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christmas gift for boyfriend

  • Better Than Nutella?

    nutellaI remember the first time I tasted Nutella. My step daughter brought it over, and I thought it had a weird name and at the time I wasn't very adventurous with food. I almost didn't try it, can you imagine?! But just one lick, and I was hooked.

    And, apparently I'm not alone, because back in 2007, February 5 was chosen as World Nutella Day! A couple of fans decided that just enjoying it in the privacy of their own homes was simply not enough. They reasoned that any food that has the capacity to create childhood memories that last for a lifetime should have it's own day, no?  Not sponsored by Nutella, these fans stepped up and created a day set aside to celebrate, to get creative with, and most importantly, to EAT Nutella. Sounds good to me!

    Imagine what a homemade version of Nutella would do for your awesome factor with  friends and family. You don't have to tell them how easy it was either....they will think you are pure genius when they taste it. Who knows, maybe you could even give Nutella a run for their money.

    You'll need:

    • 1 cup hazelnuts
    • 4 teaspoons coconut oil
    • 6 ounces 65% dark chocolate, melted
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1. Dump your hazelnuts onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and roast in a 350* oven for about 10 minutes.
    2. Let the nuts cool, then wrap them in a dish towel and shake to remove the skins.
    3. Next, put the nuts in your food processor and process until smooth.
    4. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until you have a nice smooth butter.
    5. Jar it up, and store in the fridge until you're ready to give it away (unless you eat it first, which is likely to happen so you may as well just make a double batch). It'll keep for a good month if you manage to resist.

    I dare you to try this.

     

    Recipe adaptation

     

  • The Gift of Time

    It's Friday morning, the very last day of the work week, the day many have been looking forward to since Monday. We drag ourselves out of bed, stumble to the coffee pot and go through our morning rituals. Thank God it's Friday!

    This morning, in a most uncharacteristic manner, I bounded out of bed at 5am. Why, you ask? I had a coffee date with a good friend to get to! These java sipping events are one of the great pleasures of my life; they are the times when we talk about our lives, what's important to us, what's happening within our families, etc. It's also a place where dreams can and do spring up and are spoken out loud, sometimes for the first time.  My date this morning was with a good friend who has walked with me through it all . . . the happy, glorious days, the painful, unsettling and uncertain ones and everything in between.  Who wouldn't get out of bed early for that!

    The gift of time. There is nothing like it. You can't go to the store and buy more when you run out, you can't ever take it back once given. It is not a renewable resource; how many times have we said in frustration "that's an hour I'll never get back"?

    Giving time is a pretty special thing. I read a story this morning about a family who planned a birthday party for their 90 year old father/grandfather/uncle. It took an enormous amount of time emailing family members,  arranging and paying  for travel, setting up accommodations to host the family, preparing food,  packing and traveling.

    When the day for this grand event finally arrived, the 90 year old guest of honor had  a dozen or so family members on the edge of their seats, telling the stories of his life! Celebrating it all! Talk about memories! Small memento gifts were given, like a box of chocolates, a bottle of champagne, but the best gift of all he received that day was, without a doubt, their time.

    Next time I are tempted to run out to the store to purchase a gift, I'm going to stop and remember this story and the coffee chats that mean so much.  Maybe save a little gas and money, and pick up the phone instead.

    You with me?

    Photo credit

  • What Do You Give to Santa?

    Here in the United States and Canada, a plate of cookies with a glass of milk is the usual snack left out for Santa on Christmas Eve. Just in case you don't have all your cookies baked (or bought!), how about one of these cute reindeer options? A friend of mine made the peanut butter cookie version, and they are just as cute as the picture shows. The second option would be quicker if you're pressed for time, or if you want a kid-friendly project.

    Blogger MamaLisa describes a few other global traditions for Santa's treats. In England it's a piece of minced pie with a glass of sherry. And no big surprise, but in Ireland, the big guy might get a pint of Guinness!

    You could modify that Irish tradition with these "reinbeers". They would make a cute gift for anyone but please use the root beer version for Santa. He'll be driving the sleigh all night, after all!

    When I was growing up, we usually left out a few carrots for the reindeer. Kelle Hampton shares a tradition of making a special mix of oats, bread crumbs and other ingredients to sprinkle on the driveway for the reindeer to enjoy while Santa is inside (definitely check out the entire post for her magical kids' Christmas party!).

    It's always fun to leave a little note for Santa - try a chalkboard version this year. I remember loving the return note that we would receive, thanking us for the cookies. It was even better when I was old enough to recognize my dad's handwriting, but could keep the secret for my youngest siblings.

    And no matter what you're giving to the big guy, make sure you've got the stockings ready for him to fill! Wednesday, December 19 is the 2012 ordering deadline to receive your personalized stockings from Merry Stockings in time for Christmas Eve.

  • December Weddings + Christmas

    MerryStockings works with a lot of newly minted couples that are looking for new Holiday decorations. We often provide personalized Christmas stockings to customers who give them as a gift to new couples. In the spirit of the Holidays, Weddings and Holiday Decorations, we found a December Wedding inspiration board that we really liked. If you are planning a December wedding soon, we hope you enjoy the inspiration board and we also hope you remember us for your Holiday decor needs.

