Just For Fun Holiday Dolls Blog

A Christmas Story DVD Review

Adapted from humorist Jean Shepherd’s hilarious memoir In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, A Christmas Story has climbed the ranks of the annual holiday classic films list to claim its spot among the hallowed elite of the genre.

If you’ve ever tried to lick a frozen telephone pole or found yourself in a ridiculous bunny outfit on Christmas morning, then A Christmas Story is one comedy you won’t want to miss.

A Christmas Story focuses on one central character, fifth grader Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) and his all encompassing quest to receive a Daisy Brand Red-Ryder BB rifle for Christmas.

Although I don’t think he realizes he could put an eye out with one of those things… Thwarting Ralphie at every turn are his mother (Melinda Dillon) and father (Darren McGavin) who seem absolutely oblivious to their young son’s dream.

Unable to come right out and say what he wants, Ralphie drops subtle hints around the house such as placing clipped out magazine ads for the gun in his parents’ nightstand reading material.

When prodded for his true Christmas wish, Ralphie blurts out that he wants a Daisy Brand Red-Ryder BB gun, but his mother’s only reply is, “You don’t want one of those. You’ll shoot your eye out!”

A Christmas Story is filled with memorable scenes and highlights that have helped built a cult following around the life of a young boy obsessed with Christmas who is surrounded by a varied cast eccentric friends and family members.

When Ralphie’s father beams with pride at his ability to win a newspaper contest, his proudly displays his prize in the front window of the family home, a three foot lamp with a woman’s long, stocking covered leg as its base.

Embarrassed, Ralphie’s mother “accidentally” breaks it, sparking a war of words with her husband. Meanwhile, Ralphie dreams of saving the whole family with his Red-Ryder BB gun, thus earning the family’s undying gratitude.

One of the best sequences in the film involves a family trip to the local department store, where Ralphie and his little brother Randy meet with the store Santa Claus near closing time.

Following a long, extended wait to reach the front of the line to see Santa, Ralphie is so brimming with anticipation to tell Santa what he wants that he can’t speak.

So, Santa convinces Ralphie that he wants a football. But before Santa’s helper can push Ralphie down the North Pole slide, Ralphie blurts out his true wish, only to hear Santa’s reply, “You’ll shoot your eye out with that, kid!”

One of the best Christmas comedies ever made, although few come close to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story is a memorable holiday classic the entire family can enjoy.

Much like It’s A Wonderful Life, the film has only grown in popularity in the years since its release. The timeless nature of its subject matter lends itself well to annual holiday viewing, and it remains one of a handful of “must see” films for the Christmas season.

 

 

10 Great Winter Fashion Trends This Season

It’s that time of the year again with snowflakes falling, yuletide cheer and Christmas shopping, hot cups of coco and cozy warm fireplaces with sizzling embers crackling away.

But what’s heating up the fashion scene this winter, a closer look reveals some interesting insights on the latest winter fashions.

This seasons winter colors

True to the season, soft snowy white shades seem to be a good choice for clothes that blend in with the winter theme. Another popular color to helps produce a sharp contrast is Black and various shades of bright black.

While dull and muted greys give a nice warm and fuzzy touch and hues of rich red right through to mellow maroon are reflective of the season.

For women, earthy colors ranging from the deep shades of olive, maroon, brown, deep blue’s to chocolate brown are colors set to form the trend.

While for men, muted shades of pink, lavender, brick red, grey, deep shades of purple and black are what’s going to be setting the stage for fashion.

Hair

Choosing the right hair style to go with the fashion and season can be a daunting task. You don’t want to be seen in last year’s styles and certainly not something that’s not the hottest rage at the moment.

So if you’re trying to figure out the hairdo that’s the pick of the season by stylists and fashion models; it’s time to let you in on that little secret, apparently for women wearing your hair in the all so classic ‘Bob Cut’ seems to be the favored trend this season.

Men on the other to make the cut will have to aim to get their hair into the bushy straight yet carefully disheveled look that gets tucked away into the tops of their mufflers.

Hats

If you like hats you’re in luck, this season hoods, hats and caps are the rage. Large knitted beanies or those furry oversized Moroccan hats all in this winter.

The styles in vogue are hats that are either huge and puffy or tiny and pointed. Fur lined hoods blended into the garment are also turning heads this winter.

Coats

This season coats come with a nice thick mantle like look that feature tousled sleeves and funneled collars. Other patterns included coats with widely placed collars and a rich furry texture.

Fabrics

The prevailing tendencies for fabrics this season are fabrics that are over-worked with several different effects across their surfaces. The fabrics are very solid or concrete with a sort of untamed natural feel blended with soft lustres.

Prints around the winter theme are almost subtle while the focus in on rich exterior of the fabric.

Lightweight wool or reworked cottons are the base for designs that will debut this winter.

Effects

Complementing the feel and textures of fabrics the designs around these effects that are set to make the stage this winter, range from, long pleats, to subtle wrinkles and clearly visible over-stitches, to the blistered and tangled effects.

Cashmere worked in with regular wool and mohair is blended to give the fabrics a light yet visibly textured look.

While some of the other fabrics are roughly cut to give a thatched heavily threaded effect.

Most knits are made with heavily emphasized gauges to draw out the raw protective feel against the winter chill.

Denim is one of those fabrics that will probably be around forever, this winter, the theme is a slight gleam in the denim with an oxidized look. In fact this seasons going to have you seeing a lot of ultra cool effects.

Scarves

This season, trade in your old winter muffler for those large woolen scarves that can be draped over your shoulders like a stole. Embodied with various prints on dulled wool the scarf lends a casual yet protective loo to the wearer be it a man or a woman.

Footwear

Ankle length shoes in shades of silver and grey are this winters winner. They shriek elegance and comfort in a very casual sort of way. For women transparent slippers laced with silver give an almost Cinderella effect.

Jewellery

Jewellery designs highlighting the winter season are marvelous add on silver snowflake pendants and large broaches like a sprig of holly or mistletoe make some really eye catching accessories.

Chunky silver bracelets and large but light earrings that dangle add to the effect.

So, make sure you watch out for these lovely trends that are bound to take the country by storm. And honestly, you really do not have to own expensive designer wear to make a statement.

Even your local stores will stock up on some of these new designs. This winter season ensure you treat yourself to some of these trendy fashions and go paint the town red!

Great Online Christmas Shopping Tips

Christmas shopping is no longer confined to the local mall or an annual catalog that happens to find it‘s way into your mailbox. Thanks to advanced technology today there is a whole world of shopping right at your fingertips and with a click of the mouse you can shop from the comfort of your own home.

The internet has revolutionized the way people shop and what better way to do your Christmas shopping than from the comfort of your home.  

No longer must we get all dressed up and weather the harsh winter days in the hopes of checking a few names off of our Christmas list.  No more crowded and hectic stores to stress over.

Many of your favorite boutiques and store aisles are virtual and a shopping cart is something you fill with images of a product and a checkout is something that you click on to confirm your order.  

Things have changed a lot in the past years and I wonder how many of us couldn’t even imagine what life would be like without the convenience of shopping on the internet.

Here are some tips for online Christmas shopping that can help to make the experience a smooth and pleasant one.

Great Online Christmas Shopping Tips  #1: Be prepared

It’s a good idea to start your shopping with a complete list. This will save you both time and money with having to go back and place a separate order later on.

With most online stores you only pay a flat shipping fee and in some cases, if you spend a certain amount of money on your order the shipping and handling fee is waived. It’s always best to get everything you want – all at once, to save on shipping if you can.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #2: The early bird gets the gift

If you want to get the best selection, begin your holiday shopping early. Internet stores generally carry large quantities of every item but they can and do sell out.  As Christmas draws near, it becomes more difficult to find the exact item that you are looking for.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #3: Shop Safe

When ordering anything online, check product reviews if available.  Always shop secured websites because you will be entering your credit card information for payment.

You don’t want your financial information accessed by anyone else, which is why all secured websites let you know how they protect your data.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #4: Wrap it up

If you’re like most of us, there is not a lot of extra time around the holidays, so if you need to save some time on wrapping, most online stores offer a gift wrapping service for a small fee.

At some point during the ordering process, you may be asked if you would like to add gift wrap or a name tag.

Online Christmas Shopping Tip #5: Check Delivery Dates

When placing your order make sure that the item is in stock or will be delivered in time for Christmas.  Many times, especially near the holidays, items will go on a back-order status.

It is not uncommon for an advanced order item to have a delivery date of January, so be sure to check the status of the items in your shopping cart, along with their expected delivery dates.

It’s also a good idea to check on the company’s shipping policy, delivery time for in-stock items and their refund policy.

 

 

 

The Last Minute Christmas Shoppers

If you are like most people today you plan to do the majority of your Christmas shopping at the last minute. Visit any mall or shopping center in the final days before Christmas and you are likely to find parking lots that are filled to capacity and stores that are filled with shoppers who are still searching for the perfect Christmas gift for their friends or family members.

As it gets closer to Christmas the crowds tend to get more restless and the search for the perfect gift becomes a search for something that barely resembles an acceptable gift.

Although Christmas falls at the end of the year and people have a whole year to prepare for this joyous occasion most of us leave their shopping until the last minute every year.

This article will discuss a few different types of last minute Christmas shoppers. There are those who do their Christmas shopping at the last minute out of necessity, those who do it because they have procrastinated and those who do it because they find it to be exhilarating.

People become last minute Christmas shoppers for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most innocent last minute shoppers are those who shop at the last minute out of necessity.

Consider college students who typically end the semester around mid to late December.

