Best Teacher Gifts EVER!

Stumped on gift-giving ideas this holiday season?  Don’t be!  Check out one of these tried and true gift ideas for that special teacher in your child’s life.

Personalized Gifts

You really can’t go wrong with this idea.  Teachers love anything monogrammed.  Yup, that’s right.  You can monogram any item and your teacher is going to think you went an extra mile this holiday.  Some ideas would be a school spirit shirt in the appropriate school colors monogrammed with their special initials.  How about a baseball cap or beach towel that has that has their monogram?  While you are at it, throw in a personalized beach bag, sunglasses and sun block and you have yourself a great teacher gift.  The coolest personalized gift ever has to be a candle…NO! Not just any candle BUT a Yankee candle with a photograph of the teacher and student on it.  You can actually have a sticker made of the picture and stick it on the jar.  It’s personal and who doesn’t love a great smelling candle?

Gift Cards

Teachers love to eat.  Going out to restaurants can be a splurge to a teacher.  A gift card is a great way to get that special teacher in your kid’s life out of the house and out on the town. Take a minute and find out what the teacher in your life likes to eat.  Some gift cards are good for a chain of restaurants.  That works out even better because now they can have power over where they would like to dine.  Amazon is always another great option for a gift card.  Who doesn’t love shopping on Amazon and getting a special package at the door?   Your child’s teacher can buy anything from their groceries to reading a book on their kindle.  While you’re shopping down the gift card aisle, get them a gift card to the movies.  Nothing spells Holiday season like it.  Let’s face facts….movies are expensive.  Generally, teacher’s live on a budget and movies are luxuries.  Any denomination of gift cards will do!

Caffeine

I have never seen a teacher that wasn’t walking around holding a mug of coffee, tea, or some other caffeinated beverage.  Think about it.  They have long hours locked in a building with children of various ages and size.  They need all the caffeine they can get!  Some great ideas t keep the teacher in your life awake is a great mug stocked with kcups or loose coffee grounds.  If you want to get really fancy, you can go to Starbucks or Dunkin.  Really any coffee or teach will be appreciated by the teacher.  Ask your child…Does she see a Coke bottle on their desk instead?  Mountain Dew?  Believe me, they all have their weakness. 

I hope you will take the time to get your special teacher something unique this holiday season.  Take second to find out something about them…ask your children.  They will know!

Christmas, Oh Wow! You Shouldn’t Have….

All I want for Christmas is ___________.

Can you fill in the blank? Take a second to think of what you would like for Christmas this year. I’m sure you can list off a few wants and needs that come to mind. It’s relatively easy to think about what we want and need because these things are on our mind 365 days a year.

Here is where it gets tricky. Christmas is obviously a holiday that centers around gift giving. Giving gifts is one of the biggest challenges we face next to finding the ugliest sweater possible to wear on December 25th. Why is this? If we are honest with ourselves, we may find that choosing a gift presents a challenge when we don’t know the person we’re giving the gift to. We may know them, but do we really know them?

There are about four things to consider when picking out a gift and with this in mind you can ensure that your Christmas joy will spread to all.

The Gift: The gift is very important, yet knowing the receiver is more important. The gift does not have to be expensive, after all it’s the thought that counts. You can give money, buy a gift or do something nice. Do some investigating. Ask their friends and family about what they need. Do a bit of cyber stalking and see what kind of interests they have. Many of us leave virtual footprints online, so follow them until you arrive at your golden gift.

The Packaging: In recent years this trend has gained momentum. If you search for “unboxing videos” on youtube you’ll find many people removing the packaging from their gifts. Unboxing is an experience. It stimulates your mind before you even see the gift. The way the outside looks influences you more than you may realize. If you can afford it, try to make the unboxing experience one to remember.

The Delivery: Handle it with care. Always hand the gift to the person because that makes it more personal. The words you choose when giving the gift are very important. Don’t be verbose, but be lively when giving the gift. A smile goes a long way too, so use those pearly whites to your advantage.

