Posts Tagged“christmas”



Gifts for the men in your life

Buying a gift for a man, whether it’s a son, husband or father, can be a challenge for some of us women. And the more important the man, the harder it becomes. If your budget is unlimited, it’s easier, but that’s not reality for most women. Here are a few sure-to-please ideas:

• Does he love dessert? Give him a certificate promising a dessert every month or once every three months, or on every holiday plus his birthday. To make the gift feel more “real” when he opens it, wrap up our Kitchen Grips Hot Mitts with your certificate. At first he may be puzzled (keep your camera handy), but when he reads your note he’ll be smiling. Don’t worry; he won’t be able to claim the hot mitts for the barbecue because they’re sized for a woman’s slimmer hands.

• What man doesn’t love to play? You don’t have to spend $100 or more on an electronic game. Think of the fun he can have with a Tabletop Skee-ball Arcade Game (and it’s just under $35).

• If he’s the quieter type, the Round Table Puzzle will give him hours and hours of enjoyment (for just under $17)… and he can share it with those he loves.

 Gifts for the women in your life


Whether you’re shopping for your best friend, sister, cousin, daughter or mom, here are some sure-to-please gifts:

• Does she walk or jog for fitness? The Phone Wrist Wallet lets her securely carry her cash, I.D., credit cards and phone on her wrist. And because it’s only $16.98 you can use it as fun gift wrap for a gift card or cash.

• Is she known for always misplacing her keys? Give her something that will make her laugh, but that she will appreciate often. With the Key Finder she can just clap three times to find her keys. The red dog barks and the green kitty meows. Just $14.98 so it can be used as a package topper or for the office gift exchange.

• Is she a tea lover? Her daily cup takes on a fun dimension with a Tea Infuser shaped like a Frog, Monkey or Robot. Only $11.98, so you can also present her with a tin or two of loose tea.

 Gifts for people from 8 to 88


Are you looking for a gift for a family, or for gifts for a group of people? Here are some never-fail gifts for bringing everyone together:

Remote Control Bumper Cars are all you need for a friendly game that two can play. Can you knock your opponent out of the competition before he bumps your car and ejects your driver?

• Know someone who loves pretending to play guitar? Air Guitar takes pretending one step further—it actually plays music! And unlike those at the music store that cost hundreds, it will only set you back for just under $25.

• Is there a clown in your group? Here’s the perfect gift— Emergency Clown Nose that comes in a faux prescription bottle with a sense of humor. But it’s still fun if you know two clowns‚ because you get two for just under $12.

• Would you like to see aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters get into de-stressing, foam-flying fun? Poppers Foam Ball Shooters are about 5-1/2″ tall characters that shoot a foam ball when you squeeze. With pigs, cows, penguins, sock monkeys and more, you can get everyone their own unique character. Not into family warfare? Buy the pig or sock monkey target and make it a skill challenge. Think of the fun!



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • Peppermint or regular Junior Mints



  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into a small bowl.  In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy.  Reduce speed to medium and add yolks, cream and vanilla.  Scrape sides of the bowl.  Beat in flour mixture until just combined.
  2. Roll balls using 2 teaspoons dough for each, then roll each in sugar.  Place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheets.  With the handle of a wooden spoon, press gently in the center of each ball to create an indentation.
  3. Bake the dough, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until a cookie shape has formed (about 10 minutes).  If the indentation was lost during baking, press again.  Let the cookies cool slightly on baking sheet.  Press one Junior Mint into each cookie.  Transfer cookies to wire racks and let fully cool.

Expecting guests this season (or any time of year)? Just a few tricks before company arrives can help your house look its best during the visit and make it easier to clean up when the party’s over.

Before guests arrive:

1. The fastest way to make your home look lovely is to eliminate clutter. For each main room of your house, grab a plastic storage bin and sweep in all the excess clutter and random bits that have accumulated. Store your bins in an out of the way spot—like the garage or laundry room—so they’re ready for you to organize the next day.

2. Go through your menu and choose serving dishes for everything you’re making. Place them on your buffet or table with a post-it indicating what you’ll serve in it. This will not only make your food service faster, but will save you from creating extra dirty dishes when you’re trying to find a serving bowl to accommodate something. If you expect guests to bring something to eat, stash some extra platters and bowls in an easy location so they can add their food to the buffet.



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp bacon grease
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips



  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter, bacon grease, brown sugar and white sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add one egg and beat until well blended into the butter mixture.  Add the remaining egg and the vanilla and maple extracts.  Beat until well blended and slightly fluffy.  Stir in the flour mixture a little at a time, mixing gently until combined. Stir in the bacon and chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop the dough in rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake in the preheated oven until edges turn golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.


One of the joys of holiday gift giving is watching the smiles. And if your gift gets a chuckle, do you think that’s even better? If so, you must love funny Christmas gifts as much as we do. Fun gifts can be easy to give because they are often inexpensive and most always have the universal appeal that lets you keep them on hand for last minute Christmas gifts. Wrap them and keep them on a closet shelf (or in a storage box under your bed), and you’ll be ready to present when a neighbor drops by, when you suddenly realize you need a teacher gift or when you find yourself too busy to shop for the office gift exchange.

Looking for great stocking stuffers for your family? Here are 10 of our favorite ideas. They make the best stocking stuffers because they’re so much fun to give and get, but they’re also useful gifts your loved ones will really use. And because these clever gifts are all under $20, you can afford to stuff those stockings to the brim.

1. Phone Wrist Wallet
Phone, cash, cards and keys…all in easy reach! Traveling light is so easy with this comfy wrist wallet. Perfect for students, workout buddies or anyone who runs or travels.

Makes approximately 20 cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup finely ground almonds (2oz)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam



In a small bowl combine flour, almonds and cinnamon then set aside.  In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add flour mixture—mix only until incorporated.  Divide dough into two pieces—press into discs about 1 inch thick.  Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours until firm.

Preheat over to 350F. On a floured surface roll out one disc of dough to 1/8 inch thick (keep remaining dough chilled). Cut half the dough into rounds—this is the bottom and cut the other half with an insert (star), this will be the top.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or light golden brown.  Cool on cookie sheet for two minutes.  Remove from sheet and cool completely.  Invert bottom cookie and spread with a teaspoon of raspberry jam.  Dust top cookie with confectioner’s sugar and gently sandwich together.

Do you have an unofficial competition on your block for the best holiday lights? Maybe it’s your turn to host Christmas dinner (or the office party) and you want your home to look its best. Whatever the reason you decorate, you don’t have to spend hours arranging holiday lighting in the cold or running multiple extension cords, thanks to clever technology and modern LED decorations—some are so efficient that they’re even powered by batteries.

One of the quickest, easiest ways to light the entire outside of your home is with our Firefly Landscape Laser Light  Just stake it, plug it in, and it looks like you’ve strung 1,000 lights. Shine it on a giant tree, and when the wind blows, the lights even appear to twinkle. We guarantee you won’t miss climbing up and down the ladder on a cold day to string holiday lighting.