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Category Archives: Merry Miscellaneous

Wrap Your Holidays with Washi Tape!

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One of my absolute favorite things in the world is washi tape! It comes in so many lovely patterns, colors, and widths that I can’t get enough washi tape in my life. Each time I pop into an office supply store, I must walk down the tape aisle to see if there are new patterns available. I’ve got it bad, right? 😉

I rationalize my obsession because washi tape is so functional and versatile. I frequently use it to wrap gifts, embellish gift bags, make cards, and decorate candles. One really fun thing I made recently was some washi tape twist ties; they’re perfect for tying off little treat bags! Since I can’t get enough decorative tape in my life, I thought it would be fun to share some of my current festive favorites with you.

Wrap Your Holidays with Washi Tape
  1. Oh my goodness, the sparkles! This metallic tape technically isn’t washi tape, but it’s so pretty that I had to include it. I have a several rolls of this metallic tape in my stash. Not only is it perfect for the holidays, but it’s one that I use all year for various occasions.

  2. This trio of tape is so dainty and shimmery—I love it! You can use it to embellish gift boxes, bags, or even on the envelopes of your holiday cards.

  3. You get 8 rolls in this holiday tape bundle for only $15—that’s a steal! I get stoked whenever I can find tape for less than $2 per roll. 😉

  4. I’m in love with this Scandinavian moose tape! This design is discontinued by MT, so the best way to get it is on Etsy. Depending where you live, you may prefer to buy it from this shop (UK) or this shop (US).

  5. You can’t go wrong with classic red and green tape in your collection. Solid colors always pair well with most wrapping papers and other patterned tapes like the moose tape above.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure here.

Holiday Kickstarter Campaigns

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Holiday Kickstarter Campaigns

All of us elves up here at the North Pole really enjoy making things both at work and in our spare time. As such, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we really love learning about creative projects from folks all around the world—whether it’s yummy food, novel products, or unique holiday cards. So, it’s time once again this year to highlight some fabulous festive projects that are currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, a website whose mission is “to help bring creative projects to life.”

Christmas TreeTransporter

If you and your family cut your own Christmas tree each year, the Christmas TreeTransporter will help you easily and securely haul the tree on top of your car. This reusable carrier protects the roof of your car from scratches and sap, plus it makes the tree easy to carry.

Learn more about the Christmas TreeTransporter Kickstarter campaign here.

12 Days of Chocolate

Countdown to Christmas with a box of twelve gorgeous, artisanal chocolates from Salt Confectionery. Each box contains a dozen handmade chocolate pyramids made from premium Belgium white or dark chocolate and includes flavours such as strawberry, matcha, Oreo, and almond macadamia. Yum!

If you love chocolate as much as we elves do, back this campaign today!

ToyTree

The ToyTree is a Christmas tree designed specifically for babies and toddlers. This expandable tree is a safe, fun, and educational toy that includes lights, music, and toys, so it would be perfect for the home, Sunday school classroom, or daycare.

Get your own ToyTree by donating to this campaign.

Unique Wooden Greeting Cards

Handmade using a variety of woods—such as zebrano, oak, ash, and alder—these holiday cards feature accents of beeswax, copper, and watercolour. With 3D and movable elements, these cards are small works of art.

Back this artsy Kickstarter project here.

One for One Christmas EcoTree

Looking for a modern take on a Christmas tree? Then check out the One for One Christmas EcoTree from MIO, which has a fun and unique tool-free, hardware-free, modular design. Made from recycled, FSC-certified cardboard, the EcoTree is easy to assemble and store. What’s more, for every tree sold, MIO will donate a tree to a family in need via Toys for Tots.

There’s still time to get an EcoTree for this holiday season, so back this campaign today.

