A diverse group of women from all over the US were recently asked about their craziest holiday traditions. From singing Irish ballads, to banging pots and pans, and even decorating the spooky Christmas tree, these families are very creative in their celebrations. What are your family's craziest holiday traditions? How close (or far) from these traditions are yours?
Spooky Christmas Tree, Anyone?
"Our craziest holiday tradition is that we carve pumpkins at Christmas and decorate our Christmas tree with spooky things. We are huge Nightmare Before Christmas fans and do all of our Christmas decor in a Nightmare Before Christmas theme. Instead of a Christmas party we have a Nightmare Before Christmas party and have our guests come in costume." - Danielle in San Dimas, Calif.
"One year while getting ready to decorate the tree, Mom suggested I dig out the Christmas albums to set the tone. I couldn't find them anywhere, yet I did find an album of old Irish ballads. Instead of 'White Christmas', Mom and I belted out 'McNamara's Band' and 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling'. Mom passed on last year, and it's still my favorite memory of time spent with her." - Maureen in Chillicothe, Ohio
Songs for Gifts
"In my house, it is a standing tradition that from the oldest to youngest each must sing a song (holiday or not) before they can open their gift. Let's just say, I don't come from a family of singers and I own plenty of ear plugs!" - Nikol in San Diego, Calif.
"I don't know if it is completely crazy, but each holiday, my siblings and I will have a group conference call. Each one of us will connect one other siblings so we can keep one line open. We then stay on the phone for hours talking about anything and everything. During the hours, we will be cooking and all other activities, but we never disconnect our call unless for an emergency or when we all agree to hand up. We have been doing this for well over 15 years." - Malina in Pensacola, Fla.
"Growing up in a musical family, during the holidays we would go caroling with our instruments. I liked the indoor gigs the best but the outdoor caroling was the craziest. In minus thirty degree weather, our once tuned instruments shrieked and squeaked, but we managed to warm hearts anyway." - Kay in Windsor Locks, Conn.
Pot and Pan Concerta
"Growing up in Roseville and Fraser in the East suburbs outside Detroit, on New Year's Eve, we were allowed to bring out all the kitchen pots and pans at midnight and bang them with big metal spoons and lids as loud and long as we could! We would also listen outside for people firing their shotguns, which is sort of an illegal tradition down that way. Years later, I was babysitting cousins on their first New Year's Eve night and had them do the same thing! They just loved it. At first I think they thought it was silly, but they really got into making a ton of noise in the middle of the night. Years later, I was surprised when one of them told me how vividly they remembered!" - Kim (Pare') in St Ignace, Mich.
Welcome Baby Sun God
"We turn off all the lights in the house, except the TV, so we can see. We do a short Yule ceremony lighting three candles. After a moment of silence we run around the house turning on every single light yelling, 'Welcome baby Sun God!'" - Karen in Fla.
Breakfast at Sheetz
"Every year on Christmas morning we eat breakfast at Sheetz. Started 13 years ago and just stuck. This year will be the first with no Sheetz breakfast." - Summer in Oak Island, N.C.
New Year's Eve Dance
"On New Year's Eve, we have to dance through every room in the house. Crazy, but fun! It ensures good luck and happiness throughout the coming year, of course." - Ali in Greensboro, N.C.
"Our craziest and newest holiday tradition is celebrating Winter Vale with World of Warcraft in-game gifts. We aren't obsessive about WoW; we don't even play every day. But some of these gifts take time and effort to collect and cost zero in real money." - Alex in Hogansville, Ga.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Homemade Christmas Present Ideas
Receiving gift baskets for Christmas often can be a great joy. Homemade Christmas presents are great ways to show appreciation since a lot of love can go into composing them. A good homemade Christmas present idea is one that the recipient will find both useful and meaningful.
Be attentive to the personalities and lifestyles of those you are giving gifts to in order to come up with the ideas that will suit them the best. Amazon is a great source for many of the craft and hobby items required when making these homemade Christmas present ideas.
The Gift Basket
The gift baskets you make can include crafts. First, think about the types of things you have seen in the recipient's home. Also consider what that person likes to do. For example, a car lover who has pictures of cars or car collectibles around the home might appreciate a craft gift basket full of model car kits, model paint, a hobby knife and model glue.