Many of these students are living on campus without access to a car. This can make Christmas shopping quite difficult but when you combine this living situation with the fact that they have finals to take at the end of semester, Christmas shopping becomes downright impossible.

Other last minute Christmas shoppers include those who are just happy procrastinators. They may go to stores every weekend in October or November.

This could be an excellent opportunity for them to get their Christmas shopping done early but instead they wind up window shopping or purchasing items for themselves.

While they are aware the Christmas season is approaching, they don’t feel compelled to start shopping until the absolute last minute. When this happens they find themselves in the unfortunate position of fighting the crowds in a last minute Christmas shopping frenzy.

The Last Minute Christmas Shoppers

And then there are others who are last minute Christmas shoppers simply because this is when they prefer to do their Christmas shopping. Some of these shoppers see shopping at the last minute as a challenge.

They know they are short on time but are confident they will be able to find great gifts for everyone on their Christmas list this year.

Other shoppers who intentionally wait until the last minute to do their Christmas shopping may do so because they enjoy the excitement of the crowds and the treasure hunt.

Although last minute Christmas shopping can be stressful it is often exciting. Those who enjoy this excitement love shopping at the last minute because it gives them a sense of energy they wouldn’t feel if they were shopping for Christmas presents in October.

 

 

Creative Ways To Recycle Your Christmas Cards

Don’t throw your Christmas cards away –  there are so many creative ways to use your Christmas cards and many of which you can do with your kids.  We have brought together some ideas below:

Christmas jigsaw game

Make a Christmas jigsaw game. Gather 10-20 cards and cut each one into three or four pieces, using straight lines.  Shuffle them up and lay them out on a flat service such as a dining table or the floor – then put them back together again.  

Store the cards in a shoe-box for next time.  This is fun on a quiet family evening at the beginning of the season as it helps to get everybody into the Christmas spirit.

Christmas tree ornaments

Make cinnamon stick ornaments for the Christmas tree. Wrap a small bundle of cinnamon sticks together with a pretty ribbon tied in a bow and leave a loop for hanging.  

Using a small dab of glue, attach a pretty shape cut from a Christmas card with pinking shears to the center of the ribbon bow to finish the ornament off.  These look pretty and smell delicious too.

Scented sachets

Make scented sachets to give as gifts or fragrance your own home.  Simply glue the bottom and side edges of the card together and then slip a small amount of potpourri (or a cotton ball on which you have dropped a little Christmas essential oil) into the space. Use a hole punch to make two holes on the top edge, through which you can thread a pretty ribbon before tying a bow.

If you leave a loop in the ribbon, the sachets can be hung on door handles, coat hooks or radiators (the heat will help to release the scent, but it won’t last as long) to create a welcoming Christmas atmosphere.

Christmas mobile or string

Cut shapes out of the cards in matching pairs. Hearts work nicely, as do simple Christmas tree shapes and even plain squares and circles.  Stick the cards back to back and laminate them, then punch a hole in them and use to make a colorful and child friendly mobile or string to decorate next year.

As a variation you could back each shape with a colored piece of card or construction paper and write on it the date and name of the person who sent the card.

Christmas card game

Cut playing-card shapes out of the cards, stick a piece of plain card over any writing if necessary and use to make a Christmas game or quiz for your children to play next year then laminate to protect them.

Gift tags

A traditional activity, but one which never fails to amuse the kids  is making gift tags for next year’s presents. Use pinking sheers, a hole punch and leftover ribbon

Gift bags

Make gift bags for next year by saving smart paper bags. Cut a nice shape out of each card and stick it to the front of the bag (covering any shop labels if necessary).

Sometimes one Christmas card will yield many different bag decorations.   Add a little ribbon bow just above the card and wrap your present in tissue paper before putting it into the bag. This looks lovely with brown paper bags and tartan ribbons.

Creative Ways To Recycle Your Christmas Cards

Miniature Christmas cards

Some Christmas card designs can be cut and folded into miniature Christmas cards for the kids to give next year or for decorating the dolls house.

Christmas screensaver

Scan your favorite cards into the computer  and some of your favorite messages from inside the cards as well – and make them into a Christmas wallpaper or screensaver with a photo program. Children love this and it is a great memento if you do it each year.

Lacing card

Cut out the pictures on the larger cards, punch holes around the edges with a hole punch, add a shoelace or brightly colored yarn (with sticky tape wrapped around the ends) and you have a cheerful and cheap lacing card for little ones. If they are particularly popular you could laminate them to make them last longer.

Christmas confetti

Make some Christmas confetti to use next year (scatter it on the Christmas table or put a pinch inside your Christmas cards and gifts.   Use either a plain hole punch or a special Christmas one and choose the most colorful areas from each card to cut.

Gold and silver looks very effective, especially mixed in with red and green.  Small scraps of leftover wrapping paper can be used too. You can keep the children busy with this for hours.

 

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