If there’s one night of the year that’s devoted to celebrating, then it has to be New Year’s Eve. It’s the time to feast on scrumptious food and sip on something with plenty of fizz. But aside from making sure your guests are well fed and watered, your home should be decorated in a festive style to set the tone for partying. Here’s how to get your party rockin’ this New Year’s Eve.
The staple ingredient for any celebration, balloons are a must-have feature at any New Year’s Eve party. Push the boat out and opt for some sparkly, shiny balloons, or buy some with Happy New Year on them. When the clock strikes midnight, release the balloons up into the sky!
If you’re trying to create a party atmosphere, then you need to get the lighting right. Harsh, bright lights are a big no-no, so instead opt for twinkly lights that can be draped from one corner of the room to another. Candles also make a great party mood setter.
Stick some banners up on your front door and throughout your house to set the party tone. There are lots of styles to choose from, but naturally for this one night, you’ll probably want to select ones that spell out Happy New Year.
Focus on gold and silver
Choose party decorations that focus heavily on gold, silver and other sparkly, glittery colors. It’s the one night of the year where you can go a little over the top with color themes and decorations. So, aside from decorating your house with gold and silver balloons, banners or lights, think gold and silver streamers, danglers, baubles, candles and tableware.
Who said confetti was for weddings only? Confetti is a great addition for any party celebration, so scatter festive confetti throughout your home. It looks really stylish on a table, scattered around champagne flutes and bottles of fizz.
Make your own
Set your individual stamp on the festive feel of your home by making your own New Year’s Eve decorations. White paper snowflakes, for instance, are incredibly easy to make, and can be hung from the ceiling for a really stunning effect. Get the kids involved in making bunting, banners or a garland that will give your home a unique party style of its own.
Ribbon is widely available and inexpensive to buy, but makes a valuable contribution towards setting a party tone to your home. Even better, is to curl the ribbon, which is incredibly easy to do but creates a really stunning effect. Dot curled ribbon throughout your home and hang off doors, mirrors, picture frames, etc.
Shimmer door curtains
Shimmer door curtains create an instant party feel to a home, so add a few to get your New Year’s Eve party on the road. They’re really easy to attach and come in a range of colors, so you can mix and match with other colors or themes or just choose something vibrant and glitzy.
This article was written by Amy from Vivid Doors. Amy loves throwing parties and one of her favorite parts is the preparation and decoration. She put together these tips with the rest of the team at Vivid.
Every year at Christmas, it seems you get at least one gift that’s useless to you. It could be an appliance for which you have no need, a piece of jewelry identical to a piece you already own, or an article of clothing that just does not quite fit your style. Instead of letting them sit in a closet and gather dust or re-gifting them to clients, coworkers or friends, why not use one of these ideas to turn that useless gift into a holiday boon.
Donate those unwanted gifts to a charity such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army. There are even charities that cater to specific needs, such as Dress for Success and Career gear, which allow people to donate business attire. These items will then be used to help dress men and women, who could not otherwise afford it, for job interviews. It’s a great way to donate the myriad ties you received. As an added bonus, you get a nice tax deduction for donating to nonprofit charities.
Many recipients of gifts find it hard to ask for the receipt for an expensive item, afraid that it might hurt the giver’s feelings. For items such as gold jewelry or gold cuff links, instead of letting them sit in your jewelry box and gather dust, why not take that jewelry to your local pawn shop and sell it for cash? Not only will you be getting quite a bit of cash, but a future buyer will be getting a great deal on a new piece of jewelry.
Most of us can’t find a use for two toasters, crock pots or blenders. Websites such as Craigslist.com are great places to unload small or large appliances for a bit of extra pocket cash. Just remember to take safety precautions when allowing strangers into your home!
In today’s fast-paced world, many of us don’t have time to do a lot of shopping for anyone other than a few select friends and family members, so we give and receive gift cards for Christmas. Sometimes, though, those gift cards are not suited to our interests and we just won’t use them. Instead of letting them expire and allowing the company to keep all that profit, you could donate those gift cards to children’s hospitals, senior living facilities or even military organizations. Many of these people will be without their families or on a fixed income over the holidays and the kind gesture would be appreciated.
