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personalized christmas ornaments

  • How to Store Christmas Ornaments

    MerryStockings.com gives you some more tips to remember when storing Christmas ornaments.

    1. If you buy a new set of ornaments, keep the boxes that they come in with. Manufacturers know what would protect their merchandise best, so they line their boxes with bubble wrap, or they make it into certain shapes. This is especially true for online retailers who take extra precautions in their packaging to minimize the chance of damage while shipping. Hence this is also the best way to store your ornaments.

    2. Do not remove the hooks and the strings you used this year. Pack your Christmas tree ornaments with the hooks inserted. This would lessen the work you have to do the next time you hang these ornaments. Besides, taking out the hooks and strings and putting them together is one way to end up with a tangled mess next year.

    3. Buy a storage bin. You might want to buy a storage bin for your ornaments. Pick one that is bigger than what you need now to make room for ornaments you're going to buy or for those ornaments that people gift you with. Choose an airtight storage bin as this will protect your ornaments better.

    4. Throw away broken ornaments. This does not need further explanation, except that a lot of people hang on to broken ornaments for sentimental reasons.

    5. Hold on to ornaments that come in different colors, sizes and shapes. You may have bought a set of ornaments before and over the years some parts of this set has been lost, broken or thrown out. Do keep the good ones that are left. You can still use these for your wreaths during the next Christmas season. Or you could go with a more festive and varied ornament bowl. You can also use smaller orphan ornaments as a pretty addition to your gift wrapping.

  • Christmas Traditions Clarified, Part III

    MerryStockings.com takes a look at Christmas traditions and how they came to be practiced here in the United States. Earlier traditons we have looked at included the practice of sending out Christmas cards, decorating with boughs of holly, kissing under the mistletoe and hanging Christmas stockings.

    Poinsettias

    A lot of houses in the United States usually have potted poinsettias during the Christmas season. The beautiful plant makes a great Christmas decoration around the home with its bright red leaves set against equally splendid green leaves.

    This Mexican plant was used by Franciscans during their own Christmas celebrations. Legend has it that a young boy saw the poinsettia plant on his way to visit the village Nativity scene. When he realized that he had no gift for the Christ child, the boy gathered green leaves that he offered as a gift. Miraculously, as he put them on the manger, beautiful red leaves sprouted on each branch.

    The plant was brought to America by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Joel Poinsett in the 1820s.

    Christmas Trees

    Christmas trees go as far back to the 16th century when Germans decorated fir trees with apples, candies, roses, and colored paper. Similar trees were also regular fixtures of a popular play performed during the Middle Ages, which was mostly performed during Advent.

    Martin Luther was said to be the originator of the practice of putting lights on trees, having been inspired by the beauty of stars whose lights shone through fir branches.

    But the practice of having a Christmas tree during the season was started when the U.K.'s royal family was depicted in an 1848 Illustrated News etching gathered around a Christmas tree in windsor Castle. Prince Albert and Queen victoria's Christmas tree soon inspired Victorian England to put up similar trees.

    This practice was later brought to the U.S. by Germans settling in Pennsylvania.

    Give the gift of love with personalized Christmas tree decors only from MerryStockings.com

  • Stars Share Their Favorite Christmas Memories

    Stars are ordinary people too. They may be rich, they may be famous, they may be accustomed to being in the limelight, but when Christmas time comes, they also reminisce about Christmases in their lives.

    Over the years, stars have revealed their favorite Christmas memories. MerryStockings.com shares you some of them:

    Nicolas Cage shared his greatest Christmas memory with his father. In his childhood, Cage had toy car with Pinocchio as a driver. A day before Christmas, he was playing with it when Pinocchio's head broke off. His father picked the head up and showed the young Nicolas to the garden where he planted it. On Christmas morning the young Nicolas was surprised to find that there was a gift waiting for him where his father planted the head. It was a big wooden Pinocchio.

    Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher says that she makes it a point to create homemade gifts every Christmas for her friends and family. So she's always baking gingerbread houses for them, while she keeps a "Christmas town" at home.

    Oprah Winfrey said on her show that it was a Christmas memory that fuels her generosity. At a young age, her mother told Oprah and her siblings that they do not have enough money for Christmas gifts prompting her to feel sad. But then three nuns came to their house and brought gifts for them. Oprah received a doll.

    Samuel Jackson always received guns for Christmas. For him, the guns was the whole point of Christmas and he was happy with the toys.

    Criminal Minds' Thomas Gibson takes the Christmas season to remember how he should be patient with his own kids. Recalling a time when he was young and he knocked down their Christmas tree and got an earful from his father.

    You too can immortalize your Christmas memories with MerryStocking.com’s personalized Christmas tree ornaments. These lovely ornaments can help you create a Christmas tradition that your kids would love. Just imagine gathering around the Christmas tree looking at pictures when your 21 year old son was just baby, or when your daughter was baptized.

