How to make christmas come faster

The Christmas season brings happiness, family, and even miracles.

by Kaylin Kaupish
Posted in God’s Grace , Nov 18, 2020

How to make christmas come faster

As some of us prepare for a new kind of Christmastime—with dinner over Zoom and socially distanced gift-giving—let’s not forget the reason for the season. We compiled some of our favorite Christmas stories, each of them a reminder that amazing things can happen during this time of year, no matter the circumstances.

Here are ten miraculous Christmas stories to keep you and your loved ones in the Christmas spirit.

1. The Christmas Gift That Kept on Giving
Christmas was going to be a struggle for Connie Casares that year. A single mom with two teenagers, she had to work two part-time jobs while also taking college courses at night. She hardly had the money for Christmas dinner and presents. So when she got home one night to a beautiful Christmas basket on her porch, it felt like a gift from heaven. But who sent it? There was no card. And should she accept it? Especially when so many other members of her family were worse off than her…

2. A Christmas Eve Coincidence Saves a Life
Every year, Roberta Messner looked forward to her friend’s Christmas Eve party. But that year she was late. She worked as a nurse in the ICU and a new nurse had asked if Roberta could cover her Christmas Eve shift. She almost said no but a voice inside told her over and over to take the shift. Roberta worked the extra shift and showed up to the party at midnight, just as guests were leaving. Why did I even bother coming this late? she thought. Suddenly, a screamed pierced through the night. “Help!” someone shouted.

3. My Sister’s Last Christmas Gift
After her sister died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm, Judith Preston didn’t know how she would make it through Christmas without her. Then one night, Judith had the strangest dream. She saw a pair of earrings — thin, hand-forged hoops and dangling, delicate chains, all in shimmering gold. It was so vivid, Judith knew the dream must mean something. Was this her sister’s way of communicating with her? The thought was as confusing as it was comforting. Why these earrings that she had never seen before?

4. A Pair of Miraculous Christmas Rescues
Judy Zwirblis comes from a family of rescuers. One of her sons is in the Army, the other in the Coast Guard. Her father was in the Navy and then the Coast Guard, where he led dangerous air search and rescue missions for lost mariners. Her family has dozens of tales of close calls and miraculous rescues. But one stands out above them all – the one in December of 1954, a week before Christmas. And this wasn’t just one rescue. It was two. One was a sinking ship. The other was a girl who fell through the ice. And her family had no idea there was a divine connection between them.

5. Special Delivery
Nadine Colgan flipped through her Christmas catalog. She searched for the perfect gift for her neighbor, who had been so kind and helpful after Nadine’s husband had passed. As she flipped, she stopped on a picture of a mustached man in a gray bowler hat on the cover of a six-volume boxed set of DVDs. Hercule Poirot. He had been her husband’s favorite. She loved watching him watch the show, always on the edge of his seat. Nadine sighed and ordered a comfy sweatshirt for her neighbor. But when the package arrived, it wasn’t the gift she had been expecting…

6. The Star That Saved Christmas
Crime-scene investigator Craig Johnson had hoped it would be a quiet Christmas Eve, but at midnight he got a call to come to a robbery scene. He found a couple in tears, their children still sleeping. Their home had been robbed and every gift was gone. “We saved all year for those gifts,” the husband said to Craig. “If there’s anything you can do. ” Craig wasn’t sure. The robber had been thorough, leaving no fingerprints. After checking everything, there was nothing more he could do. “I’m sorry,” he said, heading for the door. Then something caught his eye. A gold glint behind the front door.

7. Christmas Without Chris
After her son Chris’ sudden death, Diann Seelbach and her husband weren’t sure how to spend their first Christmas without him. Should they spend it at home or take a trip? Then one day her husband found something: a Detroit Tigers baseball cap. Chris had worn it often, but it had gone missing after his death. They took it as a sign they should travel for the holidays. Chris would want that. Diann booked a cruise and they decided to bring the baseball cap along, so they could have a piece of Chris with them. But they never expected the cap to go missing again during the flight home. Would they be able to find this priceless memento again?

8. Lost on the Night Before Christmas
Genevieve Cliff was driving home late at night from a Christmas Eve party. She reached her freeway exit to find it blocked off. She’d have to find an alternate route, but this was the only way she knew to get home. She took the next exit and ended up in an empty shopping mall parking lot. No GPS. No cell phone. No one around to ask for directions. And her fuel tank was almost empty. Genevieve shut off the engine and put her head on the steering wheel. “I hope what I heard about miracles on Christmas is true,” she said. “I need one right now.” All of a sudden, she felt a bright light shine on her.

9. Christmas in the Parking Lot
Rochella O’Neil and her mom had a Christmas tradition: sharing a Hershey’s chocolate bar. She couldn’t remember how the tradition started, but it was her favorite. After her mom died, Rochella wasn’t sure she should keep up the tradition. At the grocery store, she debated stopping by the candy aisle, but it didn’t feel right without her mom. After putting her groceries in the car, she sat for a moment in the driver seat. Lord, I sure wish I could feel Mom close by this Christmas season, she prayed. Let her know I love her and that I hope to see her again someday. She glanced out her rearview mirror to leave when her eyes caught something…

10. Merry Christmas to All
Every December Peggy King’s club throws a Christmas party for the special needs children of a local residential school. Peggy loved dressing up as an elf and passing out gifts with Santa. They had exactly 40 presents to give–enough for the children they usually expected. But not enough for the 60 they’d just heard would be coming. It’s too late to buy more, Peggy thought. Lord, what are we supposed to do now? They needed the real Santa to show up, but would he?

How to make christmas come faster

Twinkling lights glimmer from Christmas trees throughout the windows of my neighborhood, and a flurry of gift-wrapping and holiday planning is happening in homes near and far.

Just this morning, a petite child-sized tree was pulled from the box it was stored in this past year, an ornament or two still attached. Our youngest granddaughter is coming to stay for a few nights, and we are excited to go about the business of making merry. Last year the tree twinkled from a spot right within her not-quite-three-year-old reach, and she rearranged the soft ornaments every time she came to visit. The ornaments were chosen with intent, representing characters from stories we had read throughout the year or outings we had enjoyed together.

The sheer beauty of the Christmas holiday is that it calls out to our hearts with the mystery and love of the birth of Christ and offers us the creativity of our God, who would place his son in a manger and herald his birth to shepherds and wise men alike, through starry skies and angel voices. (Luke 2) He is the God of beauty, order, and every good and perfect gift.

As grandparents, we have the opportunity to infuse love and creativity into our grandchildren’s holiday season through a bit of planning, an attitude of joy, and the understanding that often, good memories are less about what we do and more about how we do it.

Here are five fun ways any grandparent can make this Christmas magical for their grandchildren:

1. Create an Environment of Expectancy

From paper Christmas chains of red and green to beautifully carved Advent calendars, there is a delight in counting the days down to Christmas. As a grandparent, creating magic for your grandchildren can be as easy as building anticipation into the season. Simple ideas include giving them their own miniature Christmas tree and wrapping small ornaments to be opened daily, counting the days to December 25th.