If you’re the outgoing type, start a yearly neighborhood gift exchange. After the holidays are over, each person brings one gift they received, which is useless to them, and exchanges with another person for something more useful. It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors and turn a gift that wasn’t quite right for you, into something you’ll be able to use. For more fun, have each person bring a snack or drinks and turn it into a party!
Whether it’s a little pocket change for yourself or making someone else’s day a bit brighter, just follow a few of these suggestions, and maybe come up with a few ideas of your own, and you can turn those useless gifts into something beneficial for everyone.
Tomas Lloyd has worked as a financial planner for over 15 years. He recommends visiting mint.com/blog which he regularly reads for financial tips & useful investing information.
Christmas is supposed to be the season of good will and we all seem to make a massive deal out of the festive season. The build-up starts earlier and earlier each year and people save for months and make the most elaborate preparations. Why is it then that so many of us feel deflated after the event?
For one thing the enormity of our expenditure is sure to lead to disappointment. Vast sums are laid out on food, decorations and gifts. The supermarkets are full of families wheeling trollies which are bending under the sheer volume of chocolates and treats and there is a shopping frenzy as we all search for the perfect gifts. The trouble is that this is all for one day which is usually spent cooking, eating and watching the TV so how can it ever live up to a level of spending which would easily fund a good holiday?
The simple truth is that it can’t and so we are all bound to be left disappointment and lamenting our excess. In reality much of our money is wasted and we know it. Huge volumes of food are left uneaten as we buy far more than we could reasonably consume and so many of the gifts we buy are not really wanted or appreciated by the recipients. You have to ask why we all do it? The majority of the population have no interest in religion and the recession has seen to it that our pockets are even more challenged than ever and yet we carry on spending furiously to fund the festive season.
The reason we cannot break free is guilt and the emotional blackmail of our families. Christmas is now so inexorably perceived as the time when you should see your family and eat together that to not do so feels like a crime. This is, of course, ridiculous as we could get together any day of the year and buy each other gifts whenever we like but we don’t probably because we have spent all our money on Christmas!
The festive period is a precious time when we get some time off work and would be able to have some lovely days out or a good holiday without having to use up limited holiday entitlement. It is the perfect time to do the things we would really like to enjoy and yet guilt over indulging ourselves and the fear of upsetting the family usually see us confined to the house.
I have tried to break free on a couple of occasions and turned my back on a traditional Christmas in favor of the golf course and a day in the countryside. Yes I felt guilty but the experience was a liberating one and something I plan to repeat when I gather the fortitude and a suitably strong feeling of righteous indignation.
This year I have evolved a compromise. The decorations are up, the Christmas tree lights are twinkling and the festive food has been ordered. After I have done my duty I am heading to the airport for a skiing holiday and will be enjoying myself on the slopes until after the New Year!
Sally Stacey is a writer and retail business owner who likes to get away from it all over Christmas but struggles to achieve her perfect Christmas.
Christmas is renowned for being a time for giving, where families and friends meet up to exchange thoughtful presents as a token of their appreciation. However, Christmas is also renowned for being one of the busiest times of the year for charities – as people are finalizing their shopping lists, preparing to make travel arrangements as well as businesses shutting up shop over the festive period; resulting in less trade. However, you can make a difference – simply by making a donation to your chosen charity when sending out your Christmas cards.
All for a good cause
Whilst many may have every intention to make a charitable donation at Christmas, by the time factors such as buying presents/attending Christmas parties/spending time with the family have been accounted for, making a contribution to a good cause often ends up being less of a priority. A survey conducted in 2011 found that 1 in 5 people claim to donate more to charities during Christmas; yet a similar statistic admitted that they found it more difficult to give. When it came to recognizing what Christmas means most to the respondents, 6 per cent stated ‘purchasing something from a charity’, 3 per cent ‘giving money to charity’ while 1 per cent said ‘volunteering for a charity’.