The Moment: The second you hand the gift to the person is important as well. Some people like to be surprised and they enjoy the unexpected. Others like to build up suspense, knowing a gift is waiting for them but not being able to get it until a certain point. Know the person, and find the appropriate moment.

This moment only comes once a year so let’s recap all that we’ve learned. Think about the person now in order to find a gift. Package the gift with love and hand it to them with a smile. Set your timer and countdown to reach the perfect moment to offer your gift. Day by day as Christmas nears, think of a gift, and bring good cheers.

Budgeting For Christmas: 10 Money Saving Tips to Help your Wallet While Shopping

When it comes to Christmas shopping, the importance of careful budget planning cannot be under-estimated. Not everyone has the luxury to purchase every desire or meet the needs of their friends and family.

Due to tough economy, it has become extremely important to embark on budgeting for Christmas shopping. Besides setting out budget, sticking or strict adherence to it is also essential. This will prevent or discourage impulse buying tendencies which will not only hike the budget, but also result in stress and sad situation for you.

In case you have not started preparing for Christmas shopping, there is no need to panic as this article will educate, inform and enlighten you on the best money saving tips on your Christmas shopping. This will ultimately prevent budget blow-out over as well as the common hassles being experienced by people during Christmas.

Some people consider Christmas shopping as fun and exciting while to others, it is exhausting and stressful. This however depends on how one prepares for it. Those who consider it from the perspective of “a frightful event that must be done” will continue to find it a difficult task to accomplish. Alternatively, those that perceive Christmas shopping from the positive perspective will undoubtedly find it fun and exciting.

We live in a world of economic turmoil in which people are left with less money to spend for Christmas shopping. Hence, it is not uncommon to see a lot of people incorporating Christmas into their budget. There are several benefits that go with this. By incorporating Christmas into your budget, you will be able to control your finances during the festive period.

It is never too late to start budgeting for Christmas shopping. To be sincere, you can still get the best Christmas gifts for your friends and loved ones on budget, without even spending a fortune.

Here are some proven money saving tips to complete Christmas shopping within a meager budget limit:

Save Or Stash Money For Your Christmas Shopping

This is the first and foremost essential tip as far as Christmas budget is concerned. You could create special Christmas fund in banks and save money in it throughout the year. You can then withdraw your savings as Christmas approaches. Stashing away money outside your vicinity every week for this purpose is also desirable. You can continue with this until you save enough funds to cover your shopping budget. You would be surprised to see what you have gathered within a short time.

Low-Budget Christmas Shopping

This strategy involves purchasing Christmas gifts on low budget at a time when they are not expensive and hide them away. With this, you will worry less about money to shop at Christmas and enjoy the vacation season without stress and anxiety. Shopping for Christmas via this tip is really fun as you have sufficient time to search the market and purchase cheap items which may either be unavailable or become expensive as the Christmas shopping season begins.

Use Credit Cards Smartly

It is still required that you prioritize budgeting if you desire to do Christmas shopping via credit cards. In this case, you could prevent huge credit card bill by utilizing your credit card early. You will have the opportunity to evenly spread your Christmas shopping throughout the year and not just waiting till the twelfth month before embarking on your holiday shopping.

Make A Shopping List

Set your financial allocation for Christmas by making a list of the entire items you wish to purchase like gifts, food or decorations and who you are purchasing them for. Once you have purchased an item, cross it off your list. Setting your financial allocation for Christmas this way will help you to keep track of your purchases and ensure that everyone’s needs are catered for. Besides, this practical and rational strategy will prevent you from impulsive buying, overspending and procrastinating till the festive period.

Consider Shopping Wholesale

This strategy is suitable for those who have a long list of people to purchase gifts for. You can buy your toys and gifts wholesale. To make this easier, consider online purchase. A great advantage of this tip is that you get discount items for all your online purchases at the comfort of your home.

While shopping online, it is important to consider shopping on a secured site so as to protect your personal and credit card information.

Many online stores engage in sales and promotional offers. To discover them, browse through several merchandises and compare prices before making your offer.

Apart from offering discount items, several online stores offer various incentives like free shipping during Christmas vacation.

