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Green Christmas Reduces Waste

Are visions of a greener holiday season dancing in your head?

Consider using a live evergreen as your Christmas tree, and offering nontraditional gifts, such as sporting event tickets and music lessons.

Many people buy live Christmas trees because they can plant them after the holidays, said Marisa Keris, whose parents run Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop in Upper Freehold.

“Some people have, like, 10 years of Christmas trees along their yard,” said Keris, 23.

Cut Christmas trees also can be recycled as mulch, which help new trees grow.

From Thanksgiving to the New Year, Americans generate an extra million tons of waste each week, according to the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation.

They also toss out enough ribbon every year to tie a bow around the Earth and throw nearly 1 billion Christmas cards into the garbage instead of recycling them, according to the New York agency.

But people can take scores of steps to be greener this holiday season, according to experts and advocates.

“I think it’s becoming more common that people think of these things in their everyday life,” said Kirstin McPolin of Middletown, president of Real Mama Inc., a nonprofit focusing on environmental issues and children’s health and wellness. “As hard as it is during this season, we want people to remember that there are ways to do it.”

Real Mama tips include preparing meals with organic ingredients, shopping within about 10 miles of home to save fuel and turning down the heat to 55 degrees when on vacation, McPolin said.

Other tips include decorating the tree with homemade or natural ornaments and giving cloth napkins to family and friends, she said.

People should “avoid impulsive shopping,” said Fran Metzger, Monmouth County recycling coordinator. “Give a lasting gift of a movie ticket or a theater certificate or gift certificate.”

Metzger also recommends choosing toys and tools that run on rechargeable batteries, using reusable cloth shopping bags, buying gift wrap and cards made from recycled paper and using old holiday cards as gift tags.

Using comic books or old road maps for wrapping could “become a conversation piece,” she said.

“Shredded newspaper makes good packaging material rather than using the (Styrofoam) peanuts,” she said.

As for Christmas trees, check with your municipal public works department on when cut trees can be placed at the curb or dropped off for chipping, Metzger said. Towns usually use chipped trees in flower beds or make them available to residents for use, she said.

In Ocean County, most towns collect Christmas trees, and county parks also collect them, said John A. Haas, Ocean County recycling coordinator.

And because people receive new clothing during the holiday season, they should recycle their older clothing through their church or synagogue, Haas said. Hundreds of clothes recycling bins are throughout the county, and people are especially in need this winter, he said.

by Todd B. Bates

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Christmas Marketing Idea – Promotional Christmas Cracker

There is a rubber band powered promotional product known in the UK as an auto extender and it is most often used as an everyday promotional mailer where the message is growth or speed. But what about its potential as a seasonal mailer – or even a fun Christmas greetings card
Each year companies spend a great deal of time and effort trying to come up with an idea for a company card. Invariably, other projects take priority and the choice of a top notch company greeting is left as a last minute decision and the opportunity to create a lasting impression is lost. If you are reading this as a brand new article you might well be thinking that I’ve gone mad as it’s still only August and I’m already talking about Christmas. Well that’s because I know that things are left to the last minute every single year. It’s almost as if Christmas takes the corporate marketing world by surprise – as if it were a floating date. What I am trying to say here is that if you don’t chose your company greeting or Christmas card with care and thought then your last minute afterthought of a 4-page A5 card will be money and opportunity wasted. The card will be hung up on a line of ribbon on your customer’s office wall with scores of others who have done exactly the same thing and got hung up with the smalls!

I urge you to start thinking right now and here’s one neat idea to get the grey matter working. In a word, it’s – “crackers”.

As a symbol of Christmas the humble Christmas cracker is quite possibly the most physical and noisy! It is a highly interactive product and contains the promise of a small gift, a party hat and a party joke. If you want to create a similar festive feeling to the Christmas cracker with your Christmas promotion then the auto extender might just fit the bill.

The auto extender is the ideal product to take on the guise of a Christmas cracker. The product is delivered compressed in a custom-designed envelope. When the extender is taken out of the envelope the sides shoot out with a whoosh and a crack giving your Christmas promotion the impact that you are looking for and making sure that your customer remembers you. The auto extender is also a very interactive product and it will be passed around your customer’s office for everyone to have a play with, making it a very effective marketing product for Christmas promotions. Comparison of auto extenders to Christmas crackers is very apt and one that hasn’t gone unnoticed by advertisers for Christmas ad campaigns.

By Paul Whitney

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Christmas Scrapbooking Ideas

Well, if you’re waiting for Christmas to come, its almost here! Which means that you gotta get busy and start getting things together. But while you’re scrambling around, trying to get everything organized, dont forget to put your holiday greeting card on the list! And this year, you’ll want to make it special by making your Christmas cards yourself.

Hopefully some of these ideas here will get your creative mind going and some holiday inspiration to put together one of your best Christmas scrapbooking cards ever! There is something special about spending time with your family and making Christmas cards. I remember when I was a little girl and we would spend all sorts of time putting together our Christmas cards. I bet that your kids will never forget either!

Anyways, a good idea for a Christmas scrapbook card would be to create a north pole theme, and then have your kids dressed up as elves, and the dad as Santa Claus and the wife as Ms. Claus! Then you could take photos of everybody having fun together, then assemble on your Christmas scrapbook card. And if you have any pets, like a dog, you could dress them up as reindeer! I bet our little dog would look hilarious as Rudolph!

Another idea you could use for your Christmas scrapbook card is to create snowflakes. You fold up some blank white pieces of paper and then cut odd shapes out of the edges. Then you unfold, and presto! You have snowflakes. Then what you’ll want to do is take your best one, and put everybody’s face on it. Or you all could make smaller, individual snowflakes and put a single picture on each snowflake!