Alternatively, that same person might also enjoy scraps of wood, plastic and other materials that can be used to design his own model vehicle. When considering supplies for homemade Christmas present ideas, everything should be catered to the needs of the recipient. If the gift recipient likes flowers, twist a few floral stems around the basket handles, or you can even incorporate some into the gift itself. There are endless possibilities when it comes to gift baskets as presents for Christmas.
The Food Basket
Christmas-themed foods also make great homemade Christmas present ideas when it comes to filling a gift basket. Foods can include jams, pies, fruits, nuts in the shell, chocolates and peanut brittle. To make them extra special, prepare the foods yourself. If you are unsure how to do this, fear not.
All it takes is a simple Web search to find the perfect holiday recipes. Foods that are great to prepare and use as homemade Christmas present ideas for gift baskets include fruit cake, spice cake, cookies, gingerbread house kits, hot chocolate mix, ribbon candy and Christmas-themed chocolates made from candy melts and molds.
Homemade Christmas Ornaments
There are many homemade Christmas ornaments that can be made from food items. These are great things to put into gift baskets for Christmas. One idea is to take simple dough, roll it out and cut out cookies with cookie cutters. To make the dough, you'll need 4 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and about 1 1/2 cups of water.
Mix those ingredients together. Flour a flat surface and roll the dough out on it. Use cookie cutters to cut out Christmas shapes. Bake the ornaments until they are slightly browned. Let them cool. For decorating the cookies, any acrylic craft paint can be used. These ornaments make great homemade Christmas present ideas because they
For another homemade ornament idea, read "Kids Christmas Crafts: Recycled Tree Ornaments". Adults can make and enjoy these as well.
Homemade Bath and Beauty Gifts
Most people like to pamper themselves every now and then. A bath and beauty gift basket can be filled with homemade items such as glycerin soap, candles made with a scent personal to the recipient, and custom scented bath salts. You also can blend essential oils together for a personalized combination.
Aromatherapy-at-home.com has instructions for making your own essential oils. If you wish to save time, essential oils can also be purchased and then blended at home to make massage oils, bath oils, salts and more, all targeted to the recipient's needs. Essential oils can be used on the skin, hair and nails as part of a natural beauty regimen to keep them healthy.
If you aren't very crafty but you like the homemade feel you also may want to consider handcrafted jewelry items.
5 Great Gifts for NBA Basketball Fans
Do you have an NBA basketball fan on your gift list? Have no clue what to get? Try these basketball gifts directly from a fan (your author) that any NBA fan is sure to appreciate. These 5 great gifts for NBA basketball fans are sure to score plenty of points with your favorite sports fanatic.
Season tickets for their favorite team
What NBA basketball fan doesn't want season tickets? If this is a gift for your significant other or a close friend or family member, be sure to get a package for yourself as well. That is, if you also enjoy the game and don't mind tagging along. Tickets can be purchased from the NBA site or any major ticket retailer. Obviously, this is at the top of any list of gifts for NBA basketball fans.
Cable Package with All NBA games
It's impossible to catch all the games without a special cable package. The NBA basketball fan in your life will greatly appreciate this gift. Just don't ask him to do anything but watch a game afterward because he'll be glued to the screen. But that's quite alright if he's happy. Join him with some good snacks. Contact the local provider for details on this.
Basketball Tote for the Eco-Friendly Fan
Gifts for NBA basketball fans should be as useful as possible to make them last. Is your basketball fan Eco-conscious like me? Maybe she just likes to carry her items in a bag she can enjoy. Get her one or more basketball-themed totes so she can buy her groceries and other items in style. Zazzle has a large selection of environmentally friendly tote bags with various basketball designs. For official NBA totes, check the NBA Store.
The Mug With a Hoop
Does your NBA fan have an appropriate mug to hold his favorite beverage? The Mug with a Hoop is a must-have when it comes to gifts for NBA basketball fans. If they happen to enjoy hot chocolate, they can toss the marshmallows in the hoop. This is the perfect NBA game-watching accessory for couch basketballers. This oversized basketball fan mug makes the perfect sports gift as it holds 16 ounces of any beverage.
Give your NBA basketball fan a gift he can proudly display and treasure. Autographed basketballs can be found in memorabilia shops and auctions. If you are looking for a signature from a particular player, you may need to do some extra hunting. But your efforts will be appreciated by any true lover of the game. Memorabilia gifts are some of the best gifts for NBA basketball fans and collecting these basketball gifts may pay off later.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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