The Bells & Bows
Laura Emery, Field Editor
There’s no escaping the holiday
season, always absolutely electric with energy. And as our world picks up
its pace and puts on a smile during this magical time, so does the plethora
of holiday Web sites popping up all over the Internet.
Around Christmastime, you see the same
things everywhere. Magazine articles, store window displays, television
shows and commercials, and Web sites all begin to feature those things that
capture the essence of the holiday season -- Christmas recipes, tree and
home decorations, gift ideas, meal-planning tips, Christmas songs and games.
Everything becomes red and green, gold and silver.
But there’s more to the holiday
season. The following Web sites go beyond the bells and bows, each having
something unique to contribute to your holiday experience.
Capturing Memories on
As you flip through the stack of
Christmas pictures, you notice half a face here and an out-of-focus shot
there, closed eyes in one and motion blur in another. Ever wonder what it
takes to get that perfect picture, the one worth a million words, the one
you can proudly send off to the relatives, the one picture that sums up your
entire holiday? Check out Kodak.com’s guide to better pictures for
information on how to take the best pictures this holiday. At this Web site,
you can look up a quick photo tip, follow the steps for e-mailing a picture,
or explore black-and-white photography.
‘Tis The Season To
Nothing adds personality to a table like
elegantly folded linens gracing your favorite holiday “tablescape.” When
it comes time to plan your holiday meal, you can have all the delectable
dishes one could possibly imagine — but you enrich the dining experience
even more by having folded linens inserted into wine glasses, standing alone
on plates, or set to the side of plates holding silverware. This Web site
will walk new napkin-folders through the process, and features a variety of
A Canine Christmas
Do you find yourself enjoying your
holiday with your family, only to look down and see your beloved pet giving
you his or her most heart-tugging puppy-dog eyes, the look that could melt
even the coldest heart? There are Web sites out there focusing on Christmas
gift ideas for children of every age, but what about those special canine
companions? They don’t necessarily have to settle for a cold bone on
Christmas morning, because this Web site offers plenty of great ideas for
making sure your pets have a special Christmas, too.
Bows, Bells, and …
Take it from Santa. It’s time to make
that holiday budget and check it twice. Otherwise, you may wind up with some
post-holiday bills that are naughty, and not so nice. ’Tis the season of
holiday gift giving, battling crowded malls, and shoppers blowing their
budgets. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. For those of you who
dread opening the mail after the holidays, due to the abundance of bills you
know you have accumulated — you are not alone. To help keep your holiday
bills in check consider implementing holiday-budgeting techniques and
strategies. Never fear, several informative Web sites are here.
What About Breakfast?
There are a million and one Web sites in
cyberspace about holiday dinner recipes, complete with palate-pleasing
desserts to top off the perfect holiday feast. But what about the
much-overlooked morning meal? Dieticians and fitness professionals say that
breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Check out this Web site for
some great breakfast ideas.
Each year approximately 2,600
individuals are injured during fires occurring around the holiday season.
These fires cause more than $930 million in damage. According to the United
States Fire Administration (USFA), there are simple life-saving steps you
can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday. This Web site has a number of
valuable fire-safety and prevention tips to ensure a safe holiday season.
Gift Wrapping Tips
Gift-wrapping can be an enjoyable task
for some --- for those individuals who view the finished product as a work
of art (after having gone gung-ho with ribbon and bows galore), as much a
part of the gift as the object hidden below the paper. For others, it simply
involves crumpling paper around an object and using tape to create the Fort
Knox of all Christmas presents, slapping on a bow and tossing it under the
Christmas tree. Martha Stewart’s Web site features many interesting
holiday secrets and tips, including step-by-step instructions on the proper
way to wrap a gift.