This year, I filled a traditional advent calendar with numbered drawers and filled each one with small chocolates. Any day my granddaughter visits, we joyfully find the treat and count the days until Jesus’ birthday. We then clip berries, greenery, or holly from the garden and fill the empty drawer with a treasure from nature. Advent calendars can be purchased already filled and mailed to your little loved one’s that are far, and calls or FaceTime can be a part of the opening when possible. The beauty of the Advent calendar is that you can be as creative as you like, all with the goal of building joy and excitement as you count the days to Christmas morning.

How to make christmas come faster

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/tatyana_tomsickova

2. A Storybook Christmas

Every holiday season, we invite Christmas into our grandparenting story-time routines. Books such as the beautifully illustrated “Finding Christmas” by author Lezlie Evans based on Matthew 25:35-36 can awaken the imagination. A well-loved and oft-read book can become a script and backdrop for the sweetest of holiday magic with well-known storybook friends.

In our home, “Finding Christmas,” a tender story about sacrificially loving others, with whimsical tea parties, and animals giving up their own sweet Christmas gifts to help a needy songbird, became the inspiration for a holiday tea perfect for our youngest granddaughter. Coneflower tea was served on a little tea table, alongside cream and fresh hazelnut cookies, each an element from the book itself. Mouse, Hare, Squirrel, and Swallow stuffed animals were all present and accounted for at our storybook tea, and all who attended enjoyed magical moments rooted in Christmas love.

One friend of mine creates a special event each year from a story, with a menu and décor fitting the literary tale. Tales such as Polar Express or The Donkey Who Carried a King can be great inspiration for little one’s, where older grandchildren might be thrilled with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, or even Little Women.

3. Wonder at a Savior Born in a Manger

“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given….” Isaiah 9:6

A child is born. The truth that Jesus came as a baby is truly a wonder and one that we don’t often stop to consider or marvel upon. To our young grandchildren, this is perhaps the most relatable truth about him. He was like them, and they like him. This is the truth that God was always trying to drive home to us when he sent Jesus in human form, and children simply relate to the baby Jesus.

Many Christian homes love to display special nativities in their homes during the Advent and Christmas season, and while they may carry deep meaning and be truly beautiful, having a small unbreakable display for your grandchildren to interact with can engage them with the beauty of the story. You can read verses from Luke 2 or a simple children’s rendition storybook. My youngest granddaughter loves to hold the baby in the manger, and we talk about how he was born where the sheep and cows sleep. Some families set up their nativity scene without the baby in the manger, and on Christmas morning, invite the young ones to place him in the nativity.

Many communities offer live nativity displays or plays depicting the birth of Jesus. All of these, especially those involving live animals, can spark wonder in young and old.

4. Make Merry in Your Own Special Way

Sage grandparents around the world know the secret that creating magic and joy in any season begins right within our own hearts. When we approach every moment we spend with our grandchildren with a sense of enjoyment, gratitude, and wonder, our grandchildren are invited into our joy.

Share joy that gives your grandchildren the gift of you. For the grandma who lives in the kitchen, try dressing up in matching Christmas pajamas to mix and stir cookies alongside your grandchildren, or build a gingerbread house to a soundtrack of your favorite carols.

How to make christmas come faster

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/jacoblund

Shop, or make and wrap gifts for other family members together. Go to a nutcracker ballet, or decorate your car with wreaths and reindeer ears. Watch holiday movies and serve special treats from family recipes. Magic is simply in the making. When you share authentically with your grandchildren the things you enjoy, you make the holiday special and create a Christmas legacy that will carry on in their hearts for a lifetime.

5. Reindeer Ears and The Magic of Play

The beauty of creating a magical Christmas for the little ones you love truly starts right within your own heart. There is simply nothing quite as fun as a grandparent who brings with them a sense of play everywhere they go. We all enjoy the lovely photographs of our grandchildren dressed in matching outfits and posed in front of the perfectly decorated tree, but it is the grandma and pa who will don reindeer ears and romp in the snow with you that build memories. It has been said, “Grandparents are a delightful blend of laughter, caring deeds, wonderful stories, and love.”

Grandparents have the rich opportunity to teach the love of Jesus and the joy of his birth by showing how truly joy-filled it is to give and receive love. So be silly this Christmas. Trade expectations for expectancy. Let plans become playful, and make moments that are as simple as hot chocolate with a touch of whipping cream on every nose.

We firmly believe it’s never too early to decorate for Christmas—and while there’s something so magical about that day-after-Thanksgiving decorating spree, we think the best time to start planning Christmas is actually in the middle of summer. Yes, you read that right! We’re not suggesting you put up your tree and hang the stockings in between barbecues and pool parties (but if you want to, we fully support that decision), but there are a few simple tasks you can tackle in the summer months that will make the busy holiday season so much less hectic.

It seems like the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas get busier every year. Between holiday parties, cookie exchanges, Christmas card photo sessions, and last-minute shopping trips, there’s hardly any time to relax and enjoy the season. But we’ve come up with a few simple ways to prepare in the summer so you can spend the holidays enjoying more time with friends and family. Here are 10 things you can do right now to make the Christmas season as stress-free as possible. Crank up the A/C, put on your favorite Christmas carols, and get into the pre-holiday spirit.

1 Make a List and Check It Twice

We often associate the holidays with stress because there are just so many things going on. There’s family to see, events to attend, and last-minute gifts to buy—in short, there is too much to do and not enough time to do it. During the summer months, write down all the annual events you know you’ll be attending, and make a list of everyone you’ll need to buy gifts for (don’t forget teachers and coworkers!) so there won’t be any surprises once December arrives.

Getting it all down on paper will help you set clear expectations for the season ahead and avoid the last-minute scramble to find a gift for someone you’ve forgotten. This will also help you identify the things you can take care of right now, like deciding what to buy for the annual white elephant exchange.

2 Start DIY Projects

While the weather outside may not be frightful yet, you can still get a head start on DIY Christmas gifts and homemade holiday decor. These projects always take longer than you think they will, so don’t leave them until the last minute. Plus, when you’re not scrambling to get things done, you’ll have time to make more homemade gifts (and save some extra cash—always a bonus at holiday time!).

3 Plan the Christmas Card

We love designing and sending the annual Christmas card, but getting together to take the perfect family photo for the card can be daunting—especially during the busy holiday season. This year, organize family photos in the summer. The kids typically have more free time than during the school year, and you can take advantage of sunny weeknight evenings if your weekend schedule is full. If you have your heart set on taking your photos during sweater weather, reach out to a photographer now to reserve a date before they fill up for the season. (Or, crank the A/C and have everyone don their best Christmas sweaters right now!)

4 Buy the Basics

Over the summer, take an inventory of what you have and make a list of things you’ll need to purchase this year. Things like extra Christmas ornaments, ($19, Target) or personalized Christmas stockings ($19, Pottery Barn) for a new family member can be purchased online year-round. If you’re thinking of transitioning to an artificial tree this year, don’t wait until December to make a purchase. We like this 6-foot pre-lit artificial tree ($90, Walmart).

5 Start Saving

While charitable giving is important year-round, most local organizations typically have a greater need during the holidays (which is why Giving Tuesday was created). Coincidentally, this is also the time of year we usually feel most strapped for cash, after going overboard on gifts or seasonal experiences. Between gifts, food, decorations, and travel, the average American household spends $1,536 on the holidays—but it doesn’t have to be that expensive. This summer, make a savings plan: Putting aside a few dollars a week between now and Christmas will help you ensure you can give as much as you want to during the holidays. Be sure to take advantage of summer sales and early-bird travel deals, too.