    Thanks for stopping!

    December Wedding Inspiration

  • How the Christmas Gift-Giving Tradition Came To Be

    One of the things that excite a lot of people about the holiday season is gift-giving. In fact, the tradition of giving gifts during Christmas has become a really big business.

    Gift-giving started as a practice honoring the three wise men that brought gifts of myrrh, frankincense and gold to the baby Jesus when they visited him in the manger. However, this did not exactly start the tradition of exchanging gifts during Christmas. The three magi actually only carried out a well-established custom, where people bring gifts to a person of notoriety or nobility when they visit him. They did not really start the custom.

    The custom of exchanging gifts during Christmas dates all the way back to ancient Rome, where gifts were exchanged during the New Year and was part of the Pagan winter celebrations of Saturnalia – a feast for the sun god Ra. Ancient Romans would exchange simple gifts or tokens, like branches or twigs from a sacred grove of trees. A lot of the gifts also were in the form of root crops, vegetables and wheat products to honor the goddess of fertility, Strenia. Later on, the gifts became more elaborate items that symbolize good wishes for the coming year. From simple gifts, it soon became fashionable to give gold, silver and treats with honey.

    The early church leaders have tried to outlaw this Pagan custom of exchanging gifts, but the people loved it so much they refuse to give it up. The church leaders therefore looked for a Christian justification for this much-cherished practice. And this justification was found in the three wise men’s act of bearing gifts to the baby Jesus, as well as in the concept that Jesus was God’s gift to humankind and comes with the promise of redemption.

    MerryStockings.com invites you to give friends and family the best gifts this Christmas. Choose from our line of personalized Christmas stockings, Christmas ornaments and Christmas cards, and make your loved ones happy.

  • Top 5 Gift Ideas Under $20 for EVERYONE!

    Times are rough, but that should stop you from buying your friends, family and loved ones great Christmas gifts. MerryStockings.com suggests these gifts under $20!

    1. Personalized Christmas Stockings. We all know just how great it feels to get personalized Christmas stockings that we can decorate with all around the house, so why not give it to your friends and help them start a tradition?

    We recommend four designs:
    Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Sequined Santa
    Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Toboggan Trio Stocking
    Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Winter Snooze
    Felt Applique Christmas Stocking Kit: Peace Santa

    2. Spiderpodium. Almost every one has an iPod, iPhone, e-book reader and a host of different gadgets, but there is no single way to hold or store them on their desk, in their car, or everywhere else. The Spiderpodium can take care of that.

    3. Plain Classic Brass Christmas Stocking Holder. Christmas stocking holders make it easy and convenient for people to hang their Christmas stockings. This plain classic brass Christmas stocking holder is an elegant and simple piece of art that will delight your recipients!

    4. Solar Powered Mosaic Jar Globe with Jewel Tones. A great way to light up the evenings outdoors, this is one cool and elegant lamp that is both earth-friendly and captivating to the eyes!

    5. Gift Certificates. As much as you would want to choose the perfect gift for everybody, there will always be those people who you can't seem to find a gift for. Don't sweat it! You can always give them a gift certificate that would allow them to choose their gifts for themselves. MerryStockings.com have just recently added gift certificates to its roster of Christmas products, so that you could truly give them the best gift they want!

  • Top 3 Inexpensive Gifts for Your Spouse

    A recent survey released by ConsumerAffairs.com found that people are spending less on gifts to significant others because of the economy.  Although the survey was made in time for Valentine's Day, it is safe to assume that the pattern will hold for other holidays, even Christmas.

    You may have a tight budget to run this Christmas, but that does not mean scrimping on your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend.  MerryStockings.com have come up with the perfect and inexpensive gifts for your significant other this Christmas.  These cost-efficient gift ideas is guaranteed to surprise them and make them feel loved!

    1. Portraits or hand-drawn pictures.  A perfect gift for your spouse would be a his or her own portrait.  It could be something that you made yourself or you could have it done by a professional artist.  Pick a candid photo of him or her doing what he or she loves most and create a portrait.  Another idea is to draw their favorite things, or something sentimental for them.

    2. Get them something that they have been looking for... for years!  If your husband has been looking for an old Platters album, you could try and find out what songs he is looking for then download them from iTunes or wherever they are available then make a CD.  If your wife has been looking for the same cookbook that a friend has, consider scouring the Internet for second-hand copies of the cookbook.  In this age of the Internet, it is easy to find obscure items that your significant other has been pining for ages!

    3. Plan on a romantic dinner or night out.  If you have been married for so long, you might want to surprise your spouse with a romantic night out or vacation.  Drop the kids off at your parents or in-laws, and then settle for a romantic night spent in each other's company.  If you can pull it off, schedule for a few days off at the place where you spent your honeymoon, a secluded cottage or a beach resort.  If you are dating, it might be nice to have some alone time together without any distractions.  You can catch a movie after dinner and then unwind near the fireplace for a nightcap.

    The trick to keeping the romance alive is to make sure that you surprise your significant other with your creativity.  The gift you have for him or her should be creative and exclusive.  And by that, it should be something that he or she ahd wanted all along, but never expected to get from you.  If all else fails, you can easily get personalized Christmas gifts at MerryStockings.com!

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