November 15, 2012

When the holiday season begins to make itself felt, people usually imagine warmth, love and everything nice. While everyone revels in the cheerful atmosphere of the holidays, these characters are waving their fists at everyone for being in a festive mood, at least at first.

Ebenezer Scrooge

Bah Humbug! We’re sure you’ve heard of this phrase before but not everyone knows that it came from Ebenezer Scrooge, the old grouch from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This cold-hearted, greedy man hates Christmas, especially since he is forced to give his employee, Bob Cratchit, paid time-off. On Christmas Eve, he is visited by the doomed spirit of his old friend, Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, who reveal to him the evil of his ways. At these revelations, Scrooge experiences a change of heart and becomes a kind, generous old man.

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November 14, 2012

If you have not yet decided whether you’d like your décor to be fun or eccentric this Christmas, you start with a classic tree and go from there. Fortunately, Treetopia isn’t just all about awesome, funky trees – we have amazing, classic trees, too. In case you’re having trouble making up your mind, here are our top five for your consideration:

Balsam Spruce

Balsam Spruce
Try your hand at doing a funky makeover with our Balsam Spruce Christmas tree. This traditional green tree offers you the chance to turn something conventional and simple into an imaginative work of art. The pre-lit Balsam Spruce comes with either clear or multicolor lights, but you can also opt for an unlit one if you want to start decorating from scratch. The question is: will you accept the challenge?

Winter White Christmas

Winter White
Do you want to have a winter wonderland in your own home without having to clean up melted snow? Make a refreshing change and display a Winter White Christmas tree in your place. Its amazing whiteness offers a stark contrast to the colorful wrappings and holiday décor in your home, making it stand out wherever you station it. It also comes pre-lit so you can choose whether you want clear or multicolor Christmas lights illuminating your tree. Do we really need to say more?

Skim Milk White Pencil

Skim Milk
If you’re conscious of the usable floor area in your home but still want an awesome white tree to decorate, the Skim Milk White Pencil tree is an ideal choice. It comes pre-lit with clear lights so you still see that amazing sparkle in the dark leading the way to your presents. Many have already expressed their love for this sturdy, slim tree because of its versatility, so why don’t you give it a try this Christmas? You may just want to display it all year.

Candy Cane

Candy Cane Christmas Tree
Whether you have a sweet tooth or you simply like the pattern of an old holiday favorite, the Candy Cane Christmas Tree will definitely catch your eye. Have a really sweet time decorating this tree with all your other holiday favorites. Just remember that no matter how much it looks like the real thing, this tree does not taste like real candy cane.

Tinkerbell  Silver

Tinkerbell Christmas Tree
Think happy thoughts and get ready to take off for a delightful holiday with our Tinkerbell Silver Christmas tree. You don’t need pixie dust to have a wonderful time decorating a tree that looks this magical. This tree has a narrow profile and comes pre-lit with clear lights so you can revel in the enchantment of the holiday season, even in smaller spaces.

If you want to check out our other trees, you can go to the Treetopia homepage and narrow down your search from there until you find one that will make you say “PERFECT!”

November 13, 2012

When the holidays come rushing in, the travel bug bites and gnaws on our imaginations. The usual options for travelers at this time generally revolve around two choices: the Siren’s call of the rolling waves on white sand beaches for those who prefer the heat and the temptation of fresh powder for the adrenaline-pumping, winter sports enthusiasts. If you want a break from the usual vacation spots, here are some wonderfully weird but ultimately exciting activities and travel destinations:

Heat Seekers


Image by Tormod Sandtorv | flickr

If you prefer warm places, you might enjoy traveling to hell and back. Located in Turkmenistan, the 60-meter wide and 20-meter deep Darvaza Gas Crater, also known as Hell’s Door, attracts tourists from all over the world. You won’t find devils carrying their tridents around the crater, though, because this attraction was accidentally made by Soviet geologists back in 1971. They discovered that this cavern was rich in natural gas, and to prevent the poisonous gas from escaping, they decided to light up the crater until the gas burned out – the crater hasn’t stopped burning since.

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November 8, 2012

The holiday season is almost synonymous with vacation season, so if you’re itching to travel this fall or winter but still cannot decide where to go, try following some of these literal big heads and you might just have the best vacation experience ever:

The Great Sphinx of Giza

sphinx

The mysterious Sphinx calls the country of Egypt home and beckons you to journey through the ruins of an ancient civilization that produced architectural brilliance like the great pyramids. This mystical being is definitely guarding a treasure trove of history that begs to be explored.