You can also use the extra time to look into gifts that give back to causes your family and friends are passionate about. And, if you’re purchasing gifts on Amazon, be sure to take advantage of the Amazon Smile program, which donates a portion of each purchase to the charity of your choice (at no extra cost to you!).

6 Shop Summer Sales

Since you’ve already made a list of who you’ll need to buy gifts for, shopping summer sales can help you save some serious cash on this year’s gift haul. Christmas in July and Labor Day sales are basically the summer equivalent of Black Friday, and you don’t have to skip Thanksgiving dinner to get these deals! Make a list of potential gifts (and set a spending limit) for each person, and watch for those items to go on sale. I always try to grab a few “extras” when I find them on super sale: You never know when you’ll need a hostess gift (or a gift for someone who wasn’t originally on your list) at the last minute.

7 Plan New Recipes

If you’re planning to cook for the holidays, chances are high that you’ll need to cater to at least one dietary restriction. And while Grandma’s classic recipes have always served us well over the years, it can be fun to try out a new holiday recipe. Whether you need to provide a vegan side dish or a paleo dessert option, plan out your new recipes and test each one out at least once before the holiday season. You can even get a head start on meal prep with these insanely delicious make-ahead meals you can freeze.

8 Start the Countdown

Get a head start on your Christmas countdown! We can tell you from experience that December 1 is not the ideal day to put together your Advent calendar, especially if you want to make a countdown that takes a bit of planning, like this DIY acts of kindness Advent calendar. Carve out a little extra time over the summer to make your own Advent calendar so you’re not scrambling as the holiday approaches.

9 Plan Your Movie Marathon

Hallmark movie marathons are a sure sign that Christmas is approaching. And as you may have heard, Hallmark is now airing Christmas movies year round, so it’s easier than ever to get your holly jolly on whenever you decide to do your holiday planning. If you’re having trouble getting into the holiday spirit in the middle of summer, crank the A/C and snuggle up on the couch for a Christmas movie marathon.

10 Start a New Tradition

We’ve all got our go-to holiday traditions, but if you’ve ever thought about starting a new one, summer is the best time to plan and purchase as much as you can. If you’re not sure what you’d like to start, research your family history and pull ideas from your ancestors’ home countries—or choose one of our new family tradition ideas. One of our favorite holiday customs is teaching the kids to give rather than receive. If you’re able to spend a little extra money, look for an Adopt a Family program. Or, volunteer to help with a holiday meal at a local food bank.

Personalize your holiday cheer with handmade ornaments, last-minute gifts, indoor and outdoor decorations, or an elegant yet easy-to-prepare family activity, all laid out in simple steps by the editors in our workshop.

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The holidays are a time for everyone to gather ’round and appreciate they time they get to spend with one another. And what better way to do just that than starting a new tradition? We think making Christmas crafts together is a great way to enhance the holiday cheer.

Try some of these easy Christmas crafts to celebrate the season: Felt holly corsages are so easy to make that even smaller children can put them together on their own, but they are pretty enough for adults to wear, too. Pinecone elves and snowy dioramas make charming decorations that don’t require extensive supplies—you can make use of the jars, paint, and toys at home, or naturally foraged materials in your own backyard. Paper snowflakes are always a classic activity that the whole family can make together: Each snowflake is as unique as the people who make them, so you can cut and fold them in a whole flurry.

None of these projects call for any particular skill, which makes them fun for crafters of all ages. Turn a set of stockings into an advent calendar that reveals special treats as you countdown to Christmas. And old toys gain new life when they are repurposed into Christmas tree ornaments. For a quick craft that’s also sweet, candy canes easily transform into the tails of festive mice party favors. Most of these crafts take mere minutes or less to complete, which means you can deck the halls and make things merry all the more speedily.

Here, find inspiration in our editors’ ideas—all of them are made to get everyone (you, included) into the holiday spirit.

How to make christmas come faster

Gostica presents you the most powerful ritual for the fulfillment of your wishes, using only the power of Earth’s elements -air, fire, water, and earth.

After the completion of the ritual, the result you are looking for will come to you very quickly and accurately, as a gift from heaven, which actually is.

This is a ritual that makes use of the natural universal Law of Attraction to increase the tempo of implementation and to materialize your wish with a magic wand.

For this powerful ritual, you will need a silver coin, a white candle and a half-liter jar with a cap.

How to make christmas come faster How to make christmas come fasterHow to make christmas come faster
How to make christmas come faster

1. Pour a glass of water in the jar, light the candle and write your wish on a white sheet of paper.

2.Once you are done with the wish, diligently fold the sheet of paper, drop the silver coin in the jar and put inside the folded sheet with the wish.

3. Close the jar with the cap and put it in a dark place to stand there for three days. How to make christmas come faster

4. On the fourth day, when it gets dark outside, take the jar and pour the contents into the pre-dug small hole under a young green fruit tree. While pouring the water, say out loud your wish.

The ritual can be done in urban areas – not necessarily in the village or somewhere in nature.

Your desire may be not only materialistic but also about love or protection from negative impacts.

How to make christmas come faster
This powerful ritual works and “Why it works?” could be explained even logically:

The power of ritual is that the water, as we know, remembers information – in this case, it will remember your wish written on the sheet and will absorb it. When you pour the water under the tree, it does not disappear, but continues to work – then the roots of the plant will absorb your words and the wish will grow as a tree. Why you have to perform it when it is dark outside? Because the moon and the stars make wishes come true , better than the sun.
This simple, but very powerful ritual will fulfill all of your wishes, enjoy!

How to make christmas come faster

Figuring out how to make a Christmas cactus bloom can be tricky for some. However, by following the proper watering guidelines and ensuring that just the right light and temperature conditions are given, learning to force a Christmas cactus to bloom can actually be quite easy.

How to Make Christmas Cactus Bloom

When you want to force a Christmas cactus to bloom, you need to understand the Christmas cactus bloom cycle: little water, dormancy, light, and temperature.

Begin by limiting the amount of water the plant receives. This generally takes place sometime during fall, usually around October or the first part of November (in most places).

Cut down on watering just enough to allow the soil to remain slightly moist. Water only when the topmost, about 1 inch (2.5 cm.), layer of soil is dry to the touch. This will enable the plant to enter dormancy. Dormancy is critical for getting a Christmas cactus to bloom.

In order to further force a Christmas cactus to bloom, you’ll need to move the plant where it will receive about 12 to 14 hours of darkness. Bright, indirect light during the day is fine, however, Christmas cactus requires at least 12 hours of darkness at night in order to encourage bud development.

Your Christmas cactus, dark conditions aside, will also need cool temperatures. This should average out to about 50 to 55 degrees F. (10-13 C.). Therefore, make sure the location will accommodate both light and temperature requirements.

Care of Flowers on Christmas Cacti

Christmas cactus plants should continue receiving dark, cool treatment for at least six to eight weeks, or until buds begin forming. Once buds have formed, it usually takes up to 12 weeks (or less) for blooms to appear. The plant should also be relocated at this time.

Move the Christmas cactus to a sunny, draft-free area. However, keep it away from direct sunlight, as this may cause the plant to become droopy looking. Also, drafty areas can cause the buds to drop before blooming has occurred. Giving the plant more bright, indirect sunlight will produce more blooming. Christmas cactus also bloom better as pot-bound plants.

