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2010 Christmas

  • Still More Christmas Record Holders

    MerryStockings.com continues to give you the record holders when it comes to all things Christmas.

    Christmas Tree Baubles

    The largest Christmas ornament was seen in San Pedro Garcia in Mexico. The record holder, Sergio Rodriguez Villareal has held the record for more than 10 years now, having received the distinction from the Guinness World Records Organization in December 2000.

    The bauble is made of galvanized iron and depicts the Holy Family: Joseph, the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus.

    It may be the biggest, but its price tag pales in comparison to the most expensive bauble. The extraordinary tree decor was created by Mark Hussey at Hallmark Jewellers in 2009 and is estimated to cost around £82,000. This is close to triple the previous record holder at £26,874.

    Why the hefty price tag? For one, it took Hussey close to a year to make it. It features an 18 carat white gold material with close to 1,600 diamonds sprinkled all over. Then there are the three pieces of one-carat diamonds that line the center of the sphere, while ruby encrusted rings orbit the bauble. It also comes with an alarm system that goes off if the microwave bubble surrounding it gets broken, while an internal alarm fills the area with smoke when set off.

    Longest Christmas Cracker

    In December 2001, parents of students at Ley Hill School and Pre-School in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom came together to create the world's longest Christmas cracker. They succeeded with a cracker that measured 207 feet long and 13 feet in diameter.

    Can you imagine, though, just how many people it would take to pull this one? Well, they did not pull it. The largest FUNCTIONAL Christmas cracker on records, thus, is Australia's 181-feet monster cracker that measured close to 12 feet around. It was pulled in a Sydney shopping center in December 1998.

    Just a bit of trivia, though you might know this already: the largest gift on record is the Statue of Liberty, all 151 feet and 225 tons of it.

  • Top Five Ways to Save with MerryStockings.com

    Christmas is over, and we are now just starting with the new year. The year 2011 promises to be a great year for all of us, but we just can't wait for it to be Christmas again.

    At MerryStockings.com, we always want you to save on your Christmas decorations, holiday cards and gifts. Who says that it is too early to play Santa? Over here, it's Christmas all year round with our top five ways to save when you shop with MerryStockings.com!

    1. Save on shipping costs. Plan to give your friends, co-workers, neighbors and everybody who live nearby our Christmas decorations, stockings, holiday cards and tree skirts and save on shipping costs on orders worth more than $75!

    2. Sign up for the Merry Stockings newsletter. Be updated when a new design or product comes in, or perhaps you would want to be the first to know about a discount or a sale that we are having. The best way to do this is to sign up for the Merry Stockings newsletter and get up to the minute news on new inventory, site changes and discounts! Not only that, our newsletter subscribers get a special offer when they sign up!

    3. Shop online and forget the inconvenience. Save some dough and save Mother Earth by shopping online. No more jostling for parking space, or using up gas. What's more, everything on the site is free. From email to an online order form, to a toll-free hotline, you won't spend a cent ordering with us!

    4. Avail of our discounts. Over time, we give out sizable discounts for our products. Right now is the best time to hoard MerryStockings.com merchandise as we offer you 25% off on all products except for stocking kits. Just use the code, "clearance", when you place an order.

    5. Hassle-free returns. At MerryStockings.com, we take utmost care in making sure that you are happy with our products. If for some reason you are not happy, simply return the merchandise at our expense!

  • Online Spending Up Last Christmas

    It seems that more and more people are finding online shopping more convenient and more reliable, if data from the previous Christmas retail season is to be believed.

    comScore reports that for the period of November 1 to December 26, online purchases amounted to $30.8 billion, a sharp 13% increase over the previous year's $27.4 billion tally for the same period. Most of these were seen in the week ending Dec. 26, with as much as $2.5 billion worth of goods purchased online.

    That translates to a 17% improvement year-on-year.

    While a lot of factors, including bad weather, have been pinpointed as the cause of the increase, this new data supports that many consumers nowadays are finding it more convenient to shop online, especially for Christmas gifts.

    What were the top items bought online this part Christmas season? Computer hardware and handheld devices. The comScore data found that a lot of people bought more of these, along with books, electronics, software, and toys, online this year. Purchasing expensive items online also denotes a certain level of trust on the part of the consumer. Who would give their credit card details to retailers if they are not sure that it is safe, and that the items they bought would be delivered?

    Online shopping has truly provided an easier way to avoid the Christmas rush. It is one of the things that we capitalized on by having our products sold online. You just pick out your gifts and decorations, we process it for you. Quality and satisfaction guaranteed!