Driver of Ideas for nfpSynergy, Joe Saxton, says: “Charities cannot take Christmas for granted. Almost as many people say they find it harder to give as say they are more likely to give to charity at Christmas. As Sir Cliff will have us all know, charities at Christmas time must compete with mistletoe and wine, children singing and logs on the fire – not to mention much-loved in-laws, ruthless bargain hunting and soapy cliffhangers!
“That all said, ‘bar humbug’, one must surely concede that the ‘Season of Goodwill’ still affords opportunities of Dickensian proportions for those charities that work hard to cut through all the sherry and tinsel, to hug at merry hearts.”
Sending your season’s greetings
However, according to the article (as reported by nfpSynergy), 49 per cent of those surveyed said they “usually buy charity Christmas cards” while 31 per cent said they were “more likely to buy a product that makes a donation to charity at Christmas”. With these insights in mind, why not combine the two – and send a Christmas card whilst at the same time, make a donation to your favorite charity? Not only will you be sending loved ones holiday cheer, you can also help make a significant difference to a worthwhile cause – which for many charities, serves as the perfect Christmas gift.
Charity begins at home
With many sites offering this service, getting started couldn’t be simpler. Simply pick a design, personalize your message, then select the charity you want to donate to. Once that’s done, the card will then display your charity’s logo so your recipient knows you’ve made your donation – which in turn will hopefully raise awareness and get them donating too! So go on, spread the message this Christmas – literally – by sending a card and donating to a charity today.
Article submitted by freelance blogger Rachael Blakewood on behalf of Christmas card specialists, Christmas Connections.
Thank you very much for supporting the Dangerous Lee News & Entertainment Network. Each click, visit and share helps to put a few pennies in our (Senia and me) pockets.
We have something for everybody!
Winter is here again and some have already started to grumble about it. But if one goes about it the right way, winter can be great fun even by just staying at home. There are plenty of things one can do to spice up the winter at home. Here are just a few suggestions!
Catch up on entertainment
Winter time is the time when all the television stations compete with each other to air the best shows. For some shows, September is the month when the new series begins and continues through winter. There are great new shows coming up this winter as well as new series of long running shows.
Winter is a great time to try out new recipes. For those who enjoy eating and would like to try their hand at cooking, this is the perfect time. For one, people are stuck indoors and for another, one feels the need for nourishment when it’s cold. Apart from ordinary cooking, this is also a good time to try out new Christmas recipes. Or see how well a traditional recipe can be adapted to modern cooking. It can be great fun and a wonderful experience, especially if a nice wine is chosen along with the goodies. And then, spiced wine or mulled wine can also be made during this time. The choices are simply endless.
To burn away all those calories one usually puts on during the holiday season, working out is necessary. Though a nice jog in the local park is out, there are plenty of indoor exercise options. Indoor sports facilities such as indoor squash, tennis or even more adventurous activities like rock climbing can be considered. There are also physical workouts one can do at home such as aerobics, skipping and dancing. Yoga is also an option for those who are interested in something different. And finally, there is no need to go out at all because all kinds of workouts are there on Youtube.
Prepare for Christmas
Christmas is the high point of the winter season, and there is plenty of preparation and shopping to do. Amazon and other sites have a variety of gift options at bargain prices. This means that the shopping can be finished while sitting at home. Getting fibre optic broadband options for swift online shopping is a good idea. There are more preparations to be done, such as cleaning the house, setting up a tree, finding long lost ornaments, recreating Christmas. Trying out some fresh decorations during this time is always challenging and enjoyable.
Winter also happens to be the gaming season. With interesting new games like Assassin’s Creed IV and Deadfall Adventures being released, games aficionados are going to have a wonderful season trying out all the new games. For people who are not so much into video games, there are always the more traditional options like Scrabble, Chess and Monopoly.
Staying inside has never looked so good during the winter time.
Kirsty is a stay at home mum. In her spare time she likes to research latest technology trends and share her knowledge with the rest of the world by writing blogs.