While watering may be increased during blooming, the amount will vary according to the plant’s current light conditions, temperatures, and humidity levels.

When you force a Christmas cactus to bloom by giving it the proper care in the right place, receiving the right light and temperature conditions, the plant will not only bloom but may also surprise you by continually producing blooms several times throughout the year.

Knowing how to make a Christmas cactus bloom will help you to enjoy the lovely flowers on this popular plant.


On April 2, 2019

In Astrology, Future, Wish

How to make christmas come faster

While you could carry a rabbit’s foot to help harness the power of good luck, chant a few Harry Potter spells when the urge strikes, or wish upon a star like Pinocchio, these tactics might not get you very far. To really make your wishes come true, use one of these tried-and-true techniques to help make your dreams a reality.

Catch the Time at 11:11

Have you ever glanced at the time and noticed it says 11:11? Next time, take the opportunity to make a wish at this magical time. 11:11 symbolizes the oneness of humanity. Warning: Don’t set your alarm for this time though. It only works if you trust fate to help you notice the time precisely at 11:11 and experience that transcendental moment to make your wish come true.

Make a Birthday Wish

Every age is the perfect age for this cherished birthday cake ritual. When the cake arrives with burning candles, close your eyes, make a wish, and blow out your candles in a single breath! After the birthday party, write your wish on a piece of paper. The next morning, plant a seed and bury your wish with the seed. As the plant grows, your wish will comes true too.

Get an in-depth look at what career you’ll thrive in AND your strengths and weaknesses.

Use a Wishbone

Eat turkey more often. Not only is it a great source of protein, but it comes with a wishbone (if you get the whole bird that is). After the wishbone dries, ask a friend or family member to play tug-of-war with that wishbone. The bone will break and if you get the longer piece, your wish will be realized.

Make Tons of Origami Cranes

According to a venerable Japanese legend, if you fold a thousand origami cranes, your wish will be granted. Time to start folding!

Harness the Power of a Full Moon

Here’s a little spell: Take a shoe box, a silver candle, and a silver ribbon. Put together symbols of what you are wishing for in your life. For example, if it’s a new job, you could put together some Monopoly money, a miniature briefcase, and a doll decked out in a career outfit. On the night of a full moon, put those items in front of you and light the candle. Focus on your wish and put the items in the box, saying your wish out loud. Then tie the ribbon around the box and hide it in a place only known to you. Keep it secure until your wish becomes realized.

Collect Charms

If you love jewelry, you’ll love this wish-come-true tip. You’ll need a plain chain bracelet in gold or silver. Visualizing your wish, select charms that symbolize your desire. Long for a new apartment that will let you have pets? Choose charms such as a miniature poodle, a tiny kitten, and a small vase of flowers. Wear your charm bracelet until your wish comes true.

Make a Dandelion Wish

When they’re in season, search through your garden for the largest, fullest puffy dandelion you can find. Take a deep breath, focus on your wish and blow all the seeds off!

How to make christmas come faster

Palm trees have a distinctive tropical quality, but most of them become 60-foot (18 m.) tall or more monsters. These huge trees are not practical in the private landscape due to their size and the difficulty of maintenance. The Christmas tree palm poses none of these problems and comes with the characteristic silhouette of its bigger cousins. Growing Christmas palm trees in the home landscape is a perfect way to get that tropical feel without the hassle of the bigger specimens in the family. Let’s learn more about these palms.

What is a Christmas Palm?

The Christmas palm (Adonidia merrillii) forms a lovely smaller tropical tree suitable for home landscapes. What is a Christmas palm? The plant is also known as the Manila palm or dwarf Royal. It is native to the Philippines and useful in United States Department of Agriculture zone 10. The tree only gets 20 to 25 feet (6-8 m.) in height and is self-cleaning. Lucky warm season gardeners should know how to grow Christmas palm tree for diminutive tropical flair but easy maintenance.

The Christmas palm gets started growing with a bang, achieving 6 feet (2 m.) in height quite rapidly. Once the tree is established to its site, the growth rate slows down considerably. The smoothly ridged trunk can grow 5 to 6 inches (13-15 cm.) in diameter and the tree’s elegantly bowed crown may spread out to 8 feet (2 m.).

Christmas tree palms bear arching pinnate leaves that may approach 5 feet (1-1/2 m.) in length. One of the more interesting Christmas palm tree facts is why it came by its name. The plant bears bright red clusters of fruits that ripen just about the same time as the Advent season. Many gardeners consider the fruit a debris nuisance, but removing them before ripening usually solves any messy issues.

How to Grow a Christmas Palm Tree

Landscapers like to plant these trees quite close together because they have small root balls and will produce a natural looking grove. Be aware that growing Christmas palm trees too close can cause some of them to fail to thrive due to excess competition. Planting in too little light can also produce spindly trunks and sparse fronds.

If you want to try growing your own Christmas tree palm, collect seeds in late fall to early winter when they are ripe. Clean off the pulp and immerse the seed in a solution of 10% percent bleach and water.

Plant seeds shallowly in flats or small containers and place them in a location with temperatures of 70 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 37 C.). Keep the container moist. Germination in Christmas tree palm seeds happens fairly rapidly and you should see sprouts in just a few weeks.

Christmas Palm Tree Care

This tree prefers well-drained, slightly sandy soil in full sun, although it can tolerate light shade. The plants require supplemental water as they establish, but once mature, these trees can withstand short periods of drought. They are also quite tolerant of saline soils.

Fertilize every 4 months with a time release palm food. Because the plants are self-cleaning, you rarely have to do any pruning.

The palms are susceptible to Lethal Yellowing. This disease will eventually take the palm. There is a preventative inoculation that is administered before the plant contracts the disease. A few fungal diseases are also of concern; but for the most part, Christmas palm tree care is a piece of cake, which is why the plant is so popular in warm climates.

How to make christmas come faster

Caring for a live Christmas tree is easy, but requires a few specific steps. If you take these steps, you can make a Christmas tree last longer through the season. Let’s take a look at how to keep a Christmas tree alive and fresh.

Tips to Make a Christmas Tree Last Longer

Wrap the tree for the trip home

Most Christmas trees travel to their owner’s home on the top of a vehicle. Without some kind of covering, the wind can dry the Christmas tree out. The first step to keeping your Christmas tree fresh is to cover the tree as you go home in order to keep the wind from damaging it.

Recutting the stem on the Christmas tree

When caring for a live Christmas tree, remember a Christmas tree is essentially a giant cut flower. Unless you cut your own Christmas tree, chances are the tree you buy has been sitting on the lot for several days, possibly weeks. The vascular system that draws water up into the Christmas tree will have clogged up. Cutting off just a ¼ inch (0.5 cm.) of the bottom of the trunk will remove the clogs and open up the vascular system again. You can cut more off, if you need to for height reasons.

Many people wonder if there is a special way to cut the trunk to help with keeping your Christmas tree fresh. A simple straight cut is all that is needed. Drilling holes or cutting at angles will not improve how well the Christmas tree takes up water.

Watering your Christmas tree

To keep a Christmas tree alive, it is essential that once you cut the trunk of the Christmas tree, the cut has to stay moist. Make sure to fill the stand immediately after you cut the trunk. But, if you forget, most trees will be ok if you fill the stand within 24 hours. But your Christmas tree will stay fresh longer if you fill it as soon as possible.