    We at MerryStockings.com are grateful for all the people who have trusted us during the past year. It has been a busy time for us during the past few months, making sure that your Christmas stockings, ornaments, holiday cards reach you or your recipients. As always, we look forward to the new year with a better inventory, prettier designs and with the usual focus on quality.

  • Christmas Eve!

    It's Christmas Eve. We are sure that your whole family is anxiously and excitedly waiting for Christmas day to come.

    First of all, we would like to thank you. A big resounding thanks to our customers for trusting MerryStockings.com for the gifts to their loved ones and family. Stay tuned for better designs and big discounts in the year to come. We are currently working to offer more products and designs for Christmas 2011.

    Thanks to our readers who spent time reading our posts. We hope you've learned a lot from our tips and from information.

    MerryStockings.com has these tips on how to make your Christmas eve extra special.

    1. Watch a Christmas movie. Gather the whole family, get some popcorn and watch a Christmas movie. It could be Christmas classics such as Miracle on 34th Street, How the Grinch Stole Christmas or A Christmas Carol. Or it could be a cartoon like Toy Story 3.

    2. Read Christmas cards together. Keep every Christmas card that you have received all throughout the holiday season unopened and read them with the family on Christmas eve. It's a fun way to introduce your kids to the people you work with, and for you to familiarize yourself with their peers.

    3. Have a date with the entire family. It might simply be a walk in the park, or going to see some Christmas displays outside the town hall. You could also try and visit family and friends who live nearby. You could also go watch a movie or skate at the ice skating rink.

    4. share a Christmas story. Starbucks got it right this year, admonishing their patrons that stories are gifts to be shared. Tell your kids your favorite Christmas anecdote, or tell them about how you spent Christmas when you were younger. You could also tell them about the gifts you received. In turn, they can tell you about their favorite Christmas memories, or how they want to spend their Christmas next year.

    5. Sing Christmas carols. A nifty way to intensify the spirit of Christmas in the last hours of the evening, is to sing Christmas songs. An additional bonus would be if you could tell your kids the story behind each carol, like the religious symbols behind the 12 days of Christmas, or the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

    MerryStockings.com would again like to thank you for your patronage this year. We join you and your family in welcoming Christmas day. Merry Christmas!

  • Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Dog

    Christmas is a time for family. It's a time to be generous with your gifts for your kids, friends, family and loved ones. But are you forgetting something?

    How about Buster or Benji over there who wags his tail everytime he sees you? Dogs are very much part of the family and consequently, more and more people are giving their pet dogs Christmas gifts.

    According to a CNN news report, we spent $36.3 billion on gifts for our pets in 2005. This year, it is expected that $18.28 worth of pet food would be bought. This is almost half of the gift budget!

    MerryStockings.com picked out the best gifts for the furry ones this year:

    1. A New Dog House. Sure, you like having your pet dog around the house, but make sure that he has provisions when he needs to stay outside. Upgrade your current doghouse with better insulation and materials. This is perfect if your dog spends a lot of time outside!

    2. Dog Treats. Look for recipes of great dog treats on the Internet. These are fairly easy and inexpensive to do, and your dog would love you more for it!

    3. New Dog Toy or Collar. Getting a quality toy or collar to replace old ones would be a great gift for your dogs. Remember, all work and no play also applies to your dogs!

    4. Christmas stockings. Everybody in your family gets to hang their own Christmas stockings this year. Why not include your dog? What's more, you could get a personalized Christmas pet stockings at MerryStockings.com. Our pet stockings has a beautiful design and is made of gorgeous red velvet. It even has paw prints and tiny little bones on the cuff. Think about stuff toys and treats in this stocking!

    5. Teach your dog new tricks. As with the rest of the family, Christmas is about spending time together. What better way to spend quality time with your pet dog than to teach him a new trick or a new game. This will ensure hours of bonding between human and animal, and will be beneficial to both you and your dog.

  • It's Christmas Week!

    Only five days to go before Christmas, are you done with your Christmas shopping yet?

    If you haven't finished with your Christmas shopping, you're not alone. A lot of people are still looking for that perfect Christmas gift and may continue to do so even on Christmas Day itself. But by then it would be too late.

    So how do you get your Christmas done on time with only a very short time left? MerryStockings.com has these tips.

    1. Get a shopping partner. A great shopping partner is somebody whose taste and opinion you trust. You could divide what's left of your gift list and you get your list done at half the time and effort. You could also go with somebody who likewise did not finish their shopping and you can divide sections getting items by twos. This way you could lessen the amount of time you spend looking at possible gifts and have some sort of "shortlist" that you can choose from.