People that want to make the most out of their holiday shopping nowadays tend to do it on Black Friday. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, gives you an opportunity to find deals that will let you save a ton of money when you need it. There are a lot of great ways to save money when looking for shopping deals, and if that is what you are looking for, here are 7 solid tips that you can take advantage of when you want to be sure you are getting an excellent opportunity to purchase electronics, clothing, subscriptions and any other deals that you want to take advantage of.
The biggest craze and appeal of Black Friday is waking up early in the morning, or camping outside of stores in order to catch the deals that come out of it. However, one thing that people overlook is the fact that you can find some great deals by shopping via web, as opposed to getting up at the crack of dawn and standing in line. If you need to shop for just about anything these days, you can get it on the internet.
Even with deals in place, you can use coupons, membership cards, points and other opportunities to cut even more out of the price. That will allow you to get rock bottom prices on the things that you want.
When you look into the Black Friday deals well ahead of time, you need to make sure that you understand what to expect, so that you are able to get the best price possible. It is important to know what deals are available, because it is very easy for things to sell out due to high demand. This goes for both in store and online sales.
In order to catch the deal, the old saying is true–the early bird catches the worm. To get the opportunity to make the most out of your shopping experience, you should be sure that you are able to do what you can by getting out of bed and catching the best deals that you can.
If you are not in the state of mind to have your space invaded, you should make sure that you are able to get prepared for the crowds you will experience. That way, you will not have to worry about frustrations. You’ll be able to enjoy it overall if you take care of your expectations.
Shopping on Black Friday is a great way for you to knock out your Christmas shopping. You can navigate it for personal shopping, but it would be to your benefit to give yourself the chance to shop for your family members by catching all of these deals.
Black Friday is a great way for you to have some bonding, because you and your family and friends can take part in it together. This will give you the chance to also handle more of the shopping, if there are limits on certain item purchases, and you will also be able to get through it stress free, knowing that you and your friends will be in good spirits and in holiday cheer.
This article was provided by Zoe White, creative writer at DelishSwimwear.com. She is a southern California native who loves the beach, sports, and trying new foods.
By Sean Carter
One of the biggest and warmest holidays of the United States, Thanksgiving has its history and origin way back in centuries. There are various instances of thanksgiving observances in history, all of which bear resemblance to the modern celebrations of Thanksgiving; but the generally accepted and circulated view is that the modern day American Thanksgiving has its origin in 1621, when the Pilgrims, or the English settlers and the Native Americans celebrated a three-day long feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But quite contrary to this popular belief, the Pilgrims were never the first to have a Thanksgiving feast. Feasts celebrating a good harvest existed well before the Pilgrims or the settlers arrived. Nevertheless, it’s true that these Pilgrims held a Thanksgiving feast (more aptly, a feast to say ‘thanks’) in the first year of their survival in America
Following this Pilgrim’s 1621 Thanksgiving observance, began the Thanksgiving tradition of holding feasts after a good harvest. People usually celebrate Thanksgiving to mark the Autumn harvest and make merry in the plentiful yield. There is, however, a long tradition of celebrating the harvest throughout history. It might interest you to know that even the ancient Greeks and Romans had their respective harvest celebrations with music, parades and feasts quite like today’s Thanksgiving celebrations. People in ancient China also had their harvest festival with families feasting together on ‘moon cakes’ (round yellowish cakes). This was to celebrate the full moon and, as a matter of fact, the Chinese still celebrate this as their Moon Festival with much hype and hoopla ! Then again, there’s the harvest festival of the Jews. The Jewish harvest fest, Sukkot, is celebrated for eight days and is an occasion to catch up with the family on feasts and to be thankful for a good year. The British Isles too has a harvest festival called the Lammas, which marks the beginning of the harvest season.
