As a woman aged sixty plus, heaven knows where the years have gone, what is my perfect birthday or Christmas gift.
All of us are very different individuals and, what someone feels is the ideal gift, may fill someone else with loathing. I suppose some of this will depend on:-
In general it is best to steer well clear of any gifts that are really household items, such as cleaners and washing machines, as these are neither personal nor appropriate for any birthday, let alone a special one. However, I suppose if the birthday girl is really struggling, and in financial meltdown, a large household gift may be appreciated.
Overall though, if you can make the gift very personal and something that you know they have always wanted, you will be on to a winner. Something luxurious such as an extra special perfume may go down a treat.
Finally how about arranging for a spray of her favourite flowers to be sent every week of the coming year? Now that will surely bring some sunshine into her life and help make her year a truly special one.
The best book to give your mom, no matter what your age, is a 'Why I love My Mother book'. Many mums love reading and they might appreciate a romantic novel or even a biography, but there cannot be any mum who would not appreciate her very own, personalised book. This is something which you can create yourself. Even if you are only a child your father, granny or other relative can help you. In fact it could be a joint effort with your brothers and sisters.
The book can be as a simple as loose sheets of paper clipped together or something more substantial created in a journal or notebook.
Here are some ideas for creating such a book. Buy a pretty, large, plain papered book from the store. If Mom likes flowers buy or create a book with that sort of cover. Alternatively buy a plain covered book and turn it into a collage of relevant family photographs.
Begin by writing your name and age, and the date that you are giving this present to your mum. Your mother will have this to look back on in years to come perhaps when you have grown and left the nest.
Start writing from the heart with as much honesty as possible. You could begin this book one year, say just after Mother's Day, and by the time that day came around the next year you would have a year's worth of happy memories, and perhaps comical anecdotes, nicely collated.
Making it a project for the cold dark days of winter is also a good idea. And remember you could do the same for dad ready for when Fathers Day rolls around again.
It would probably be a good idea to jot things down as they happen into a rough book. This way the actual gift can be quite neat and you can organize it whichever way you want to.
You can intersperse your writing with family stories, memorabilia and happy memories plus a great selection of photographs. You will be surprised at how quickly you will fill such a book. The biggest cost in this gift is your time and this will be something which your mother will appreciate more than any expensive gift.
You may also be surprised at the fun you can have putting such a book together; the memories it stirs may be funny, poignant or a mixture of many emotion.
If this book is created with love it will be the best book your mum will ever receive, be re-read over and over again and really show her that you care. Don't forget as well that you will benefit from this gift by remembering lots of instances, which you may have otherwise forgotten, or would not have even noticed as they happened.
And above all you will realise more than anything just how precious your mom is.
Perfect for Mother's Day and Birthdays too!
Pandora according to Greek Mythology was the first woman to habit earth. The Greek story has similarities between Pandora and Eve who, according to the Bible, was the real first woman, made from a rib of Adam. For both ladies curiosity proved to be their downfall.
Pandora was trusted with a box or jar of secrets, depending who is telling the tale, of evils which was not to be opened. Temptation proved to much to bear and the World has allegedly suffered ever since.
What you may have experienced in the run up to Christmas this year is adverts for jewelry or charms from the Pandora range. It is a pretty range of frivolous and largely impractical bracelets, charms and more. The items are quite desirable though and could be perfect for a last minute gift, especially if you cannot decide what to buy.
There are many retailers online selling Pandora items but not all of the products may be genuine. You can check the company's website in order to make sure that you are buying the real McCoy. The Pandora range of jewelry is not cheap but there are small options available.
You can find your nearest local store using the online store finder guide. It is quick and easy to use. Simply type in the town or city and hey presto. As you will see Pandora is sweeping the world right now and one of their items will be a popular gift for many.
One charm for an appropriate bracelet will set you back around $35. There will of course be postage and packing on top. If you are able to buy items from the range locally these could be the best buy as far as cost goes.
There is a bracelet, watch and ring designer available online. Remember though just adding one or two charms could make the item expensive. You can play around with this online designer in order to get an idea of the costs and overall look.
The basic leather bangle costs 40 US dollars. Add a sterling silver clasp instead of the ordinary one and the price will jump to 65 dollars. That is before you actually add any items. For the purpose of this review we created a basic Pandora bracelet on a leather bangle. By the time we had added enough charms to half fill it the price had risen to $535 dollars. Not cheap then.
Whilst an item of Pandora jewelry could be perfect for a special anniversary gift it may be way too pricey as a Christmas present. They do sell some stylish earrings for example which are sterling silver or 14k gold and competitively priced.
The range is of the moment and funky which could mean that even a small piece of Pandora jewelry, perhaps a charm, could be the best gift this Christmas, especially for a young person.
There are some pieces of Pandora available at Amazon plus cheaper options which are compatible with the Pandora range. You could get creative and design a Pandora style bracelet which is more unusual and less costly.
We all have some favourite films which we associate with Christmas. It is a sign of modern times. T.V. and movies have become such a big part of many peoples Christmas celebrations, well at least since the fifties. Perhaps this form of Christmas entertainment has seen better days but, for many, it is still an integral part of Christmas.
Not all of my favourite Christmas films are seasonally themed though. Some are just those films that are usually aired around Christmas-time and have become firm favourites. So join me as I reminisce about my favourite Christmas films. Maybe they will include a few of yours?
What better place to start than with the timeless classic, Its A Wonderful Life.
Sure this film is rather dated, as far as scenery and sentiment goes, but it still has a heartwarming Christmas message. Made in 1946, and starring the late James Stewart, this film has bucket loads of seasonal cheer. We follow George Bailey, played by Stewart, as, with the help of an aspiring angel Clarence, George finally gets to see how big his life is in reality.
Home Alone: From the fabulous 40s then to a little more recently. Home Alone was filmed in 1990 and has become a firm, family favourite. The plot revolves around a family's Christmas holiday away from home and what, or should I say who, they leave behind. As Kevin, Macaulay Culkin, realises that he is Home Alone a battle with intruders begins. No matter how many times you have watched this film you are bound to laugh at some of the ways that Kevin keeps the intruders out.
Disney: All of the old Disney classic animations sit well with Christmas. Each film usually has a sentimental theme and those that have been created from old fairy-tales have that pantomime element. Perfect for Christmas would be Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, and Cinderella.
True Grit: From the sweetness of Disney then to John Wayne at his grittiest in the original True Grit. Released in 1969 John Wayne was nearing the end of his movie career, and in fact his life. As Marshall Rooster Cogburn, Wayne plays a man who does not stand on ceremony. Yet underneath this rough exterior lies is a heart of gold. True Grit has become a classic John Wayne cowboy film or western and personally I love it. Strange as I do not like western films normally.
White Christmas: Offers classic Christmas entertainment combining music and dance. With Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney the music is just perfect. The main characters are performers anyway and so the song and dance does not seem quite as out of place as it often does in such musicals. Featuring the song White Christmas and plenty of seasonal costumes White Christmas the movie is ever popular, despite being released originally back in 1954.
Santa Claus The Movie: This movie did not receive rave reviews when it was first released in 1985.
With time it has become part of essential TV programming over the Christmas period. I like this film as it has a mixture of old and new, and, for me, is great for watching on Christmas Eve.
The Great Escape: This Second World War action adventure film was always aired on British TV at Easter, Christmas and the like. So much so that most people became sick and tired of it. After an absence The Great Escape has begun to be shown again and has found a new audience. It has a fabulous cast which includes Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasance, Nigel Stock, David McCallum and many more.
A prisoner of war camp may not, initially, seem perfect Christmas entertainment but, when you tire of sentiment, The Great Escape will supply action, thrills, sadness, humour and more.
The Polar Express: This is the most recent film in my list of favourites. Released in 2004 it was directed by Robert Zemeckis. Tom Hanks is central to this film, as he plays so many of the characters. Of course this is only possible with modern film technology and CGI, computer graphics imagery. The film follows a boy's journey of discovery to answer that age old question of whether or not Father Christmas actually exists. Of course he does!
The Snowman: Finally the animation that spawned a whole load of merchandising, The Snowman. This film remains charming no matter how many times you may have viewed it. Filmed in 1982 it has the voice of Peter Auty, complimenting a wonderful soundtrack. The narration is provided by David bowie but other than that this short film is speechless.
Overall: Of course, there are so many more movies which could be included. However if all of the above are shown each Christmas I shall be one happy Christmas elf.
Christmas is coming, The Goose is getting fat!
It may be traditionally the goose that gets fat before Christmas but come the day it could be you. At Christmas we tend to let our hair down and indulge in our favourite foods. For many of us that includes a liberal dose of chocolate.
Most of us who love chocolate have a favourite. These days western countries have more chocolate suppliers and alternatives than ever. White, plain, milk and organic chocolate are all on offer, plus more. Boxes or hampers of the delicious sweet treat are also available. You can gather together a selection of say Mum's favourite chocolate goodies and create a very individual hamper. Bake recipes in which you can use plenty of melted chocolate. Order handmade chocolates online. The choice is deliciously endless, and yours.
To drink as well as eat
Drinking chocolate can give you a warm fuzzy feel reminiscent of the Christmas of your childhood. Kids nowadays can begin to build up some future memories of their own this Christmas. Drink a warm, smooth glass of Hot Chocolate as you write your Christmas cards.
White Chocolate is really a creamy colour and not white. It is a little sweeter than darker chocolates. Children often love white chocolate but it can be sickly if too much is consumed. Buy, or make using a mould, a white chocolate snowman or Christmas Tree. Ice the name of the recipient on the gift, in red or green icing. White Chocolate is sometimes favoured by migraine sufferers as it is less inclined to instigate a migraine. Whether this is true is not proven.
Use the moulds to make your own Chocolate Christmas Tree decorations. Alternatively make small treats to wrap in foil as extra gifts or to add to a gift basket of chocolate treats. In such gift baskets add pretty hot chocolate drinking mugs and sachets of the drink.
Start your Christmas preparations early to grab the best bargains and most unusual treats, spread the cost but also to make your own gifts and decorations.
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