Thursday, October 26, 2006

Christmas Gift Idea

It is almost that time of the year again - Christmas. It is a holiday that is considered the most peaceful and anticipated throughout the year and yet it causes so much stress for many. Everyone has an easy time making lists of who they need to get a gift for, but have a difficult time coming up with a Christmas gift idea for everyone. It is not an easy task to find the perfect Christmas gift idea for each and every person on your list but sometimes a little bit of creativity may help you find something that is unique and appreciated. When you make your list of people - figure out what they like and are interested in. It is sometimes impossible to come up with a Christmas gift idea for someone if you don't know much about them. However, if you do find yourself having to come up with a Christmas gift idea for someone you don't know very well, there are many things that you can do. Gift baskets with a theme always work well for people, as do gift certificates.
If you do know the person well, it will be easier to find a Christmas gift idea that will be fun and score you some bonus points. If the person is interested in sports, perhaps you can get some tickets to a game or a jersey. While that may be out of your price range, you can find a hat or t-shirt for less money and still be sports related. Golf fanatics will always appreciate passes for games of golf or a theme basket as well. Making a sports theme gift basket is an excellent Christmas gift idea as well. You can put a hat in the basket, some favorite snacks for watching the games, tickets, etc. That may end up being a Christmas gift idea that will be used over and over again.
If you really cannot come up with a Christmas gift idea for someone, try asking around. Ask a friend or a spouse, someone who may know them better or have heard them mention something that they may want. Getting inside information can help you find the perfect Christmas gift idea in no time at all. Unique items such as paintings or other forms of art can make a unique Christmas gift idea for some people. While that is not something that would be appreciated by everyone, some people may adore the thought and gift.
Traditional gifts always serve as a good Christmas gift idea when it comes to being something that people enjoy. That could be tickets to movies, restaurant gift certificates, store gift certificates or anything along those lines. Of course, a gift certificate is always a good Christmas gift idea when all else fails.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Balsam Christmas Trees

We live in an area with many tree farms. Many people do not realize the work that goes into growing Christmas trees. The trees need to be planted, trimmed and harvested. Many of the farms plant a variety of trees because of the different rate of growth for each species of tree. Because we live close to several of the tree farms we go out and cut our own tree each year.
When I was growing up my parents had Norway pines on one end of the property. We always cut down one of these trees and dad would try to shape it before bringing it into the house. The long needles made it difficult to hang ornaments. Since I have been married we have tried many varieties of trees. Our favorite is the balsam Christmas tree. We also like the looks of a blue spruce, but it is so prickly that you have to wear gloves while putting on the lights. The balsam Christmas tree has a wonderful fragrance and is soft to the touch. It has short needles and sturdy branches so it is easy to hang many ornaments on it. The balsam Christmas tree also holds its needles very well so there is not the problem of shedding that many of the other short needle varieties have.
Last year when we went to cut down our tree we were told that a new field had been opened for cutting. This field featured the balsam Christmas tree that we were after, but also had several of the Frasier firs. The Frasier fir is suppose to be the most aromatic of all evergreens and does not shed. We tried one a few years ago and liked the looks of the tree and the fragrance; however the branches are very soft. The soft branches cannot hold the heavier Christmas ornaments that we have collected through the years. This meant that many of the ornaments that had the most meaning to us were placed in the inner branches. We decided that because of this we would not spend the extra money for a Frasier fir again.
Many of the tree farms offer a shaker service as well as a bagging service for the trees that are cut. The tree is placed in a stand on an automatic shaker that helps get rid of dead needles and other debris that may be in the freshly cut tree. The tree is then shoved through a barrel that has netting on the end. The netting is cut the length of the tree and tied on both ends. This allows for easy transport as well as ease in getting the tree in the house. The tree growers are always looking for ways to make getting your Christmas tree more enjoyable. We are looking forward to going to cut down our balsam Christmas tree again this year.