Entertainment http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5995/all en-US 7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-dogs-christmas-lights-house-Dollarphotoclub_68235681.jpg" alt="christmas house" title="christmas house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many of us, Christmas is a time of joy, laughter, and making merry. It's Christmas decorations, festive foods, cards, presents, and family time. But some people just want more. They cannot get enough of the season of giving, and go out of their way to go way above and beyond. Here are 10 things only the craziest Christmas fanatics do.</p> <h2>1. Keeping the Christmas Decorations Up All Year</h2> <p>This one is baffling. What makes Christmas special if it's the same year round? That's the question I asked, but was blown away by how many people actually do this. Do a quick Google search for it, and you'll see hundreds of stories from around the world. <a href="http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2010/12/05/family-leaves-christmas-lights-up-all-year/">This one,</a> about Mary and Richard Morgan, is typical. They love Christmas so much, they have snowmen and twinkling lights adorning the house every single day. From the coldest winter to the hottest summer, it's always Christmas at the Morgans. &quot;The way I look at it, with me and my emphysema and all, I never know when I'm going to take my last breath,&quot; says Mary. &quot;I'm going to enjoy what I want to enjoy.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Lights That Outshine the Griswold Display</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nkQ044GFGII"></iframe></p> <p>How many lights are enough to show you're a fan of Christmas? A few hundred? Nah. A few thousand? You're getting there. But if you really want to show your fanaticism, you're going to have to up the ante&hellip; a lot. The world record holder for the most Christmas lights on a residential display goes to the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkQ044GFGII">Gay family of Dutchess County</a>. What started out at 600 lights in 1995 has turned into over 600,000. Fortunately, 200,000 of those lights were donated by RITZ Crackers (a smart marketing move), but that still leaves a lot of lights, and money, that came straight from Tim Gay and his Christmas crazy family. The electricity bill? That's a treat for the New Year!</p> <h2>3. Creating Insanely Elaborate Christmas Greetings</h2> <p>Some people like to send cards adorned with professional photographs of the family. Others, they like to take things to the next level. Take <a href="http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865592287/Family-Christmas-video-takes-viewers-up-on-the-housetop&mdash;videos.html?pg=all">the Slade family of Arizona</a>. The family's annual greetings are like professional music videos. From filming underwater, to a room that spins 360 degrees, they are worthy of their viral notoriety. And as Micah Slade says, &quot;we really enjoy just doing this as a family, and at the heart of it all, that's why we're doing it.&quot; Bravo. But some people go even further, sending Christmas cards made from <a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/video-make-the-worlds-most-expensive-christmas-card-with-an-iphone/">iPhones</a>. Yes&hellip; iPhones.</p> <h2>4. Getting the Kids &quot;Whatever They Want&quot;</h2> <p>A blank slate (or blank check) is the last thing any reasonable parent would give their kids for Christmas. But some people believe that Christmas comes only once a year, and it's a day to do something very special&hellip; even if it means emptying the bank account. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2013/12/mom-defends-going-overboard-on-christmas-gifts-for-her-kids/">Lyz Lenz tells ABC news that</a> &quot;walking down the toy aisle is really hard because she wants everything,&quot; and continues, &quot;I don't think a princess castle will ruin her.&quot; Well, that's some gift for a 2-year old.</p> <h2>5. Teaching Their Animals to Sing Christmas Songs</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/HtDFxm4Wupo"></iframe></p> <p>Parents out there will know it's hard enough to teach the kids a song. But some people take it up a notch or ten, and teach their pets a few holiday songs. Jingle Bells seems to be the most popular, as you can see with these howling successes <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtDFxm4Wupo">here</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmdHYI72L2s">here</a>.</p> <h2>6. Eating a 21 Pound, 6000 Calorie Christmas Dinner</h2> <p>When you're young, Christmas is all about the presents. When you become an adult, it's about watching the kids open them before tucking into an awesomely indulgent Christmas dinner. But you have to really love Christmas to eat the dinner served up in <a href="http://metro.co.uk/2014/10/03/gut-busting-guinness-world-record-breaking-christmas-dinner-contains-an-entire-turkey-and-6000-calories-4891236/">Worcestershire's The Duck Inn</a>. Christmas fans come to the pub to take on a festive challenge that would floor an elephant. A whole turkey, plus 175 trimmings, is put before you. You have just 45 minutes to polish it off; that's about half a pound of food every single minute. Could you do it? Are you that nuts about Christmas?</p> <h2>7. Dressing as Santa&hellip; and Climbing Down the Chimney</h2> <p>We've saved the worst until last; worst primarily because it's a completely awful idea, and a very easy way to get into big trouble. Although Snopes.com says that stories of Santas dying in the chimney are unconfirmed, it does say there are verified stories about people dressing as Santa and getting stuck. Fire, ambulance, and police services are called, and it can lead to nasty injuries and major embarrassment. However much you love the season, don't risk your life by climbing on a slippery roof or down the chimney. These days, it's a good idea for Santa to use the front door.</p> <p><em>Have a safe and festive Christmas everyone!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season">12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-right-now-is-the-time-to-get-ready-for-thanksgiving">Wise Bread Reloaded: Right Now Is the Time to Get Ready for Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-alternative-ways-to-do-thanksgiving">6 Alternative Ways to Do Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-thanksgiving-traditions-you-should-skip">5 Thanksgiving Traditions You Should Skip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment celebrations Christmas Holidays traditions Fri, 19 Dec 2014 10:00:15 +0000 Paul Michael 1270631 at http://www.wisebread.com Beware These 16 Holiday Hazards http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-16-holiday-hazards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beware-these-16-holiday-hazards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-burned-chicken-Dollarphotoclub_67120531.jpg" alt="woman burned chicken" title="woman burned chicken" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are plenty of delightful things to love about the holidays &mdash; the people, the parties, the presents! &mdash; but there are also a few dangers that can turn a celebration sour in a flash. Keep your wits about you and your limbs intact by avoiding these common holiday hazards.</p> <h2>1. Christmas Tree Mold</h2> <p>If you think Clark Griswold had a problem on his hands with a stowaway squirrel, you haven't yet encountered the dreaded Christmas tree mold. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but <a href="http://www.myfoxal.com/story/27521440/doctors-say-mold-found-in-christmas-tree-varieties-can-trigger-allergies">it's a real threat this time of year</a> that can spark a potentially severe attack in allergy sufferers.</p> <p>Just how does the mold get in the tree?</p> <p>&quot;Mold loves moisture, so when you put the water in the tree it's a great place for mold to grow,&quot; says allergist Dr. Weilly Soong. &quot;So it releases mold spores and people become allergic.&quot; Chemicals sprayed on the tree also can trigger allergy symptoms that often are brushed off as a common cold. To reduce the probability of a reaction to tree mold, spray the tree with water and let it dry outside before bringing it into the house.</p> <h2>Potential Poisons and Other Pet-Related Hazards</h2> <p>It's not only our own backs we have to watch around the holidays; our pets also can fall prey to household hazards that could prove deadly. <a href="http://trupanion.com/pet-safety/holiday-tips">Trupanion's Holiday Tips for Dogs &amp; Cats</a> puts pet safety first, so you and your furbabies can have all the safe fun that comes with the season.</p> <h3>2. Beware of Poisonous Plants</h3> <p>Holly, mistletoe, and certain lilies look festive but can be dangerous if ingested. Cover the water for the tree and other plants and make sure your pets always have plenty of water. This will keep them from getting thirsty enough to share a drink with plants that could make them sick.</p> <h3>3. Decorating Dos</h3> <p>Keep tinsel, ribbon, and ornaments out of pets' reach, as they often prove too tempting for curious pets to avoid but can result in costly vet visits when chewed or swallowed. Christmas light cords can also be tempting to an avid chewer or new puppy.</p> <h3>4. De-Ice Those Paws</h3> <p>Remove any snow, salt, or de-icing chemicals from pets' paws right away after being outside in the cold. Frostbitten skin, which will appear red or gray, should be warmed with a moist, warm towel until the skin returns to its regular color.</p> <h3>5. Festive Feasts</h3> <p>No matter how much they beg, avoid giving your pets table food &mdash; many holiday treats can lead to a stomach ache and a swallowed turkey bone could be life-threatening. Many ingredients commonly used in holiday meals &mdash; like chocolate, onions, and garlic &mdash; can be toxic for your pets.</p> <h2>6. Injuries While Hanging Lights and Decorations</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fMX2kKXX6sw" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>For the first time ever as an adult I decorated the outside of my home for Christmas. I managed to hang lights from the second story of my house without slamming onto the frozen tundra 20 feet below. I'm pretty proud of myself. And statistically speaking, I should be, because according to the CDC, an estimated 17,465 people are treated for <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5348a1.htm">fall-related injuries around the holidays</a>. I'm pleased that I'm not a statistic. You can avoid being one too with this video tutorial from Lowe's featuring <a href="http://www.lowes.com/projects/decorate-and-entertain/tips-for-hanging-outdoor-christmas-lights/project">helpful light-hanging tips</a>.</p> <h2>7. Frying Frozen Turkeys</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/qvlHH7dX7_c"></iframe></p> <p>The most important rule to remember when deep-frying a turkey for your holiday meal is that it should never be placed in that huge tub of boiling oil while frozen. Unless, of course, you want to spend Christmas in a burn unit followed by a homeless shelter. Let <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvlHH7dX7_c">this video from Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services serve as a forewarning</a> to all those who want to tempt fate. Instead, follow these safe and smart tips from The Art of Manliness that take you through <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8wZ7_0J3-Y">the deep-frying process from start to finish in one 15-minute video</a>.</p> <h2>8. Bodily Burns From Cooking and Baking</h2> <p>While turkey frying has the potential to cause major damage if not done properly, it's not as common a hazard as ordinary burns from regular holiday baking and cooking. It's not that difficult to singe a few fingers making that huge holiday meal, especially when all burners and the oven are on at the same time. Also, keep in mind that children like to help out in the kitchen &mdash; especially when you're making sweet treats &mdash; so it's important to ensure that everybody is educated about <a href="http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-prevent-kitchen-burns.html">fire safety and burn prevention</a>.</p> <h2>9. Damage to Your Teeth</h2> <p>While we're busy trying not to kill our pets or burn the house to the ground, we're overlooking a potentially costly &mdash; and painful &mdash; oral holiday hazard. &quot;People tend to use their teeth to open presents, bottles, and chew on candy and other potential hazards that lead patients to our office for fixing,&quot; says Dr. Mark Helm of Helm, Nejad, Stanley Dentistry of Beverly Hills. So he offers a survival guide of sorts to help you keep your pearly whites firmly planted in your face.</p> <h3>Rinse With Water Immediately After Meals or Sweets</h3> <p>It's recommended to wait 30 minutes after eating or indulging in sweets to brush and floss, allowing your mouth to return to its normal pH balance, but we understand that waiting this long after a meal (especially for little ones) is not always realistic. By simply swishing water in your mouth for about 30 seconds after sweets, you can prevent a significant amount of tartar and plaque from taking hold and help your mouth return to normal pH faster.</p> <h3>Don't Forget to Brush and Floss</h3> <p>During the holiday season we're busy spending time with loved ones and traveling, which can make it very easy to forget to maintain our regular brushing and flossing habits. If you find yourself in a situation where you can't brush and floss, don't panic. Simply rinse with water. This doesn't replace brushing and flossing, but it's better than nothing. It's also wise to invest in a to-go toothbrush or designate a pack of floss for on-the-go activities.</p> <h3>Treat Your Teeth to Something Nice</h3> <p>In keeping with the giving spirit of the holidays, why neglect your teeth? Buy yourself or a loved one a new toothbrush. Treat yourselves to some delicious xylitol-flavored gum or candies. Your teeth have been working hard and they deserve it. While you're at it, visit your hygienist and get a teeth cleaning or ask your dentist about whitening options to make all your friends and family jealous of your sparkling smile.</p> <h3>Use Appropriate Tools</h3> <p>With all of the presents, packages, and bottles to be opened, and nuts to be cracked, it can be tempting to use our teeth to take care of these tasks. Do yourself and your dentist a huge favor by using appropriate tools instead of using your teeth for these tasks. It will save you plenty of pain, money, and time spent at the dentist during the holidays that you can otherwise spend feasting.