    2. Shop online. If you're running out of time, the Internet might be your best bet. Avoid the holiday rush, the traffic, the hectic pace of searching for parking space, the crowds, long lines at the cash register and all the attendant hassles. All of these are unnecessary time-zappers. Not only that, the volume of people during this last week before Christmas is bound to be very thick. You may not be able to find the things you need because it is literally blocked by other shoppers, or the last Lego or Toy Story toy has already been snatched up.

    Take refuge in shopping online. MerryStockings.com have on hand inventory of Christmas stockings, personalized ornaments, and other personalized Christmas stuff that is just perfect for everyone! What's more, we deliver in just 4 days, so you can be sure to have your gifts by Christmas day!

    3. Give fruit or food baskets. Another good way to meeting the Christmas day deadline is to give your friends and family baskets of fruit or food. They would appreciate it and it's much healthier than the ham, turkey and other Christmas food they would consume over the holidays!

  • Alternative Christmas Wrappers

    At MerryStockings.com, we know how it is to have too many presents to wrap and run short of wrapping paper. Or how it is to feel like the usual paper-and-ribbon combo is getting to be boring, especially if our intended gift recipient is somebody very special or somebody eccentric.

    There are so many ways to be creative and out-of-the-box when it comes to wrapping your gifts. Do away with wrapping paper and try these other wrapper options. What's more, these alternative wrappers give you a chance to go green and be environment-friendly!

    1. Old clothes. If you have clothes that you don't wear anymore, you can cut up the fabric and use it to wrap your present. You can experiment and be creative with different textures and different fabric types – corduroy, satin, cotton, lace, etc. If you know how to sew, you can also cut these fabrics into small uniform-shaped pieces and make a patchwork wrapper. You can also cut up old jeans and use the part with the back pocket to hold your gift card.

    2. Hankies, scarves, reusable bags. If you are willing to spend a little bit more, you can buy handkerchiefs, scarves or reusable shopping bags with nice prints and wrap your presents with them. Those who will get your gifts will surely be able to put these “wrappers” to good use.

    3. Old magazines, posters and newspapers. Scour your stacks of old magazines and old posters and look for nice prints. Cut the pretty pictures and make something like a collage on an old newspaper. You can also look for pictures that would pertain to a specific recipient so your wrapper gets to be very personalized, even humorous. For instance, you can cut out pictures of flowers which you can use to wrap your gift for your mom-in-law, who's an avid gardener. Or, if you have a friend who is always late for dates, meetings and appointments, you can cut out pictures of clocks, watches, and hourglasses. You can also use old surplus maps to wrap your gift for a jet-setter or traveler friend.

    4. Knitted wrap. If you are into knitting or crocheting as a hobby, you can use your own creations as an alternative gift wrap.

    5. Other materials. You can also use other material that fit into or complement your gift. These materials also become an integral part of your gift, instead of just a mere “wrapper.” For instance, you can use a watering can or a bucket to “wrap” a set of new gardening tools, an apron to wrap a cook book or a kitchen implement, or a wicker craft basket to “wrap” some art and craft materials.

    When it comes to alternative gift wrappers, your creativity is your only limitation!

  • Have a Merry Wintery Christmas!

    Only a little over a week before Christmas, and for a lot of people, it also means one thing: it's snow season! And just because the snowy days are coming doesn't mean that we should plan on sitting in the house and spending our holidays in front of the fireplace. MerryStockings.com suggests these fun snow activities you can engage in with your entire family. These activities will help ensure your entire brood has an unforgettable Christmas despite the cold weather.

    Build a snowman. We know that this one's a classic. But you can spice it up by making it into a contest among the kids. Or you can divide yourselves into two teams. You can use various materials to dress up your snowmen and have neighbors or good old grandpa to decide which team is the most creative.

    Snow Castles. We have all tried building sand castles, but what about castles made of snow? You can gather all the kids in their winter outfits and commission their help to build a grand little castle for the snow queen. Or, just like the build-a-snowman contest, you can also have a little friendly competition here. Whoever makes the loveliest snow castle wins a treat!

    Sledding and Snowball Fights. These kid-friendly activities may already sound a cliché, but winter will never be complete without snowball fights and sledding. And you know what would make these even more fun? It's when the entire family joins in!

    Snow Painting. Who says that winter means all you have to see out your window should be white, white, and yet an endless stretch of white? You can make your winter season colorful, too. Make art on a big, snowy canvas out in your front lawn. All you need is food coloring (of all bright colors), water, bowls, and paintbrushes. Add drops of artificial coloring on a bowl of water. You can have as many colors as you want in separate bowls. After preparing your colorful paints, take them and your brushes outside. Pack a block of snow firm and hard. You can have whatever size you want. This snow block will be your canvas. And then you can all start painting away! Not only do you have fun, but you get to make your front lawn prettier and more interesting to passersby. Your snow paintings will make a very nice addition to your existing Christmas decorations.

