1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/4 cup Romano cheese, shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste

Halve potatoes and boil until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in pan. In separate pan, bring half and half to boil and remove immediately when it begins to boil. Mash the potatoes. Beat in butter first, then half and half. Add mashed garlic and cheeses, then mix to melt cheeses. Season with salt and pepper and continue to mix until potatoes are smooth.

While you are cooking and the children are playing, you'll need a soothing drink to keep your heart warm and your spirits lively. Apple cider is perfect for this.

Hot Apple Cider

1 gallon apple cider (apple juice will work)

4 cinnamon sticks

4 whole cloves

4 allspice berries

1 orange peel, cut into strips

1 lemon peel, cut into strips

Pour cider into a large stainless steel pot. Place spices and peels into a cheesecloth. Drop cheesecloth into cider. Heat until the cider comes just short of boiling.

Remove cheesecloth and keep cider on the stovetop, over low heat. Serve warm throughout the day.

If you seek to serve a traditional feast, chances are cranberry sauce will find its way to your table. Sure, you can buy a canned sauce. No harm, no foul. If you'd prefer to make your own the day before the meal, however, here's how:

Cranberry Sauce

4 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup apple juice

1 cup honey

1 orange rind, grated

Mix cranberries, juice and honey in a pot. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, until cranberries pop. Remove from heat and stir in orange rind. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

Lastly, it isn't a proper Christmas meal if you aren't breaking homemade bread. Try these yummy yeast rolls. It's a batter bread recipe, which is relatively quick and easy for beginning bakers!

Yeast Rolls

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup warm water

2 packages instant dry yeast

1 egg

3 1/2 cups flour

Heat milk, then stir in sugar, salt and butter. Set aside and let cool. Add warm water to large bowl, then add yeast. Stir until dissolved. Add milk mixture, egg and two cups flour to the water/yeast mixture. Beat until smooth and then add remaining flour to make a soft dough. Transfer to a greased baking tray, cover with clean towel and let rise for 30 minutes. The dough will nearly double in size. After 30 minutes, punch down dough and shape into rolls. Place them back into greased baking tray and bake in preheated, 400 F oven until done (10 to 12 minutes).

Author Bio

Jeremy White, a writer for Imaginary Greetings, Inc. (, is a regular contributing author specializing in features, sports, business and food writing, and frequently contributes to a variety of print and online publications. To make your holiday display magical, visit

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Family Christmas After Divorce

The popular saying goes like this: "Breaking up is hard to do." Yet, when it comes to marriage in the U.S., a large percentage of us do it. Divorce, however unpleasant, is commonplace in today's society, and dealing with it during the holidays is a fact of life with which adults and children alike must deal.

A divorce - especially a fresh one - can be particularly trying during the holidays. The Yuletide season is one of giving and family, and the dissonance of a divorce can greatly threaten the joy of the season. The challenge to adults is to keep Christmas spirits high for the children. Just because a relationship has been ruined doesn't mean a child's Christmas has to be ruined as well. Here are some tips for making sure that doesn't happen this holiday season.

Put Your Kids First - Christmas is a selfless season. It's a time when we focus on charity. Keep it that way. Think not of yourself or how to "one-up" your ex-spouse. Instead, focus on the needs of your kids. Ask yourself what you can do to ensure the holidays are happy and productive for them. Then do it.

Buy Your Ex a Gift - As much as kids love getting gifts, they also want to be part of the giving. They revel in the opportunity to give both mommy and daddy a gift or two, and it's up to you to help make that possible. Your little one has no money and no transportation, so the only way they're getting your spouse a gift is if you suck it up and take them Christmas shopping. Don't be the parent that's too proud to buy your ex a gift. It's the child you'll end up hurting anyway.

Don't Hog the Kids - There may be a custodial agreement in place where the kids spend Christmas with mommy one year and then with daddy the next. Everyone loses when that happens. Unless mommy and daddy live too far apart, there is no reason the kids can't see both. Perhaps they spend the majority of Christmas Eve at one place, then move to the other to spend the night and wake up on Christmas morning. Next year reverse roles so that both parents have the opportunity to watch the little ones wake up on Christmas morning and see what Santa left them. See what you can work out with your spouse. Remember, do what's in the best interest of the child.

Don't Take the Phone Off the Hook - When it isn't possible for one parent to see the children on Christmas for whatever reason, don't shut them out completely. Let the kids call them to say "Merry Christmas."

Old Habits Die Hard - Since Christmas is about family traditions, a divorce naturally fractures those traditions. That's especially hard on the kids. When it's possible to maintain an old tradition, such as helping mommy make cookies or helping daddy select a tree, do so. When it's not, start new traditions with your kids. They need them.

Don't Bad-Mouth Your Ex - If you need to complain about your ex, do so to your adult friends - and don't do it in the presence of your children. No matter how you feel about your ex, your children still love them and look up to them. Don't hurt your kids by badmouthing their mommy or daddy.

Author Bio

Jeremy White, a writer for Imaginary Greetings, Inc., is a regular contributing author specializing in features, sports, business and food writing, and frequently contributes to a variety of print and online publications. For additional tips on how to truly light up your child's eyes this holiday season like never before visit

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Gifts that Never Go Out of Style

The holiday season is a time for giving. When most of us think of giving, we think of gifts. The mere thought of tackling that Christmas list can be daunting. Maybe there isn't enough money to buy the gifts you'd like to give. Or perhaps you have a few of those "hard to buy for" people who have everything. So you put on your Betty Crocker hat and spend hours in the kitchen making cookies, sweet breads, and fudge to give as gifts. You make homemade ornaments and other Christmas crafts, or you buy another pair of socks and another boring tie.

I'm going to ask you to think a little less traditionally about gift giving, and consider giving of yourself this holiday season. I've been reading Rick Warren's new book "God's Power to Change Your Life". In his book, he discusses a well known topic - the fruits of the spirit. I got to thinking about how wonderful it would be to make a conscious effort to give one or all of these nine gifts. These gifts can be given to anyone and everyone, they cost you nothing but your heart, and they never go out of style.


What is love? So many people think of love as a strong feeling we have. We love our kids, our spouse, and our friends, especially when they are nice to us. But do we love people when they are unlovable, or do we love people who have hurt us deeply? Love is a matter of choice, and love is an action, not a feeling. How can we stretch ourselves and offer love in the most difficult situations? Give the gift of forgiveness to someone you've been holding a grudge against. Think loving thoughts of people when they are really aggravating you. Act lovingly to someone you do not like, and pray for people that mistreat you.


The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, but yet many of us don't feel it. We equate joy with happiness, but the two are not the same. Your happiness depends on your circumstances - whether you're having a good day or bad day. Joy, on the other hand, is an attitude we can choose to have. Regardless of our situation, we can choose to be joyful. Consider changing your perspective and chucking self-pity. Focus on God's love and His plans for you, which are always good, even when you have to walk through the valley first. Give the gift of gratitude, cheerful giving, and service. Everyone loves to be appreciated and served with a smile.


Most of the time, the holidays are anything but peaceful. The stress that often comes with holidays makes for a chaotic time. So how can you offer peace to the people around you when they most need it? Spend time in prayer so that you can receive the spiritual and emotional peace that comes from God. Then you can give relational peace to others by having an internal sense of peace and turning away from conflict. Meet criticism with a calm and listening ear, instead of defensiveness. Offer compassion and understanding instead of anger and fighting words. Manage your own stress so you can be an example to everyone around you.


Rick Warren says you can test your patience in four ways. How do you deal with interruptions? How do you handle inconveniences? How do you respond to the irritations in your life? What is your reaction when you have to wait? Let's face it. The holiday season can really test our patience. Whether it's having to drive to 5 different stores to find the one toy that is out of stock, dealing with irritable and snobbish people, or waiting in endless lines, our reaction is the true test of how patient we are. Give the gift of patience by developing a deeper love for people, changing how you view situations, learning to laugh at the craziness, and depending on God to see you through the stressful times.


Do you ever stop and ask yourself how you can be kind to someone today? Acts of kindness require thoughtful effort. Smiling at people who are having a bad day is an act of kindness. Kindness can be expressed by taking the time to listen to someone who is hurting. Giving people genuine compliments and seeing the best in people is a way to show kindness. Go out of your way to do something nice for someone, and don't wait until it's convenient for you because that time often does not come. In this busy world, everyone can benefit from a little kindness.


According to Rick Warren, "God says in his Word that the good life is not based on looking good, feeling good, or having goods. He says the good life is a life filled with goodness - being and doing good. When you are being good and doing good, you are going to feel good, and you are even going to start looking good - or at least looking better." How can you give the gift of goodness? By being and doing good according to God's word, and not the world. Whenever I am perplexed by how to handle a tough situation, I always ask myself, "What would Jesus do?" How would Jesus offer goodness to people this holiday season?


Giving the gift of faithfulness means you are reliable, trustworthy, dependable and consistent. If you say you're going to do something, do it. If you make plans to meet a friend, follow through with the plans, and do not cancel. Keep your promises and be a woman of integrity. Let people know you can be depended on for help this holiday season. Avoid gossiping and instead be a trustworthy friend. Be faithful to God by spending time everyday thanking Him for the love and blessings he gives you, as well as giving of your time, talent, and financial resources. We all need faithful people in our lives - don't underestimate the power of this gift.


Everyone loves a gentle spirit. Gentle people are well liked and offer the gift of love and healing to wounded souls. There are so many ways to be gentle to people. Consider having compassion and understanding by being able to set aside your own needs and see things from someone else's point of view, instead of demanding your own way. One of the greatest gifts you can give to someone is that of being non-judgmental. Have you ever wanted to share something that was really important to you, but you feared how people might judge you? How good it would feel to be able to open your heart to someone that was totally non-judgmental. Gentleness involves talking to people with respect and disagreeing peacefully. James 1:19 says, "Let every man be quick to listen but slow to use his tongue, and slow to lose his temper".


Give yourself the gift of self-control. Many of the problems we face in our life develop from a lack of self-control. Whether we face weight loss issues, financial debt, bad habits, or disorganization, the root of the problem usually starts with us. So how can you give yourself the gift of self-control? It starts with taking responsibility and committing to change. Think positive, believe in yourself, and do not let your past failures dictate your future success. Ask someone in your life or hire a life coach to hold you accountable to the change you'd like to make. Stay away from anything that tempts you to backslide on your goal, and rely on God's power to see you through to the end. While the holiday season is about giving, you too deserve a gift.

There is no reason to worry about money or buying the wrong gift because everyone appreciates receiving gifts from the heart. So this holiday season give your family, friends, neighbors, strangers, God and yourself the gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Author Bio

Lori Radun, CEC - certified life coach, speaker and author for moms. To receive her FREE newsletter and the special report "155 Things Moms Can Do to Raise Great Children", visit her website at

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

The True Meaning of Giving Thanks

What's not to love about Thanksgiving? It's the start of a four-day weekend. You don't have to get up too early. Sometime in the afternoon, you gather with family to share a huge, delicious meal, with guaranteed leftovers. There's football and a long nap for dad, fellowhip and fun for everyone else. Best of all, except for the food, no shopping is required to have a wonderful day. For that reason, alone, adults love Thanksgiving.

Your kids probably love it, too-a day off from school, filled with lots of treats-but they probably think of Thanksgiving like you did, when you were small; it's that holiday that falls between Halloween and Christmas. We don't wear crazy costumes for Thanksgiving, we don't receive or give gifts, as a rule. So, since kids aren't bombarded with commercials, telling them what they have to get on Thanksgiving (if they want to fit in), it can be hard for them, in our consumer-driven culture, to understand just what it's all about. After all, holidays mean presents, right?

