Articles on Christmas Matters:

Christmas Presents for Pooches

Dogs are mans best friend, and as any dog owner will tell you, they really do become part of the family. This is probably why we can't leave the family dog out of the festivities at Christmas time. There are many of products on the market for dogs from doggie treat Christmas stockings, to Christmas theme food dishes, to Santa costumes to dress your dog up! Santa wrote a particular request asking people not to buy rubber Santa chew toys, because on Christmas eve when Santa is delivering presents, many dogs are looking a little too pleased to see him.

Why not take the time to make your best friend and extra special gift this Christmas, a Christmas sleigh bell dog collar.

All you need is... A dog collar, bells, felt and glue.

The dog collar needs to be a fabric or woven type collar that can be stitched into. Choose a nice festive colour like red.

You can buy bells from craft shops or your local haberdashery. The larger the bell the more 'Sleigh bell' the ring of the bell will sound, and your pooch will sound like a reindeer prancing along. Small bells have a high pitch ring, ideal for small or lady like dogs, the delicate tinkle makes them sound like small Tinkerbell the fairy.

Adjust the collar to fit your dog comfortably.

Sew bells at regular intervals around one edge (the bottom edge). About 4 CMS is a good gap between bells.

If you are using small bells sew them on in clusters of two or three larger bells can be sewn on singularly.

The bells need sewing on firmly so that they don't come off. Your dog may try to eat them.

Cut out holly leaf shapes and berries from some felt and glue them into place between the bells. You could substitute the holly leaves for fabric Christmas tree bows for lady dogs.
A cute Christmas collar gift for your dog, which will make your pooch jingle festively on every walkies!

Do not leave the dog wearing the collar unattended.

By, S. Roberts
20 Nov 2006

S. Roberts is one of Santa's Helpers and writes for a Christmas educational & activity website. For more festive ideas & gifts to make visit SantasPostbag is in association with Together keeping Christmas Magical

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Priceless Gifts, Priceless Thoughts

It can be said that you can never have too many friends. Christmas was a week away and there was this boy named Chris who still had 5 people left to shop for Christmas presents but there was a problem. He had only $3 left to his name. Now how do you tell your mother, brother and 3 other friends that you can only spend 60 cents on each of them.

Chris started to plan… “Lets set a price on the gifts.” He thought. Suddenly he felt like the biggest cheapskate in the world, 60 cents for each person. Then he thought to himself, “well I guess they won’t mind because it is the thought that counts.” However Chris wondered how is he going to get a gift for just 60 cents. An almost impossible thought.

Now he was spending more time and effort trying to figure out the right gifts for the right people.

Finally Christmas came and Chris was worried about how people would think of his “Cheap” gifts.

He gave his mother a scented candle with a note that read, “you are the brightest light in my life.” Overwhelm with joy, her mother cried when she read that note.

He gave his brother a wooden ruler and on the back of it, Chris painted, “No brother in the world could measure up to you.” In return, his brother gave him a bag of sugar and wrote on the bag, “You’re sweet.” His brother never said anything like that to him before.

For his best friend Wendy, he painted a pair of old shoes gold and stuck some flowers in them with a note that said, “No one could ever fill your shoes.” She gave Chris a feather and a band-aid and said, “You tickle me till I laugh until my sides ache.”

As for Chris’s 2 other friends, he gave one a fan and wrote on it, “I am your biggest fan.” To the other he bought a $1 calculator and painted a message on the back, “You can count on me.” Both of them gave Chris a rusty horseshoe for luck and a bundle of sticks tied with a red ribbon because “Friends stick together.”

Now Chris don’t remember all the other gifts he received for Christmas, but he remembered every one of those “cheap” gifts.

He recalled, “My brother thinks I am sweet.” “ My mother thinks she is the most important person in my life.” “My best friend Wendy thinks I am funny.” “And my other friends thinks we must stick together.”

Chris was worried that he did not have enough money for Christmas gifts, but he gave gifts to 5 people and still had 20 cents left. All his friends still talked about the “cheap” gifts and how much fun it was to come up with gifts that costs pennies and just to tell someone how you really felt about each other. On his bookshelf he still have a bag of sugar, a feather, a horseshoe and a bundle of sticks…and they are priceless.

07 Dec 2006
© Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.

6 Simple Tips for Finding Great Gifts

Finding a great gift is rarely an easy thing to do. Everyone is different and it's often very difficult, if not impossible, to know if a certain gift will make someone happy. Add to this the fact that you often have to buy several gifts for several different people and gift-shopping can be down right stressful!

It's no wonder that many peoples' stress levels skyrocket during the holidays. Fortunately, there are ways to find great gifts for each person on your shopping list... without getting stressed out, spending too much money, or wasting too much time. Just follow these simple steps and you'll be on your way to gift-shopping bliss:

1.Always keep your primary goals in mind: a.) To delight someone who matters to you. b.) To demonstrate your thoughtfulness, originality, and taste. c.) To appear generous... without spending more than you can afford! This will help you avoid making gift-buying mistakes.

2.If possible, begin your gift planning and brainstorming several months ahead of time. Keep a list of people you will be giving gifts to along with a few notes on what you think they might like. By doing this you “program” your mind to notice good gift ideas when you see them. This often happens when you're surfing the web, so be sure to bookmark any good gift-related sites you come across. Also, if you see an interesting gift idea in a magazine or catalog cut out the article/ad and put it into a “gift idea” folder where you can find it in the future.

3.Avoid the malls at all costs – especially around the holidays! Dealing with crowds of confused shoppers and befuddled sales people just isn't worth the hassle. You'll rarely find a really great gift at the mall anyway.

4.The internet should be your first option for gift buying. Why? Simply because it's the fastest and easiest way to research gift ideas, find interesting and unique products, read product reviews, and compare prices among retailers... all from the comfort of your own home!

5.Buy your gifts early. By purchasing several weeks in advance you'll have time to return or exchange any gifts that don't fit the bill. Plan an evening of shopping on your computer and get it all done in one shot if you can.

6.Two things to avoid: having gifts sent directly to the recipient and giving gift certificates. Both of these things are “lazy person solutions” that show a certain degree of inconsideration. Take the time to personalize each gift with special wrapping, cards, thoughtfulness.

As you can see, gift-shopping doesn't have to be a pain. In fact, for many people it's pretty enjoyable. Just remember to plan ahead, stay focused, and get it done the right way. Enjoy and best of luck on your gift-buying adventure!

Jamie Clark
15 Dec 2006

Jamie Clark is a long-time health writer and is co-editor of For more
useful health news and articles, be sure to visit .