    Loving memories are created, shared and kept alive, and there is no better way to do these than with our personalized tree ornaments!

  • Christmas Around the World: Mexico

    A recurring feature all over Mexico is an re-enactment of the night when the Christ Child was born. It depicts Mary and Joseph looking for somewhere they could stay in and deliver the child. This is called the "posada". The posada is not complete without a choir of small children who knocks on doors in behalf of the Blessed Family. This procession happens on December 13 and culminates in a church where mass is held. After the mass, pinatas are taken out for the kids to enjoy.

    The main decoration is the naciminetos or the nativity scene. It may be found everywhere in Mexico from homes to businesses even churches. Unlike nativity scenes in the U.S., however, nacimientos are much wider in scale, featuring entire villages made out of painted paper, sand, moss, sawdust and other materials. It also features 12 figures and are on display until February 2!

    Pastorelas are also performed. These outdoor plays depict Christian legends and ideals and tells the story of the birth of the savior. A lasting favorite is the annual pastorelas performed on December 24 at the steps of San Andres Church.

    Poinsettia is exchanged as the plant is known to be the flower of the holy night.

    Curiously, almost everybody in Mexico takes a vacation during the last two weeks of the year. They take time off work to be with family and friends.

    Food flows during the Noche Buena. This feast is shared by family and friends and parties last all the way till dawn. This makes Christmas day very quiet as people rest and recoup from the overnight partying.

    In Mexico, December coincides with the Feast of the La Virgen de Guadalupe. The Virgin is the country's patron saint. Celebrations start on December 3 through December 12. Within the season, they also celebrate Dia de los Inocentes where they believe that they could borrow something and not return it. December 28 in Mexico feels very much like April Fool's Day.

    Give your friends in Mexico a Christmas gift that is worth remembering. Send them personalized Christmas tree ornaments for their tree or nacimientos, and tell them they are genuinely remembered and loved.

  • Sharing Your Love This Christmas

    It is an exciting time of the year as you prepare to spend your first Christmas as husband and wife. There are a lot of things to do and a lot of things to figure out such as what to do on Christmas day or where to spend Christmas eve.

    Admittedly, it is a time of adjustments. Sometimes you are thrown into a dilemma as to how to resolve things such as getting invited by both families on the same night for Christmas dinner, or how to get closer to in-laws. But nothing could spoil the fun you two want to have on your first Christmas together.

    Being newly-weds, you want the world to know of the momentous decision you made to share your life with somebody forever. How do you do that? MerryStockings.com shows you how to share your love this Christmas.

    1. Personalized Holiday Cards. A good way to reconnect with old friends and share with them the great news is to send them personalized Christmas cards. Nowadays, you could select your favorite photograph from your wedding or other scenes in your life together to create a homey and affectionate card. You could then fill in a greeting yourself or ask them how they were after detailing how your life has been as a married couple.

    2. Personalized Holiday Ornaments. Another way to share your love this Christmas is by sending out personalized photo ornaments that features you and your spouse. This would make a very unique statement that would surely excite your friends enough to call you and ask how you are.

    3. Invite friends and family over for dinner. Throw a lavish Christmas party at your new house or apartment. This would help your friends get to know your spouse and you to get to know your spouse's friends. It could also put you in a good position to get to know your in-laws better.

    The good thing with spending your first Christmas together is, that if done right, all these could very well set the stage for beautiful and enduring Christmas traditions for the future. So think about what you are going to do for this first Christmas together and do it well!

  • How to Make Christmas More Meaningful for Your Family

    In this day and age when Christmas is equated more to gifts rather than love and family, it is necessary to make a conscious effort to make Christmas more meaningful for each member of the family.  MerryStockings.com gives you five tips on how to make Christmas more significant for your family.

    1. Play Christmas songs.  A good way to get everybody in the spirit of Christmas is to play Christmas songs around the house every day.  It could be a nightly ritual where everyone sits in the living room to listen or perhaps even sing to Christmas songs.
    2. Visit family members.  Christmas season is usually a down time for most people at work, this would leave your weekend free.  Consider driving out of town or across it to visit some family member that you may not have seen for a long time.  This would give you and the kids the chance to reconnect with family.

    3. Go reminiscing.  Take out old Christmas cards and share a story about the year you received them or about the person or family who sent the cards out to you.  Talk about past Christmases, how you celebrated it when you were young, or how you and your spouse celebrated it the first time.  Talk about how you celebrated your kids' first Christmases.

    4. Good Deed on Christmas Day. Have everyone in the family list 20 to 30 simple things that they want done.  It could be as simple as "having my bicycle fixed" or as backbreaking as "cleaning out the garage" or "help painting my room".  Post this list in your living room, while instructing each member of the family to pick out one good deed that they should do for each family member before or on Christmas day.

    5. Gather everybody up for the Christmas photo.  Have everybody wear their best clothes in a Christmas color (i.e., red, green, blue, white, silver, gold) and gather them up for a photograph.  It could be done professionally in a studio or you could ask a friend to take the photo for you.  This photograph could then be used for your family's personalized holiday cards or Christmas ornaments!

  • Perfect Gifts for Your Kids

    Christmas is a time for kids and family.  Bless you if you have a loving family to spend Christmas with this year.  But it is also a time for gifts.  Thinking of what to get your precocious little loved ones this year?  You really do not have to spend a large sum of money to come up with the perfect gift! Here are some tips from MerryStockings.com!

    1. Give them their heroes on a personalized Christmas ornament.  Find out who your kids look up to.  It could be the latest rap metal band, or a young actress, or the new Philippine president.  You can then give them personalized Christmas ornaments with the picture of these celebrities.  It would give your child great pleasure to be able to decorate their rooms, lockers or even your Christmas tree with these one-of-a-kind ornaments!

    2. Give them the gift of creativity.  A good Christmas gift would be an art set, perhaps a canvas and coloring materials.  Let them while away their time drawing or painting.  If you like them to be crafty, give them a cross-stitching set, or scrapbooking materials.  If they have yet to discover their artistic potentials, why not set them on the artistic path with these  Bucilla Christmas Stocking Felt Kits, Cross Stitch Christmas Stocking Kits, or Felt Applique Kits.

    3. Give them the gift of knowledge.  Educational toys and books would last them a long time.  As they pick up new learnings with it, they will be able to use that at school or later in their lives.

    4. Give them time off.  Create coupons that would give them a day without chores.  Or allow them to trade their chores for one activity that they would enjoy.

    5. Allow them to choose for themselves.  A gift certificate to the local shopping center would be a great way to allow them to buy gift for themselves.  And because it was them who chose the gift, you could be certain that it is something that they really want or need!

  • Top 3 Gift Ideas for Those Who Love Their Families

    Christmas is a time for family.  It is when people from all walks of life try to make time for their children.  It is when college aged kids and older go back home to celebrate with theirs parents and friends.  One highlight of Christmas has always been the opportunity it affords to bring the family in one roof, sharing the moment and the festivities together.

    We all know of people, friends and family who make their families the center of their lives.  It could be our mom who gave up her well paying job to raise us.  It could be a co-worker who holds down two jobs to make ends meet for her brood.  It could be a neighbor, a close friend, or relative.

    Whoever it is, we could make their Christmases a little bit better by these inexpensive gifts that focus on their love for their families.  MerryStockings.com would like to share with you our top 3 family-centered gift ideas that is perfect for this Christmas!

    1. Silhouette Pictures.  This is fairly simple to do and would certainly mean a lot to your recipient.  Just get a picture of their kids, their significant others, their spouse, their pets or even of themselves, then cut out the shape of the head.  Use that cut out as a pattern on a black construction paper.  Then put it on a brightly colored construction paper, frame it and then put a ribbon on it!  This makes the perfect gift for those who value their families or loved ones.

    2. Family Calendar.  How about a Christmas present that would last for the whole of next year and beyond?  Give your recipient a family calendar!  You can get templates and blank calendars for 2011 and spruce it up with their family pictures.  You could reserve a month for those who are having birthdays on that month, or for special occasions like featuring the Mom on the month of May.

    3. Personalized Christmas Ornaments.  Get into the spirit of Christmas by giving them their own personalized Christmas ornaments!  Nothing really perks up the season for them than to help them decorate their tree with their own memories!

  • Top 3 Inexpensive Gift Ideas for the Men in Our Lives

    In the flurry of gift giving and shopping that happens around Christmas time, it is very daunting to find the perfect gifts for men.  While men loves receiving gifts, there seems to be an unspoken rule that they do not like to tell you what to get them for Christmas, and you are left wondering just what to get them.

    But fret no more.  Here are the top three inexpensive gift ideas for men that we here at MerryStockings.com are sure he would love!

    1. Watches.  Men might not like jewelry but they sure would appreciate a well chosen watch.  The thing is, men's watches are not that expensive and can last for a couple of years.  It is a true investment in the sense that a few hundred dollars could easily last for more than 10 years, so it's like you are just spending $10 to $20 per year.  Certainly worth it!

    2. Personalized beer mugs.  It could be as simple as his name engraved on his beer mug, or having fancy or humorous drawings and animations.  Personalized beer mugs are great for him to show off during poker nights or Super Bowl weekends!

    3. Personalized Christmas ornaments and stockings.  Who says that men are not vain?  The influx of metrosexuals shows us that men can be as vain as women too, and this goes with seeing their own name and images in things around them.  A perfect Christmas gift for daddies and boyfriends would be personalized Christmas ornaments that sports their pictures with that prized catch from last summer's deer hunting escapade.  Or perhaps, him driving his brand new SUV.  If you think that seeing his pictures on Christmas trees would make him cringe or uncomfortable, then you can have his name stitched up on personalized Christmas stockings.

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