Think Thankful Thoughts This Christmas

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Photo Credit: Caitlyn Regan. License: CC BY 2.0

It’s Christmas Eve, and we couldn’t be more excited! The day we’ve been anticipating all year is almost here! I’m sure tomorrow morning you all will be thrilled to see what prezzies Santa brought for you and your family. After the wrapping paper settles and your gifts are stacked in glorious piles, consider taking a moment to reflect on all that you have to be grateful for.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
–William Arthur Ward

And I don’t mean the presents that you’ve unwrapped (although, certainly be grateful for those, too!), but rather the intangible things and the “small” things that we can often take for granted. This includes things such as expressing love and appreciation to your family or acknowledging the support of a special friend.

“Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it.”
–Tom Hopkins

I have heard of gratitude being compared to a muscle. When not used often, it’s weak, and it might feel a bit awkward when you try to use it. But when exercised, it grows, and over time it becomes easier to flex that gratitude bicep. Plus, when we become more grateful for what we already have (or for people as they already are), we also become happier and have more joy!

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

All this talk about gratitude makes me want to start a gratitude journal—or better yet, I’m thinking I might write Christmas or New Year’s gratitude notes. Are you feeling inspired, too? I hope so, but if you still need a little nudge, here are a few prompts to get your gratitude juices flowing:

  • Reflect on the past year’s events. Does anyone come to mind? Is there a friend or mentor who has been there for you during a tough time?
  • Think back over this past month. Has a friend or neighbor extended a helping hand this holiday season?
  • Consider this past week. Has your significant other or a coworker been especially supportive as the holiday week mounts?
  • Write a thank you card, leave a note on a chalkboard, or send a text message and let someone know how much they mean to you.

Do you have any other suggestions for spreading gratitude? Let us know in the comments below!

Rare Full Moon on Christmas Morning

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Full Moon on Christmas Morning 2015
Photo Credit: NASA/Goddard/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Many of you might be sleeping at 6am on Christmas morning, but the rare full moon is a good reason to get up early… even if you go right back to bed for a few hours. 😉 It’s been 38 years since the full moon occurred on Christmas day, and NASA predicts this won’t happen again until 2034.

The moon will reach its peak at 6:11am ET. Whether you crawl out of bed early Christmas morning or try to catch a glimpse of it before you snuggle under your covers on Christmas Eve, make plans to see the full moon. So, go ahead and mark your calendars or set a reminder in your phone so you don’t miss this extraordinary event!

Frozen Festiveness

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I’m a huge fan of Disney’s animated films, and even though I’m not a child anymore, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying movies like Frozen. The chipper tunes and clever lyrics especially bring a smile to my face! (And I’ve been known to belt out some songs, too. I’m not the only one, am I? ;)) If you share my affection for the story of Anna and Elsa, I’m sure you too will love these videos of Christmas lights synced to Frozen songs.


What’s your favorite Frozen song? Let us know in the comments!

Iceland’s Annual Book Flood

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Iceland
Photo Credit: NASA. Public Domain.

Home of geothermal spas, beautiful & unique landscapes, skyr, Jökulsárlón, and much more, Iceland is a magical place and one of my absolute favourite countries. And just recently I learned about one of their Christmas traditions that made me fall in love with this Nordic nation even more.

In Iceland the majority of books [up to 80 percent!] are released and purchased during the months leading up to the holidays, a tradition that is called Jólabókaflóð—the “Christmas Book Flood.”

Jólabókaflóð
Photo Credit: Unsplash. License: CC0 1.0.

At the beginning of the flood, Bókatíðindi arrives in every Icelander’s mailbox; this catalogue lists all of the new publications for the year. Folks peruse the catalogue, deciding what they are going to buy as gifts and what they themselves would enjoy receiving, as books are wildly popular Christmas presents in Iceland. Not only that, but after exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve, quite often people will then spend the rest of the evening reading their new books and eating chocolate.

You know the emoji with hearts for eyes? That’s me when I think about books [okay, I’ll admit… AND chocolate], so this is definitely a Christmas tradition I would enjoy!

Jólabókaflóð
Photo Credit: Dariusz Sankowski. License: CC0 1.0.