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November 6, 2012

We usually celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast surrounded by our families and filled with joyful conversation. After being thankful for the meal and the time spent with the family at dinner, avoid prodding questions from family members with some trivia about Thanksgiving. Here are some to get you started:

roast turkey thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving is a Pilgrim Celebration

No, it’s not a Pilgrim’s celebration, but a “pilgrim” celebration. Thanksgiving has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November since Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill proclaiming that day as a national Thanksgiving holiday, but it took more than 300 years before that date was finally officiated. Thanksgiving moved from a three-day feast during the harvest season to the third Thursday of December, then from February 19, by order of George Washington, to any day the governor of the state declared it. By the time Thanksgiving finally settled on the fourth Thursday of November in 1941 by Abraham Lincoln and his successors, it had moved through the calendar, much like a pilgrim on a quest for a settlement.

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November 1, 2012

The beginning of the holiday season almost always means that it is party season once again. If you want to attend the hottest parties in town, you may want to make sure that you are known not only for your amazing personality, but also your uncanny gift-giving skills.

Before you can select the perfect gift, you have to get to know the host of the party first. If you don’t know the host too well, think of him or her as a puzzle that needs to be solved. Do your research. Find out if the party has an overall theme and ask people about the host’s interests. Just to get you started, here are a few fabulous gift ideas that will make a lasting impression:

Lovers of Fine Brew

If you know that the host of the party has a taste for beer, a personalized beer mug is a safe bet. Have his or her name engraved on the mug, or have one specially designed to reflect the host’s personality. If the host appreciates a good laugh, you can even have his or her picture incorporated into the design. If you want to go the extra mile, you can purchase a beer brewing kit so that the host can experiment making his or her own recipe.

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October 31, 2012

Halloween is creeping up fast behind you, getting closer and closer until you can feel its breath on your neck, sending chills down your spine. Are you prepared to go out on Halloween and show off your costume? If you haven’t prepared your costume yet, or have no idea about what to wear, here are some Halloween costume suggestions you can try out for yourself:

Join the Horde

zombie

A classic Halloween costume, you will definitely come across a few people dressed as zombies in varying degrees of decay. Use your artistic skills with simple or prosthetic make-up to achieve the perfect look of decay. Top it off with tattered clothing, a splash of fake blood and a limp to give you that realistic zombie appearance.  Since it has been popularized by computer games, television shows and a few recent films, you will surely be a part of the horde.

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October 29, 2012

If you’re throwing a party this Halloween, do something unique that will make your party one to remember. Instead of just buying candies and chocolates from the store like everybody else does, have your guests take home some memorable homemade party favors. Here are some ideas for fun and sassy party favors your Halloween party guests will absolutely adore.

Sweet Creepy Crawlies

If you want something exotic, make your guests eat some creepy crawlies. Go down to the nearest baking supplies store and find some insect-shaped chocolate molds. Don’t forget to buy chocolate blocks so you can get started right away. Next, melt the chocolate and pour it on to the mold and let it cool. When the chocolate hardens, you can package them for your guests or place them all in a bowl so your guests can choose which insects they want to eat first. Just remember to keep your creepy crawlies away from heat so they don’t melt.

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October 25, 2012

Entertaining unexpected visitors can be somewhat troublesome. Many hosts aim to impress with complicated dishes, but this often leaves too little time to actually enjoy their guests’ company. At the same time, guests could be craving more than the usual popcorn and soda. Hopefully, with our Sensational Snacks from Around the World, you’ll be able to find some simple snack ideas that are guaranteed to please.

Japanese Edamame

Japanese edamame soybeans

Take some fresh green soybeans, rub them with a sprinkle of salt, boil in water until softened, then drain. Spread the soybeans on a tray to cool before serving. This snack won’t take too much time – around 15 minutes is enough – and the combination of the salt and the flavor of the beans is downright tasty.

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October 24, 2012

halloween party banner

Halloween used to be more about kids wearing spooky costumes and going door-to-door seeking candy. However, now that you’re all grown up, you need an exciting and appealing substitute for trick-or-treating that will make your holiday unforgettable. Here are some off-beat Halloween party ideas that will help ensure you won’t miss the fun on October 31.

Hogwarts Halloween

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling is not just young adult fiction; it is now also a cult classic that even grown-ups can appreciate. Have your guests come as Harry Potter characters, and serve snacks and cocktails like All Flavor Beans and Butter Beer. Place a sign above your door that says, “Platform 9 ¾,” and add an element of surprise by using a Sorting Hat to divide your guests into houses. Organize games such as Muggle Quidditch. The house with the most points at the end of the party gets a prize. You can even set up your house to look like the Leaky Cauldron!

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