Still haven’t finished – or even worse, started – your Christmas shopping? Bah humbug, Ebenezer Scrooge, what the heck are you waiting for? Well then, here are some not-so-nifty ideas for last-minute, re-gifted or belated Yuletide gifts. A word of warning, though: these probably won’t get you struck off Santa’s “naughty” list (hey, you’re the one that left things so late – what did you expect?)
A Bottle of (Cheap) Wine
What it hopefully says: “This drop is absolutely fabulous, so I wanted you to try it, too – you’re so sophisticated”.
What it actually says: “I’d completely forgotten about getting you a gift until I was at the bottle shop buying a little something for myself and remembered how wasted you got last Christmas”.
A Christmas Hamper (from Work)
What it hopefully says: “I know you’re a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen and thought you’d appreciate this basket of culinary delights – you’re so creative”.
What it actually says: “I received this from my stingy boss, none of the contents look even remotely appetising, so I figured ‘screw it, it’s your problem now’. Bon appétit”!
A 2013 Calendar (With Pictures of Impossibly Cute Baby Animals)
What it hopefully says: “Your time is precious, so I thought this would really help you organize your demanding work schedule and fulfilling social life – you’re so well balanced.”
What it actually says: “Yep, I’m fully aware that your smartphone, computer and wrist watch can give the exact same information much more succinctly, but I just wanted to remind you of your mortality… Every. Single. Day”.
A Gift Card (from a Nondescript Department Store)
What it hopefully says: “I really, really wanted you to have something you liked this Christmas and no-one knows you better than, well, YOU – you’re so in tune with yourself”.
What it actually says: “Go on, you do the hard yards and buy your own stinkin’ present – I really can’t be bothered!”
A Box of (Nearly Expired) Chocolates
What it hopefully says: “They’re not as sweet as you are, but I hope you’ll enjoy these tasty treats. And by the way, how do you still maintain your svelte figure? You’re awesome!”
What it actually says: “I received these from an equally lazy, last-minute gift-giver the previous Christmas. They sat forgotten in my pantry all year, there are only three days left before they go off, but I know you’ll scoff ‘em down”.
Elias Velis is the ‘Christmas Specialist’ at Harvey Norman. Once known as the Ebeneezer Scrooge of blogging, he now spends his days scoffing mince pies, sipping mulled wine margaritas and wishing it could be christmas every day. If you do want a funky self gift for the house, visit our small appliances section.
Photo Credit: Harvey Norman (CC BY 2.0)
Choosing the right lights for your Christmas needs involves the consideration of a number of different variables. As you probably already know, not all lights are created equally and some are fit for some purposes more than others are.
Types of Christmas Lights
Replacement bulbs are often the cheapest of all lights but allow you to change the lights when they burn out. However, they can be quite problematic as one bulb going can mean a number go out and this means you have to locate the right bulb before the other’s work. This can take time and patience. These lights often have short lifespans and often only work for two or three years before needing to be replaced.
Non-replaceable bulbs – these cannot be replaced and so eliminates the need to find a broken bulb. On the downside if a bulb breaks then you have to throw them out.
LED – No copper wire here and a longer life than traditional lights (up to 50,000 hours) means that LED are quite a good option for Christmas lights. They also don’t heat up and can be used indoors and outdoors depending on the lights.
Solar Lights – These are the perfect outdoor light and mix solar and LED technology to provide a long lasting light that is low on running costs and lasts longer than the standard. They do cost more than many other lights, but are a great choice.
Battery – Portable and easy to carry around, they don’t need a plug and are ideal for hanging on specific items. However, batteries need replacing quite often. Many battery lights come with a range of twinkle and static settings.
10 Tips for Choosing Lights
- Lights for outside are different from indoor lights and need to be conditioned to withstand cold and wet conditions. Make sure your lights are certified for this purpose if you are using them outside
- Of course, you should never use outdoor lights inside as they won’t have been safety tested for indoor use. Nowadays it is possible to purchase lights that perform both functions.
- Generally 50 lights per foot (12inches) is sufficient
- If you want a more traditional feel coloured lights can really help, they also mean you won’t need as many decorations.
- Clear Christmas lights are more contemporary and stylish
- Consider access points before you place the tree in the room, as you won’t want leads strewn across the floor.
- Lights can also be added to windows via suction cupsamd across mantel pieces with garland hooks
- Check lights before packing them away each year. Always replace bulbs before packing away and wrap them up in bubble wrap for best storage.
By following our guide to Christmas lights you can be sure your tree will look like the belle of the ball.
Cormac Reynolds writes for UK Christmas decoration site Festive Lights – the one stop shop for all things festive.
Photo Credit: Sebastian Dooris (CC BY 2.0)
The White House is a residence and office of the president of USA, currently Barack Obama. The whole complex of White House consists of the Executive Residence, West Wing, East Wing, Cabinet Room, Roosevelt Room and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The Eisenhower Executive Office Building is the main executive office of the President and Vice President. The whole complex is protected by the United States Secret Service and the United States Park Police and is closed for the public.
Photo Credit: Cliff (CC BY 2.0)
Decorating a Christmas tree can be a pain especially when there are so many way to do it. Children would prefer things that are sweet and can be eaten. But there are many cute objects that can give your tree a Christmas feeling, be nice and stylish. The most important fact when decorating your tree is that you style it in one selected color. Silver or gold is always a good option. So that chains, sweeties and rest of decorations is styled in that color. And do not forget to choose a tree that has dense branches.
Photot Credit: Christina Rutz (CC BY 2.0)
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