You tell your kids about the starving Pilgrims, who were saved by the gifts of food from the local Indians, and how our country might not have developed as it did, without that act of kindness. But few of us ever mark that kindness as we down our turkey and dressing. It's odd, when you think about it. Thanksgiving is the one holiday that really is all about giving and receiving, but advertisers still haven't figured a way to stretch our credit limits to the max.

So how can you make a holiday with no presents have some real meaning for your kids? You could start with the word, itself. We often forget that Thanksgiving is a compound word-the day is meant for giving thanks. If your kids are old enough to enjoy receiving gifts and blessings, they're old enough to begin learning the concept of thanks.

Before the holiday, sit down with your children and ask them what they have in their lives that makes them happy. They may name a specific toy, or a bicycle, or a game, but chances are, when they really think about it, they'll be happy for the same things you are-family and friends, love and health and a roof over their heads. Make a list of these things with your kids-tape them on the refrigerator, or someplace where your children can be reminded of all that they have to be grateful for.

Talk to your kids about ways they can give at Thanksgiving. It's a great opportunity to teach them that giving comes in many forms. With Christmas approaching, maybe they can think about donating some of the toys they've grown tired of to charity, so that children less fortunate can have a brighter holiday. Or, if your children receive an allowance, they might want to donate a portion of it, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

There are even volunteer activities appropriate for young children. Something as simple as a neighborhood clean-up can involve many children, with supervision. Local residents and businesses can be approached about donating toward the effort, the proceeds of which can then be sent to a charity of the childrens' choice.

Thanksgiving need not be just the holiday between Halloween and Christmas. Even to your children, it's a day that can have real meaning, and live up to its name.

Author Bio

J Gardener, a writer for Imaginary Greetings, Inc. (, is an award winning screenplay copywriter and a regular contributing author on many family oriented issues. Imaginary Greetings offers highly imaginative personalized family oriented products and services. To learn more about how to make your holiday tree magical vist

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Christmas Shopping with Kids

Remember when Christmas shopping was something you could put off until the last minute, and then rush through, in one evening? Alone? Ahhh-those were the days, weren't they?

Now you have little shoppers, and you can't rush through anything, anymore, and a trip to the store-any store-is an operation which requires military-style planning. You can't wait until late at night. You can't slide and squeeze and speed your way through the crowds. And, most of all, you can't dawdle, examining something on the shelf-when you're shopping with small children, dawdling is definitely forbidden.

You know you have to keep them moving, keep their attention engaged, keep them guessing; a few seconds' rest can put the brakes on your master plan:

"Mommy, I want that!"

"Daddy, I'm hungry!"

"I have to go to the bathroom!"

"Tommy touched me!"

"I want to go home!"

By the time Christmas rolls around, you never want to see the inside of a retail store, again.

The good news is, you're not alone. Parents of small children all over the world are sharing your pain. The bad news is, there's no easy way to shop for Christmas, with small children. There are, however, a few ways to take a tiny bit of the stress out of the process.

In the spirit of keeping your kids engaged and involved-rather than just being unwilling passengers on the journey-make your shopping trip their shopping trip, too. Have them make a list of things they want to give as gifts to their grandparents, cousins, or friends. Do your shopping, first, then deal with their lists-this can help keep them as anxious as you, to see that your shopping is done, quickly.

Plan a visit to the store's Santa, on the condition that your kids are well-behaved and as helpful as possible-but make Santa your last stop.

Bring snacks along-hungry kids tend to be irritable. Bring activities, like coloring books, to keep them occupied, while you shop.

During the holidays, many malls have kids' play areas with adult supervision. Talk with other parents you know, to discover which ones in your area are safe and trustworthy.

Talk with your children before your shopping trip. Plan a reward or discipline system for them, based on their behavior at the store. If they become unruly, don't take the bait and discipline them at the store-just be sure, when the trip's over, to follow through with your plan.

Know your kids. If you realize that a successful Christmas shopping trip with them is a hopeless dream, then find a way to leave them at home, with a sitter or your spouse.

Christmas shopping is a cultural ritual that's here to stay. Look at it this way-you only have to survive a few years of it, with small children. Then you can go back to the last-minute, late-night gift runs-they'll seem like a vacation, won't they?

Author Bio

J Gardener, a writer for Imaginary Greetings, Inc. (, is an award winning screenplay copywriter and a regular contributing author on many family oriented issues. For additional tips on how to truly light up your child's eyes this holiday season like never before visit

Article Source: - Free Website Content

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween Activities for Kids

By: Nikki Phipps

There's no doubt about it; kids love Halloween. They love dressing up in costumes and collecting loads of candy. But did you know that kids also enjoy participating in other fun, creative activities as well? There are tons of interesting ways to entertain a child's imagination, including simple craft projects and games. Why not take advantage of this amazing holiday by spending some extra time with the children and doing these activities together?

Craft projects are a great way to get your child involved with Halloween traditions. Children love the chance to use and show off their imagination. Why not allow them to help out with the Halloween decorations? Sure, you could go out and spend lots of money on decorations that are already assembled, but wouldn't it be nice to save some cash by making your own? And as a bonus, you get to share the moment with your children.

Here's a nifty idea for adding Halloween charm to your porch or patio. Thoroughly clean and remove the labels from empty 2-liter pop bottles and pour a little bit of orange paint inside, replacing lid afterward. Let the kids shake the bottles around until the inside is covered with orange paint. Once dry, allow them to decorate faces onto the outside of the bottles with black paint. Add a green ribbon or bow to the top of the bottle and set on the porch. To lessen the chance of your pop-bottle pumpkins from blowing over, you can add a handful of sand using a funnel.

Another fun project for the kids involves making pumpkin pouches from ordinary paper plates. These creative little pouches will look great hung on the wall or door. Use them for holding candy or other items. In fact, use them all year long. They can easily be created to change as the seasons do. Take two plates and cut one in half. Secure the half plate onto the whole one using either staples or weaving ribbon through punched-out holes. Paint the plate pouch orange and allow it to dry. Decorate the pumpkin with funny or spooky faces and hang (pouch out). You could also have the kids create a festive Halloween handprint wreath for hanging on the front door. Choose autumn-colored pieces of construction paper and trace around your child's hand. Cut the little hands out and glue them together in the shape of a wreath. These can be further decorated or left as is. The size of the wreath is up to you.

Planning a party? Get the kids to help out with the invitations. Create adorable ghost print cards using their own footprints. Your children will not only enjoy making them, but your guests will love the cute designs as well. Simply grab some black and orange-colored construction paper (amount will vary depending on how many people), white tempera or other washable paint, and some gold gel markers. Lay down some newspaper and fill a shallow container with paint. Fold each piece of construction paper in half and place, one at a time, onto the newspaper. Have each child dip his/her foot into the paint and 'stamp' the card with a footprint. Allow the cards to dry; afterward, let the kids add a face onto the ghost and print a small message inside using markers. You could use glue for this instead and decorate with glitter.

You could attach some lively little ghost pops onto each card. Just have the children cover a tootsie pop with tissue and secure it in place with a piece of orange or black yarn. Use a marker to add a face to the ghost. These also make fun treats to give out to the trick-or-treaters.

Other interesting ideas for the kids to make and give out to party guests as well as trick-or-treaters include bat bags and candy cups. Use an ordinary brown paper lunch bag and some brown construction paper. Have the kids draw a bat's head onto the piece of construction paper and cut it out. Let them decorate it with markers, glitter, etc. Fill the bag with treats, fold the top over, and staple (parent/adult should do this). Of course, you don't need to feel limited to bats; allow them to choose whatever Halloween design they want or one that goes with a party theme.

Candy cups are good for party guests. Simply allow kids to decorate Styrofoam cups with markers relating to Halloween theme. Meanwhile, fill some plastic baggies with individually wrapped candy and tie the tops with decorative yarn or ribbon. Let the kids drop one baggie into each of the cups; these can also contain the names of guests or allow the guests to become involved as well and include the activity as a party event.

While children are always fascinated with creative craft projects, they simply love the opportunity to play. Games are another fun way for them to enjoy the Halloween festivities. Traditional games such as Snap Apple are always a hit. Hang an apple from the doorway with a string and have the children take turns trying to bite the apple, with their hands behind their back. This game was thought to bring good fortunes to those accomplishing the task. Of course, you could give a prize instead.

An interesting alternative to the more traditional Halloween games might include a good old-fashioned game of Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin. This game is played in the same way as Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Create a pumpkin from a piece of orange poster board and draw a mouth and eyes onto it with black marker. Create the nose from a piece of black poster board or construction paper and attach some double-sided tape to the back of it. Blindfold the players, having them turn around a couple of times, then allow them to 'pin' the nose onto the pumpkin. Winner gets a small prize.

Halloween isn't just about the candy or the costumes; nor is it about the ghosts, goblins, or witches. Halloween is an ideal occasion for spending and honoring time with family and friends. From small decorating projects to fun games, the Halloween season offers plenty of easy and interesting activities for the kids as well as the parents.

Author Bio

This article was written by Nikki Phipps and was sponsored by

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

An Autumn Garden for Halloween

By: Nikki Phipps

There's no better time to enjoy the spectacular beauty that nature has to offer than during the autumn season. This is an ideal occasion for entertaining friends and family, especially around Halloween. Why not take advantage of all the vibrant colors and stimulating textures that autumn provides by creating a garden themed around this exciting holiday.

Halloween parties provide a great opportunity to bring the bountiful harvest from the garden indoors; or better yet, invite guests out into the garden instead. Bathe the garden or patio with soft lights. Set autumn or Halloween-colored votive candles inside small jars or glasses and place them on terra cotta saucers adorned with colorful leaves. These charming, little lanterns can be used as attractive centerpieces for tables or scattered throughout the garden.

Pumpkins are an absolute must for decorating a Halloween garden. Create a variety of Jack-O'-Lanterns and spread them throughout the surrounding landscape. Light them up with candles. You could also choose to hollow out varieties of pumpkin, gourd, and even squash to use as festive containers for cut-flower arrangements. Fill them with various mums, Chinese lanterns, stems having berries attached, sunflowers, dried peppers, twigs, etc. Wicker harvest baskets also make lovely containers. Gather a few bales of hay or straw, add some corn stalks and pumpkins, and accent with Indian corn and small decorative gourds. For additional interest, you could cover tables with old burlap sacks. Create cozy seating around these tables; or perhaps, self-contained, rock fire pits.

Autumn-themed gardens are generally rich with colors such as crimson, gold, dark green, and burnt orange. These beautiful colors result from a variety of flowers, foliage, berries and seed heads. In keeping with a traditional Halloween theme, there are several ways to accomplish a spook-tacular garden. If you desire, your focus can be centered on orange and black. However, too much dark color can result in making the garden dull and unappealing. Your goal is to achieve an inviting atmosphere. Good choices for adding orange color might include zinnias, marigolds, tiger lilies, Gerber daisies, poppies, and butterfly weed. Near-black beauties could include a variety of tulips and irises. Don't forget to throw in some orange and black-colored pansies as well.

Keep in mind, however, that a Halloween theme does not need to be limited to just these colors. Flowers that are deep maroon can also help set off your Halloween effect. Look for these shades in favorite varieties of cosmos, bachelor buttons, or snapdragons. Complimentary colors such as orange mums and purple asters can add additional interest. Mix in some gray or blue grasses.