If you want to make a Christmas tree last longer, just use plain water. Studies have shown that plain water will work to keep a Christmas tree alive as well as anything added to the water.

Check the Christmas tree stand twice a day as long as the tree is up. It is important that the stand stayed filled. A Christmas tree stand normally holds a rather small amount of water and can quickly use up the water in the stand.

Choose an appropriate location for your Christmas tree

Another important part of making a Christmas tree last longer is choosing a good location in your house. Place the tree away from heating vents or cold drafts. Constant heat or fluctuating temperatures can speed the drying out of a tree. Also, avoid placing the tree in direct, strong sunlight. The sunlight can also make the tree fade faster.

Actually, the title above is a total lie: you can’t really make a blue spruce any bluer than it is naturally. None of the tricks promoted on the Web and over garden fences on how to make a blue spruce bluer actually work. That includes adding aluminum sulfate to the soil, pounding rusty nails into the ground at the tree’s base and watering with Epsom salts.

How to make christmas come fasterBlue spruce needles are actually green, but covered with white bloom. Photo: Sten Porse, Wikimedia Commons

The truth is that the intensity of the blue of a Colorado blue spruce (selections of Picea pungens ‘Glauca’) depends on the concentration of its “bloom,” a powdery white wax that coats its needles. (Note: as used here, the word “bloom” has absolutely nothing to do with flowering!) The needles are, in fact, completely green, but the bloom that covers them gives them a blue appearance. The bloom on spruce needles is exactly like the bloom on a blueberry, a grape or a plum: you can rub it off and see the original color underneath.

Some cultivars of Picea pungens produce a lot of bloom, others almost none. Therefore, the coloration is determined almost entirely by the plant’s genetics and only very little by its environment. So some cultivars are naturally powder blue, others are blue gray and still others are completely green. That’s just the way they are and you can do nothing to change that.

How to Choose

How to make christmas come faster‘Lundeby’s Dwarf’ is one of the dwarf cultivars with good blue coloration. Photo: Kigi Nursery

For the very bluest spruce, simply choose the bluest specimen in the nursery. If you’re looking for a tall blue spruce, cultivars ‘Hoopsii’ and ‘Edith’ are among the bluest. Among dwarf, semi-dwarf and miniature varieties, consider ‘Sester Dwarf’, ‘St. Mary’s Broom’, ‘Globosa’ or ‘Lundeby’s Dwarf’ … among others. Already you are very close to your goal.

How to make christmas come fasterSeedlings of blue spruce come in various shades of blue and green. Photo: Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas

Be forewarned that, if the label of the plant only shows Picea pungens ‘Glauca’, that is, has no specific cultivar name, it means that it was probably grown from seed and its color will therefore be unreliable. That’s because blue spruce does not come true from seed and even the seeds of the bluest spruces give young plants in a wide range of colors. Yes, named cultivars, produced by grafting a very blue spruce onto a young spruce grown from seed, cost a lot more than no-name spruces, but at least you get what you paid for!

The Right Environment

Of course, the environment does play a certain role. After all, blue spruce grown under poor conditions will be dead and brown rather than blue or green!

How to make christmas come fasterThe Colorado blue spruce is from the Rocky Mountains and doesn’t just tolerate cold winters, it needs them for its survival. Photo: Tewing, Wikimedia Commons

First of all, be aware that the Colorado blue spruce is a cold-climate conifer (zones 2 to 6, sometimes 7) and will not do at all well in regions with mild climates. In zones 7 to 9, you might want to consider a blue atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica Glauca Group), as it doesn’t require (or want) cold winters.

Secondly, to keep your blue spruce as blue as possible, also give it the best growing conditions you can. For example, plant it in full sun in well-drained soil that is not too rich. Full sun and soil not overly rich in nitrogen give needles a bit shorter than usual … and bloom will be a bit more concentrated on shorter needles.

Also, although bloom is waxy and therefore theoretically insoluble, rain does wash some of it free, so spruces growing in regions with fairly dry summers will remain blue longer than those growing in rainy regions.

Finally, avoid spraying your spruce’s foliage with soapy water or horticultural oil (two products often used as pesticides), as soap and oil will melt bloom and turn even the bluest blue spruces green. Of course, new growth produced the following spring will be blue again, but it can be quite a shock to see your tree go from blue to green overnight!

Color Fades… But Is Then Renewed

How to make christmas come fasterWhen new needles appear in spring, you can see just how much color the old ones have lost. Photo: Four Seasons Garden, Flickr

Bloom eventually wears off, so even the best cultivars are bluer in spring and early summer than in fall and winter. You’ll especially notice the contrast in spring when the new needles expand and are clearly much bluer than the old ones.

Despite all of the above regarding providing the right conditions in order to maintain a blue spruce’s color, the fact remains that it’s the choice of an exceptionally blue cultivar that is by far the most important factor in your quest for a truly blue spruce!How to make christmas come faster

For the video above, Matthew doubled this recipe for Basic Pasta.

How to Make Homemade Pasta

To make our homemade pasta, we’re using semolina flour, a high-protein flour made from Durum wheat. It makes better pasta than all-purpose flour because it develops a stronger gluten structure, which means a more pliable dough. Follow along with the recipe for Fresh Semolina and Egg Pasta.

To make the dough by hand, mound the flour in a bowl or better yet on a flat, non-porous surface — your counter or tabletop work great. Add a pinch of salt to the flour. Without it, the pasta will taste flat.

Make a well in the mound of flour and crack the eggs into the well. Use a fork to beat the eggs in the well, then slowly incorporate the flour from the sides of the well into the egg mixture. (If you prefer no eggs in your pasta, we can do Eggless Pasta, too.)

Once the flour is fully incorporated and is too thick to mix with a fork, it’s time to knead by hand. Kneading the dough creates the critical gluten structure that holds the pasta together. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook simplifies the process. But kneading by hand is fun — it connects you to the process. And it’s a decent workout, which means you can eat a little extra pasta!

Either way, knead the dough until it is smooth, very firm, and dry — about 8 to 12 minutes. Depending on the grind of your semolina, the dough might be more or less smooth. But if it feels sticky, dust your dough and work surface with semolina flour and knead until smooth and firm. If the dough is even a bit too wet, it will stick when you run it through the pasta machine or roll it out.

The dough is ready to be shaped when you can set the dough on a clean countertop without it sticking.

Portion the dough into balls. Keep the balls of dough relatively small for easier handling — about tennis ball-size. As you become more comfortable with the dough, you can shape larger pieces of pasta.

Tightly wrap the pasta dough in plastic and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour to give the gluten a chance to relax. This step makes the dough easier to work with — keeps it from shrinking and snapping back as you stretch it.

Okay, your pasta dough has been portioned and has relaxed. Now you’re ready to make some pasta noodles!

If you’re using a pasta machine, dust it with a little all-purpose or semolina flour. While dusting, spin the rollers to coat them with a very thin layer of flour.

Flatten the dough on the end you’ll be feeding into the pasta machine. The rollers will catch it and pull it through. Set the rollers to the largest setting. Feed the dough through the machine, fold into thirds, and roll again.