Start Shopping Early

To have a memorable Christmas, starting your shopping early is important. Apart from the benefits of saving money and less stress, you have more time to select the most suitable gift you desire. In addition, you will be able to plan better and enjoy attractive discounts from retailers.

Watch Out For Free Shipping And Delivery Offers

As Christmas approaches, there is usually increase in shipping and delivery services. This is why you should act earlier and avoid procrastination till the eleventh hour. Some stores offer free shipping services. Although, minimum purchase requirement will be brought to the barest minimum, you will still be able to spend within your budget and save huge amount with this opportunity.

Consider Inexpensive Gifts

Many people presume that to win the heart of their recipients, they must send across expensive gift items. This is not true. There are numerous inexpensive gift ideas that will still do the magic. Items like magazines, personalized gift boxes, jewelries, household items, computer accessories like U.S.B, memory cards, flash drive, etc can work wonders.

In addition, you can also consider items like gift cards, which can be delivered via emails, rather than embarking on tangible items. You will be amazed to see how much you have saved in shipping and delivery charges.

Look For Coupons

This is an interesting aspect of online shopping. Look out for coupon codes as you embark on online purchase of your products. To search coupon for any given store, type the “name of the store + coupon” as keyword in search engine. Remember to input the coupon code during checkout. There is usually a huge difference, both in price and net savings before and after using the code.

Consider Using Annual Bonus

Many employers offer their employees bonus check as Christmas approaches. Such money can be utilized for Christmas shopping the advantage of this strategy is that the normal monthly charges will not be altered. However, a challenge with this method is that since this incentive is usually given few days to Christmas, employees may experience stress and difficulty in rushing to get the best gifts for friends and family, due to limited time.

Another disadvantage of this tip is that it is unrealistic as many employees may be disappointed by their employers who usually try to cut costs to enable them survive the unfavorable economic condition.

Note:

  • While shopping for Christmas, it is highly important to consider what your recipient like and will appreciate. This will require considerable amount of time and effort.
  • Remember that the tendency to get frustrated may occur along the line, especially when you know what your recipient loves for Christmas and it is not within your budget. Notwithstanding, avoid shopping for a less quality item because in most cases, your recipient may never use them. The best thing is to find an alternative item within your budget.
  • Should you exceed your budget, ensure that there are genuine reasons for doing so. For instance, under-estimating the cost of an item. However, spending within your budget is the best practice. If you find this beyond your control, suspend Christmas shopping and reevaluate your finances for the best Christmas gifts.

In conclusion

By implementing the tips discussed in this article into your shopping routine, you will find Christmas shopping on a budget, extremely easy, enjoyable, less stressful and efficient.   

Teacher Tips For Keeping Your Kids Busy This Holiday Season

Keeping kids busy during the holidays can be exhausting.  What do you do?  Where do you go? Who do you see?  It’s the dilemma most parents feel.  What do I do with my kids?  Well, here are a few ideas to keep you warm this winter season.

Natural World

Children love going to the beach.  Depending on where you live in the south, one can be there in a matter of minutes.  It’s generally free if you pack a lunch and know where to park.  If you live up north, why not check out the local park after it snows.  The children gather and play for hours.  Some local parks allow sledding and snow shoeing on trails.   If there is no snow for you to frolic in, try a brisk hike with your children. Again, the best part is that it’s virtually free!  Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and you managed to spend the day.  If all else fails, turn to your local public library.  Some offer puppet shows for kids and book clubs where if kids read a certain number of books they get a reward.  Kids are reading and expanding their vocabularies. Again, all is free! How do you beat that?

Cheap but Exciting Ideas

Do you have some money to spend?  Why not check out the local museum.  Sometimes it’s worth traveling to a nearby town to enjoy it.  The children’s museum is a great idea for all.  An entrance fee is required but the children get hours of fun.  There are demonstrations and hands on activities.  Kids get a chance to learn something new while having fun.  Most of the activities are included with the price of admission into the museum.  Did I mention your children are learning?  