Now, whatever the history and origin, Thanksgiving today is primarily a day set aside in the most part of North America to show gratitude and be thankful to God. Feasts and family reunions are a regular trend for Thanksgiving in North America. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November every year. But in Canada, the harvest season ends a little earlier in the year. Hence in Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. The Canadians have a three-day long Thanksgiving weekend and the holiday is not as significantly hyped here as in the United States. The Canadians also do not get enough time for a convenient homecoming. So they reserve the family reunions for the Christmas holiday.
The Thanksgiving holiday has serious religious shades for the Roman Catholic Quebecers, who call it l’Action de Grâce. Thanksgiving has a long-standing history in Europe; it is associated with the harvest festivals held there.
So then, as you see, celebrating harvest is quite old. And so is the thanksgiving act–to thank the Almighty for all the good things He has given us ! And all these harvest festivities, although having cultural differences, are common in spirit to the modern American Thanksgiving.
Sean Carter writes on holidays, thanksgiving and celebrations around the world. He also writes on family, relationships,women’s issues birthdays, inspiration, religion, love and friendship. He is a writer with special interest in e-card industry. He writes for 123greetings.com
The last quarter of 2013 is here which means it is party season! Yes, many of us throw parties throughout the year, but this time of year there is likely going to be many events filling up your social calendar. Not only is there a chance you may have a full schedule with invitations, but now is the time to decide whether you are going to host a party of your own. Take advantage of the tools and ideas around you. In a historic city like Philadelphia there are many ideas available including renting a photo booth.
One of the most important skills you need to possess while planning your get together is time management. If you are a natural at this then this step will be a breeze for you. However, if you are not then now is the time to start getting organized. Being able to keep yourself organized and on time will not only allow you to enjoy your party more, but it will also lessen the amount of stress you feel while planning. Look at your calendar and determine the date now. The earlier you can pick a date the better, especially if you are going to rent a location.
After you have picked the date for the party you can lay out a schedule that makes your to do list much more manageable. You may want to leave a little extra room just in case something unexpected happens.
Decide on a Theme
One of the first big decisions you may have to make is whether or not you are going to have a theme for your party. This could be fun if you are going to have a crowd made up of adults and children. It may also be an interesting twist to explore if you are having an adult only party.
Choose Your Activities
Whether you are going to have themed party or not, you are going to want something to entertain your guests. The activities you choose to do should be age appropriate. For instance, if you are going to have some younger party goes you may want to consider an inexpensive craft for them to take home.
If you are just inviting the adults, perhaps you can have a white elephant gift exchange or even a karaoke contest. Choose small prizes that could be fun or practical for the contest winner to enjoy once they leave. For many people nothing says the holidays like the smells coming from the kitchen. As one of the activities for your party, consider including a cookie exchange. Not only will your friends have fun tasting new treats, but they can also have the recipe for their favorites.
In Philadelphia you may even want to consider a photo booth rental for your party. Not only will your guests be able to make memories and share some laughs, but they can have the pictures to prove it.
Whether you are planning a party for children, adults or both make sure you leave yourself enough that you can actually enjoy the results of your hard work. Have fun!
Christmas is a time of giving and receiving, and a time for families and friends to gather together to exchange gifts, eat, drink and be extremely merry. Its a time when children’s dreams are realised seeing them finally get the new, up to date toys they’ve been desperately asking for in the months leading up to Christmas. If you have children (and even if you don’t) many of us want Christmas to be a special time of year. For many people this can be extremely expensive – luxurious presents, fridges bulging with food, Christmas parties and so much more.
The build up to Christmas can be a truly magical time of year and whilst all of this is lovely- it can all be too much, especially for families on a budget. The fairytale image of Christmas can soon diminish in a puff of smoke when the harsh realities of life swiftly bring us crashing back down to earth.
So does this mean you should perhaps miss out on having a lovely Christmas altogether? Not at all! What this does mean is that you can eagerly look forward to having an amazing day with your family and friends without breaking the bank, and here is how!
The biggest temptation is to splash out on lavish gifts that we probably can’t afford and probably shouldn’t buy, especially if we are buying for children, its very easy to get carried away! Instead you should research the things you intend to buy beforehand to enable you to get the best price available whilst remaining sensible. You can create a fantastic pile of gifts for the children to open on Christmas morning and some have memorable experiences without spending a fortune.