Likewise, try implementing some dark maroon roses in the garden; allow them to climb along an old iron trellis. Place stone benches in various areas for seating, allowing different views, and maybe a nearby water basin to wash away troubles. Additionally, you might want to include plants that have creepy names such as devil's tongue, blood lily, spider orchid, bat plant, bleeding heart, bloodroot, etc.

Did you know that at one time having certain plants within your garden made you guilty of being a witch? Many types of herbs, weeds, and flowers were once considered to be used solely by witches for making up magical potions and spells. Some of these included Hellebores, lavender, poppies, dandelions, and even ferns. Foxglove, known also as witches thimbles, and yarrow, referred to as devil's nettle, are also commonly grown plants in many gardens today that have a ghoulish connection with witchcraft.

Just for fun you might consider designing a witch's garden filled with various herbs. These gardens are generally circular in shape as it was once believed a sacred symbol by witches. Plant rows of red beauties around the perimeter of the garden. Red blooms were said to keep out evil doers. Try geraniums, zinnias, nasturtiums, red spider lilies, or firecracker flowers.

On the other hand, if you're wishing to ward off a witch, try a border filled with vibrant yellows and rich greens. There are many varieties of flowers such as marigolds, sunflowers, green zinnias, etc. and foliage plants such as hostas, ornamental grasses, or evergreens that will achieve this effect easily. Within the witch's garden you may find an array of native plants.

Add further interest and drama by incorporating ornamental plants as well. Enhance your theme with various features such as gargoyles, toadstool ornaments, broomsticks, and small cauldrons. Allow these objects to crawl out from beneath or behind plants to create an air of mystery.

An autumn garden can easily be designed to fit a Halloween theme. With only a dash of imagination and a few Halloween-related props, you can create an autumn garden that will amaze your family, friends, and neighbors. Happy Halloween.

Author Bio

This article was written by Nikki Phipps and was sponsored by

Article Source: - Free Website Content

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Peace and Hope for Mothers Day

By: Nicola Kennedy

To all of the mothers whose children are fighting in wars - and to mothers whose children are growing up with wars raging around them or with terrorism threatening their safety... Wishes of strength, peace and hope for this Mother's Day...

Arise then...women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts!

Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:

"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,

Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,

For caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn

All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We, the women of one country,

Will be too tender of those of another country

To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with

Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor,

Nor violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,

Let women now leave all that may be left of home

For a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means

Whereby the great human family can live in peace...

Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,

But of God -

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask

That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,

May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient

And the earliest period consistent with its objects,

To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,

The amicable settlement of international questions,

The great and general interests of peace.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if on some distant Mother's Day, the wishes of Julia Ward Howe could be fulfilled and the human race could celebrate a day when, all over the world, no mother would have to mourn the death of her child lost in war or terrorist attacks...

To all of the mothers whose children are fighting in wars - and to mothers whose children are growing up with wars raging around them or with terrorism threatening their safety... Wishes of strength, peace and hope for this Mother's Day...

Author Bio

Nicola Kennedy has enjoyed some great Mother's Days, both as a grateful mom and a loving daughter. She can help you find great Mother's Day gift ideas with tips and news, information and views at

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Origins of Valentines Day

By: Paul Wilson

Every year February 14th is celebrated as a day for love, exchange of gifts, promises of eternal passion, and more. The inspired pen poems inspired by their love and admiration for the women of their dreams while others just go to shops and buy commercially available verses.

Valentines means candy, chocolates, perfume, red hearts, balloons, and more. Have you ever wondered when the celebration first originated? Well in ancient Rome, February heralded the coming to spring a time for rejuvenation, fertility, and growth.

In ancient times, Romans celebrated in February a festival to honor the god of fertility who provided them with progeny and ensured a god crop. In Rome February 15th was celebrated as the feast of Lupercalla and Feb 14th as a holiday in honor of Juno the queen of Roman gods and goddesses. On the eve of Lupercalla a glass jar was filled to the brim with chits on which were penned the names of all eligible girls. Then young men would draw a chit each from the jar and the girl whose name was on the chit would be his partner for the celebration. This was a method by which ancient Romans introduced eligible boys and girls to one another.

Much later in the 3rd century BCE when Emperor Claudius II ruled Rome there lived a priest called Valentine. And when Claudius passed a decree that young men in his empire were not to marry, Valentine defied him and used to consecrate marriages secretly. He was sentenced to death and thrown into prison. While awaiting his execution Valentine penned a letter to his love and signed it "from your Valentine." After his death Valentine became a martyr and saint and was popularly known as St Valentine.

Wonderful legends are woven around Valentine's Day. In Wales young people exchanged as gifts wooden spoons which were hand carved with decorations of hearts and key holes. The decorations conveyed "you hold the key to my heart or you unlock my heart." In other places women were given gifts of clothes and if they accepted the gift then it conveyed that they were wiling to marry the man who has sent the gift.

In 1415, Charles, the Duke of Orleans is known to have penned, from his prison in the tower of London , what were known as "poetical amorous addresses" to his wife in France, he is believed to be one of the earliest creators of valentines.

Just as companies like Hallmark sell cards for Valentines Day in the 15th century people bought little booklets with verse in them, they then made their own valentines using the verse to express their thoughts. For example a valentine could have the hand drawn illustration of a knight and his lady with Cupid the god of love shooting arrows into the knight's heart.

In the US it was after 1723, that popularity of the celebration grew. People imported the "booklets of verse" all the way from England and copied the verses on to gilt edged papers. Then a Ms. Ester Howard in around 1830 decided to be original and create American Valentines that were marketed as Worcester Valentines.

Since then with changing centuries and tastes the celebration has taken on new hues with young men and women, children, as well as older couples creating newer ways to celebrate and declare their undying love.