For more information about Jólabókaflóð, check out this article from The Reykjavík Grapevine.

Send Sa’fyre a Christmas Card

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During the holiday season when so many of us are surrounded by family, it’s good to remember that not everyone is so lucky. Two years ago eight-year-old Sa’fyre was the sole survivor in an arson attack that killed the rest of her immediate family. Since surviving the fire, she has undergone countless surgeries, but—according to this Redbook article—Sa’fyre’s aunt says “She is the bravest, most courageous little girl you will ever meet. She is funny and witty, sweet and caring, and super strong… She wakes every morning with a smile on her face. She is the true definition of hope, faith and love.”​ It’s so inspiring that Sa’fyre has stayed so positive, despite everything that she’s been through!

Photo Credit: Sa’fyre Schenectady’s Super Survivor Facebook Page

Now we all have the chance to do something that will only take a moment, but will make Sa’fyre’s Christmas a little merrier. She would love to receive holiday cards from folks all around the world, and if this video is any indication, Sa’fyre has already received quite a number of cards!

But I think we can all help Sa’fyre’s pile of cards grow! Pop over to the store to pick up a card or dig through your stash of extra Christmas cards [I’m not the only one with a card stash, right?] and send a card to Sa’fyre today to help her have a very merry Christmas:

Sa’fyre
P.O. Box 6126
Schenectady, NY 12306
USA

Gävlebocken is Back!

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My beloved Gävlebocken is back! The 13 meter tall Christmas goat has been erected once again this year in Gävle, Sweden. Make sure to follow him on Twitter or Instagram, or read his blog for a dose of julstämning. And if you’re a serious Gävlebocken fan like me, you might also like to check out the live feed on his webcam!

🙂 #sharegävle #Gävlebocken #gavlegoat

A photo posted by Gävlebocken (@gavlebocken) on

And you can always go visit Gävlebocken yourself:

Slottstorget
802 50 Gävle
Sweden

Festive Kickstarter Campaigns

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Kickstarter

Since we elves enjoy making things at work and in our spare time, we love creative projects from other folks as well—be it new products, joyful music, or delicious food. So, it’s time once again this year to highlight some fabulous festive projects that are currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, a website whose mission is “to help bring creative projects to life.”

The Christmas Tree Hugger

If you have an artificial Christmas tree, but can’t stand the green pole at the base, then the Christmas Tree Hugger is for you! The flexible hugger wraps around the pole and features a classic brown bark, white birch bark, or candy cane design.

There’s still time to get a Christmas Tree Hugger for this holiday season, so back this campaign today.

EverLights – App Enabled Permanent Christmas Lights

Permanent and weather-resistant, you can easily install EverLights once and then enjoy them for years to come. Plus, you can customize the colours and sequence of the lights using the included smartphone app. After the Christmas season, you can change the lights’ colours to celebrate other holidays or even to match the colours of your favourite sports team!

Learn more about the EverLights Kickstarter campaign here.

HARK – Wintery Songs in Eleventy Part Harmony

Christmas music always helps make the holiday season feel special, and this collaboration by a group of female singer-songwriters and string players will definitely put you in a festive mood.

Rewards include digital and physical copies of the album, as well as handmade ornaments and caroling sessions, so be sure to check out this campaign.

Dancing Goats Dairy – Artisan Cheese in Coastal New England

The star of one of my go-to Christmas party recipes is goat cheese, so I simply had to feature this campaign—plus the goats are just so darn cute! Dancing Goats Dairy’s Kickstarter campaign will help them expand and revamp parts of their business and farm. Did I mention that their artisan goat cheese is included with some of the rewards? Mmm… 🙂

Help out Dancing Goats Dairy, and back this campaign today!

Deck Your Walls

These hand-printed tree posters are perfect if you live in a small space and don’t have room for a Christmas tree. Simply hang the poster on the wall and decorate with stickers, markers, or paper ornaments!

Get your own tree poster by donating to this campaign.

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