Being organized helps – you’ll often finds sales in the approach to Christmas (and indeed after Christmas in preparation for the following year) so shop in sales, you”ll be amazed how much money you can save. Also keep a look out for things like voucher codes to save you money off of all your online purchases, where possible. Voucher codes are fabulous even if you just save on the delivery costs, it makes it all worthwhile! If you have a group of grown up friends, why not suggest doing a secret Santa present swap so you have less presents to buy. Take your kids on big days out (Santa’s grotto, ice skating, snow man building etc) so that they have lots of memories throughout the whole season showing them its not all about the gifts, its about spending time as a family creating memories you’ll treasure forever.
When I have visions of a family sitting down to their Christmas dinner, I tend to envisage a huge table filled with a banquet of meats, potatoes and vegetables with glasses of wines and spirits flowing freely amongst the gleeful guests! To me, this is what Christmas is all about, eating, drinking and being merry. A massive family Christmas dinner is truly lovely – however it can also be expensive. This year, why not suggest that everyone gets involved with the dinner preparations. Asking your friends and family to help with the meal by bringing the starters, dessert or wine can really help to reduce the expense. I’m pretty sure that your guests will be relieved that you have advised them what to bring along rather than having to worry or second guess what you might need. Leaving you all to have a lovely, busy, family filled Christmas meal without having to worry too much about the cost.
It can seem like the last thing you want to do, but imagine how much easier this Christmas would be if you were really organized and ready for it? Purchase items like wrapping paper, Christmas decorations, Christmas cards and even a new Christmas tree in the January sales. You’ll find all sorts of items reduced throughout January so you can save yourself a small fortune buying these items then. You can simply store them away in the cupboard until next Christmas. It can seem like a chore to shop for Christmas items when the festive season is literally just over and done with but it really can make your next Christmas so much easier to arrange and far less expensive for you (and your family budget). Of course now you have all of these items, your Christmas budget will not be quite so restricted as it has been in previous years, so it really is a win-win situation!
My name is Nicola and i have interests in technology, health & fitness, interior design and family matters.
Nope. Don’t wanna see it. Can’t make me! However, I do promote that you see it, for obvious reasons (Black cast and positive message), but I’m sure it’s a well done film. I’m just not in the mood for all the singing and religious references. Besides, Black people are “in” right now more than ever. Get us while we’re hot!
Whether you need extra money to pay off debt, deposit into your savings account, or simply make ends meet, there are many ways you can get started earning cash today. These businesses do not require any special skills or knowledge. In addition, you can start on a shoestring budget because they can be advertised inexpensively via fliers and free Craigslist ads.
Here is a list of some of the best business ideas to get you started:
These are all easy businesses to start and they will generate cash quickly. The best thing to do now is choose one and get started.
Thanks to Craig from SellCell.com for providing these practical ideas to help earn yourself a few more bucks. You can also trade in old iPhones with Sell Cell to make even more money for yourself this Christmas time.
Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 8 seconds. Contains 228 words
For the last several years Party City has been using Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as the soundtrack for their Halloween promotions and I hate it! Thriller is a Michael Jackson song that I’m not that crazy about in the first place (yes, he does have songs that I don’t like) but hearing the Party City washed-out, generic, janky version is like nails on a chalk-board.
I need Party City to get some A List celebrities/performers involved in the 2014 promotional campaign. They need to get with Pharrell or Lady Gaga (who has purchased many of Michael’s personal items) to team up and bring us a better production. You can’t use “Thriller” and come with wackness.
Party City has a real opportunity to cash in here. They can make us anticipate seeing their Halloween commercials each year by making them as exciting as watching Michael Jackson perform (is that possible?). And, for God’s sake, they could at least have a look-alike in the commercial if they….never mind I hate look-a likes, but someone dressed as zombie Michael could appear in the commercial.
No? Bad idea? Okay, well tell me what you think about the Party City “Thriller” commercial: