Christmas in July with the Salvation Army

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The Salvation Army logo (Anglophone Version)

The Salvation Army logo (Anglophone Version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas in July with the Salvation Army

It may be 98 degrees out there and it’s definitely not snowing but the Salvation Army is making it feel like Christmas in July. The Red Army is here once again to rally support for those in need. It’s a given when we see the memorable Red Kettles and Bell Ringers, that the Salvation Army is planning something special.

This year, they aren’t waiting until December arrives, they are doing it right now. The project kicked off last July 22 and ended on the 27th. The Salvation Army is a Christian denomination and charitable organization with a quasi- military structure. Their main goal is to run charity shops, operate shelters for the homeless and provide disaster relief and humanitarian aid to developing countries. This organization consists of soldiers, officers, and other adherents or volunteers a.k.a Salvationists.

This project by the Salvation Army of Brown County, aims to raise more than $15, 000. They also mentioned that they are looking for volunteers and bell ringers, to sign up simply visit their website.

The campaign was a success since a lot of companies agreed to give donations for the week- long event. These are Schreiber Foods, Broadway Automotive, Wisconsin Public Service Foundation, Cellcom and Fox Communities Credit Union.
The county coordinator Captain Ken Shiels said that its a first for Brown County hosting such an event. He added that a number of other Army locations were inspired by the event to organize their own campaign.

Last year when Brown County held the Red Kettle Christmas Campaign, they were not able to reach their goal of 1.2 million dollars. They came 887, 000 dollars short. This made them more eager to be able to provide more for the needs of the community. He remarked that it is a great chance for people to be able to ring bells even if it’s the heart of summer. This proves that Christmas can be felt all- year round.

Aside from Festival Foods locations hosting the main event, Culver’s will also be hosting some special events in the area, in line with the Christmas in July campaign. They promised to donate 10% from all sales made between 5 to 8pm.

The Advisory Board Chair for the Salvation Army Dawn Foeller says that they are certain that even if it’s not the usual Red Kettle Campaign, people will be encouraged to donate for a good cause during Christmas in July. After all, being generous and charitable should not only be for the holiday season, but also throughout the year.

Sarah Palin’s New Book Tackles The War Of Christmas

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Sarah Palin’s New Book Tackles The War Of Christmas

Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and vice-presidential nominee believes that political correctness is destroying the spirit of Christmas. In her candid new book, she tackles the notion that Christmas has turned into a commercialized shopping holiday that has little to do with the birth of Christ. Her book challenges the “politically correct” removal of religious references to the holiday which replaces the phrase “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” or “Merry X-mas.”

English: Camp Buehring, Kuwait - Alaska Govern...

English: Camp Buehring, Kuwait – Alaska Governor Sarah Palin talks to Nome, Alaska, native 1st Sgt. Dewey Green. Palin visited the Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment, Alaska National Guard to learn about their mission in Kuwait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Known for her candor, Sarah Palin hopes to shed light on what she believes is an effort to remove Christ from the Christmas season. She provides advice for those that wish to “protect the spirit of Christmas,” and fight back against a movement to remove the religious elements of the holiday.

The book, which is scheduled for release in November, is a light-hearted, yet thought-provoking read that is a must for any true believer. In her new book, Sara Palin includes festive Christmas recipes that emphasize the true meaning of Christmas. She also offers tips on how to defend Christmas to the “politically correct” who want to destroy the spirit of the season.

Sara Palin argues for an increase in public displays of the holiday’s religious roots. She writes that Christmas pageants, nativity scenes and school plays are part of the Christian tradition and should be preserved in the true spirit of Christmas.

Sarah Palin’s new book is sure to provoke a debate into the true meaning of the Christmas season. A must read for Christians and non-Christians alike, this book will get people talking.

Christmas Carnival – November 28

Christmas Tree with Lots of Presents Picture 2...

Christmas Tree with Lots of Presents Picture 2 of 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Welcome to the November 28, 2013 edition of Christmas 2013 Carnival. With the end of tax season, it feels a little bit like Christmas around the house today. Plus we had 19 submissions to the carnival which isn’t scheduled to be posted until November. If we get a lot of submissions again, there just might be a July carnival too. Take a look at our great articles and share them on all the social networks. Merry After Tax Day.

Jessica Smtih presents Prom Bouquet Ideas for 2013 posted at Flowers in Folsom, CA – Folsom Florist – Miracle Flowers, saying, “Prom is surely one of the most thrilling and unforgettable events of high school. After you have successfully chosen your formal wear, it is time for you to plan your prom flowers. The prom flowers should always complement you and your date’s dress and reflect your own unique character. Instead of using conventional corsage, a small nosegay or bouquet is a stylish trend today. From flower to color selection, there are many different prom bouquet ideas that you need to consider.”

Tim Hall presents 10 Lessons Leaders Learn from Youth Mission Trips posted at Summer Nanny Jobs, saying, “If you’re receptive to the experience and approach leading a youth mission trip with an open mind, these are only a sampling of the lessons you can learn along the way.”

Alex Oshunloye presents posted at, saying, “Gifts online, hamper for delivery in Ireland and worldwide. Gift ideas for birthday, wedding, new baby, all occasions. Shop online or call 35318611580.”

Michael Fisher presents L & S Episodes – Without A Trace Re-weavers posted at Home – Without A Trace Re-weavers, saying, “Without A Trace offers a range of services for sheepskin coats, women’s sheepskin jackets and of course all leather and suede coats and other garments. Cleaning and repair of leather coats are our specialty.”


Jim Wilson presents 30 Blogs for Parents Who Love to Throw Elaborate Kids’ Parties posted at Babysitters, saying, “General party planning tips often fall to the wayside in favor of highlighting nifty, handcrafted decorative touches or the perfectly decorated cupcake.”

Layla Martinez presents 10 of the Best Places to Have a First Birthday Party posted at Live-In Nanny, saying, “Your child’s first birthday may not be a day that he’ll remember for the rest of his life, but it’s certainly a moment that you’ll never forget.”

Kaitlyn Johnson presents 20 Blogs with Ideas for Celebrating Baby’s First Easter posted at Newborn Care, saying, “When it comes to celebrating firsts, there’s something special about celebrating that first Easter together.”

Caleb Hill presents Getting the Most Out of Your Nanny Conference Experience posted at Nanny Classifieds, saying, “Each year nannies across the nation gather for various educational events that are put on by different nanny organizations.If you plan on attending one or all of these events, there are simple things you can do to make sure you get the most out of your conference experience.”


Denise Young presents 30 Blogs with Ideas for Making Traveling with Kids Fun posted at Au Pair Care, saying, “Traveling with kids can get a bit stressful when the kids become bored, and what can start out as a fun trip quickly turns dismal when fighting breaks out in the backseat.”

MITCHELL MORRIS presents 30 Blogs with Sample Scrapbook Pages posted at Full Time Nanny, saying, “Scrapbooking is a hobby that has been around for hundreds of years. It has evolved considerably since it first started with people saving newspaper clippings and writing poems in their books.”


Steve Jackson presents 9 Ways to Recycle Your Christmas Tree posted at Housekeeping, saying, “Opting for a real Christmas tree lends a delicious and seasonal scent to your home that an artificial tree simply cannot replicate.”

Alaina Moore presents How to Make a Dipped Fruit Arrangement at Home posted at, saying, “Dipped fruit arrangements are an exciting and edible alternative to traditional flower bouquets for centerpieces or gifts.”

Sarita Rajiv presents A dåse of love posted at Ilovegifting, saying, “Know someone who has been having a hard time in their life? How about giving them a Dåse of Love this Christmas?”

Arianna Lee presents Gift Etiquette for Kids’ Birthdays posted at Part Time Nanny, saying, “Even though the vibe surrounding a kid’s party tends to be more relaxed than its adult counterparts, there are still some basic rules of etiquette that you should take into account before you send out those invitations.”

Denise Thompson presents 30 Blogs Featuring the Most Unusual Gift Ideas for New Moms posted at Find A Babysitter, saying, “New moms love nothing more than opening gifts from friends, family members and colleagues. Behind the endless reams of wrapping paper, there lies a treasure trove of practical, thoughtful and sometimes highly unusual offerings for mom and new baby.”

Kaitlyn Johnson presents 10 Personalized Gift Ideas for a Baby’s Baptism posted at Newborn Care, saying, “Baptism is an important milestone in a child’s life , as a result, it’s customary to commemorate the occasion with a gift. For such an intensely personal occasion, a personalized gift may be more appropriate than a generic one.”


Diego Brown presents 10 Awesome Magic Spells from the Best Fairy Tales posted at National Nannies, saying, “No fairy tale would be complete without a witch, wizard or some mysterious character casting a spell to add the flair of mystery and excitement to the story.”

Simpsonsparadox presents Currier & Ives posted at Simpson’s Paradox.

Jana presents A Christmas Story About Expectations posted at Blog, saying, “A journey of self-discovery through the Christmas Season.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of christmas 2010 carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Christmas Carnival – January 8

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Welcome to the January 8, 2013 edition of Christmas 2012 Carnival. In this edition we have a nice post from Layla Martinez who looks at ways to celebrate the Holidays With Your Live-in Nanny. Jeff Moore has 30 Blogs that present Teacher Holiday Gift Ideas that you might like. And finally, Sharon Moore has a good number of Blogs that feature Handmade Gift Ideas. Hope that you enjoy the articles, bookmark, share, tweet, like on Facebook and come back for more seasonal gift ideals.

Teri Jones presents How To Become A Nanny posted at Nanny Jobs, saying, “Although there aren’t any specific requirements to work as a nanny, most agencies and families look for a solid foundation of education and experience.”


Jonny Edwar presents Christmas Lights posted at jururekamphoto: from absurd-tivist.


Layla Martinez presents 5 Tips for Celebrating the Holidays With Your Live-in Nanny posted at Live-In Nanny, saying, “Your relationship with your live-in nanny is different than any other kind of employment relationship.”

Layla Martinez presents 30 Blogs with Tips for Planning Holiday Luncheons posted at Live-In Nanny, saying, “Holiday luncheons are almost as much of a staple during the holiday season as holiday parties are, with the main difference being that you’re usually dealing with bigger crowds and guests who are brought together because of similar interests or involvements.”


Jeff Moore presents 30 Blogs with Great Teacher Holiday Gift Ideas posted at Babysitting Jobs, saying, “As Christmas break draws near, you’ve probably found yourself desperately trying to come up with ideas for what to get your kids’ teachers for Christmas.”

Sharon Moore presents 30 Blogs Featuring Handmade Gift Ideas posted at Nanny Jobs, saying, “Handmade gifts are something special that you can give those that you care about. Every gift you make includes a little piece of yourself.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of christmas 2010 carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Christmas Carnival – December 25

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English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Esperanto: Patro Kristnasko kaj malgranda knabino Suomi: Joulupukki ja pieni tyttö (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Welcome to the December 25, 2012 edition of Christmas 2012 Carnival. In this edition of the carnival we start with an article from Arianna Lee who has the 30 Blogs with Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas for those wrapping some late Christmas gifts. Dan Robinson has a nice post on the 10 best iPhone Apps for Tracking Holiday Expenses. Are you wondering How to dress your dog this Christmas with a Santa Hat? Talia has an article the covers the topic in detail. Finally Shelby Martin takes a look at 4 Ways to Make the Holiday Season More Enjoyable. Hope your Christmas is great, you like the articles presented here, bookmark, share, tweet, like on Facebook and come back next time.

Michelle Brown presents 30 Blogs with Creative Christmas Party Ideas posted at Nanny.

Laura Anderson presents How Much to Tip Your Nanny on Christmas posted at eNannySource, saying, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year again – it’s Christmastime! Along with all the friends and family you have on your gift giving list, you’re also probably trying to figure out how much to tip your nanny.”

Tool Box Solutions presents Hot Zones within your store – Making the most of your in-store time with your customers – Part 2 posted at ToolBox Blog, saying, “Once you have the map made the next step is to build in points of action – finding ways to interact with customers as they make their way through your store. There are a many possibilities that present themselves.”

Arianna Lee presents 30 Blogs with Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas posted at Part Time Nanny, saying, “When it comes to Christmas gifts, buying them is only half the battle. Once they’re purchased you have another hurdle to overcome: finding a creative way to wrap them.”

Tool Box Solutions presents Hot Zones within your store – Making the most of your in-store time with your customers – Part 1 posted at ToolBox Blog, saying, “Where do clients spend the most time in your store and how are you behaving with them in these areas? Answering these queries can help you open up the potential to gain those additive sales that we are all looking for.”

Steve Jackson presents 30 Blogs with the Best Holiday Decorating Ideas posted at Housekeeping, saying, “Twinkling lights and boughs of holly may make your spirit bright, but sometimes it’s a little hard to get started on your holiday decorating. Try to make it fun by turning on some holiday music, getting the family involved, and checking out these 30 blog entries that will inspire you to get going, and maybe even to try something new this year.”

Cherry Liu presents 30 Blogs with the Best Holiday Drink Recipes posted at House Sitting Jobs, saying, “One of the best things about the holiday season is being together with family and friends. Many of these get-togethers are in the form of holiday parties and one way to make these occasions more fun and festive is to serve specialty drinks. Whether they’re alcoholic cocktails, or less potent mocktails, these drinks can add a fun twist to your holiday celebrations.”

Alaina Moore presents 30 Blogs with Winning Christmas Desserts posted at aupair.


Dan Robinson presents 10 iPhone Apps for Tracking Holiday Expenses posted at Aupair Jobs, saying, “It’s no secret that between gifts, decorations and food for lavish meals, holiday expenses can quickly begin to add up.”

Brittany Harris presents Is Green the Color of Your Christmas This Year? posted at, saying, “Many people associate the color green with Christmas and rightfully so—from the holly to the trees to the lights, toys and sugar cookies, green is everywhere – along with the whole ‘lotta green that goes right out of our pocket books.”


Talia presents How to dress your dog this Christmas with a Santa Hat posted at Golden Retriever Dog & Puppy Lovers, saying, “What could be cuter than dressing your dog up in a Santa hat, bandanna or a Christmas collar. Check out our tips on choosing the right gear to outfit your pooch this Christmas”

Shelby Martin presents 4 Ways to Make the Holiday Season More Enjoyable posted at Blog, saying, “When most parents hear the word “Holidays”, “Christmas” or “Hanukkah” there is a feeling of joy and excitement mixed with a bit of anxiety and possibly even panic. Everything around, from store fronts to advertisements, says that this time of year is supposed to be fun, peaceful and all about family, but rarely do parents feel that way. It is possible, however, to make it to the end of the season with some joy and peace left intact.”


Sharon Moore presents 10 Gifts Nannies Can Give Their Charges posted at Nanny Jobs, saying, “What do you get for the kids who have everything? It can be difficult to find a gift for your charge that is both unique and conveys how much you enjoy watching them. You want your gift to be something special and something they will remember you by.”

Susan Reynolds presents Light Therapy Pros and Cons posted at Centre for Emotional Well-Being, saying, “If you or your loved ones are feeling down in the dumps this Christmas you may be suffering from winter depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder. But don’t panic – there is a simple solution. Check the pros and cons of Light Therapy boxes. You may like to pop a light box in the Christmas stocking to perk up your mood!”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of christmas 2010 carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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5 Holiday Shopping Trends Shaking Things Up

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Holiday Shopping Trends

Holiday Shopping Trends

Holiday shopping innovation continues apace with the blizzard of new gadgets and gizmos available on the market.

Have you noticed this, too? These changing shopping trends are a reflection of social and economic trends bumping together similar to the confluence of moisture and cold air that creates a fierce Nor’easter winter storm.

Unlike the destruction a winter storm can bring, these holiday shopping trends are all very positive for the consumer. None of them require you to de-ice your car or shovel the sidewalk, either!

Let’s look at five trends that continue to surprise and delight — and will shape the holiday shopping landscape for a long time to come.

1) Pop-Up Shops

“Pop-up shops” are a recent trend that shows no signs of slowing. The fact that this trend is spreading and evolving is great for holiday shoppers looking for a unique gift and/or experience.

Once conceived as short-term, specialty retail — think high-end mass retailer concept store meets deserted urban storefront — the pop-up phenomenon is being embraced by nearly everyone. For example, micro-businesses in small towns are using pop-up shops — even pop-up restaurants — as an economic driver and placemaking tool. The small scale and short duration allows entrepreneurs to test the idea and the location, all while building some dramatic word-of-mouth.

As SQFT, a company that matches entrepreneurs with empty spaces, writes, “Ground level retail will completely change in the coming years, that’s exciting for new ideas and old spaces.”

As you’ll see, trend #3 — mobile shopping — makes finding and promoting these pop-ups possible.

2) Experiential Gifts

One hundred years ago the shopping slogan was “Say it with flowers,” but today that might be a snappy slogan which essentially says, “Say it by doing something interesting or meaningful.”

Americans are increasingly forgoing purchasing “things” and instead focusing on purchasing “experiences.” Millennials in particular are expanding this trend, and they happen to be the largest population group, now eclipsing the Baby Boomers.

Holidays might have once been spent with your family in a fancy restaurant — today’s holiday gathering might be a trip somewhere exotic in lieu of gifts, or volunteering. Said to have originated in England in the 1990s, experiential gifts are now a growing industry. Many specialized companies are willing to help you organize and plan an experiential holiday gift. Two examples are Cloud9 and Xperience Days.

Trend #1 plays into this experiential gift wave, and you can probably already guess the importance of trend #3.

Mobile Shopping

3) Mobile Shopping

Smartphones are changing everything all over again — especially now that more than 50% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone and some are as inexpensive as $20/month.

Mobile shopping includes everything from actions to apps. For example, it’s now possible to snap your family photo using your smartphone and then immediately order your Christmas photo cards right from the phone, too.

Smartphone apps are making it easier, faster, and cheaper to discover holiday gifts. For example, here are just three apps radically remaking the holiday shopping experience. Sundrop Reward Card app replaces all of your pesky reward cards and sends personalized coupon offers to you. Point Inside makes it easy for you to quickly locate stores, kiosks, terminal gates, handicap elevators, full-feature restrooms, escalators, and many various services for guests in over 805 airports & malls (duty-free shopping, cha-ching!).

Why stop at real-world shops and shopping? It is literally possible to use an app called MyTown2 to move shops between your “virtual” city and your friends’ “virtual” cities and buy virtual holiday gifts — for real-life cash money!

No joke, these apps are just the beginning!

4) Locally Made/Owned

There is a growing movement of independent businesses and entrepreneurship since the Great Recession of 2008. Moreover, this trend is climbing amongst nearly every demographic and in cities large and small. I witnessed this first-hand as the co-owner of a neighborhood grocery started after a job loss.

Trends #1-3 are meshing with a shift towards relocalization of our economy. This is a large and exciting change — and it will continue to influence holiday shopping for years to come.


5) Artisan/Craftsperson Made

In the middle of this shift toward economic relocalization you’ll find a resurgence of locally made products, such as craft beer and artisan cheese. This burgeoning localization makes holiday shopping more unique nearly everywhere across America.

As Sara Horowitz writes in The Atlantic, “The values of this generation of independent-minded workers aren’t wild and new. Instead, they represent a return to the values we abandoned at the height of the industrial revolution.”

In other words, it’s trends #1-4 colliding with the changing economy experienced in trend #5.

What do all these trends mean for the Ghosts of Christmas Future?

Well, a number of good things for the consumer: faster information and greater social and economic connection, just to start. Hopefully, these trends will also mean more opportunities for gift-givers and receivers alike.

And yes, these trends will ensure a stocking full of gifts (or experiences) to close out this year and prepare for the next.

Katie McCaskey is a freelance  journalist of small business who writes for Vistaprint, a leading provider of custom holiday cards, photo cards, calendars and countless other personalized gifts this holiday season.Katie is also co-owner of George Bowers Grocery, a neighborhood grocery/café/beer garden in Staunton, Virginia.

PHOTO: Christine Zenino

PHOTO: Phil Campbell

PHOTO: Roberto Verzo

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