Author Bio

Paul Wilson is a freelance writer for, the premier website to Submit Free Press Release for any announcements including launching of new product or services, new website, announcing new hires, sponsoring a special event or seminar and more. He also freelances for

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Special Easter Recipes

By: Kael Geary

As Easter draws near, we're often left scrambling trying to find the right ham recipe for easter dinner, or even the right demi-glaze to make for that ham. What about dessert? Surely you're going to need a great dessert recipe, right?

Well, I've included a couple of my own for your own use. Please feel free to use these recipes for your next family gathering and enjoy the feast that is sure to come.

1) Cinnamon Pork Roast

Serves 6


  • 3-1/2 to 4 pounds boneless center-cut pork loin roast

  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 onion (about 1/2 cup), finely grated

  • 4 garlic cloves (about 2 tablespoons), minced

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

Recipe Properties:

Combine cinnamon, salt pepper, sugar, onion, and garlic. Blend in 1 tablespoon soy sauce. If not spreadable, add another tablespoon of soy sauce. Rub mixture into loin. Refrigerate 3 hours to overnight. Grill pork over medium-low indirect fire 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until the internal temperature is 155 degrees F. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into thin slices.

2) Raspberry Glazed Ham


  • 1 (4-5 lb.) fully cooked boneless smoked ham

  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 1/3 c. seedless red raspberry jam

  • 1/4 c. dry white wine

  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

  • 1 tbsp. butter

Recipe Properties:

Score ham in diamond pattern, if desired. Place on rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, in 325 degree oven for 1-3/4 hours. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, blend wine and lemon juice into cornstarch. Add about half of the jam. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in remaining jam and butter. Heat and stir until butter is melted. Brush ham with raspberry glaze. Bake 10 minutes more. Spoon remaining glaze over ham. Garnish with watercress, if desired.

3) Scalloped Zucchini


  • 2 small zucchini, cut up and peeled

  • 1 egg, beaten with one fourth cup whole milk

  • 1 ounce pepper cheese

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1 to 2 slices white bread, torn in pieces

  • 1-4 ounce can mushrooms or 4 ounces fresh, sliced if large

  • 1 ounce smoked sausage

Recipe Properties:

Mix all ingredients in a buttered casserole dish. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes. Easy dish to make, goes great as a side dish.

As you can see, there are some great recipes to make for Easter. Go ahead and stop by to find more recipes along with pictures and reviews of your favorites as well as ones you've never heard of. Good eating this holiday!

Author Bio

This article was prepared by (Article Authors)
for this Easter Recipe Site Easter Recipes

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Easy, Low-Cost DIY Costume Ideas for Halloween

By: Nikki Phipps

Let's face it, not everyone can afford to spend a lot of money on elaborate Halloween costumes, especially if you're living on a fixed income. Likewise, not everyone can afford to spend a lot of time making them either, especially those without sewing abilities. Wouldn't it be nice if you could create your own costumes with little time or money invested? Well you can. In fact, there are numerous costume ideas that can be created yourself for next to nothing. Better still, there's little or no sewing involved. All you need is a little imagination and some creativity, something most of us already have tucked away somewhere inside us. And if for some reason you don't have it, I'm sure the kids do.

An interesting way to come up with ideas for costumes is to keep a trunk or box somewhere handy and fill it with miscellaneous items. This can help spark the imagination. For instance, load it up with old clothing, fabric of varying lengths, pantyhose, fashion accessories, artificial flowers, pipe cleaners and other craft supplies, aluminum foil, yarn, old sheets or curtains, etc. Nearly anything can be used. Instead of traditional Halloween bags for candy, use other items related to your costume and store them in the 'imagination box.' For example, you can implement items such as old pocketbooks, pillowcases, garbage bags, baskets, doctor's bags, small backpacks, or even diaper bags.

Ever since my kids were old enough to participate in trick-or-treating activities, I have made their costumes. Once Halloween approaches, I begin asking them what they would like to be. Then I scour the house and our box of goodies to find whatever I might already have on hand, making a list of the items with which I need. Generally, these few items can be purchased at the local thrift shop or dollar store so there usually isn't too much money invested in the project.

For safety reasons, I prefer to use make-up or face paint as opposed to masks. You can easily make your own out of food coloring and corn starch. This is not only safer than using masks, but it's also cheaper, easier to apply, and comes off just as easily with mild soap and water. A simple cream can be made with one part corn starch and two parts food coloring to create the desired shade for your costume. Apply to the face with your fingers just like foundation. And with a few drops of red food coloring and a little corn syrup, you have home-made blood for those ghoulish costumes.

One year my daughter went as a witch. It isn't as difficult as you might think to come up with creative ways of putting this outfit together. In fact, they can be as easy or difficult as you can handle. For the witch ensemble, I simply used a tattered black dress and a witch's hat my daughter already had. I mixed up some green face paint and added a wart with an eyeliner pencil. For her hair, I used some fiery, red-orange yarn that I attached to the hat with Velcro. Add a small broom and there you go.

Another year, she was a butterfly. The butterfly was fashioned together by cutting a pair of wings out of some cardboard, which I decorated with multi-colored pieces of felt (you can also use aluminum foil and decorate with sequins, glitter, etc.). The body of the butterfly consisted of nothing more than a black sweat suit; however, a dark-colored leotard should work just as well. Wings can be attached in whatever way is easiest for you. They can be sewn onto the back of the sweatshirt or fastened with elastic bands fitted around the child's arms. You could also try using Velcro for felt-covered wings. This not only sticks to the felt but to the shirt as well. Add an antennae headband and, if desired, some face paint. The headband can either be purchased from the dollar store for a couple bucks or put together yourself using an ordinary black headband with black pipe cleaners attached.

I transformed my son into a lively jack-in-the-box one year. This idea came about through my own childhood memories. My mother also made a lot of our costumes growing up. Aluminum foil would incredibly become a tiara, a wand, or antennas. Lacy curtains would suddenly become flowing gowns. Her creativity was amazing, and one costume in particular stood out above all others-a kitchen table. She had taken a simple cardboard box, cut out a hole in the bottom, and slipped it right over my head. After draping a tablecloth over the box, my protruding head became the centerpiece with a carefully placed 'hat' made from a pair of pantyhose and artificial flowers.

And from this kitchen table costume, another one was born-the jack-in-the-box. It uses the same 'box' concept and originality. I simply took a box, decorated it, and attached it to my son with suspenders (can use elastic as well). On one side of the box I fashioned a handle. He wore dark sweatpants and a regular long-sleeved shirt that I attached ruffles to. I painted his face to mimic that of a joker.

A few years back, my kids decided that they wanted their costumes to match. We looked around the house and soon enough found ourselves with a cowboy and an Indian. For the cowboy, my son donned a cowboy hat and boots, a western shirt, blue jeans and a denim jacket. All of which we already had. To accessorize the look, I tied (loosely) a red bandana around his neck and fastened the holster (complete with toy guns) around his waist. Once again, these were items that we already had on hand.

My daughter, of course, was the Indian. Her costume was also something we had just lying around. I took an old brown pillowcase and cut a v-neck hole in the bottom that was large enough for my daughter's head to fit through. I then cut two more holes in either side for her arms. I hand-stitched designs around both the neck line and bottom of the 'dress' and with a pair of scissors, I carefully cut slits along the edges to give it a frilly look. If you don't sew, that's ok; you can easily use fabric paint to decorate the dress instead. To set off the dress, my daughter wore braided pigtails with a feathered headband around her forehead. The only item I purchased for this was a pair of moccasin slippers from the dollar store. To hold all their candy, my son carried a pillowcase 'loot bag' while my daughter used an old harvest basket lined with an orange towel.

Ever had the option of dressing up for work with the most original taking first prize? This one worked for me. Once again, I borrowed the idea from my mother, giving it my own twist-a tomato plant. For this costume, I wore a dark green leotard with green hose and slippers. I found a dark green table skirt and simply cut out holes to allow me to both slip it over my head and run my arms through. I pinned some green artificial leaves onto the leotard and table skirt along with little tomatoes made from Styrofoam balls that were painted red and topped off with green stems (you can also use tomato pin cushions found in craft stores). I finished it off with a green beret full of leaves. By the way, I took the prize.

I have found balloons to be quite useful for costumes; however, they should only be applied to those of older children or adults. Once again, safety is important and balloons tend to pop easily and small children can accidentally try to eat the balloon peices. Balloons are inexpensive and come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. You can create one-of-a-kind costumes with hardly any work involved. Imagine a bunch of grapes (like that from Fruit-of-the-Loom). Choose a purple sweat suit or leotard and attach purple balloons carefully with small safety pins. Add some ivy vines and top it off with a matching hat full of ivy leaves. This could also be used for other berries as well with appropriate colored sweats and balloons. For instance, you could try raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries.

Then again, why not go out as Mr. Bubble? Wear white and use some white balloons to instantaneously become soap suds. Accessorize with a scrub brush and a hat or bag made up of bath materials such as sponges and empty shampoo, bubble bath, or soap containers. When you apply balloons to any costume, however, try not to put any on the backside. This could make it difficult to sit down.

Other interesting costume ideas might include a scarecrow using denim bib overalls, a plaid or flannel shirt, rope or twine for belt, a straw hat, gloves and boots. Stuff all the pockets with straw. Turn an old sheet into a ghost. Create a hobo from some old clothes and add a hat. Paint the face with a five o'clock shadow and fashion an old hankie to a stick. What's autumn without leaves? Use a dark-colored sweat suit (with hood) and pin silk leaves all over it. Walk around carrying a rake and gather candy in a leaf bag.

Remember, a little imagination can go a long way; and best of all, it's free to use.

Author Bio

This article was written by Nikki Phipps and was sponsored by

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Easy Crafts for Kids Aged 3-5 to Make for Mother's Day

By: Nicola Kennedy

Kids are always wanting to make mom a gift for Mother's Day. They want something that is all their own, without much help from anyone, so here are some ideas that are both inexpensive and easy for them.

A home made jewelry box: Give the child a small paper mache box - sort of like a jewelry box, any shape with a lid. Now, put down some newspaper, put acrylic paints, brushes, glitter, buttons, charms, ribbon or lace, glue, colored markers or crayons down on the paper, and let your child do the work. You will be surprised what they can come up with.

They can also use the same materials to make a card for Mom on Mother's Day. Just get a thick card stock to fold in half so they can decorate it. You can also use poster board and help them make a big "Happy Mother's Day" sign, to greet her in the morning with.

Another idea is to get some cheap plastic beads with big holes, some string and let them make a matching set of bracelets and a necklace for mom.

Cut out hearts of red, pink, lavender paper or poster board, color it, put glitter on it and hang them all over the house.

Modeling clay is always a nice medium to play with. There are clays that only need to dry in the air and need no baking at all. Modeling clay allows your child to form anything that comes to mind. They can use their imagination with no limits, except for the limits of the clay. Once the project is dry, your child can paint it or dress it up any way they want. It is an inexpensive way and fun way of letting your child make and give of their heart to their mom on Mother's Day.

Check your local craft shop for other project ideas that are appropriate for this age group. Take your little one to the store and let them decide what they want to make for mommy. Just remember to read the age group limit on the outside of the box.

Always remember to supervise the children, especially with glue, paint and scissors around.

Author Bio

Nicola Kennedy has enjoyed some great Mother's Days, both as a grateful mom and a loving daughter. She can help you find great Mother's Day gifts with tips and news, information and views at

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Monday, October 6, 2008

10 Best Valentines Gifts to Give

By: Paul Wilson

World over in February young couples celebrate Valentines Day with laughter and promises of undying love. The celebration knows no barriers and whether 4 or 80 years old, people with hope treasure the phrase "Will you be my Valentine."

