the Music & Mistletoe
by 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 websites popping
up all over the Internet.
Around Christmastime, you see the same things everywhere.
Magazine articles, store window displays, television shows and commercials,
and websites 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 music and games. Everything becomes red
and green, gold and silver.
But there’s even more to the holiday season. The
following websites go beyond the holiday music and mistletoe, each having
something unique to contribute to your holiday experience.
What About Breakfast
There are a many websites in cyberspace focusing on
holiday dinner recipes, complete with palate-pleasing desserts to top off
the perfect holiday feast. But what about the much-overlooked morning meal?
Dietitians and fitness professionals say that breakfast is the most
important meal of the day, so be sure to check out this website for some
great breakfast ideas.
Capturing Memories on Film
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 website, you can look up a quick photo tip,
follow the steps for e-mailing a picture, or explore black-and-white
Each year, approximately 2,600 individuals are injured
during fires occurring around the holiday season. These fires cause millions
of dollars 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 website has a number of valuable fire safety and
prevention tips worth reading.
'Tis the Season to Fold
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 website will walk new
napkin-folders through the process, and features a variety of impressive
Gift Wrapping Tips & Tricks
Gift-wrapping can be an enjoyable task for some,
especially those 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 taping
paper around an object, slapping on a bow and tossing it under the Christmas
tree. This website will show you how to wrap your Christmas gifts
A Canine Christmas
Ever 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 look, the one that could melt even the coldest
heart? There are websites 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 website offers plenty of great ideas for making sure your pets
have a special Christmas, too.
Bows, Bells and ... Budgets?
Take it from Santa: It is 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. Those who dread opening the mail
after the holidays — due to an abundance of bills -— are not alone. To help
keep your holiday bills in check, consider implementing holiday budgeting
techniques and strategies. Never fear, several informative websites are