Cooking

If you don’t get stressed out by a mess, have the kids bake a sweet treat of some sort.  Kids love measuring and stirring and mixing.  Your child can research a recipe that seems doable.  Go shopping together and discuss the prices of the products as you scan the grocery aisle. Baking is a great activity because it involves both reading and math.  It takes hours to do and let’s be honest…everyone loves to eat the sweet treat when it’s finished.  Just make sure you have your child clean up after themselves when they’re finished!

Help Others in Need

If you’re still short on ideas this winter season, why not volunteer with your child at a local soup kitchen.  The lessons your child will learn are invaluable.  If you have a teen, they may need volunteer hours for scholarships anyways.  If you have a younger child, gather up old clothing that can be donated.  Go with your child to make the donation at a local Goodwill.  It’s a great way to model compassion and empathy to your child while still getting a tax write-off!  Win-Win!! 

Keeping kids busy this winter break can be overwhelming and expensive. It doesn’t have to be.  See if you can use one of these ideas this winter season to keep your kids busy and yourself sane.

Innovative Ideas for Christmas Gifts | For All Budgets

Christmas is always a time to wish good things for those we love. It is time to think about gifts for parents, boyfriend, friend, aunt, cousin, wife, or husband.

 It is always hard to think of a present that the person likes. Let us innovate in the gift.

 We selected the best gift ideas.

 Massage and Day Spa

Who would not want to spend a day relaxing their bodies and their minds?

 Look for the spas in your city that offer the service and buy the “relax coupon” for the lucky one.

Nothing is better than relaxing and forgetting the problems of everyday life. Spending a day at a spa is one of the best ways to do that especially alongside someone you love.  A Day Spa is a great alternative for those who want to innovate and enjoy a different program.

Parachute jump

What about gifting someone you love a parachute jump.

 We bet it will be such a surprise.

A plant

You may not even be connected with nature, but many people love to obtain plants. Especially the plants which will live for a long time by taking care of them and not those bouquets that last 3 days. It is a great decoration item. It will always make people remember you.

Trip

Who does not like to travel, Plan a trip, but keep it a secret. On Christmas write on a paper something like “worth the trip” and give it to your partner. This is a sweet way to show that the gift will come at some point. Then, just put the trip into practice.

Going on vacation is always a gift that the recipient likes. Get out of the routine, know places, and discover experiences and new gastronomy. Who can say no to that?

 In addition, the multitude of tourist options and advantages.

So that it can be an adaptable gift to all kinds of tastes, ages, and even price, from going with the children to Disneyland Paris to taking a regional train or an economic plane that takes you to know the cozy cold of London.

But, undoubtedly, summer destinations are one of the favorite gifts in December, when we only dream of being on a warm beach at 30 degrees by the sea. Many destinations meet expectations like cruises on the Mediterranean, the Greek Islands, and the Caribbean.

A dinner coupon

Does your friend like food? Depending on the level of intimacy, you have with the person, how about gifting her/him a dinner party. With so many good restaurants emerging in the current gastronomy, you will have multiple options to choose the ideal restaurant.

Smart video doorbell

An unconventional gift will enable the recipient to watch who knocking the door through a phone application.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend has the habit of looking through the magic eye every time before opening the door, this will be a good gift.

Pocket charger

The newer the mobile phone, the faster its battery unloads. Those cell phones, whose charge lasted almost a week. Only they did not have the myriad functions of the current devices, so help your recipient friend by giving him a pocket charger to avoid troubles when he needs the cell phone. Prices vary according to the brand and the capacity of each device, so it is best to search.

Noise Canceling Earphone

This was the best invention of the last few years! Your friend will admire it that he will not be irritated with car sounds, people talking loudly, children crying and people listening to bad music.

Mini iron

It is a utilitarian gift. Especially for those who need to be always perfect. It does not need much space and lightweight so much.

Compact umbrella

A compact umbrella is a useful gift for anyone. Nothing more frustrating than getting stuck at home or at the hotel because of the rain and nothing worse than holding an umbrella in hand because it does not fit in the bag.