Mid- Feb heralded in ancient Rome, the coming of spring and even in pre-Christian times people celebrated a "fertility" festival with great joy. Much later the festival celebrated on Feb 14th was in honor of St. Valentine who is believed to have signed a letter to his beloved on his death bed as "from your Valentine."

Red hearts, beautifully wrapped chocolates, balloon bouquets, and so on flood the markets and most young men are in a quandary as to what will make a "memorable gift."

Here are a few ideas to set your creativity rolling:

1. Abandon all ideas of dinner in a crowded restaurant where couples will be jostling for space. Plan a special "time for two" either on a patio over looking a garden or on a boat sailing down a moonlit river or sea. Choose to pack a picnic basket with foods that triggers off memories. For example perhaps the two of you had enjoyed chocolate donuts one day, or a pizza with toppings both love, or a cookie specially baked by you. Take along music or compose a song to sing to her. Serenade her like knights used to on bent knee.

2. If you have gathered many pictures or video clips of your time together then put together an album with specially written captions and a witty heading. You could even say "this gamine grimace enchanted me," be original and let your imagination and sense of humor take wing.

3. If you are going to be away on Valentines Day meet online for a special chat. Make it a cyber date-the World Wide Web will close up the distances.

4. Avoid the run of the mill activities and plan to go to an amusement park or fair. Have a rollicking time on the roller coaster.

5. If you know of a movie she has been dying to see -get it and plan an evening enjoying the film.

6. If she loves gizmos get her a digital camera or video phone.

7. Don your apron and chef's hat and cook a special meal.

8. Pamper her by gifting her a session at a spa she loves.

9. Plan a weekend get-away and take her somewhere special.

10. Pot a special plant for her. One that will grow and bloom along with your relationship.

Valentines Day is special so consider something unique. Most people will not have the spirit of adventure in them and try something different. They feel safer going with the crowd and presenting their love with cards, red balloons, hearts cut out of red paper or fabric, Godiva's chocolates, or a dinner in a favorite restaurant. Dare to be different and you will be remembered.

Author Bio

Paul Wilson is a freelance writer for, the premier REVENUE SHARING discussion forum for Online Shopping including topics on shopping deals, finding coupons, shopping discounts, price comparison, and more. He also freelances for the premier Cheap Shopping Deals site

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Take Care When Choosing a Christmas Tree

Selecting and decorating the Christmas tree is one of our most valued Yuletide traditions. Of all the symbols we associate with the holiday season, few are more recognizable than the Christmas tree. We take great care in selecting a beautiful, fragrant evergreen to place in our homes or businesses. We watch with delight as our kids hang ornaments, often as early as the day after Thanksgiving. We attend civic Christmas tree lightings in small towns and large cities alike. And, of course, on Christmas Eve we fill with anticipation as we wait for Santa to deliver the goods.

It all starts with the selection process, however. If, like millions of traditionalists everywhere, you've made the decision to trim a real tree versus an artificial one, your first step is to decide where you'll procure the evergreen and what type of tree you want.

While you can obtain a cutting permit and venture into a public forest yourself to down your tree, that may not be the safest or most efficient way to go. Today, most consumers opting for live trees visit a commercial Christmas tree farm or nursery, or they purchase one from a market vendor who has had the tree shipped from a nursery/farm.

Often, choices abound. Fir, spruce, pine, cedar and cypress all are popular varieties. Typically, a fir is considered the "true" Christmas tree. But the fact of the matter is that there are different species of fir trees and there truly is no right or wrong choice, no "official" Christmas tree. For example, a Colorado Blue Spruce serves as the National Christmas Tree outside the White House. Inside the White House, however, a variety of trees have been used over the years. There is no preferred presidential evergreen.

According to The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), the 10 most popular Christmas trees grown and sold in the United States are as follows, in order:

- 1. Fraser Fir

- 2. Douglas Fir

- 3. Balsam Fir

- 4. Colorado Blue Spruce

- 5. Scotch Pine

- 6. Eastern Red Cedar

- 7. White Spruce

- 8. Eastern White Pine

- 9. White Fir

- 10. Virginia Pine

While not in the Top 10 in terms of popularity, the Leyland Cypress is a good choice for individuals who suffer from allergies but still want a real tree for Christmas, according to the NCTA.

When choosing the tree that works best for your family, you'll want to take several things into consideration - beginning with the tree's size. Know the dimensions of the space into which you hope to place your tree. How high is the ceiling? How wide is the area? Take along a tape measure so that you can be certain the tree you've chosen will fit.

Look for a green tree with no (or very few) brown needles.

Take a good look at the bottom of the tree's "trunk" to ensure it is both sturdy and straight. If it is knotted or curved it may not fit into your base - then you've purchased and hauled a useless tree.

A reputable dealer won't sell a tree with these blemishes, but we all know there are plenty of disreputable vendors out there looking to make a quick buck!

Just like you kick the tires before buying a car, it's a good idea to test a tree before buying it by taking a branch in your grasp and, with gentle pressure, pulling at it. Don't pull hard, but instead allow the branch of the tree to pass through your fingers and palm pressure. If all or a majority of the needles stay on, the tree is strong. If several fall off, you're dealing with a weak tree.

Once you have a tree set up inside your home, it's time to decorate! A first-rate tree-topper and ornaments are an absolute must.

Finally, real trees can become fire hazards if proper precautions are not taken.

Author Bio

Jeremy White, a writer for Imaginary Greetings, Inc., is a regular contributing author specializing in features, sports, business and food writing, and frequently contributes to a variety of print and online publications. To make your family's holiday magical this season, visit for the best selection of everything Christmas.

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