</p> <h3>Just Say No</h3> <p>Candy canes, caramel, sticky sweets, and other hard candies are some of the most common (and tasty) holiday treats that cause the most damage, and they're best avoided. Do your best to limit your intake of these sweets, and if you do decide to enjoy a candy cane or two don't chew on them.</p> <h2>10. Back Strain From Moving Boxes/Bins In and Out of Storage</h2> <p><a href="http://www.jamienovak.com/">Organizing specialist Jamie Novak</a> advises us to avoid back injuries from lugging heavy tubs and containers of decorations in and out of storage areas and up and down flights of stairs. &quot;I suggest storing decorations in smaller tubs, grouping the items you use for one area &mdash; like a single bookcase or tabletop &mdash; in one bin so you can bring out what you need without hurting yourself,&quot; she says. If you're already prone to back problems, ask someone else to do the heavy lifting for you. Doing it yourself isn't worth being laid up for the holidays, unable to enjoy the festivities.</p> <h2>11. Cuts From Clamshell Packaging</h2> <p>One of the most frustrating parts of gift packaging are those annoying hard plastic cases that seem like they've been welded together for the sole purpose of making you curse the day Santa slid down your chimney. And if you're not careful, you could have a bloody mess on your hands. To open these types of packages Novak says, &quot;Always have a clamshell [package] opener at the ready. I keep mine in a decorative box under the tree, so I know just where it is. I also keep one of those tiny screwdrivers in the box so I can open battery compartments easily.&quot;</p> <p>You hear that folks? Put a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RT8GQY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000RT8GQY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BVWDMJ4BPCYWVSLS">clamshell package opener</a> on your Christmas list this year &mdash; if only to enjoy the look of what-the-heck-is-that bewilderment from whoever reads it.</p> <h2>12. Unattended Candles</h2> <p>Candles help create a cozy ambience around the holidays, but such beauty can quickly turn into a blaze if the candles are left unattended. The National Candle Association (yeah, I had no idea either) takes safety seriously as detailed in <a href="http://candles.org/fire-safety-candles/candle-safety-rules/">this comprehensive list of candle safety rules</a>.</p> <h2>13. Overloading Power Strips and Outlets</h2> <p>Once you've strung up all your lights, you'll need to plug them in so the astronauts can see them from space. That is your goal, isn't it? While it's perfectly okay to pursue that passion, it's not a good idea to overload your electrical outlets so NASA can pinpoint the big ball of fire that has suddenly appeared on your block. Right where your house used to be. Howstuffworks details some electrical-outlet limits in <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-safety/fire/outlet-overload.htm">this educational and perhaps life-saving post</a>.</p> <h2>14. Letting the Tree Dry Out</h2> <p>What happens when you put bone-dry greenery next to a potential fire hazard? It could go up in flames. Be a responsible tree owner by keeping the stand filled with water while also minimizing the risk of fire by practicing the safety tips detailed earlier in this post.</p> <h2>15. Choking Hazards for Children</h2> <p>Be mindful of the gifts you're giving children this time of year and make sure that they're age-appropriate. Paramedic Jeff Meyers at Grand Rapids Healthcare Training offers this helpful tip to help you decide what items could mean trouble: &quot;If the object is small enough to fit in a toilet paper roll, it's too small.&quot;</p> <h2>16. Foodborne Illness</h2> <p>Dr. Michael Kaplan, national medical director for <a href="http://www.nextcare.com">NextCare</a>, warns about a hidden danger that can affect any family at holiday time.</p> <p>&quot;Foodborne illnesses &mdash; such as Salmonella and E.coli &mdash; that primarily consist of vomiting and/or diarrhea can lead to dehydration if a person loses more body fluids and salts (electrolytes) than they take in,&quot; he says. &quot;In addition to water, drinking oral rehydration solutions such as Ceralyte, Pedialyte, or Oralyte is recommended to replace the fluid losses and prevent dehydration. Sports drinks such as Gatorade do not replace the losses correctly and should not be used as treatment. Bismuth subsalicylate (i.e. Pepto-Bismol) can reduce the severity and duration of diarrhea, as well. (NextCare can also help to treat gastrointestinal illnesses such as foodborne illness).&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you have other holiday hazards that we should avoid? Please warn us about them in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-16-holiday-hazards" class="sharethis-link" title="Beware These 16 Holiday Hazards" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-16-holiday-hazards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season">12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-holiday-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-cheer">8 Holiday Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Cheer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-right-now-is-the-time-to-get-ready-for-thanksgiving">Wise Bread Reloaded: Right Now Is the Time to Get Ready for Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment danger holiday risks Holidays injury risk Fri, 12 Dec 2014 18:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1267699 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Fun, Cheap Party Games You Didn't Know About http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-playing-party-games-Dollarphotoclub_70068664.jpg" alt="friends playing party games" title="friends playing party games" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every holiday or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party">dinner party</a> in need of a boost leans on the same party games: Pictionary, Charades, 20 questions, blah blah blah... In need of a new conceit to spur on some social interaction? Try one of these fun and affordable party games you didn't know about:</p> <h2>Mafia</h2> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia_%28party_game%29">Mafia is a group game</a> designed in Russia during end of the Cold War, and it shows. I first heard of the game earlier this spring, when a friend hosted a party specifically to play Mafia. It's free to play, like Charades. We were confused at first but it quickly got weird and fun!</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: At least 3</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>There are two teams, the &quot;Mafia&quot; (who know each other in the group) and the &quot;Innocents&quot; (everyone else who have no idea who the &quot;Mafia&quot; are). One moderator leads the game.</p> <p>The game occurs in two phases: Night and Day. During the &quot;night&quot; phase, the mafia members elect someone to &quot;kill,&quot; while everyone's eyes are closed. During the &quot;Day&quot; phase, everyone opens their eyes, and the moderator declares who was &quot;killed.&quot; Everyone discusses, and someone must accuse a player of being in the &quot;Mafia&quot;. The most fun part is arguing over whether someone is in the &quot;Mafia&quot; and whether to kill them. The moderator will reveal whether or not the accused player was in fact a Mafioso. On it goes until everyone is figured out.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>The game involves a lot of social strategy which is really funny in a group of close friends. Similar to other games like Werewolf, you get a lot of hilarious arguments about whether someone is guilty or innocent. The surprise of each player's role reveal is also really fun.</p> <h2>1,000 Blank White Cards</h2> <p>If you haven't played <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1000_Blank_White_Cards">1,000 Blank White Cards</a>, you're missing out on not only a great party game, but a really fun game for passing the time. I first learned about this game while in line for a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, known for crazy long waits.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: At least 2</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>Gather as many blank cards as you can find. These can be index cards or chopped pieces of paper. The game is defined by the cards everyone creates. A card usually consists of a drawing and a short description of its meaning and the action required upon pulling the card. For example, you can have a card with a picture of a cactus that reads, &quot;You just got picked by a cactus! Lose 4,000 points,&quot; then if you pull it that's what happens! Destroying cards is discouraged; if a card is not good, you can nominate it to &quot;The Suck Box.&quot;</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>It's limited only by your imagination! Creating the deck is arguably one of the best parts of the game, trying to come up with the silliest rules funniest drawings you can imagine. The gameplay is one surprise after another.</p> <h2>Cards Against Humanity</h2> <p>A game that is rapidly becoming mainstream, <a href="http://cardsagainsthumanity.com/">Cards Against Humanity</a> first formed a rabid following online. It's free to print the cards at home, and costs around $20 for a deck. If you have not heard of it, chances are the next party you go to will break out in a game.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: At least 2</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>It's similar to Apples to Apples (actually, it's exactly like Apples to Apples) with a crazy twist. Each player pulls 10 white &quot;answer&quot; cards with a hilarious nonsequitur on it. One player starts as the &quot;Card Czar,&quot; pulling a black &quot;question&quot; card. Each player takes a moment to best answer the &quot;Card Czar&quot; with one of their randomly drawn white cards. The &quot;Card Czar&quot; reads each white card in a funny manner, and chooses their favorite. The player who drew their favorite white card gets one &quot;Awesome Point&quot; and keeps the black card. Whoever has the most &quot;Awesome Points&quot; at the end of the game wins.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>The cards are really funny, and many are surprising, controversial, or gross, so there is a ton of shock value. It's a really enjoyable game to play casually with friends.</p> <h2>TV Show Drinking Games</h2> <p>Did you know that nearly every single TV show or movie has its own drinking game? When having a night in with friends or roommates, a simple drinking game is a great way to get a party going. The only cost is the booze.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: 2 or more (drinking alone is sad)</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>Go to <a href="http://drinkingcinema.com">drinkingcinema.com</a> or <a href="http://drunktvzone.com">drunktvzone.com</a> to find make your drinking game choice. I recommend 90s show like Family Matters or Ally McBeal or a schlocky horror movie like Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. Simply drink whenever a specific recurring action or visual element occurs as per each game's rules! For bonus points, everyone can dress up as a character from the show or movie of choice.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>Drinking games are an easy way to get a party started and a fun way to appreciate a silly show or movie ironically, dress up, and drink with buddies.</p> <h2>ClueMates</h2> <p>Ok, full disclosure. While I did not create the game, ClueMates was created by a publishing company I own.</p> <p><a href="http://devastatorpress.com/toys/">ClueMates: The Passive Aggressive Roommate Detective Game</a> is a parody board game that comes inside of a book, based on the mystery engine of Clue. The game satirizes life with roommates and has a cult following among board game and humor nerds. The game and book cost only $10.</p> <p><strong>Players</strong>: 3-6</p> <h3>Basic Rules</h3> <p>The rules are just like Clue. Each person plays as a character who is a credible suspect. Only, instead of a murder mystery, it is much funnier &mdash; your least favorite roommate has locked himself in the bathroom.</p> <p>The Archetypes are different from classic Clue as well, with a couch-surfing stoner, a 4chan troll, a yoga instructor, a type-A bossypants, and one normal person, Rachel Feinstein. You must figure out which roommate ruined his day, what they did, and in which room of the terrible apartment you share, because everyone needs to use the bathroom! One new element to gameplay is that each character has one &quot;superpower&quot; causing others to lose a turn and making the game move faster.</p> <h3>Why It's Fun</h3> <p>For board game lovers, this is a fun, simplified party game full of adult jokes and it plays as a really funny, high-speed version of Clue for adults.</p> <p><em>What party games do you enjoy? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Fun, Cheap Party Games You Didn&#039;t Know About" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-family-friendly-games-for-your-holiday-party">5 Fun Family Friendly Games for Your Holiday Party</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-avoid-awkward-moments-at-white-elephant-parties">4 Ways to Avoid Awkward Moments at White Elephant Parties</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-fun-frugal-things-to-do-tonight-besides-watch-tv">25 Fun, Frugal Things to Do Tonight Besides Watch TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free">20 Ways to Entertain Your Kids for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-thanksgiving-traditions-you-should-skip">5 Thanksgiving Traditions You Should Skip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment cards against humanity games Mafia parties party games Fri, 12 Dec 2014 16:00:07 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1267698 at http://www.wisebread.com You Can Throw a Fun and Affordable Holiday Party — Here's How http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-throw-a-fun-and-affordable-holiday-party-heres-how <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-can-throw-a-fun-and-affordable-holiday-party-heres-how" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-christmas-party-450076653-small.jpg" alt="friends christmas party" title="friends christmas party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Holiday parties are a fun part of the season, and hosting one can be a blast. The trick is to throw a fun party without spending your gift shopping budget to make it happen. Luckily, there are some easy ways to make your party fun without breaking the bank. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-budget-gifts-you-can-bring-to-a-holiday-party?ref=seealso">7 Budget Gifts You Can Bring to a Holiday Party</a>)</p> <h2>Pare Down the Guest List</h2> <p>The more the merrier, right? It's not quite that simple if you're the host (AKA the treasurer). Consider whittling down your guest list for the party and you'll save a good chunk of change while providing a more intimate gathering. If you still want to invite that old co-worker, fitness instructor, and the mailman, then go for a potluck or BYOB (more on that in a moment).</p> <h2>Get the Timing Right</h2> <p>If you don't want to serve a full meal and deal with all of the requirements it brings, try having your party at a non-eating time. Eight at night or later is acceptable for not providing dinner unless you state otherwise. Plus, many people will go out to eat just before, and therefore won't need a snack until later. If you'd like to have a less boozy gathering that won't last until the wee hours, a Sunday evening party is perfect. For a (nearly) booze-less gathering, host a cookie or tree-trimming party in the afternoon, and you can squeeze by with warm cider and cookies.</p> <h2>Decorate Resourcefully</h2> <p>There's no need to blow your budget on party decorations. For lighting, simply gather all of the candles you own and cluster them on a main table before lighting them. Or buy a couple of strings of cheap holiday lights and <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/home-organizing-new-uses-for-old-things/new-uses-mason-jars/night-light">stick them in jars</a>. Instead of buying expensive flowers, take trimmings from an evergreen tree, branches with berries, and pine cones and make a seasonal arrangement.</p> <p>One of the easiest ways to decorate for a party is to use food. Put those pretty cookies you made (or your nice friend brought over) on a platter. Put pretty citrus on plates and in bowls for decoration, and then use them for cocktails or snacking. Fill bowls with candy that guests can snack on and take home.</p> <p>You can even make decorating the central theme. Have a tree-trimming party and either have everyone <a href="http://www.redtedart.com/2012/09/15/homemade-christmas-tree-ornaments/">make decorations</a> as an activity when they arrive or bring an ornament with them as their contribution to the party.</p> <h2>BYO All Sorts of Things</h2> <p>Don't be afraid to ask guests to bring key items with them to your party. The most common example is to have people bring their own drinks, such as wine. This tried-and-true method can majorly cut down on a big party budget eater: alcohol. You can get more creative with BYOB and have people bring a mixer and you supply the liquor for a nice cocktail bar (or reverse it and have your guests bring the booze). Or have a holiday wine tasting, and have everyone bring a bottle to share.</p> <p>Throw a cookie party this year &mdash; ask guests to bring cookies to share and create a sweet display. Supply a salty snack or two and something to drink and you're done! If you're having a smaller gathering, have guests specifically bring cookies for decorating and <a href="http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/best-sugar-cookie-icing-ever/">provide the icing</a> and sprinkles for a fun afternoon.</p> <h2>Feed Your Guests (Without Going Broke)</h2> <p>Food can be a major expense for holiday parties, but you don't have to spend big to have a great time. A potluck is a classic way to nearly eliminate this expense, and it's a fun way to socialize and sample new dishes. Try basing your potluck party around a theme, even if that's just &quot;holiday meal,&quot; and let everyone know what you're making as the main course so they can plan accordingly.</p> <p>It's no secret that when it comes to food, it's almost always cheaper to do it yourself. So forget catering, and get thee to the kitchen! Even if you're not a cook, you can whip up some easy but satisfying snacks. Try swapping a pricey cheese platter for a <a href="http://pocketchangegourmet.com/homemade-cheese-ball-gifts-from-the-kitchen/">homemade cheese ball</a> with crackers and crudites (slice the veggies yourself &mdash; it's much cheaper than buying them cut up at the grocery). Bread fills people up, so put out a variety of <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/slideshow/toast-crostini-recipes/?slide=1">crostini</a> to nibble on. And a bowl of homemade popcorn is super cheap and always a hit.</p> <p>If you can stand the clean up, use your own &quot;real&quot; dishes, utensils and glasses. If your crowd is too big or the lack of a dishwasher makes it all feel impossible, head to your local dollar store for disposables.</p> <h2>Festive Drinking The Cheap Way</h2> <p>If you're offering up drinks as part of your party deal, a great way to please a crowd is with punch. It frees you up to use cheaper booze without anyone being the wiser, and you can stretch the alcohol with mixers. An <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.browneyedbaker.com/hot-apple-cider-rum-punch-recipe/">apple cider punch</a> or mulled wine are great for a winter party and can go a long way.</p> <p>If you want to serve a proper cocktail, consider using prosecco. It tastes and looks festive, but for the taste and the bubbles, it costs much less than it's counterparts.</p> <h2>Free Entertainment</h2> <p>No party is complete without a soundtrack. Find <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.pbs.org/specials/2013-holiday-playlists/">holiday playlists</a> on an online streaming or radio service and just press play. Put Christmas movies that you own or are streaming for free on your TV in the background (or perhaps a <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH79BmeeM0o">crackling fireplace</a>). Mix things up by playing games like Celebrity, Who Am I? and <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Mafia">Mafia</a>, all of which are totally free and great fun with a group.</p> <h2>Affordable Gifting</h2> <p>If you'd like to include a gifting element, an always fun and budget-friendly game of Secret Santa is an easy solution. Set a spending limit as low as you like and let people get creative. That way, everyone (including you) only has to buy one gift instead of 15, and it's a fun party game. You can also send your guests home with gifts, but make them dual purpose: gift your party decorations (such as ornaments), or pack everyone little gift bags with an assortment of the cookies they brought.</p> <p><em>What are your tips for an affordable holiday bash?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-throw-a-fun-and-affordable-holiday-party-heres-how" class="sharethis-link" title="You Can Throw a Fun and Affordable Holiday Party — Here&#039;s How" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-throw-a-fun-and-affordable-holiday-party-heres-how">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-budget-gifts-you-can-bring-to-a-holiday-party">7 Budget Gifts You Can Bring to a Holiday Party</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-awesome-parties-on-a-budget">Throwing Awesome Parties on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fabulous-party-ideas-for-the-frugal-minded">Fabulous Party Ideas For The Frugal-Minded</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-good-hosts-never-do">14 Things Good Hosts Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-birthday-party-games">5 Frugal Birthday Party Games</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment cheap parties holiday party party party drinks party food Mon, 08 Dec 2014 22:00:07 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1264764 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Save Big on Family Ski Trips http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-ski-trip-153831210-small.jpg" alt="family ski trip" title="family ski trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're a working, single person in your 20s, a ski weekend might leave no lingering after-effects &mdash; either on the pocketbook or on aching joints. But once children join the picture, getting out to the slopes takes a little more financial planning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=seealso">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 ways to cushion the financial blow of paying for two, three, or more little freeloaders' snowy fun.</p> <h2>1. Buy Passes Early</h2> <p>If you are going to ski more than two weekends, a season pass may be the cheapest way. The best time to start thinking about this is during the current season, not at the beginning of the next one. Most ski resorts progressively raise prices as the year goes on. Vail's <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2013/03/29/skiings-best-lift-ticket-pass-deals-are-right-now-for-next-season/">Epic Pass</a>, which gets you into multiple resorts, is typically available by March.</p> <p>My family purchased the Lake Tahoe local version of the Epic Pass in October for $499 per adult and $239 for our oldest child.</p> <h2>2. Look for Other Ticket Discounts</h2> <p>Even if you don't get a season pass, try to avoid buying your tickets at the resort ticket window. For one thing, waiting in the ticket line wastes some of your precious ski time. For another, the window price is typically the highest possible price. You can check with the resort website, local grocery stores, and ski supply shops for discount tickets. If you must buy at the ticket window, find out if there are any multi-day discounts available. Last year we were able to purchase three-packs at Sierra-at-Tahoe at a significant savings.</p> <h2>3. Ask If Kids Ski Free</h2> <p>Many resorts actually don't make you pay for small fries' lift tickets, but in my experience the staff might not tell you that. Other resorts offer a free kid's ticket with an adult purchase. Or they may let kids ski at least the rope tow area for free.</p> <h2>4. Look Into Parent Passes</h2> <p>When we had babies, my husband and I were sometimes able to get a &quot;parent pass,&quot; which allowed one of us to ski part of the day, then hand the ticket off to the other parent while the first parent took over childcare. <a href="http://www.timberlinelodge.com/ski-area/lift-tickets-passes/">Timberline Lodge</a> in Oregon offers a season pass that works this way, too.</p> <h2>5. Don't Pay for More Mountain Than Your Kids Can Handle</h2> <p>Mountains with a wide variety of Black Diamond slopes are great for accomplished skiers, but if your kids are going to spend most of the day on Green slopes or on a &quot;magic carpet&quot; conveyor belt, consider smaller, cheaper resorts. These places may also offer benefits such as closer, easier parking and a more family-friendly atmosphere.</p> <h2>6. Ski School Can Be Worth the Expense</h2> <p>My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I realized how much we would pay to put our littlest skiers into all-day ski school last year. However, once they were dropped off, I realized how much benefit we were getting from the service. Not only did our kids gain a lot of confidence on skis, but my husband and I were free to get our money's worth out of our lift tickets, instead of spending the whole day helping our kids get up after they fell.</p> <p>Not only that, but I really appreciated that the ski school staff helped my little skiers into and out of their skis and boots. With more than one kid to help, plus your own equipment to deal with, that part can be exhausting.</p> <h2>7. Pack a Picnic</h2> <p>Do you ever see people with barbecue grills in the parking lot of ski resorts? They're the smart ones. For the price of a typical ski resort small burger and fries, you can splurge on all your kids' favorite junk food, nice deli sandwiches, foie gras, or whatever your heart desires. If you can get close enough parking, rendezvous at the car at mealtime. Or get a locker, or even pack simpler fare in backpacks.</p> <h2>8. Intersperse Ski Days With Cheaper Activities</h2> <p>A lot of children are exhausted after a day of skiing. Take them onto the mountain three days in a row and you're just throwing away money on kids who will end up hanging around the lodge or lying in the snow, crying. (Not that I speak from experience or anything.)</p> <p>If you have a three day weekend, buy lift tickets for the first and last day, and plan an easy (and much less expensive) day of sledding or ice skating in the middle. With the decline of the snowpack in recent years, California resorts are putting in lots of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/24/sports/skiing/as-snow-fades-california-ski-resorts-face-a-brown-future.html?_r=0">alternative activities</a>. A day of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing is also cheaper, if not less exhausting, than hitting the slopes. If nothing else, sitting around the cabin drinking hot cocoa and watching movies is practically free.</p> <h2>9. Consider Buying Rather Than Renting Equipment</h2> <p>It may seem counterintuitive since kids grow faster than they would wear out their skis, but experts say that you often get a better deal owning kids' equipment. Some stores offer <a href="http://sportsden.com/pages/ski-services-and-rentals/kids-ski-exchange.html">trade-in programs</a> for fast-growing kids. Swapping with other families or <a href="http://www.epicski.com/f/10/gear-swap-buy-sell-gear">buying second-hand</a> can also be a great saver. If you don't buy, a rental for the whole season can save frequent skiers time and money.</p> <h2>10. Team Up With Another Family</h2> <p>Cabin rentals are quite expensive in the Lake Tahoe area, where we ski, and our family of five can easily fill up the average cabin on our own. However, since we're only there for a weekend, the kids are really fine three or more to a bedroom &mdash; especially if they're able to share with their best friends. This season we'll spend one weekend at Tahoe sharing a 3-bedroom with another family, and while it may be tight, we'll save money. Another advantage of skiing with another family is that if one or two kids get tired, there are more adults around to take turns caring for them.</p> <p><em>Do you take the whole family skiing? How do you control the cost?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Save Big on Family Ski Trips" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disneyland-on-the-sort-of-cheap">Disneyland on the (Sort of) Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas">14 Fun Winter Staycation Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-weird-money-laws-you-may-have-broken">7 Weird Money Laws You May Have Broken</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment Travel family travel family trips outdoor sports ski trip skiing Sat, 06 Dec 2014 18:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1264763 at http://www.wisebread.com People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You? http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-decorating-christmas-tree-509894933-small.jpg" alt="man decorating christmas tree" title="man decorating christmas tree" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Christmas is in the air. Can you smell it? I can! I openly and unabashedly love Christmas. There's something about the way everything comes together &mdash; the middle of winter, the lights, the music, the food. I just love it.</p> <p>And how do I know I love it? Well these 9 signs are a good start.</p> <h2>1. Listen to Christmas Music Early and Often</h2> <p>There is nothing better than Christmas music. Not one single thing. I try to wait until December to listen to it, but some of my Christmas-freak friends listen to it all year round. I will say that nothing gets me into the holiday spirit better, even when I'm stressed or tired, than hearing the music I've heard since childhood.</p> <p>If you're not sure where to start, there are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/evan-bailyn/the-top-20-christmas-songs_b_4459862.html">Christmas playlists</a> all over the Internet. Or you can go through your own music collection and make a playlist for every Christmas mood.</p> <h2>2. Have a Favorite Christmas Movie (or Three!)</h2> <p>I know people who love <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002F6BRE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002F6BRE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=D5J2O2ICVVD5EPRS">Elf</a>, people who watch <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HT3PPG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000HT3PPG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=W5TIR2AQ6NMCHFKO">Miracle on 34th Street</a> every year, and people who swear by <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HEWEJO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000HEWEJO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YO4QHKB5LUP6SS4C">It's a Wonderful Life</a>. Very few people have the same favorite Christmas movie, but nearly everyone who loves the season has at least one flick they return to every year.</p> <h2>3. Decorate With Meaningful Things</h2> <p>It's easy to find cheap Christmas decorations at Target or Walmart, and everyone needs some of these to fill in the gaps. But people who love Christmas save the best spots for decorations that mean something to them. Whether you're hanging the stockings your mother made you or ornaments celebrating the birth of a child, meaningful decorations help you remember to focus on family and on caring for one another, rather than on aspects of the season that make it more stressful.</p> <h2>4. Have the Perfect White Elephant Gift</h2> <p>No matter who you are or what you do, there's almost always some sort of white elephant gift exchange to attend. These can be as fun or as boring as you make them, and people who love Christmas often spend quite a bit of time and energy searching for the perfect terrible gift to add hilarity to these events. There's something fun and oh-so-Christmassy about bringing the gift that everyone (or no one!) wants. I tend to keep my eyes open year round, but I also know people who haunt thrift stores in the weeks leading up to an exchange, just waiting for someone to donate the perfect gift.</p> <h2>5. Use an Advent Calendar to Count Down the Days</h2> <p>One of the best parts of Christmas is that we look forward to it for so long. We know it's coming, and we get the joy of anticipation as we wait for the big day. When people really love this aspect of Christmas, they often buy an Advent calendar to enhance their sense of waiting. And there are so many options for these! You can get one with a piece of chocolate for each day, or you can make one with an ornament you can add to your tree each day, or you can get one <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J4S6U1W/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00J4S6U1W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZQHQOAIGBHZL476N">featuring Lego</a>. This year, I'm planning to wrap a Christmas book for my kids to open every day in December.</p> <h2>6. Buy Gifts With Meaning</h2> <p>Whether you like it or not, one of the important parts of Christmas, for most people, is giving and receiving gifts. While trying to get something for everyone and making sure you balance your spending can be hard, many people love Christmas because they get to buy meaningful gifts for everyone.</p> <h2>7. Bake a Favorite Christmas Treat</h2> <p>It's easy to get overwhelmed with cookies, cakes, appetizers, and everything else around the holidays. Many Christmas-lovers, though, have one or two favorite Christmas treats that they bake for themselves and their loved ones during the season. There's something about having that one cookie, the one your mom made for you when you were little, that can make or break the Christmas season.</p> <h2>8. Plan Some Down Time Around the Holiday</h2> <p>When people don't like Christmas, it's often because there's so much to do and so much stress around the holiday. You have to go to parties, get presents, put up decorations, navigate unhealthy food&hellip; It's no wonder people get tired out way before the big day even comes.</p> <p>For this reason, people who adore Christmas often plan down time into the season. Some families go away for a weekend. Others limit their activities to a certain number per week. Do whatever works for you, but you'll enjoy the season more if you're not running around like a crazy person the entire time.</p> <h2>9. Get in Touch With the People They Care About</h2> <p>If you don't want to call your family, for whatever reason, it's okay. You don't have to be with them, or even talk to them, on Christmas. But people who love Christmas do try to get in touch with someone they care about. This can be a friend or a neighbor &mdash; anybody, really, with whom you'd like to share a few moments of this special time of year.</p> <p><em>Do you love Christmas? What do you do to make it special?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you" class="sharethis-link" title="People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season">12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-overpriced-holiday-gifts-you-should-skip">7 Overpriced Holiday Gifts You Should Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-holiday-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-cheer">8 Holiday Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Cheer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-thanksgiving-traditions-you-should-skip">5 Thanksgiving Traditions You Should Skip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment Christmas entertaining Food gifts Holidays traditions Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1264074 at http://www.wisebread.com 16 Easy, Delicious and Homemade Holiday Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/christmas-treats-gift-509805851-small.jpg" alt="christmas treats gift" title="christmas treats gift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Instead of fighting the crowds at the mall and hunting for bargains this holiday season, why not take to your kitchen? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a>)</p> <p>Forget that dry soup mix and heavy-as-a-rock fruitcake &mdash; homemade, edible gifts can be a real treat, not to mention being very economical. Stop fretting over what to get your growing list of recipients, and surprise them with some of the following tasty (and easy!) gifts.</p> <h2>1. Infused Alcohol</h2> <p>Infused spirits make beautiful gifts, and who doesn't like getting booze? Luckily, less is more when it comes to these flavorful drinks, and there's no need to go top shelf, so you can give an alcoholic gift without breaking the bank. <a href="http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/05/diy-vs-buy-how-to-infuse-spirits-at-home-flavored-vodka-or-rum.html">Follow these guidelines</a> and pour into bottles or jars with a label.</p> <h2>2. Quick Pickles</h2> <p>This crunchy, salty, and tangy snack is to sure to delight. <a href="http://greenvalleykitchen.com/quick-pickles/">Quick pickles</a> are quick (&hellip;yep), easy, and you can change up the flavors depending on your mood. Use saved jelly jars and attach a nice label for a special gift.</p> <h2>3. Coconut Macaroons</h2> <p>Macaroons are pretty, really tasty, and so easy to make. Make traditional <a href="http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/first-place-coconut-macaroons">coconut macaroons</a> for Hanukkah or Christmas gifts, and package them in plastic gift bags with red ribbon. Make them extra special by dipping them half-way into melted dark chocolate.</p> <h2>4. Seasonings</h2> <p>Spice mixes are convenient, but the store-bought varieties can be lackluster and often contain unnecessary fillers and chemicals. Whip up some <a href="http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/more-healthy-salad-dressing-recipes-italian-and-thousand-island">Italian seasoning</a> or <a href="http://blog.lexienaturals.com/2013/01/homemade-cajun-seasoning.html">Cajun seasoning</a>, garnish with a pretty label, and give as flavorful gifts. Note that these recipes (and others) are easily doubled and tripled.</p> <h2>5. Matzo Candy</h2> <p>An easy and delicious treat for Hanukkah, simply dip squares of matzo into melted chocolate, and sprinkle with crushed peppermint or nuts for a festive looking candy. Unless you want to <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/toffee-matzo">get fancy about it</a>!</p> <h2>6. Peppermint Patties</h2> <p>This refreshing after-dinner candy is a crowd-pleaser, and <a href="http://www.ohnuts.com/blog/homemade-peppermint-patties-recipe-2/">fun to make</a>. Dress them up by sprinkling crushed peppermint candy on top while the chocolate is still warm. Put a dozen in a small, parchment paper-lined tin for excellent gifting.</p> <h2>7. Spiced Nuts</h2> <p>Spiced nuts are a favorite snack around the holidays, and with so many variations, they make a perfect treat for a loved one. Try these roasted <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sugar-and-spice-nuts">Sugar-and-Spice Nuts</a> or <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Jessicas-Spiced-Pecans">Jessica's Spiced Pecans</a>, and present them in a pretty mason jar.</p> <h2>8. Granola</h2> <p>Homemade granola is economical, easy, and healthier than store-bought varieties. It lasts for a couple of weeks in an airtight container and can be made in lots of flavors, so it's a great gift. Start with a <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/30062-basic-granola">basic recipe</a> and mix up the nuts and fruit for variety. Pistachio and cranberry is especially festive!</p> <h2>9. Dog Treats</h2> <p>Have friends or family who love their dog above all else? Wish them a happy holidays by bringing a <a href="http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dog-nutrition/Recipe-Ideas-for-Quick-and-Healthy-Homemade-Dog-Treats#link3">tasty homemade gift</a> to their pooch!</p> <h2>10. Fudge</h2> <p>The varieties of fudge are endless, and as long as you follow the directions, it's also easy to make. Impress your loved ones with some <a href="http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/2012/11/white-chocolate-fudge-with-cranberries-and-pistachios/">White Chocolate Fudge With Cranberries and Pistachios</a>, <a href="http://www.lemonsforlulu.com/nutella-caramel-pretzel-fudge/">Nutella Caramel Pretzel Fudge</a> (or maybe a little of each!).</p> <h2>11. Syrups</h2> <p>Try making a homemade syrup for an easy but impressive homemade gift. Save pretty bottles and fill them with <a href="http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/homemade-vanilla-coffee-syrup/">Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup</a> (for your friends addicted to Starbucks) or <a href="http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2013/08/homemade-raspberry-syrup/">Homemade Raspberry Syrup</a>, which goes beautifully on top of pancakes.</p> <h2>12. Preserved Lemons</h2> <p>For your friend and family that love to cook, give them a beautiful jar of <a href="http://www.daringgourmet.com/2014/04/08/how-to-make-preserved-lemons-moroccan-middle-eastern-cooking/">preserved lemons</a>. This easy-to-make jarred fruit adds vibrancy to lots of dishes. Don't worry if they aren't ready in time &mdash; just put an &quot;open by&quot; date on the tag, and they'll have a tasty treat that keeps giving for months later.</p> <h2>13. Truffles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.rachaelray.com/2014/02/easy-chocolate-truffles">Truffles</a> are easier to make than they seem, and they are so decadent and delicious that they make a fantastic gift. Plus, you can roll them in different ingredients (cocoa powder, coconut, nuts, the list goes on) and they make a lovely display.</p> <h2>14. Olive Tapenade</h2> <p>Save that nice-looking mustard jar to fill with your very own <a href="http://www.amuse-your-bouche.com/black-olive-tapenade/">homemade olive tapenade</a>, and the recipient will be more than impressed. Include recipe cards with ideas for using the condiment for a nice touch.</p> <h2>15. Popcorn</h2> <p>Instead of giving a giant Christmas tin full of artificially flavored popcorn, make your own gourmet version. <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/popular-ingredients/popcorn-recipes">Popcorn</a> is easy to make and you can flavor it in lots of ways. Make a few kinds and put them each in pretty bags with ribbon and a label.