Tea

Tea has become widespread in many stores with thousands of options and combinations. Many of them come in very glamorous and catchy packaging.  Choose the preferred flavor of your recipient with a mug; it will be an admirable gift.

Beauty products

We are fortunate to be surrounded the whole time by interesting, strong and very special women. Aunts, grandmothers, and friends

 Giving them gifts is just another way to remind those loved ones how important they are in our lives. This affection, of course, can also be translated into beauty care like Facial care products

Every woman likes to look in the mirror and feel young and beautiful.  Of course, that requires some care, especially for those who are already mothers.

Choose a good facial cream is able to moisturize and nourish the skin, prevent wrinkles, attenuate the signs of aging, protect skin from the sun, reduce acne and give an appearance bright and healthy to the woman’s face. It will be a fantastic gift.

Customize something

Giving something personalized is always a great idea. Including the name of the person makes the gift have more value that is meaningful.

 For example:

 You can give your friend a team shirt with his name on the back or personalized mug.

Basket with everything the person likes

How about preparing a basket with everything he likes? Put his favorite food, a DVD of the band he likes, the drink he likes the most, etc. Why not? Put a little of everything in a nice basket.

Weird clothes

We know that almost everyone goes to the mall when it comes to buying clothes, but the most fashionistas love an outmoded piece found in thrift stores. Often they will be a unique item in the world and that is the grace of the thing.

So, if you are going to give someone who fits these requirements you can find a suitable piece easily.

Original gifts that attract attention

Lately, there are many gifts that are highly original, either because of their structure or their usefulness. These types of gifts are ideal when you have serious doubts about what to give.  They are unique and specialized products that can surprise the recipient. They can be gifts for Christmas or another event such as a birthday.

 For example a kit to surprise your partner that contains chocolate, petals, and cards with romantic sentences.

Postcard

Christmas season, the beginning of the year, there are a lot of events that make us think about our life, moments that fill us with joy, fun, and nostalgia. For this reason, giving a postcard or canvas with Christmas phrases is a beautiful alternative, as well as suitable for all budgets.

There are great varieties of options that can let your imagination go and write what comes out of your soul such as phrases of friendship, joy, peace, or motivation.

Monogram of photos

You can use this idea to decorate the room on Christmas. You can use the initials, complete names and words that you want to create. You need a big wooden letter that you can buy in larger furniture stores, photos, liquid glue, and brush. By applying and coating, attach the photos to a wooden letter and let it dry. After a while, the letter is ready for use.

Waterproof trousers with pockets

Pants with waterproof nylon fabrics filled with pockets can be really useful gifts for friends who like traveling. Because Waterproof trousers do not dirty much, easy to wash, dry fast and can be used in the snow, on the trail, at the airport or anywhere else.

Toys for children

Those who live Christmas and receive presents in a more intense way are children.

The toy has a fundamental role in the child’s development.

 For example, the colored pieces that make it possible to assemble different things, wooden blocks to build castles, puzzle, memory game, and coloring kits, puppets that light up, a cart to make cotton candy, and games with objects and their names.

In addition, musical instruments

Playing with musical instruments can be more fun than any other toy, the child forms beautiful music. He can immediately feel happy when others praise him. When receiving a musical instrument as a gift the child will also gain the opportunity to play, have fun, socialize, stimulate his perception and the senses such as touch, hearing, and training his concentration.

We hope the options we have listed help you choose the best gifts for everyone on your list

New Ways to Keep the Holidays Integrated into Lessons without Mentioning Religion

Planning lessons around the holidays can be a challenge. It’s important to understand the difference between teaching the religious origins of a holiday and celebrating it in the classroom. The line can easily be blurred and students can easily come to feel excluded. One way around this is by viewing December as an opportunity to plan cross-curricular lessons with a winter theme that are both engaging and fun.