    Indoor Crafts and Activities. Of course, not all winter activities are meant outdoors. The number of things you can do with your family inside the warmth and the comfort of your home is boundless! You can play your favorite boardgames, you can bake Christmas cookies with the kids, you can wrap your presents together, you can do a whole lot of crafts if you are a crafty bunch, or you can just watch your favorite family movies by the fireplace.

  • The 12 Days of Christmas

    One of the most well-loved and well-known Christmas songs is the 12 Days of Christmas. It has been around since the 1700s and was thought to have come from France or England.

    The 12 days referred to in the song starts either on December 25 or 26 and ends on January 5 or 6 (the Feast of the Epiphany). The song is built around the gifts that become more and more elegant and grander each passing day, including drummers, pipers, milkmaid, geese, partridges and hens.

    These gifts are said to be symbols of the Catholic faith, and it is believed that the song was used to teach catechism to young Catholics who were discouraged from practicing Catholicism in the 16th century right up to the 19th century. But some people maintains that the song is purely secular with no religious meanings behind it. Nevertheless, the influence of these gifts in the 12 days are such that they have become economic indicators, wherein the prices of all the things and the wages of all the people mentioned in the song are tracked over the years beginning in 1984.

    You could start your own tradition with the 12 Days of Christmas. MerryStockings.com offers these tips!

    1. Create an Advent calendar for the 12 Days of Christmas. Think of it as an Advent calendar with a twist. Instead of a countdown to Christmas, you can create a calendar for the 12 days of Christmas, with your own representations of each day's gifts. Put in some candies, fruits, treats and other stuff in the calendar. Just make sure that your whole family can share in the fun.

    2. Why not write a full story on the symbols behind each day's gift. This would be a good way to spread religion to your kids and would give them a different perspective on the song. If your family is not religious, why not create your own symbolism, or just explain what a partridge is or how milkmaids look. You could either create a story behind each day's gift, or you can go high tech with QR codes. Find a resource about the gifts online and generate a QR code for that link. It's a fun and easy way to inform and entertain!

    3. Let your kids tell the story. Using the gift for the day as a theme, encourage your kids to tell their own story. On Day 1, a partridge in a pear tree could inspire some cool stories your kids may have about birds, or about the environment.

    4. Build some cool activities that is related to each day's gift. You could organize a scavenger hunt for the five gold rings. Make your children solve a picture puzzle depicting nine ladies dancing. Or perhaps dress them up to be four calling birds.

    5. Incorporate the 12 Days of Christmas into your Christmas decorations. The beauty of personalized Christmas tree ornaments or personalized holiday cards is that you can use just about any image you want for it. Have the gifts for each day show up on your tree ornaments, while incorporating the fun activities mentioned for them.

  • Putting Up Christmas Lights & Decor the Safe Way

    Of course we know when it's the right time to take out our Christmas lights and Christmas ornaments from the storage room and start putting them up: after Thanksgiving. So now that Thanksgiving is over and done with, we're all too happy to move on and get ready for the next holiday.

    For those who haven't already put up their Christmas lights and decorations, MerryStockings.com offers some tips on how to do it safely:

    1. When buying your Christmas lights, looks for a sticker on the package and surge protector that says “UL” (Underwriters Laboratories). This is considered a safety indicator.

    2. When installing Christmas lights in high places, always wear closed-toe and rubber-sole shoes. This helps avoid slipping when climbing ladders.

    3. When climbing ladders, always take note of its weight capacity. Know how much weight it can safely hold.

    4. Always make sure that your ladder is on a solid and flat platform. Wet grass and gravel can cause the ladder to sink and then become unstable.

    5. Get another person to help you when installing lights and decorations high up your windows or roofs. This person will have to hold the ladder and keep it from shaking or falling while you climb up. He or she will also be the one to hand you the items you need so you don't have to climb up and down. If you are decoration by yourself and have nobody to help you, always carry your phone in your pocket, just in case of emergencies.

    6. Always read the instructions printed on the Christmas lights box. These directions will tell you how many strings of lights can be put together. This is usually two to three strings. If you do not have enough extension plugs or cords for all the Christmas lights you want to put up, make sure not to string together more lights than what the instructions allow.

    7. Use grounded extension wires or cords. These cords have three plug holes. Extension cords with two holes for plugs are actually more dangerous.

    8. Never ever overload your outlets with a lot of plus. This poses a fire hazard.

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