</p> <h2>16. Chocolate-Dipped Everything</h2> <p>Want to make something look and taste fancy? Dip it in chocolate. Try melting dark, white and/or milk chocolate and dipping strawberries, pretzels, shortbread, or anything else that sounds good to you. Make them even prettier by then dipping into finely chopped nuts, holiday sprinkles, or sea salt.</p> <p><em>What edible gifts do you whip up for the holidays? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts" class="sharethis-link" title="16 Easy, Delicious and Homemade Holiday Gifts" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-budget-gifts-you-can-bring-to-a-holiday-party">7 Budget Gifts You Can Bring to a Holiday Party</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-great-diy-gifts-for-geeks">15 Great DIY Gifts for Geeks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cool-diy-christmas-gifts-for-the-under-6-crowd">5 Cool DIY Christmas Gifts for the “Under 6” Crowd</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-gift-guide-thoughtful-ideas-for-every-list-and-every-budget">Ultimate Gift Guide: Thoughtful Ideas for Every List and Every Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-homemade-liqueurs-to-bottle-now-for-tasty-holiday-gifts">10 Homemade Liqueurs to Bottle for Tasty Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment DIY edible gifts gifts holiday gift guide Homemade Thu, 04 Dec 2014 17:00:10 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1263566 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Quick and Delicious Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers http://www.wisebread.com/15-quick-and-delicious-ways-to-use-thanksgiving-leftovers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-quick-and-delicious-ways-to-use-thanksgiving-leftovers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/turkey-sandwich-490559677-small.jpg" alt="turkey sandwich" title="turkey sandwich" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After an enormous Thanksgiving feast, you may think you'll never be hungry again. But eventually, you will be.</p> <p>So here are 15 quick and easy ways to turn your holiday leftovers into another couple of delicious meals.</p> <h2>1. Sandwiches</h2> <p>This Thanksgiving remake is popular for a reason &mdash; it's easy, fast, and delicious. A <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/article/15-best-ever-leftover-turkey-sandwiches">turkey sandwich</a> is always a good choice, and you can even pile on practically all of your leftovers to make a big post-holiday lunch. For a twist, fry up <a href="http://www.pauladeen.com/thanksgiving-monte-cristo">Monte Cristos</a> using extra turkey and cranberry sauce.</p> <h2>2. Potato Pancakes</h2> <p>Is your fridge full of leftover mashed potatoes? Not that anyone is complaining, but try making a <a href="http://www.justataste.com/2013/11/cheesy-leftover-mashed-potato-pancakes-recipe/">whole new dish</a> by adding scallions, egg, and a little cheese before pan frying as patties. Serve with sour cream or leftover gravy.</p> <h2>3. Turkey Pot Pie</h2> <p>Re-invent all of that extra turkey and chicken broth into delicious <a href="http://damndelicious.net/2013/11/22/leftover-thanksgiving-turkey-pot-pie/">pot pies</a>. They're easy to make and will fool everyone into thinking you slaved over a whole new meal.</p> <h2>4. Stuffed Mushrooms</h2> <p>Make a little too much stuffing? Transform it into this <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/stuffing-stuffed-mushrooms-recipe.html">easy and impressive appetizer</a> and you'll be happy that you did! Ideal for a party or small gathering.</p> <h2>5. Cranberry Cocktail</h2> <p>Use leftover cranberry sauce in a whole new way by mixing up <a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/mix/index.ssf/cocktails/post_5.html">some cocktails</a>. The sweetness and acidity add a fun element to a mixed drink and turn it a nice shade of pink.</p> <h2>6. Sweet Potato Bread</h2> <p>A great way to totally rework leftover sweet potatoes is by <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-potato-bread-i/">making bread</a>. The lightly sweet and spiced bread is great for breakfast or a snack. If you're using already sweetened mashed sweet potatoes, be sure to decrease the sugar called for in the bread recipe.</p> <h2>7. Turkey Salad</h2> <p>Instead of making chicken salad, make <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Curried-Turkey-Salad-with-Cashews-103768">turkey salad</a>! It's quick and just as tasty, and makes a great light lunch in the days following your big meal. Pack it up with some bread or a salad and take it to work.</p> <h2>8. Pie Shakes</h2> <p>Leftover pie isn't usually a big problem, but if you're ready to move on to a different sweet treat, try turning your pie into <a href="http://stepable.com/recipes/299/bourbon-pecan-pie-milkshake">milkshakes</a>. You can have your pie and drink it, too!</p> <h2>9. Baked Eggs in Stuffing Cups</h2> <p>For a fun post-Thanksgiving brunch or lunch, try <a href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/30891-baked-eggs-in-stuffing-cups">these eggs</a> nestled on top of stuffing and baked. Eggy, bready goodness that's easy to make and pairs great with a side salad.</p> <h2>10. Cranberry Muffins</h2> <p>Put your extra cranberry sauce to good use and make <a href="http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/cranberry-sauce-muffins/676c8a8d-b500-4506-99ee-e93287d82d99">cranberry muffins</a>. They make a perfect breakfast treat for any guests that might be sticking around. Pack them in an airtight container and they can be frozen for later.</p> <h2>11. Bubble and Squeak</h2> <p>A British staple, <a href="http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/164622/bubble-and-squeak">bubble and squeak</a> is a tasty way to use leftover mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Add some bacon, serve with a salad, and you've got a brand new meal.</p> <h2>12. Soup</h2> <p>A great way to use excess turkey and veggies is to make a <a href="http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/next-day-turkey-soup.html">hearty soup</a>. Serve with crusty bread and this quick meal will feel brand new.</p> <h2>13. Stuffing Waffles</h2> <p>Try something new and give your leftover stuffing and gravy new life by turning them into unexpectedly delicious <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/11/stuffing-waffles-recipe.html">waffles</a>. These will be the talk of the dinner table for days!</p> <h2>14. Sweet Potato Pancakes</h2> <p>No one will be complaining about eating leftovers after you serve these yummy <a href="http://shewearsmanyhats.com/sweet-potato-pancake-recipe/">sweet potato pancakes</a>. Be sure to reduce the sugar if you are using already sweetened potatoes. These would taste great with leftover cranberry sauce.</p> <h2>15. Shepherd's Pie</h2> <p>Looking to serve up a lot of leftovers without repeating your holiday meal? Practically every Thanksgiving staple can be used in this <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/319449/thanksgiving-leftovers-shepherds-pie">shepherd's pie</a>.</p> <p><em>How do you re-mix your Thanksgiving leftovers? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-quick-and-delicious-ways-to-use-thanksgiving-leftovers" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Quick and Delicious Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-quick-and-delicious-ways-to-use-thanksgiving-leftovers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-delicious-ways-to-use-leftover-mashed-potatoes">10 Delicious Ways to Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-alternative-ways-to-do-thanksgiving">6 Alternative Ways to Do Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-right-now-is-the-time-to-get-ready-for-thanksgiving">Wise Bread Reloaded: Right Now Is the Time to Get Ready for Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-meals-you-can-make-with-thanksgiving-leftovers">4 Meals You Can Make With Thanksgiving Leftovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-thanksgiving-traditions-you-should-skip">5 Thanksgiving Traditions You Should Skip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment feasts leftovers Thanksgiving Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1260446 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Netflix Hacks You Should Know http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-netflix-hacks-you-should-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-netflix-hacks-you-should-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Netflix%20iPhone.jpg" alt="netflix" title="netflix" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on Netflix hacks to make the most of your account, balancing your side gig with your day job, and how to deal when you're overwhelmed.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://smartycents.com/articles/5-netflix-hacks-to-make-the-most-of-your-account/">5 Netflix Hacks to Make the Most of Your Account (Video)</a> &mdash; Learn how to set up your account so that you'll see the IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes scores for the shows or movies you're browsing on Netflix. [Smarty Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/balance-a-side-hustle-with-your-day-job">3 Tips to Better Balance a Side Hustle With Your Day Job</a> &mdash; Many people are able to turn their side gigs into a full-time job, but obsessing over leaving your day job can make your time there miserable. Instead, think of it as an investment in yourself and your side hustle. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getorganizedwizard.com/blog/2014/11/8-simple-tips-help-overwhelmed/">8 Simple Tips to Help You When You're Overwhelmed</a> &mdash; Give yourself a break if you can't deal with something right now. Turn it off, stop thinking about it, and tackle it another day. [Get Organized Wizard]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/4-unexpected-science-backed-ways-develop-empathy">4 Unexpected (and Science-Backed) Ways to Develop Empathy</a> &mdash; Reading literary fiction makes you put yourself in another person's position, which leads to more empathy and a better understanding of other lives. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Good-Questions-Ask-During-Interview-33652741">7 Questions That Will Knock the Socks Off Your Interviewer</a> &mdash; Asking why the position is available will help you figure out your expectations for the job &mdash; was the previous employee promoted? Did they leave because there was no opportunity for growth? Or is it a new position that you'll have to navigate on your own? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savingadvice.com/articles/2014/11/19/1030437_home-eco-friendly-remodeling-ideas.html">15 Eco-Friendly Remodeling Ideas Every Homeowner Should Consider</a> &mdash; Outdoor motion detectors will allow you to have lights when you need them without the cost of keeping them on all night while you're out. [Saving Advice]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/10-erroneous-things-people-actually-believe-about-insurance/">10 Erroneous Things People Actually Believe About Insurance</a> &mdash; Many people believe red cars cost more to insure because they are pulled over for speeding more often. This isn't true; color doesn't factor into the rate calculation. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://simplifiedsaving.com/2014/11/six-simple-steps-to-perfect-turkey-stock">Six Simple Steps to Perfect Turkey Stock</a> &mdash; Start by removing the good meat and placing the skin, fat, loose bones, and turkey frame into a large soup pot. [Simplified Saving]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-make-cranberry-sauce-with-only-3-ingredients">How to Make Cranberry Sauce in 3 Simple Steps</a> &mdash; All you need is cranberries, sugar, and water &mdash; though you can use orange or apple juice instead of water for more flavor. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://gradmoneymatters.com/money-making-ideas/4-reasons-you-should-look-into-self-employment.html">4 Reasons You Should Look Into Self-Employment</a> &mdash; One great thing about working for yourself is that you can create your own schedule. [Grad Money Matters]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-netflix-hacks-you-should-know" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Netflix Hacks You Should Know" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-netflix-hacks-you-should-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-netflix-and-hulu-to-play-on-your-tv">How to Get Netflix and Hulu to Play on Your TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-own-your-finances-how-much-people-spend-to-watch-movies">You Own Your Finances: How Much People Spend to Watch Movies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits">Cutting the Cable Cord Has More Than Financial Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netflix-pricing-changes-what-now">Netflix Pricing Changes: What Now?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment best money tips netflix Mon, 24 Nov 2014 21:00:13 +0000 Amy Lu 1258336 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Alternative Ways to Do Thanksgiving http://www.wisebread.com/6-alternative-ways-to-do-thanksgiving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-alternative-ways-to-do-thanksgiving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-dinner-party-459874981-small.jpg" alt="friends party" title="friends party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Growing up, there was never any doubt about how Thanksgiving would be celebrated. Grams cooked the turkey and ham; the rest of us provided the traditional sides and desserts. Women and children ate at the &quot;big&quot; table, while most of the men migrated off to the den to yell at the Cowboys. Dinner was at one; home by six.</p> <p>And it was like that year after year, without fail.</p> <p>Today, we've created our own definition of Thanksgiving. Some of those traditions survived &mdash; you can still hear quite a bit of &quot;couch-coaching&quot; for example, when the Dallas game is on, and I always &mdash; always &mdash; make the customary pumpkin and pecan pies.</p> <p>But we've adopted quite a few new traditions, too. That's the thing about holidays &mdash; you can make them anything you want them to be.</p> <p>So, if the usual turkey and dressing just aren't doing it for you this year (or if getting together with family isn't an option) , don't sweat it; there are plenty of alternative ways you can still have a happy Thanksgiving.