Have you read aloud T he Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer? It’s a charming picture book that explores the shortest day of the year. Your students will learn how various cultures have come to celebrate the solstice throughout the ages. They will also gain an understanding of why it is such a short day from a scientific perspective. A must read is T he Mitten by Jan Brett. This winter classic features a parade of various critters taking up refuge in a mitten left behind in the snow by the protagonist. It’s a heartwarming retelling of an old Ukranian folktale that won’t leave any of your students feeling left out. Use the story as an opportunity to teach your students how animals really survive the cold winter months from a scientific perspective.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner teaches how various animals make it through the winter. Your students will learn about burrowers, hibernators and avian migrators. This is a great way to tap into their interest in the changing seasons and also animals.

You can pair activities to the suggested read alouds to provide a hands-on extension to their learning experience. Let your students help the birds in transit by making a bird feeder out of a pinecone. You don’t need many supplies at all! Just get a pine cone, some peanut butter (or a nut butter substitute if you have a student with an allergy), birdseed, and yarn. Simply cover the pine cone in peanut butter, roll it in birdseed, and hang it in a nearby tree. It won’t take long for the stars of Over and Under the Snow to stop by for a snack.

A wonderful way to incorporate the facts a student has learned and to showcase their comprehension is with creative writing. Have your students choose an animal that either migrates or hibernates. Then instruct them to write a short story from that animal’s perspective. Have them include how the animal prepares for winter and also have them draw a picture of that process.

These are only a few of the ways that you can make it through your holiday lessons without ever mentioning religion. If you implement them, you will help to ensure that none of your students are left out of the fun, and you will also avoid any uncomfortable parent-teacher conversations.

How to Decorate Your House and Yard for the Christmas Holidays

Christmas, a season of festivity accompanies the excitement of decorating the homes and yards. Thrilled about the excitement that Christmas brings with it and want to show your reinvigorated passion towards celebrating it? For this you will not want to clutter your home but after all Christmas is all about extravagance. To give a sweet touch throughout the house, you must not consider the expensive store ornamental gifts. After all you can do it in a less costly way.

Decorating the Christmas tree:

One of the most important Christmas decorations is one with the tree. If you want to buy a natural tree or an artificial one it is all up to you. After purchasing one, the question of where to place it arises. You must keep it where you want to open the Christmas gifts with your family. So, the best place is to keep it in a large room. Here are some of the ideas to sparkle your house with a bright Christmas tree.

  • Sling lights all over the tree in a spiral direction. The light bulbs of white color give a pleasant and beautiful effect but you can also choose to light it with different colors bulbs. These light bulbs come in red, orange, green and blue shades. Start to hang the bulbs string from the lower side of the tree and end at the top side. Stuck the other end of the string in the upside branch of tree. The spectacle of this luminous tree will leave your guests and family spell bound.
  • Apart from light bulbs, filling the large spots with sparkling stars or ornaments is not a bad idea. You can make your own embellishing articles with dough or paper charts. Crystals also play an important role in enriching your tree. Sprinkle them evenly on your tree.
  • Snow spray and some glitter can be a last touch to brighten up your tree more elegantly.

Candles Make the Atmosphere Poised

Candles can be placed on windows sill and can be lighted at night. It will make your home well lit even far from the outside. Plus it is a low budget decorative idea.

Outdoor Christmas Ideas

If you have planned to extend your party festivities to your yard then you must embellish it in a way to leave people dazed. You can use inflatable characters like that of Jesus, Mary and baby Jesus.

  • You can also place an inflatable snowman or one made with snowflakes.
  • Some reindeers with colorful light bulbs all over can also leave a striking touch.
  • Hanging some homemade cards with Christmas themes on the branches of tree in your yard is also a captivating idea.

A Wreath on the Main Door Symbolizes Eternity

Spirit of Christmas must be shown right from the entrance and for this hanging a wreath made of some fresh flowers or pine cones is a brilliant idea. Moreover it shows an eternal life. A wreath made with pine cones can last even a year.

Enchanting Color Scheme

Red and green are the colors of Christmas. Try to wrap almost every noticeable thing in these colors. This will make your whole house involved in Christmas festivities. You can change your curtains, pillow cases, bed covers, and napkins for a marvelous display of Christmas.

All in all, above mentioned ways are going to outshine your home and yard throughout the Christmas season.