Repeat this process, narrowing the roller settings as you go, until the dough is the desired thickness. The dough should be smooth, shiny, a little moist, and have no cracks or blemishes.

Tip: If you’re working with only a portion of the dough at a time, keep the remainder wrapped in plastic to prevent it from drying out.

Okay, your dough is the right thickness. Now it’s time to make some pasta shapes! If you like, you can let the dough rest for a few minutes. But not too long, or it will dry out and become brittle.

You can make any sort of thin, flat pasta, including lasagna, fettuccine noodles, and linguine. To make more complex shapes, like penne, spaghetti, or macaroni noodles, you’ll need special cutters and pasta machine attachments.

For simple flat noodles, measure a length and cut it off the long sheet. To make fettuccine noodles, cut the sheets about every 12 inches. Attach the fettuccini noodle cutter (it has approximately 1/4-inch slats) to the pasta machine and dust it with flour while spinning the rollers. Feed one end of the pasta sheet into the rollers. The pasta will emerge as beautiful fettuccine.

Allow the entire sheet to go through the cutters, then dust the noodles lightly with flour so they don’t stick together.

No pasta machine? No problem. Just roll the pasta dough flat, fold it into thirds, and roll flat again, repeating until the dough is shiny and elastic. To make noodles, cut the sheets into the noodle length you want, then roll the sheets into logs and cut the logs into the width you like. For fettuccine, you would cut the logs every 1/4 of an inch, and then unravel the noodles and sprinkle with flour.

Can Santa’s reindeer really fly?
Oh, yes!
Would you like to know how Santa’s reindeer fly?
Keep reading to learn more!

Can Reindeer Really Fly?

I’m Santa’s Grumpy Elf.

Can reindeer fly? Can >Santa’s reindeer really fly? Of course reindeer can fly! Well, Santa’s reindeer anyway. What, did you think? They snorkel?

How Do Reindeer Fly?

Now, if you want to know how Santa’s reindeer fly , you’ve come to the right place.

Except. I can’t tell you! And it’s not just because I’m a grumpy elf. (For once!) I can’t tell you how Santa gets his reindeer to fly.

So why can’t I tell you how reindeer fly? Because — it’s a SECRET! (But I’ll give you some hints! 😉) After all, can you imagine what it would be like if everyone knew how to fly like Santa and his flying reindeer? There would be people and cows & cats and dogs flying around everywhere!

But there are lots of ways Santa could get his reindeer to fly. Shh, but Santa might just be using one of these:

  • Antlaerodynamics
  • Christmas lift & thrust
  • Drones & hoverboards
  • Elf magic
  • Magic Dust
  • Santa’s reindeer magic
  • Santa’s magical blend of reindeer food
  • Time warping

Keep reading to find out more about Santa’s sneaky sleigh-flying shenanigans!


>Professor Ian Stewart, a former maths professor at Warwick University, has researched the topic too. Reindeer have a curious arrangement of gadgetry on top of their heads which we call antlers and naively assume exist for the males to do battle and to win females. This is absolute nonsense. The antlers are actually fractal vortex-shedding devices. We are talking not aerodynamics here, but antlaerodynamics. At the speeds Santa’s reindeer travel to deliver gifts, their antler-tips create enough lift to allow them to fly.

Magic Dust

>This is the oldest answer to how reindeer fly.

>Everyone knows all it takes is a little magic dust to fly. Just ask pixies!

>Santa and the elves created the top secret formulae for making magic flying dust a long time ago.

>Reindeer are perfect to pull the sleigh because they like the cold weather where Santa lives and they are very strong!

Let’s Do The Time Warp Again!

>Elves cracked the secret of Time Warps and Wormholes a long time ago (well, it was only a few seconds ago if you time travel back to when they did it!).

>They use science so Santa’s sleigh can sit in a small bubble of the space-time fabric. They just need the reindeers’ antlers to create and keep the bubble going! Of course, the elves’ wormhole technology also provides cosmic short-cuts (that means time-travel). This makes it really easy to visit all the homes in one night.

Magical Blend of 7 Herbs and Spices!

>Long ago, Santa Claus and the elves discovered a special formula of Magical Reindeer Food which makes reindeer fly. The reindeer eat this food all year long. It gives them enough magic to fly around the world. The magical mushrooms and special reindeer lichen are found only where Santa lives.

Magic Reindeer

How to make christmas come faster

>Most reindeer cannot fly. But Santa’s reindeer are special! They have supernatural powers!

>Do you know people who are really good at something? Just like I’m really good at being grumpy? Well, Santa watches for reindeer that are very talented (like this little guy). Then he teaches them all they need to know to fly.

Christmas Lift & Thrust

>You only need two things to fly: lift and desire (thrust).

>Everyone knows Santa’s reindeers’ antlers are very big. They can catch children’s Christmas wishes and dreams. These wishes and dreams give the reindeer the two things they need to fly: 1. the lift in their spirit and, 2. the desire to make more children happy.

>Once presents start to be delivered, Santa’s reindeer fly even faster. As children around the world open their presents, the children are filled with pure Christmas joy. The reindeer’s antlers catch the children’s Christmas joy too. This joy gives the reindeer and Santa even more of a lift and thrust. They fly and work ever faster delivering more presents for children to open! This virtuous circle makes it so the sleigh essentially floats on air.

>Too bad I only got a headache when I tried to grow Christmas antlers!

Elf Magic

>Elves are very good at using science and elfin magic to create new things. If they can dream it; they can make it! They created special genetically modified reindeer by crossing them with a Pegasus. They also made the reindeer lighter than air by filling their lungs with helium. But could they create something so I’m not so grumpy? No, of course not!

Drones & Hoverboards

>Have you heard about drones and hoverboards? Have you heard about using drones and hoverboards to deliver presents? Well, guess who invented drones and hoverboards?

>That’s right, Santa and the elves!

>We’ve been using drones and hoverboards for home delivery for centuries!

>It took a little bit to teach the reindeer how to use them, but nobody can fly a drone or hoverboard like a reindeer can! What do you think those reindeer games are all about anyway?

How Fast Can Santa’s Reindeer Fly?

Now that you have some ideas about HOW Santa’s reindeer fly, I’ll bet you want to know how FAST Santa’s reindeer can fly .

Put it this way, you do NOT want to have to try to catch one! Santa’s flying reindeer are that FAST! Even regular old reindeer can run faster than a human for any distance. When I have to catch one with my short little elf legs, I get VERY grumpy!

And if you really must know, Santa’s reindeer can fly so fast that they time travel! At least that is one theory about how Santa gets around the world so fast.

Can Santa Fly?

I think some people are just born confused. It’s Santa’s reindeer that are born to fly, not Santa! Me, I was just born grumpy (which I think is way better than being born confused).

So, can Santa Claus fly? The short answer is no. However, you should see how fast he runs when Mrs. Claus shouts out Santa, cookies! . Ok, maybe some people might think he flies then (but I still think they were born confused).

Maybe they think Santa’s sleigh can fly and it’s not the reindeer flying?!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. See our disclosure policy for more information.

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So you love crisp, clean shirts? Shirts that don’t move when you do? Jeans so stiff they can walk themselves to the laundry room? Sure, there’s something to be said for laundry starch, but there is also something to be said for strong starch when crafting, specifically with knitting and crochet. So here’s How to Make Super Heavy Starch for crafting at home.

How to make christmas come faster

How to Make Super Heavy Starch for Crafting

This super heavy homemade starch is one that I use specifically when crafting with yarn or crochet thread. I wouldn’t use this on my clothing (but you could if you watered it down significantly). In my quest for finding the perfect way to SUPER starch my newest crochet pattern (that’s a secret until later today!), I decided that store bought aerosol starch just wasn’t cutting it. It wasn’t stiff enough, I didn’t like the way it left white spots when used on dark fabric, and I wanted to be able to control the amount of stiffness of said starch.

This heavy starch uses just a two household ingredients: water and corn starch. It sounds so easy doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

How to make christmas come faster

Tip: The more starch you use in relation to the water, the stiffer your finished product will be.

Tip #2: Stirring together BEFORE boiling keeps it less lumpy.


Super Heavy Starch Directions:

1. Mix 1 cup cold water with 1 tbsp corn starch until clumps disappear.

2. Boil mixture until thick. (boiling helps to eliminate flakes or white spots when the starch dries)

3. Remove from heat and let cool.

How to make christmas come faster

4. Mix in about 1/2 cup cold water. (the less water added now, the stronger the starch)

6. Carefully squeeze extra liquid out and position item in EXACTLY the shape you wish it to dry.

If you are starching a crafted item that you want SUPER stiff, you might want to repeat this process using little to no added water at the end. Just let the boiled mixture cool to lukewarm and spoon onto the project, coating all surfaces of the yarn/fibers. Note that when I do this with large projects, I use a wide (18″) aluminum foil and lay it out on my countertop.

This super heavy starch recipe pairs perfectly with my newest crochet pattern (that I am releasing later today on the Heart Hook Home Facebook page)! Stay tuned, you’ll ♥ this one!

All year, Scout Elves eagerly count the days until they can visit your family for Christmas. We know your family can’t wait for the holidays either—sometimes, so much so, your kids may wish to see their Scout Elf earlier or invite them for a special visit! If your little ones are dropping hints that they miss their elf, read on for everything you need to know about special visits from Scout Elves and how you can get your Elf on the Shelf to come back early.

How to make christmas come faster

First, it’s important to know that most Scout Elves return to their families’ homes during Scout Elf Return Week™, which is a weeklong window at the end of November or early December when Santa sends his elves off to be his eyes and ears for the season. However, because all elves are different, some may return at different times if they’re working on special projects for Santa. The most important thing to know is that only Santa can grant special permission to allow a Scout Elf to come back early, and there are several ways to improve the chances of Santa saying, “Yes!” to a special visit.

Tips for Getting Your Elf to Come Back Early

  1. Write a note. Because Santa is the only one who can grant elves special permission to come back early, the first and most important step to seeing your elf is to get in touch with the Big Man in Red himself. Write down why you want your elf to visit and what your elf will be doing during their visit. When it comes time to send the note to the North Pole, here are a couple of tried and true delivery methods.
  2. Host a celebration. Some of the top events Scout Elves are invited to are milestones such as birthdays, big holidays or other days that are special to your family. If you’re celebrating something special, Santa always tries his very hardest to grant your Scout Elf permission to join you if they’re not too busy at the North Pole!
  3. Make fake snow. When considering invitations, Santa always loves to know his special helpers will be right at home during their time away from the North Pole. You can set yourself up for success by mixing up some snow out of household items to make your elf feel like they’re entering a winter wonderland!
  4. Create a welcome zone. To prove to Santa how much you truly want to see your elf, pull out all the stops for your elf’s visit! You can do this by welcoming your elf with a homemade sign, decorating an area for your elf to sit during their visit or creating a pile of elf-sized clothing items your Scout Elf may choose to wear for the occasion. Not only will setting up a cozy welcome zone pass the time until your elf’s arrival, it will show Santa how excited you are for your elf’s potential visit!
  5. Put candy out. Santa and the Scout Elves can’t resist sweets, and the more chocolates, cookies and pastries you have on hand, the more enticing your invitation may be! You’ll definitely win points with Santa, who knows his elves can bring him sweets when they fly to the North Pole. Need baking project ideas? Check out the kid-friendly recipes available in Mrs. Claus’ Sweet Treats.

Learn more about the Scout Elves via North Pole Knowledge!

ST. PETERSBURG — Among the new measures to confront the omicron wave, President Biden announced on Tuesday the administration is launching a website for any American who needs one to order an at home COVID-19 rapid test.

What You Need To Know

  • New data is emerging about the speed of omicron’s transmission and incubation period or the time you get sick
  • A recently published study from Norway shows omicron’s faster at getting people sick after exposure
  • The omicron variant on Monday became the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States; federal health officials said the strain made up 73% of new infections last week

Although, officials also revealed first deliveries won’t happen until next month.

As we learn about that start date, new data is emerging about the speed of omicron’s transmission and incubation period or the time you get sick.

Health officials are concerned about this and it’s why many are saying to take precautions now such as ramping up vaccinations, boosters, masks and encouraging outdoor events.

“President Biden is set to announce that he plans to distribute 500 million such free tests to the public.”

Much overdue step in the right direction, BUT the administration suspects they won’t be available til Jan (and things moving kinda fast w omicron)

— Jason L. Salemi, PhD, FACE ⛄ (@JasonSalemi) December 21, 2021

“Much overdue step in the right direction, BUT the administration suspects they won’t be available til Jan (and things moving kinda fast w omicron)” tweeted USF Professor of Epidemiology Dr. Jason Salemi tweeted about the at home tests.

How fast is omicron getting people sick from the time of exposure to symptom onset?

Former CDC Director during the Obama Administration, Dr. Tom Frieden tweeted about how fast omicron is spreading.

I’ve worked on infectious disease outbreaks for 30 years. I’ve NEVER seen anything like the speed of Omicron. It’s as infectious as measles spreading in a non-immune population, with a much shorter incubation time therefore much faster doubling time. Hope it’s a lot less severe.

“I’ve worked on infectious disease outbreaks for 30 years. I’ve NEVER seen anything like the speed of Omicron,” tweeted Dr. Frieden. “It’s as infectious as measles spreading in a non-immune population, with a much shorter incubation time therefore much faster doubling time. Hope it’s a lot less severe.”

While there are now ways to combat the coronavirus, on the other end, the virus is mutating and becoming faster at getting people sick.

A recently published study from Norway shows omicron’s faster at getting people sick after exposure.

It involved a Christmas party at a restaurant where about nine out of 10 people with an average age of 39 had been fully vaccinated had become infected.

None had taken boosters.

Eighty-one people out of 110 became infected with the omicron variant.

“Assuming exposure occurred at the party, the incubation period for symptomatic cases ranged from zero to eight days with a median of three days,” the study found.

Since the study was published, none of the breakthrough cases have required hospitalization.

How to make christmas come faster

Whether you buy your Christmas tree from a lot or hike deep into the woods to cut your own, you’ll need to keep it fresh if you want it to last the holiday season.

Maintaining your evergreen will ensure that it looks its best and prevent potential safety hazards. It will also make cleanup easier when Christmas is over and it’s time to say goodbye to the tree.

Select a Long-Lasting Tree

Consider the kind of tree you want. Most fresh-cut trees, if properly cared for should last at least five weeks before completely drying out. Some species hold their moisture content longer than others.