</p> <h2>1. Pick a Theme</h2> <p>One of the first things we did when we started hosting the holidays at our house was to agree that &quot;dinner&quot; wasn't limited to the traditional fare. As a result, we've done everything from brisket and barbecue to fajitas, complete with rice, beans, and yes, homemade <em>sopapillas</em> for dessert.</p> <p>You could take this open-menu concept a step further and choose a different theme each year, exploring authentic cuisines from all over the world while expanding your cooking skills at the same time.</p> <h2>2. Pick a Cause</h2> <p>One of my aunts used to spend Thanksgiving volunteering at the local food kitchen&hellip; it was her way of giving back, she said, and reminding herself of the many blessings she had.</p> <p>If this sounds like something you'd like to do, try contacting the Salvation Army or visit <a href="http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?l=united+states&amp;k=thanksgiving">VolunteerMatch.org</a> to find volunteer opportunities in your area.</p> <p>Of course, you don't have to forego your traditional celebration completely in order to give back. We don't have a local food kitchen for example, but we do have a women's shelter that takes donations, so every year, we invite our friends and relatives to &quot;bring a bag&quot; when they come for Thanksgiving dinner.</p> <p>The shelter gets a much bigger donation as a result and we all feel a little more &quot;connected&quot; to the spirit of the holiday.</p> <h2>3. Run Forest, Run</h2> <p>If you're looking for a healthy way to spend your holiday, consider a run. Turkey Trots have become something of a tradition in their own right, and there's probably one being held somewhere close to you.</p> <p>Most races are in the 5k range, but there's several shorter and longer races available too. Visit <a href="http://www.runningintheusa.com/Race/Thanksgiving.aspx">Running in the USA</a> and <a href="https://runsignup.com/Races?name=&amp;distance=&amp;max_distance=&amp;units=K&amp;start_date=11%2F27%2F2014&amp;end_date=&amp;country=US&amp;state=">Run Signup</a> to find nearby events.</p> <h2>4. Remember You're Not Alone</h2> <p>Having &quot;nowhere to go&quot; on Thanksgiving might initially make you feel a bit isolated but remember, you're not the only one in that boat and a good gathering doesn't have to be just family. Reach out to friends, neighbors, and co-workers &mdash; you might find others looking for a place to go. Coordinate a potluck and <em>voila</em>! Instant holiday gathering.</p> <p>Can't find any takers? Try checking your local newspapers and/or community websites. A number of churches host an annual event for example, as do most cafeteria-style restaurants, such as Luby's. And don't forget to check your favorite eating places &mdash; many Cracker Barrel locations will serve Thanksgiving this year; <a href="http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/youngandhungry/2013/11/22/nowhere-to-go-for-thanksgiving-dc-reynolds-will-offer-a-free-feast/">DC Reynolds</a> is hosting dinner for free.</p> <h2>5. Shop</h2> <p>Grab some friends or family members, make a reservation at a ritzy restaurant, and then spend your afternoon indulging in some early Christmas shopping.</p> <p>More and more stores are starting their holiday specials on or before Thanksgiving Day. That means you can cash in on big savings, knock out your Christmas list, <em> and</em> enjoy good food and good company on Thanksgiving.</p> <h2>6. Get Away</h2> <p>If none of these ideas are making you jump up and down, how about a change of venue? Many hotels and resorts offer fantastic holiday packages, some with their own creative Thanksgiving twist.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.xvbeacon.com/">XV Beacon Hotel</a> in Boston for instance, donates 15% of the room rate to the Greater Boston Food Bank, so your trip helps those who are less fortunate. You can also visit the <a href="http://www.plimoth.org/">Plimoth Plantation</a> which, according to the history books, is the locale of our very first Thanksgiving&hellip; as in, ever.</p> <p><a href="http://www.squawcreek.com/lake-tahoe-events.php">The Resort at Squaw Creek</a> in California offers an all-day Thanksgiving buffet, breakfast with Santa and enjoy the Grand Tree lighting ceremony while you stroll through a life-size gingerbread village.</p> <p>If that sounds a little more upscale than you wanted to do, then consider the Riverwalk in San Antonio, a B&amp;B in beautiful Hill Country, or just pick a spot you'd like to visit and find yourself a nice hotel room with a view. Remember, home is where the heart is.</p> <p><em>How will you spend Thanksgiving this year? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-alternative-ways-to-do-thanksgiving" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Alternative Ways to Do Thanksgiving" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-alternative-ways-to-do-thanksgiving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-right-now-is-the-time-to-get-ready-for-thanksgiving">Wise Bread Reloaded: Right Now Is the Time to Get Ready for Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-16-holiday-hazards">Beware These 16 Holiday Hazards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season">12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment celebrations feasts Holidays Tags: thanksgiving Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:00:10 +0000 Kate Luther 1258826 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Host Thanksgiving in a Tiny Apartment http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-thanksgiving-in-a-tiny-apartment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-host-thanksgiving-in-a-tiny-apartment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apartment-dinner-party-187088713-small.jpg" alt="apartment dinner party" title="apartment dinner party" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've decided to accept the challenge of being the host with the most this Thanksgiving, but there's just one tiny problem &mdash; your smaller-than-small apartment. Time to panic? Nah. Before you cancel the fete, feast on these ways to work with what you've got &mdash; and still deliver an incredible dinner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-recipes-for-a-frugal-vegetarian-thanksgiving?ref=seealso" style="text-decoration:none;">Simple Recipes for a Frugal Vegetarian Thanksgiving</a>)</p> <h2>Clear the Clutter as Soon as You Decide to Host</h2> <p>All right, hoarders, it's time to get busy; you've let that junk pile up long enough. Take this opportunity to clear out all your clutter so you can have a beautiful, <em>clean</em> apartment with plenty of space for your guests to sit back and relax on the holiday. Do this far enough in advance &mdash; and use your money-saving savvy to make a few bucks on items you don't want anymore &mdash; and you could possibly pay for the entire dinner with the cash you earned and have a few dollars to spare.</p> <h2>Keep the Guest List Manageable Given Your Space Constraints</h2> <p>You know how many people your home can handle, so don't overdo it. Only invite enough people for whom you have proper seats at a table or wherever you decide to eat. I live in a condo that has a breakfast bar that seats four, and I have a sturdy coffee table that guests can use to eat while sitting on the couch. That setup works for my friends and me, but it may not make everyone in your life comfortable. Let your guests know in advance how the dining situation will be arranged so they can make their own decision on whether or not they want to attend.</p> <h2>Ensure That You Have Enough Diningware to Accommodate Everybody</h2> <p>If you live in a small apartment, you probably have limited cabinet space &mdash; which means that you probably have limited diningware. Do a count once the guest list is set to ensure that you have all the plates, utensils, glasses, napkins, serving dishes, and so on that you'll need to host this dinner without a hitch. If you've come up short, you can either choose to buy more legit diningware, or you can opt to go plastic (the high-end stuff for this special occasion, of course), one of the only times I will recommend these otherwise money traps.</p> <h2>Plan a Menu That's Appetizing But Not Overly Complicated</h2> <p>If you like to cook like I do, you'll want to show off your kitchen skills by making fancy dishes to impress your guests at Thanksgiving. <em>Bad</em>. <em>Idea</em>.</p> <p>I've gone this route before and I've spent hours upon hours standing in the kitchen preparing a meal that has a million-and-one ingredients that turns out amazing but that I'm usually too exhausted to enjoy by the time it's ready to serve. And chances are, your guests would have been just as happy with Stovetop as they are with your from-scratch apple-sausage-sage cornbread stuffing. Trust me.</p> <p>What this also means in a small apartment is piles and piles of dishes claiming valuable dining real estate. Are you gonna wash all of them before serving dinner? I didn't think so. Thus, today is a day to enjoy your friends and celebrate the things for which you're thankful; embark on a mission of culinary excess and you'll curse the day you ever heard of Bobby Flay.</p> <h2>Prepare What You Can Ahead of Time &mdash; Like Earlier in the Week</h2> <p>Some dishes can be prepared ahead of time &mdash; like stuffings and mashed potatoes, for instance, and especially desserts &mdash; take advantage of the extra time to keep the dirty dishes to a minimum and enjoy more of your company when the big day arrives instead of slaving over a hot stove.</p> <h2>Assign Certain Aspects of the Meal to Your Guests</h2> <p>Another good way to save time, money, and space this Thanksgiving is to host a potluck Thanksgiving. If you plan to make the turkey, you can farm out the sides to a couple guests and ask others to bring bread, dessert, or a bottle of wine. A collaborative effort can definitely be fun, mind you, but it should be planned as the purpose of your Thanksgiving. What I mean by that is when you extend the initial invitation inform your guests that this will be a potluck meal. It's terrible form to spring this on somebody after the fact.</p> <h2>Rearrange Furniture for Optimal and Maximum Seating Potential</h2> <p>You should, without a doubt, have enough seating for your guests at dinner, but they'll also want to sit down in other areas around your apartment before and perhaps after the meal. In my apartment I arrange the four breakfast bar seats to face outward into the living room, I roll in my two office chairs, and put our metal coffee table against a wall, which creates a circle of seating that allows everyone to converse conveniently while also having a good view of the TV. This particular situation probably won't work for you, but with a little creativity you can create your own game plan to optimize your own relaxation station.</p> <h2>Consider a Buffet Table to Free Up the Dining Table</h2> <p>When I serve dinner for more than four in my apartment, I set up a buffet-style table in the foyer. This keeps the actual dining space clear of serving dishes so everyone can spread out and enjoy their meal with a little breathing room. This table has turned out to be a great investment as I've used it as a buffet table for multiple gatherings, but also to display items at a yard sale, an extra dining table in some cases, and a game-night table with the boys.</p> <h2>Designate an Out-of-the-Way Space for Outerwear</h2> <p>Where, oh where, will all those coats go? You don't want to put them on the furniture because that's taking up much-needed seating, and you really shouldn't put them on your bed for sanitary reasons (you can judge me for this, but I don't want people's clothes on the bedding I sleep on; it's just&hellip; eww).</p> <p>If you have a coat rack or hooks around your apartment, utilize those as well as extra closet space if you have it. Another practical solution is to put the outerwear on hangers and place them on your shower curtain if it's a very sturdy one. Your guests will use the restroom while they're there, but nobody should be showering unless y'all are really tight like that. Save time by pulling the hangers in advance of your guests' arrival so you can take their coats and hang them efficiently. It goes without saying that you should clean your bathroom beforehand so your guests will be comfortable with their coats in there &mdash; and so they don't call the health department on you after they leave.</p> <h2>Make Do and Have Fun</h2> <p>Don't sweat the small stuff. Literally. Just don't do it. Make the best of what you have using these tips and other suggestions in the comments section and around the Internet and you're good to go. Thanksgiving is special, and it only comes once a year. Enjoy it, my friends. Enjoy it hard because the evil that is January is on its way.</p> <p><em>Do you have other tips on how to host Thanksgiving in a tiny apartment? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-thanksgiving-in-a-tiny-apartment" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Host Thanksgiving in a Tiny Apartment" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-thanksgiving-in-a-tiny-apartment">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-thanksgiving-traditions-you-should-skip">5 Thanksgiving Traditions You Should Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-throw-a-fabulous-and-frugal-dinner-party">How to Throw a Fabulous (and Frugal!) Dinner Party</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-avoid-awkward-moments-at-white-elephant-parties">4 Ways to Avoid Awkward Moments at White Elephant Parties</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-cheap-party-games-you-didnt-know-about">5 Fun, Cheap Party Games You Didn&#039;t Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment dinner parties entertaining parties Thanksgiving Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1257548 at http://www.wisebread.com People Who Love Thanksgiving Do These 8 Things, Do You? http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-thanksgiving-do-these-8-things-do-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/people-who-love-thanksgiving-do-these-8-things-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-thanksgiving-dinner-80403972-small.jpg" alt="family thanksgiving" title="family thanksgiving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm not someone who tends to love Thanksgiving. The truth is, I find it so stressful that it's hard to figure out how to enjoy it in and around the food I have to cook, the decorations I have to put up and take down, and the seemingly constant stream of people. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/year-end-holiday-celebrations-for-less?ref=seealso">Year-End Holiday Celebrations for Less</a>)</p> <p>Still, I know there's more to this holiday than all of those things, so I've begun to look at my friends who love Thanksgiving to figure out how I can start loving this season, too. Here are a few of the things I've tried over the last several years, or will be trying this year.</p> <h2>1. Practice Gratitude All Month Long</h2> <p>It turns out that the point of Thanksgiving is gratitude, not football or shopping. The holiday started because people were grateful, and that's what we remember when we take the day off and eat all that food.</p> <p>One of the best ways to remember the gratitude part of Thanksgiving is to start practicing it early. People who really love Thanksgiving often make gratitude a practice throughout the month of November. You can write down several things you're thankful for each day, or you can even post them somewhere like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to make your gratitude public.</p> <h2>2. Decorate for the Holiday</h2> <p>Because it comes so close to Christmas, a lot of people don't bother decorating for Thanksgiving. And it does seem like it would be kind of a pain to put up decorations for one holiday, only to take them down for another one.</p> <p>However, people who love Thanksgiving often put decorations up anyway, to help them focus on the day and remember that it, too, is a celebration. You have a couple of choices, to make the whole process easier. You could just put out a few things, ones that catch your eye but aren't hard to put away when the day is over. Or, you could decorate for Thanksgiving at the beginning of November, so you get to enjoy the decor all month long.</p> <h2>3. Plan the Meal Carefully</h2> <p>Most people spend some time planning their Thanksgiving Dinner, but people who love the holiday tend to plan not only in order to make sure that all the pieces are there, but in order to minimize the work involved or spread it out over several people, families, and kitchens.</p> <p>I know that part of the reason I haven't liked Thanksgiving in the past is that I end up spending <em>so much time</em> preparing food, and then cleaning up afterwards. I don't get to give thanks or watch football or anything, because I'm focused on the food. It makes sense, then, that planning a simpler meal or inviting more hands to become involved would lower that stress, making the holiday more enjoyable.</p> <h2>4. Watch the Macy's Parade</h2> <p>Okay, so I vaguely remember the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from when I was a kid, but it has never been a major part of my holiday. However, a good friend of mine watches it every year, and she says it's part of why she loves Thanksgiving. So I tried it last year.</p> <p>Now, I didn't watch the whole thing from start to finish, but I watched enough, and it did raise my spirits. There's something about the whimsy of the balloons, the upbeat music of the bands, and the creativity of the floats that starts the day off right.</p> <h2>5. Don't Shop (So Others Can Enjoy the Day, Too!)</h2> <p>I've read about people having to work on Thanksgiving every year for the last several. And, I'll be honest with you, it's nice to know that there will be a grocery store open, in case I've forgotten anything for the meal. But people who love Thanksgiving often avoid shopping on the holiday, because they enjoy the day so much that they want everyone to be able to spend it with family and friends, too.</p> <h2>6. Know What to Do With Leftover Turkey</h2> <p>It may sound silly, but one of the things that can make Thanksgiving stressful is knowing you will have leftovers and not knowing what to do with them. You can alleviate this by finding some recipes for your leftovers ahead of time, maybe even starting a family tradition to answer the &quot;What do I do with all this turkey?&quot; question.</p> <p>People who love Thanksgiving don't stress about leftovers. They know you can make everything from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-creative-simple-frugal-recipes-for-leftover-turkey">Bar-B-Q sandwiches</a> to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tasty-ideas-for-leftover-turkey">fajitas</a> to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-meals-you-can-make-with-thanksgiving-leftovers">yummy casseroles</a>.</p> <h2>7. Help Others Have a Great Thanksgiving</h2> <p>Many people who love Thanksgiving love it because they make it a point to help others, not just to relax and eat. This can mean serving Thanksgiving dinner to homeless people, or simply donating money to a local charity that takes Thanksgiving dinner to people who might not get one otherwise.</p> <p>There's something about <a href="http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/12/22/how-giving-makes-us-happy/">giving that makes us happy</a>, especially when we connect it with a holiday. When we help others, we're also reminded of how much we have, which will make us more grateful, if we let it. And isn't that the whole point of the day?</p> <h2>8. Don't Brave Black Friday</h2> <p>Yes, there are amazing deals on Black Friday, even if you resist going to the stores on Thursday afternoon or evening. But when you are so focused on getting started on Christmas, it's easy to almost forget Thanksgiving entirely, to let it become an afterthought rather than an important holiday in and of itself.</p> <p>People who love Thanksgiving often want to revel in it, and so they choose not to focus on shopping because it will distract them from a day that's important to them. If you're lucky enough to have Friday off, you can take it as an opportunity to let Thanksgiving sink in, rather than a chance to get a leg up on Christmas.</p> <p><em>Do you love Thanksgiving? How do you show it? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-thanksgiving-do-these-8-things-do-you" class="sharethis-link" title="People Who Love Thanksgiving Do These 8 Things, Do You?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-thanksgiving-do-these-8-things-do-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-thanksgiving-traditions-you-should-skip">5 Thanksgiving Traditions You Should Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-right-now-is-the-time-to-get-ready-for-thanksgiving">Wise Bread Reloaded: Right Now Is the Time to Get Ready for Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-quick-and-delicious-ways-to-use-thanksgiving-leftovers">15 Quick and Delicious Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment people who love Thanksgiving traditions Wed, 19 Nov 2014 22:00:11 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1257136 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother-daughter-gingerbread-house-173299436-small.jpg" alt="mother daughter gingerbread house" title="mother daughter gingerbread house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever feel like the holidays are getting out of control? Like that portly fellow in the red suit and beard is actually budget-busting bully? Maybe it's time for a midwinter revolution: the No-Spend Holiday. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays?ref=seealso">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Place for the Holidays</a>)</p> <p>Here are 12 ideas to make your holiday less about spending money on things and more about spending time with people.</p> <h2>1. Get Crafty</h2> <p>Holidays are the perfect excuse for even the most macho among us to string popcorn, geek out making custom Christmas cards, or delight in the finer points of gingerbread house construction. Instead of worrying about the &quot;stuff&quot; of the holidays, lose yourself in the joy of making things to exchange as gifts or keep as mementos. Involve the wee ones too with easy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-easy-holiday-crafts-for-kids">holiday craft ideas for kids</a>.</p> <h2>2. Make a &quot;Me Menu&quot;</h2> <p>Instead of a long holiday wish list, encourage each family member to create a favorite dinner menu. From appetizers to drinks and dessert, each person chooses their favorite meal and the rest of the family pitches in to pull it off exactly as planned. Rotate turns and tasks until everyone has enjoyed their gastronomic gift.</p> <h2>3. Play Outside</h2> <p>Baby, it's cold outside &mdash; but all that snow creates a veritable playground for the young at heart. Bundle up and have a good-natured snowball fight, window shop, or just flop down and make a snow angel. And what's even better than spending an hour outside? Coming inside and warming up with a hot toddy or a cup of hot chocolate.</p> <h2>4. &hellip;Or Inside</h2> <p>Not in the mood for outdoor adventure? Stay inside and play old-fashioned board games, charades, or Bingo. With the right amount of planning and PR, even simple activities can feel like major events.</p> <h2>5. Sculpt in Snow</h2> <p>Sure, the snowman is a classic, but get inventive this year. Build a snow dinosaur, a snow monster, a snow mermaid, or a snow castle. Get the whole family involved and see how you can make it bigger, more realistic, and more attention-grabbing for passersby.</p> <h2>6. Pick Classic Flicks</h2> <p>The list of classic holiday movies gets longer every year: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004TS0E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004TS0E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DUHLYTPQETU5NROF">Miracle on 34th Street</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VBIGCW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000VBIGCW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HBP25IYBMKE4LY7M">A Christmas Story</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/6305949980/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=6305949980&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NXGDA5YQDRQDKKLZ">The Nightmare Before Christmas</a> are just three off the top of my head. Stream them or borrow a few from your local library and devote an evening to silencing the smartphones, popping popcorn, and enjoying downtime together.</p> <h2>7. Unplug</h2> <p>And while we're on the topic of smartphones, maybe it's time to create a new tradition &mdash; The Unplugged Christmas. If every event is interrupted with buzzing and flashing and your holiday dinner table resembles a futuristic game of <em>Simon Says</em>, carve out a few electronics-free moments for adults and kids (over dinner, while opening gifts, for the first and last hour of each day, etc). It'll help everyone live in the moment and be less distracted by media and messages.</p> <h2>8. Volunteer</h2> <p>It really is better to give than to receive. Contribute your time and talents to a local charity this year and in return, enjoy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-unexpected-benefits-of-volunteering">a few unexpected benefits</a>, including a deeper awareness of all you have to be thankful for.</p> <h2>9. Get Thrifty</h2> <p>If a no-spend holiday just isn't realistic, how about a low-spend holiday? Instead of buying new, explore local second-hand shops and give <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-holiday-gifts-from-the-thrift-store">great thrifty gifts</a>!</p> <h2>10. Donate Your Time</h2> <p>Gifts don't have to be material. This year, offer to help someone with a task, a chore, or a goal. Maybe your mother-in-law would love to visit her childhood home but can't make the drive solo. Offer your chauffeur get specific about the when and the how. Shovel the sidewalk for an elderly neighbor, or surprise a young niece or nephew with an impromptu sledding adventure.</p> <h2>11. Revel in Your Achievements and Dreams</h2> <p>There's something entirely appropriate about taking time during the holidays to review our achievements and goals. Take turns with friends or family and remind each other of all your individual and collective triumphs. Promotions, good grades, saving, volunteering, learning a new skill, and decluttering all count. What do you want to do next year? What are the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-steps-to-achieving-all-your-goals">steps to achieving your goals</a> and how can everyone help?</p> <h2>12. Make Something Together</h2> <p>Holidays take a lot of preparation, so why not make them a family affair? Explore <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating">budget holiday decorating ideas</a>, prepare for guests by sprucing that spare bedroom, or break out the saw and sander and <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Giant-Jenga-Diy/">build a giant Jenga game</a>. Working together is a great way to teach new skills, build a sense of pride, and replace getting stuff with doing stuff.</p> <p>Remember, the goal isn't to cut all the money out of our holidays, but to shift our focus. It's easy to get caught up the consumerism and materialism, but challenging to change course and reconnect with simpler ideas about giving, receiving, and sharing. This holiday, push back on the tide of baubles and bangles and see if there isn't just a little more joy, a lot more time, and a lot less stress.</p> <p><em>Are you planning a no-spend or low-spend holiday this year? What ideas do you have to make it a success?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-overpriced-holiday-gifts-you-should-skip">7 Overpriced Holiday Gifts You Should Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-holiday-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-cheer">8 Holiday Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Cheer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/many-happy-returns-5-tips-for-getting-what-you-really-want-this-holiday">Many Happy Returns: 5 Tips for Getting What You Really Want This Holiday</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting Entertainment Christmas gifts holiday costs holiday spending Holidays Mon, 17 Nov 2014 16:00:14 +0000 Kentin Waits 1254627 at http://www.wisebread.com Simple Recipes for a Frugal Vegetarian Thanksgiving http://www.wisebread.com/simple-recipes-for-a-frugal-vegetarian-thanksgiving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/simple-recipes-for-a-frugal-vegetarian-thanksgiving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-pumpkin-pie-80403716-small.jpg" alt="woman pumpkin pie" title="woman pumpkin pie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No turkey? No problem. I've been hosting meat-free Thanksgiving celebrations for the last decade. By the end of the evening, my friends and family are stuffed with amazingly nutritious and delicious foods from soup to nuts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-simple-ways-to-save-on-thanksgiving?ref=seealso">5 Simple Ways to Save on Thanksgiving</a>)</p> <p>This year we're hoping to do it all on a tighter budget. So, here are some recipes that will help you rock a vegetarian/vegan Turkey Day without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>Appetizers</h2> <p>Don't skimp on appetizers. You'll want to offer up something tasty and hearty to your guests while you finish all the last-minute dinner preparations. I keep our appetizers simple. Some dips, veggies, and carbs.