Sunday, December 30, 2012


Why December 26 is a 'monster' shopping day: 4 theories

   The day after Christmas is second only to Black Friday as the year's busiest shopping day — thanks, in part, to a tendency for people to buy themselves delayed presents

If projections come to pass, the day after Christmas this year may break holiday sales records.

1. More people are spending on themselves
Plan on hitting the mall today? You're not alone. In a recent American Express survey, 57 percent of Americans said they planned to go shopping on December 26, up from 43 percent in 2010. In fact, the day after Christmas is second only to Black Friday as the busiest shopping day of the year. But why are more Americans willing to circle around crowded parking lots than last year? Here, 4 theories:
In the days leading up to Christmas, Americans are consumed with shopping for friends and family. After the 25th, the focus shifts. One out of five shoppers will be cashing in gift cards they got from Santa, says Brad Tuttle at TIME, with many purchasing holiday presents for themselves — "a continuation of one of the season's hottest trends." What are they buying? TVs and clothing, primarily.

2. Struggling retailers mean stronger discountsWhile sales over Thanksgiving weekend of this year were promising, many stores bit off more inventory than they could chew for the month of December. Retailers like Gap and Ann Taylor, for example, are offering store-wide clearances of more than fifty percent off, looking to unload merchandise. "The inventory is worth so much less in two weeks," one anonymous chief executive of a retailer tells the New York Times. Stores are trying to take advantage of the momentary surge in traffic before the New Year. "With that kind of inventory, you’ve got to get rid of it. Whatever the margin is today, it’s that much lower next week and the week after."

3. The day after Christmas falls on a Monday instead of a SundayOne reason for the uptick in shopping interest, says Fox News, is that compared with last year's big shopping day — which fell on a Sunday, "when many people spend time with family" — 2011's post-Christmas spree comes on a Monday. And since most offices are giving employees the day off, they have ample time to brave long return lines.

4. People are simply postponing Christmas DaySince more retailers are offering huge bargains on a "wider variety of items than they do in the weeks leading up to the holiday," some "cost-conscious" shoppers are waiting until after December 25th to go gift shopping, says Christina Rexrode at the Associated Press. Online spending in the days following Christmas has grown as much as 56 percent compared to previous years, and when you factor in the "the headache of shopping in the pre-Christmas madness," it's easy to understand why celebrating Christmas a little later has come to make sense.


Mocha Truffles

   Laced with coffee liqueur, these sophisticated truffles feature a luscious combination of white and dark chocolates.

Mocha Truffles

  • 3/4
    cup whipping cream
  • 2
    tablespoons butter
  • 14
    ounces premium dark baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1
    tablespoon coffee liqueur
  • 15
    ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1
    tablespoon shortening
  • 1
    tablespoon instant coffee crystals
1.In a medium saucepan heat whipping cream and butter over medium heat just to boiling. Remove saucepan from heat. Add dark chocolate, but do not stir. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Stir in coffee liqueur. Cover and chill for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until almost firm, stirring once or twice.
2.Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Drop chocolate mixture in 1-inch mounds onto prepared baking sheet. Chill about 1 hour or until firm. Shape chilled mounds into 1-inch balls; return to baking sheet. Cover and freeze for 30 minutes.
3.Place white chocolate and shortening in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on 50 percent power (medium) for 2 to 2-1/2 minutes or until melted, stirring twice. Cool slightly. Dip balls, one at a time, into melted chocolate. Let excess chocolate drip off balls. Place truffles on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Immediately sprinkle each truffle with some of the coffee crystals. Chill about 30 minutes or until set.
4.Cover tightly and chill for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 1 month. Let truffles stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving. Makes about 48.


    India is a secular nation and houses every community. Christians are a minority here and form nearly 2.3% of the population. But the fact that there are only about 25 million Christians in India, in no way lessens the observance of the festival. Moreover, the occassion is celebrated not only by Christians but by people of other religions as well.
    The tradition of Christmas observance was introduced here with the colonisation of Europeans. Though the country gained its independence in 1947, many European customs and festivals stayed on. The fact that there is the presence of a Christian community in India, helped the maintaining of these traditions in no less a way. Today, Christmas is the biggest and most-loved festival of Indian Christians. The festival is also enthusiastically celebrated by people of other religions residing here.

    Like in many other countries, Christmas is observed in India on 25th December. Everyone gears up for the festival from nearly a week before. Business stores are decked up for the occassion with every gift shop packed with Christmas trees, presents, ornaments and other items of decoration that are bought by millions of enthusiastic celebrants of the festival.
    For Indian Christians, especially the Catholics, the Midnight mass on Christmas Eve is a very important service and holds great religious significance. Every year, on the night of 24th December, all members in Christian families visit their local churches to attend the Midnight mass. On this night, churches in India are decorated with Poinsettia flowers and candles. The mass over, everyone relishes a mouthwatering feast of various delicacies, mostly consisting of curries. Thereupon, presents are given to one another and "Merry Christmas" is wished. India being a multicultural nation, many different languages are spoken here. In Hindi and Urdu, Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Bade Din ki Mubarak'; in Sanskrit it is 'Krismasasya shubhkaamnaa'; in Bengali 'Barodiner shubhechha janai'; and in Tamil it's 'Christhu Jayanthi Nalvaalthukal'.

    Nativity plays are staged in many schools(mainly the Christian ones) and churches on Christmas morning. The perfomances by young children depict the birth, life and actions of Jesus Christ and usually end with the singing of hymns and carols and the visit of a person dressed as Santa to distribute candies/toffees to kids. In the metros a smiling Santa Claus, entertaining children at departmental stores with toys and gifts, is not an uncommon sight. Caroling processions on streets and thoroughfares can also be seen on 24th night.
    A sizeable population of the Christian Community reside in Mumbai of the Indian state of Maharashtra and are mainly Roman Catholics. It is a delight to watch their homes during Christmas. Every Christian home creates a nativity scene, often display a manger in the front window. Giant star-shaped paper lanterns are hung between the houses so that the stars float above you as you walk down the road. There is a provision of sweets, mainly home-made, in every household to welcome visitors during the occassion. In Southern states, Christians often light small clay oil lamps and place these on the flat roofs of their homes to show that Jesus is the light of the world. In the North-western states of India, the tribal Christians of the Bhil folk take out caroling processions during the whole Christmas week and often visit neighbouring villages to tell the Christmas story to people through songs.

    In India, Father Christmas or Santa Claus is held to be the giver of presents to children from a horse and cart. As in the U.S., he is believed to deliver presents at the house of every kid who behaves well during the whole year. Santa Claus is known as 'Christmas Baba' in Hindi and 'Christmas Thaathaa' in Tamil.


This comes from www.wikihow.com . These are really a neat looking idea to hang on your tree or at your annual holiday Christmas party. Make alot or a little.

Make a 3D Paper Snowflake

This is a little more complicated than a two-dimensional paper snowflake, but it looks beautiful and is a suitable craft for children adept with scissors and patient in making crafts. It will produce a 6-armed three-dimensional snowflake decoration that makes a perfect tree decoration or window-hanger.