Monday, December 31, 2012
Five easy steps to throw an easy and inexpensive New Year's Eve party at home.
Want to avoid the hectic crowds this New Years? Invite a few close friends over and throw your own party at home. Here are five simple steps to having your own New Year's Eve party: 1. Food. Start your party at 7 p.m. or later so your guests will eat dinner before they come over. That way, all you have to provide is snacks. Pick up a vegetable platter and some sweet treats for dessert. Want to make something yourself? Here is a quick an easy recipe for a snack everyone will love: Ingredients you'll need for salsa dip: Spread the whole package of cream cheese on the bottom of a deep plate. Pour a little more than half of the jar of salsa over the top and spread. Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese on top of the salsa. Heat in the microwave …
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
This tasty finger food is quick for you to prepare and is a big hit at parties. Make it for your next party.
"I'm afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery." ~Aldous Huxley I was asked to make an appetizer (of my choice) for a Christmas party last weekend. I decided to do something different (for me) and make a cold app, rather than my usual hot one. I planned on making a cheese and cracker platter, but after an overwhelming couple of hours in the grocery store, I ended up with way more than I had planned. I left with a mixture of tasty items-olives, marinated mushrooms, tomatoes, celery and pepperocinis, along with different cheeses and cracker selections. When it came down to it I couldn't fit everything on the platter and left the cheese and crackers aside (for my husband to consume during the week, I …
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
There's not much better than a child's face when they run to the tree in the morning and start ripping into all the gifts Santa brought them. Share your moments of joy!
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
"Opening presents is like playing air hockey with God," is what Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal once wrote in trying to capture the joy of children opening gifts on Christmas morning. There's not much better than a child's face when they run to the tree in the morning and start ripping into all the gifts, whether they were brought by Santa or the kind "Elves" of the Windemere Lane Neighborhood Association here in Chelmsford (pictured) who gathered presents for the homeless families sheltered by House of Hope and Alternative House. Let's share those moments here and put a smile on everyone's face with a gallery of Chelmsford kids opening their gifts on Christmas morning. Click the "Upload Photos and Videos" button to add your photo or video …
Sunday, December 23, 2012
There will be free java served at the state's 18 travel plazas from 10 p.m. on Christmas night to 5 a.m. on Dec. 26.
One theory about how Santa gets all his work done is: Coffee. Lots of it. Even if you're not St. Nick, if you need to stay alert driving on Christmas night, the state's highway service areas are here to help. All 18 Department of Transportation service plazas will serve up free java from 10 p.m. on Dec. 25 to 5 a.m. on Dec. 26. The same offer applies on New Year's Eve. That's between 10 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 5 a.m. on Jan. 1. The free coffee is sponsored by McDonalds, Burger King and Gulf. Here is a list of all 18 service plazas in Massachusetts ........
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
While your thinking of others this holiday season, make sure you're also keeping the planet in mind.
Before you buy another roll of gift wrap and leave those holiday lights on all night, here are some tips on how to celebrate the environment along with the holidays. Give gifts that not only last a long time, but help reduce packaging waste. The gift within a gift – instead of wrapping paper, use tea towels to wrap cups or silverware, a pair of gloves for rings or bracelets, a bath towel for oils and bubble bath, or gardening tools inside a composter! Reusable wrapping – wrap presents in newsprint comics, old calendars or magazines. How about using reusable containers such as baskets, wood boxes, cookie tins, decorative jars or old shoe boxes - decorate the container with fabric, poster paint or magazine cutouts and reuse them yearly. …
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Need a quick holiday cookie recipe? Make one of these for your parties this season.
One of the most important holiday questions to ask yourself is: What kind of cookies will you be baking for your get-togethers this season? From sweet to savory, holiday cookies come in all shapes and sizes. And what’s better than to top off a tray of cookies than a glass of homemade eggnog? You can head down to Stop and Shop or Market Basket or Hannaford's for some of those things, or can also check out myrecipes.com to learn how to host a successful cookie swap and view more holiday cookie recipes. Eggnog In a saucepan over low heat combine milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cinnamon stick and clove. Bring to a slow boil (this will take between 5-7 mins). Once the milk mixture starts to boil remove from heat and leave cinnamon stick in …
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Consumerism surrounds the holiday season: is greed inevitable, and how do you avoid it?
For those children who celebrate, Christmas' biggest connotation can be a pile of gifts under the tree. With this in mind, a panel of staff contributors at The Chicago Tribune tackled the question of whether it's inevitable to see greed in their kids around Christmastime. The parents weighed in on suggestions to remind kids of Christmas spirit. Among their suggestions? Help your kids round up some old toys to donate to charity before giving them new toys. Sign them up to participate in a community service project. The Tribune's advice got us thinking at Patch about how we were taught or are teaching our kids to be less greedy around the holidays. Some of our suggestions? Find a giving tree and let your child pick a name or two off of it, …
Thursday, December 13, 2012
From the ubiquitous red kettles to the option to round up to the nearest dollar at the register, there are many requests for consumers' charity this season.
It's rare to go through a checkout line without being asked for a donation. At PetSmart it's for animals; at Wendy's it's for adoption; at the Dollar Tree Store it's toys for military kids. And, let's not forget the jingle of the Salvation Army bell that sends many of us digging into our pockets. It's true, needs are increasing yearly. One viewpoint is that if you're out shopping anyway, parting with an extra dollar here and there likely has little affect on your wallet—and if others do the same, the sum of all the small donations can make a big difference. But how do you decide when your donations are enough? Do you have to give each time to feel like you've helped? How do you walk through the cold past that kettle and the ringer of the …
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Enjoy these snacks during the busy holiday season.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The following text was provided by the Dana Farber Cancer Institute: The holidays are here and so is all the festive food. Some of it is naughty but much of it can be nice. “When party planning during the holidays, it’s important to have variety,” says Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, a nutritionist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. “Many of the foods we enjoy around the holidays are not only delicious to eat, but they may also contain cancer-fighting nutrients.” Kennedy says it’s easy to include them in any menu when you know what to look for. Here is a list of foods and recipes from Kennedy and her colleagues that belong on anyone’s “nice list.” Ho-ho hummus Skip those holiday dips that are buried in excess fat and calories. …
How much will we spend this year? And what's the best-selling Christmas song of all time? Find the answers below.
We know that there were three Wise Men, 12 days of Christmas and that Santa delivers all his presents around the world in one night. But did you know... $23,439.38 How much it would cost to buy your "true love" all the gifts in the 12 Day of Christmas . 12.9 billion hours, $447 billion How many hours Americans were expected to spend shopping, wrapping and returning gifts last year. That was about 42 hours and $688.87 per person. Get your postman/postwoman a gift According to Hallmark, Christmas is the largest card-sending occasion . Nearly 1.5 billion cards are sent to friends and family every Christmas Season. (That's actually down 400 million cards since 2004.) $983 million The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from …