</p> <h3>Fondue</h3> <p>Fondue is a big favorite in my household, no matter the time of year. This <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/cheddar-and-hard-cider-fondue-recipe.html">Hard Cider and Cheddar Fondue</a> adds a nice twist for the holiday. Though the recipe calls for chicken broth, you can easily substitute in vegetable broth to suit your dietary needs. No hard cider in the house? Just use beer. And to add to the frugality, serve with your bakery's discount day-old bread &mdash; it soaks up the fondue better than fresh and costs less.</p> <h3>Hummus</h3> <p>Most dips you'll find on the table are vegetarian, but this smoky <a href="http://www.connoisseurusveg.com/2014/09/sweet-savory-smokey-butternut-hummus.html">Butternut Squash Hummus</a> is particularly festive. If you don't have butternut squash on hand, you can use acorn, delicata, or even canned pumpkin. Save some pennies (and salt content) by cooking your own chickpeas &mdash; you'll just need to soak them the night before.</p> <h3>Veggie Tray</h3> <p>For some visual pizazz, gather a medley of fresh produce, olives, and other foods to make this <a href="http://www.livinglocurto.com/2012/10/turkey-vegetable-tray">Turkey Vegetable Tray</a>. It's much less expensive to buy, cut, and arrange the veggies yourself than it is to buy a pre-made tray at the store. Plus, you're giving vegetarians the symbolic turkey on Thanksgiving!</p> <h2>Side Dishes</h2> <p>My favorite part of dinner is making a variety of side dishes that span the spectrum of flavors. You can't go wrong with using fresh ingredients that you buy at your local farmers market. Usually these seasonal ingredients are cheaper than what you'd buy at the store since they don't travel as far from the farm to your table.</p> <h3>Dinner Rolls</h3> <p>We had a Thanksgiving brunch last year in place of dinner. I made these incredible <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2013/11/brie-stuffed-pumpkin-garlic-rolls.html">Pumpkin Garlic Rolls</a> stuffed with brie and served with jam. I buy brie at Aldi, where it's incredibly inexpensive, and it does the trick in a dish like this one. If anything, do a more refined jam &mdash; I like red pepper for a sweet and savory mix.</p> <h3>Roasted Veggies</h3> <p>Next, serve a simple side of roasted veggies. Any kind will do. We've had great success roasting asparagus, squash, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and all other vegetables with nothing more than olive oil, salt, and pepper. For a fun twist, try making these <a href="http://www.purevege.com/2012/02/poor-mans-feast.html">Brussels Sprout Kebabs</a>. Just roast the veggie, season, and then arrange on skewers.</p> <h3>Stuffing</h3> <p>Mushrooms are the key to any amazing vegetarian stuffing recipe. They give the dish an earthy flavor and marry well with sage, thyme, and other herbs. This <a href="http://bakeaholicmama.ziplist.com/recipes/vegan-stuffing/4cad6480-14b3-0130-9b0a-12313812a22c">Portabella Vegan Stuffing</a> is simple yet flavorful. If you'd rather not buy stuffing cubes, just cut cubes of any loaf, bake until dry &mdash; but not brown &mdash; and then use in your recipe.</p> <h3>Gravy</h3> <p>You can easily make most mashed potato recipes vegetarian or vegan by replacing chicken broth with vegetable and milk or cream with non-dairy substitutes. The gravy, however, can be more problematic. This <a href="http://ohmyveggies.com/recipe-wild-mushroom-gravy/">Wild Mushroom Gravy</a> recipe takes on the same sort of flavors as your stuffing recipe, just in a new way. To make it vegan, use Earth Balance instead of butter.</p> <h2>Main Course</h2> <p>Admittedly, we tend to graze on all sorts of dishes without a hugely defined main course. But for more traditional vegetarians, I have some suggestions that are packed with protein and definitely worthy to place in the center of your table.</p> <h3>&quot;Meat&quot; Loaf</h3> <p>This vegetarian <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/winter-recipe-classic-vegetarian-nut-loaf-102222">Nut Loaf</a> has become a favorite comfort food in our house. Its components are humble and &mdash; for the most part &mdash; inexpensive. If the ingredients list is a bit too long for you, there's a simplified <a href="http://theveganstoner.blogspot.com/2011/11/blog-post.html">Lentil Loaf</a> that we make on weeknights that makes something amazing from frozen vegetables, cooked lentils, crackers, walnuts, and a few other things. It's also cheaper and faster to put together.</p> <h3>Quiche</h3> <p>Eggs make a solid protein for the Thanksgiving table. The key is transforming them from your breakfast favorite to something more refined. A few years ago, we made this <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2009/11/mushroom-asparagus-quiche.html">Asparagus Quiche</a>. If you'd rather go crustless, try this <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/11/mushroom-baby-kale-frittata.html">Mushroom and Kale Frittata</a> recipe that takes just 30 minutes from start to finish. With either of these recipes, you can double so your finished dish will serve more than 2-4 people.</p> <h3>Pasta</h3> <p>I love stuffed shells for special occasions. You can get particularly creative with them, too. For example, this <a href="http://lecremedelacrumb.com/2014/10/broccoli-alfredo-stuffed-shells.html">Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells</a> recipe goes beyond the usual red sauce and takes just 30 minutes to make. Don't forget to cook your pasta al dente before baking, so it isn't mushy when served. You can add tofu ricotta to this recipe (about 1 heaping tablespoon per shell) for extra protein by pressing a tofu cube until it drains, crumbling with your hands, and seasoning with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lemon juice.</p> <h2>Dessert</h2> <p>Most desserts are inherently vegetarian, so this category isn't so specific. It also happens to be my favorite, so I couldn't resist sharing a few Thanksgiving sweet dishes with you &mdash; and they're all vegan!</p> <h3>Pumpkin Pie(s)</h3> <p>I make these individual <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/11/chocolate-pumpkin-pie.html">Chocolate Pumpkin Pies</a> every year for the holiday. Peanut butter and chocolate take the dessert to another level &mdash; and if you have a peanut allergy, almond butter works just as well. Don't trust yourself to microwave the chocolate? Melt it using a double-boiler on the stove.</p> <h3>Butternut Crisp</h3> <p>This <a href="http://www.edibleperspective.com/home/2014/9/22/butternut-squash-apple-pear-crisp.html">twist on apple crisp</a> will get your guests talking. Prepare butternut squash, apple, and pears for baking by tossing them in a mixture of brown sugar, lemon juice, oat flour, and spices. Then top with an oatmeal crumble. If you don't have oat flour, it's easy to make at home by pulsing uncooked rolled oats in a food processor. Bonus savings if you have squash leftover from any of the other recipes you've made for your meal.</p> <h3>Pecan Pie</h3> <p>Talk about wonderful flavors here, this <a href="http://dessertswithbenefits.com/vegan-maple-pecan-pie/">Maple Pecan Pie</a> recipe will please your vegan and carnivore guests all at the same time &mdash; and it contains silken tofu (they'll never know, I promise!). If you're looking to cut costs, use all-purpose flour versus brown rice and vanilla extract versus vanilla paste, but don't skimp on the real maple syrup.</p> <p><em>What are you making for Thanksgiving this year? Please share a bite in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-recipes-for-a-frugal-vegetarian-thanksgiving" class="sharethis-link" title="Simple Recipes for a Frugal Vegetarian Thanksgiving" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-recipes-for-a-frugal-vegetarian-thanksgiving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-mouth-watering-lentil-recipes">35 Mouth Watering Lentil Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">25 Frugal Items for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-meatless-complete-proteins-that-will-help-you-lose-weight">8 Meatless Complete Proteins That Will Help You Lose Weight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-right-now-is-the-time-to-get-ready-for-thanksgiving">Wise Bread Reloaded: Right Now Is the Time to Get Ready for Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-meals-you-can-make-with-thanksgiving-leftovers">4 Meals You Can Make With Thanksgiving Leftovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment cheap eats frugal food recipes Thanksgiving vegan vegetarian Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:00:16 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1255030 at http://www.wisebread.com Wise Bread Reloaded: Right Now Is the Time to Get Ready for Thanksgiving http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-right-now-is-the-time-to-get-ready-for-thanksgiving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-bread-reloaded-right-now-is-the-time-to-get-ready-for-thanksgiving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-thanksgiving-86503672-small.jpg" alt="family thanksgiving" title="family thanksgiving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As of right now, Thanksgiving is just under two weeks away, and that seems like kind of a long way off. Two whole weekends and a some weekdays. Plenty of time, right?</p> <p>Next week you'll be busy with work and the kids and school and walking the dog and everything else and suddenly it'll be the weekend before Thanksgiving and you absolutely have to get your preparation done then, no excuses &mdash; at least the shopping &mdash; and guess what? Everyone else in your neighborhood is up against the same time crunch. The mart is a zoo and the parking is worse.</p> <p>Skip all that this year. After you finish reading this, close up your browser, get out your to-do list, and start getting ready for Thanksgiving. Do your shopping at the earliest opportunity, and then settle back and relax for a few days before you start on the make-aheads. Trust us. It'll be the easiest Thanksgiving ever.</p> <p>Before you go, here are some ideas from Wise Bread's archives to inspire you.</p> <h2>Right, Make Some Make-Aheads</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/thanksgiving_cooking.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>When it is time to make your make-aheads, what should you make? Try the classic <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-ahead-thanksgiving-dishes?ref=classicwb">Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Dishes</a> Elizabeth Lang shares with you. She also tells us what <em>not</em> to make ahead &mdash; like the turkey. Who wants leftover turkey on the Thanksgiving Day table?</p> <h2>Oops. Now What?</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/4139402140_57ee8e15d5_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Something's bound to go wrong during the flurry of pre-feast kitchen mayhem. Don't toss those mistakes! Rely on Meg Favreau's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-last-minute-thanksgiving-fixes?ref=classicwb">5 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Fixes</a> to steer you out of a jam.</p> <h2>When Three's a Crowd</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/couple_picnic.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Not everyone can (or wants) to celebrate with a big crowd of family and friends. Blogger Little House shares the secret joys of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turkey-dinner-for-two?ref=classicwb">Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner For Two</a>.</p> <h2>What to Do With the Leftovers</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/5367365131_45bb29b8d4_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Unfortunately, you won't be able to send everything home with your guests. And maybe you won't want to send anything home after you read the recipes Thursday Bram shares in her <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-meals-you-can-make-with-thanksgiving-leftovers?ref=classicwb">4 Meals You Can Make From Thanksgiving Leftovers</a>.</p> <p>If that's not enough, consider Sarah Winfrey's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tasty-ideas-for-leftover-turkey?ref=classicwb">10 Tasty Ideas for Leftover Turkey</a>. Hmmm, chili.</p> <h2>Finish Christmas Prep Now, Too?</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/605x340xholiday_mall_crowd.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>You do if you're anything like Kentin Waits, who gets his <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/early-holiday-shopping-why-i-finish-by-thanksgiving?ref=classicwb">gift shopping done by Thanksgiving</a>. Now that's a relaxing holiday schedule.</p> <p><em>When will you be ready for Thanksgiving? What are your plans? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-right-now-is-the-time-to-get-ready-for-thanksgiving" class="sharethis-link" title="Wise Bread Reloaded: Right Now Is the Time to Get Ready for Thanksgiving" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-reloaded-right-now-is-the-time-to-get-ready-for-thanksgiving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-alternative-ways-to-do-thanksgiving">6 Alternative Ways to Do Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-thanksgiving-traditions-you-should-skip">5 Thanksgiving Traditions You Should Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-16-holiday-hazards">Beware These 16 Holiday Hazards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment celebrations holiday meals Holidays Thanksgiving Sat, 15 Nov 2014 12:00:14 +0000 Lars Peterson 1255632 at http://www.wisebread.com