By Jenny Hampdon

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6 Horrible Christmas Gift Ideas That You Should Avoid

Gifter, before you decide to buy something for you friends, neighbor, families or relatives, beware what you are about doing may hurt your recipients. While this statement seems harsh and you have the best intentions that you wish your recipient well but some of the ideas we are about discussed here are actually nightmare and just do much harm to your recipients than bringing up Christmas joy! Therefore we recommend you that stay away of our list of six horrible gift ideas that we are about to discuss:

Horrible Gift Idea #1: Items That Give a “Clever” Hint to a Recipient’s Problem

For this idea you actually tell your recipient that they have some problem that they need to make a change in their life. While we think it is a polite way of telling them but it actually causes more pain and trouble than it is worth. For instance, gifts such as books for losing weight, an audio book on helping them with their memory or even a book to teach them how to find a right guy or girl. When your recipients receive your gift, they may just think you are calling them fat, dumb, or a person just cannot meet good people for relationship. While you may not have this type of intention but some of your recipients may just feel this way. So these type of gifts will just cause pain and depression than the opposite of what you hope for.

Horrible Gift Idea #2: No Thought On Your Gift

Well, for this type of idea, you may just do not give at all instead of giving away anything that your recipient don’t even wear or cannot use at all. Things such as body jewelry that the recipient don’t have ear pieced on, a Buddha T shirt for a Christian or a bottle of wine to a Hep B patient are just few examples we come with. If you don’t show heart in your gift why bother to give away in the first place? Those of which you called friends may just appreciate it.

Horrible Gift Idea #3: Extremely Large Coffee Table Books

The thought behind this type of gift is usually giving an impression of the larger wrapped of the gift is the more value it has and therefore it will make the recipient

happy! Well we have to admit books can be a great gift, but if you can give a regular sized or a pocket sized one, the recipient may be even more happier!

Horrible Gift Idea #4: Gifts That the Recipients Cannot Give away or Exchange We all want our recipients to love our gifts but we can not 100% guarantee that we get it right! So please do not give a present from a shop that does not even exist in the recipient’s part of the country unless you sure they want this type of item. Otherwise your recipient will potentially get angry and disappointed.

Horrible Gift Idea #5: Repeat What You Have Given in the Previous Year We realize we are all busy and sometimes we have just forgot a holiday or special

occasion and find ourselves desperate in getting one. We just know we don’t have time in shopping and what we do is looking around what we have bought last year and just repeat the same gift to the same person! The problem is after the fact for doing so, you are immense with the guilt that you feel afterward. In our opinion, every action you did always had a cost. So think twice before you are doing it.

The Final Horrible Gift Idea #6: “Fake” Gifts

When talking about “fake” gifts, I don’t mean that they products themselves are replica of famous brand but those “gifts” are actually what you want rather your recipient would like. In doing so, you are hoping your recipient will give your gift back to you, because they don’t like it! Well, this is really horrible and in fact this type of trick will backfire on you, so don’t do it! If you want it for yourself, then just purchase it and don’t fake it with your wrong intent of giving in the first place! At last, as a golden rule, buy for others then buy for you as well and your recipients and you will be happy!

By Proson Cheng

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Unique Christmas Gift Ideas

The Christmas holidays have arrived. Shoppers are getting restless. Christmas is the time we celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth. Christmas is the time for giving gifts to children. Here we get confused as to what gift we should be giving.

Shopping for gifts can is fun. But shopping for the right gift to give can a lot of time and effort. But how about a mobile as a gift? who wouldn’t like it?

Mobile phones are a universal gift as they are popular, stylish, and costly. Mobile phones are popular as a gift because they offer more features than just communication especially those N series by Nokia.

Mobile phones features like Internet browsing, MP3 playback, memo recording, personal organizer functions, e-mail, instant messaging, built-in cameras and camcorders, ringtones, games, radio, Push-to-Talk (PTT), infrared and Bluetooth connectivity, call registers, ability to watch streaming video or download video for later viewing, video calling and can serve as a wireless modem for a PC.

One can choose from a wide range of mobile phones models. The best is always Nokia. There are other brands also like that offers the quality technology in the world of mobiles.

Just imagine how would you feel if you get a Nokia kind of mobile as a Christmas gift. Isn’t it an awesome idea. So what are you waiting for? The Christmas bells are ringing. Get someone hear the most lilting ring tones that would make them happy. I wish even Santa Claus borrows this innovative Christmas gift idea!

By Pankaj Mistry

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Corporate Christmas Party Ideas

Corporate Christmas party ideas don’t have to be limited and boring! Here is the usual order of events. They are usually large affairs that include all the people that work for a business, as well as any guest that each employee may bring with them. They will typically consist of a dinner, and entertainment that is often in the form of music and dancing. Half way through the evening, there are sometimes speeches made by the managers, bonuses are given out and any other awards may also be given. When people come to these parties, they usually buy drink tickets at the door, as well as tickets for door prizes. Door prizes are given out throughout the evening and are gifts that are purchased, which can be given to either men or women.

But now the good news! Office Christmas party ideas are beginning to be more entertaining in order to keep employees happy and get them involved with the evening. On top of the traditional Christmas dinner and entertainment, corporations are now going in for a casino Christmas night or a magic show. Hypnotists are also unique entertainment appreciated by most.

Another source of entertainment that has become quite popular is a crime investigation night, in which people have to figure out clues to a staged crime. There are also small theater groups that specialize on taking their type of entertainment to you and will bring their small group or one person play to the Christmas party.

Corporate Christmas party ideas are the perfect opportunity to put the imagination to work, but it is also always a good idea to try and get a feel of what kind of party the employees would like.

By Dee Schrock