The trees that retain moisture the longest are the Fraser fir, Noble fir, and Douglas fir. The Eastern red cedar and Atlantic white cedar rapidly lose moisture and should be used only for a week or two.

Whatever type of tree you get, feel the needles to make sure they aren’t already dry before you take the tree home.

‘Refresh’ the Tree

If you’re buying a tree from a lot, odds are the evergreen was harvested days or weeks earlier and has already begun drying out.

When a tree is harvested, the sliced trunk oozes with pitch, sealing the transport cells that provide water to the needles. You will need to “refresh” your Christmas tree and open up the clogged cells so the tree can deliver appropriate moisture to the foliage.

Using a tree saw, make a straight cut along the bottom of the trunk—taking at least one inch off the original harvest cut—and immediately place the new cut in water. This will improve water uptake once the tree is on its stand.

Even if your tree is freshly cut, you should still place the base in a bucket of water until you’re ready to bring it inside.

Use the Proper Stand

The average Christmas tree is about 6 to 7 feet tall and has a trunk diameter of 4 to 6 inches. A standard tree stand should be able to accommodate it.

Trees are thirsty and can absorb a gallon of water a day, so look for a stand that holds 1 to 1.5 gallons.

Water the new tree until water uptake stops and continue to maintain the level of the stand’s full mark. Keep the water at that mark through the season.

There are dozens of Christmas tree stands for sale, ranging from basic metal models that sell for about $15 to elaborate self-leveling plastic units that cost more than $100. How much you choose to spend will depend on your budget, the size of your tree, and how much effort you want to put into making sure your tree is straight and stable.

Keep the Tree Hydrated

Always keep the base of your tree submerged in regular tap water. When the stand’s water remains topped-up, the tree cut will not form a resinous clot over the cut end and the tree will be able to absorb water and retain moisture.

You don’t need to add anything to the tree water, say tree experts, such as commercially prepared mixes, aspirin, sugar, or other additives. Research has shown that plain water will keep a tree fresh.

To make watering your tree easier, consider buying a funnel and a three- to four-foot tube. Slip the tube over the funnel outlet, extend the tubing down into the tree stand, and water without bending over or disturbing the tree skirt. Hide this system in an out-of-the-way part of the tree.

Practice Safety

Keeping your tree fresh does more than maintain its appearance. It’s also a good way to prevent fires caused by strings of tree lights or other electric decorations.

Maintain all electric accessories on and around the tree. Check for worn Christmas tree light electrical cords and always unplug the complete system at night.

Remember that miniature lights produce less heat than large lights and reduce the drying effect on the tree, which lessens the chance of starting a fire.

Also, keep the tree away from heaters, fans, or direct sunlight to keep it from drying out prematurely. A room humidifier also could help keep the needles fresh longer.

Additional safety tips are available from the National Fire Prevention Association.

Dispose of the Tree Properly

Take the tree down before it dries completely and becomes a fire hazard. A tree that is totally dry will have brittle greenish-gray needles.

Be sure to remove all ornaments, lights, tinsel, and other decor before taking down the tree. Many municipalities have laws dictating how to dispose of a tree; you may have to bag the tree for curbside disposal or drop it off for recycling. Check your city’s website for details.

Want to know how Santa gets to every house
around the world to deliver gifts in one night?
Keep reading!

The (Saint) Nick of Time!

I’m Santa’s Grumpy Elf. So you want to know how Santa gets to everyone’s home all around the world to deliver presents in just one night? So how does he do it? We like to say he does it in The Saint Nick of Time .

There’s only one little problem.
I can’t tell you how Santa does it. (And I’m not even being grumpy about it!)

I can’t tell you how Santa gets to everyone’s home in just one night because — it’s another Santa SECRET! After all, what would it be like if everyone knew how to get around the planet in 24 hours? There would be people appearing and disappearing all over the place! It would be CRAZY! Can you imagine trying to arrange a playdate?

There are, however, lots of ways Santa can get around the world in 24 hours. I’m going to share those with you and let you decide!

How Santa Delivers Presents (The short answer)

If reading too much makes you grumpy (like me!), then here’s my quick answer to the secret of how does Santa get around the world in one night . Santa might just be using one of these:

  • It’s a government conspiracy
  • It’s not just 24 hours
  • Santa’s magic dust
  • Santa rides the magic of Christmas
  • The theory of Santa-Relativity
  • The Naughty/Nice Matter/Anti-Matter!
  • Time-bending
  • Time warping

Keep reading to find out more about Santa’s sneaky sleigh-flying shenanigans!

It’s Not Just 24 Hours!

How does Santa get around the world in one night? Santa’s a cheater! There, I said it. Are you happy? I’m not. I’m still a grumpy elf.

Have you heard of time zones? Well, Santa uses them to cheat — on time! He takes advantage of the Earth’s time zones! He starts by delivering presents at the International Date Line and travels west following the Earth’s rotation around the sun. By doing that he gains many, many extra hours of time.

Children are actually waking up and opening presents while Santa is still delivering! (See the section about how Santa and the reindeer are Riding Christmas Magic ).

Did you know that, if you live in the U.S., today is already tomorrow in Australia? Likewise, when Santa is in Australia, it is already yesterday in the U.S. This is a handy trick to know when you’re Santa Claus!

Riding Christmas Magic

You only need two things to fly around the world in one night: lift and desire (thrust).

Everyone knows Santa’s special reindeers’ antlers are big, very big. They are specially designed to catch children’s Christmas wishes and dreams. These wishes and dreams give Santa and the reindeer the two things they need: 1. the lift in their spirit and, 2. the desire to make more children happy.

Once presents start to be delivered, Santa’s reindeer fly ever faster. As children around the world open their presents, the children are filled with pure Christmas joy. (See the section It’s Not Just 24 Hours! ) The reindeer’s antlers catch the children’s Christmas joy too. This joy gives the reindeer and Santa even more of a lift and thrust. They fly and work ever faster delivering more presents for children to open! This virtuous circle makes it so the sleigh essentially floats on air and the presents deliver themselves!

It’s All Relative!

How does Santa deliver all the presents in one night?

Have you ever heard of Albert Einstein and his Theory of Relativity? Einstein showed that time runs at different rates for observers who are moving relative to one another. This is why time passes more slowly for excited children waiting for Santa. Christmas Eve moves relatively slowly (ok, it takes FOREVER!) for everyone else. But for Santa, he is moving at the speed of light!

E=mc 2 after all just means Eve = Merry Christmas squared .

It Doesn’t Matter!

You know that there are Nice kids and Naughty kids, right? Well, there’s also Matter and anti-Matter. If you put two children in a room for long enough, they start to fight (I know this — I’m a grumpy elf!). When they fight, they release a lot of energy (although not usually in a good way!)

Matter and anti-Matter work like that. Except, Matter and anti-Matter release a LOT of energy when they collide. They release enough energy to easily go to Mars. So, using that energy to go around the Earth is child’s play .

Magic Dust

This is the oldest answer to how Santa gets around the world in one night.

Everyone knows how powerful a little magic can be. (Just ask Harry Potter!)

Santa and the elves created the top secret formulae for magic a long time ago. They’ve had centuries to perfect it and make lots of it!

The Government Proved It!

So don’t take my word that Santa can get to everyone’s home all around the world to deliver gifts in just one night! If it wasn’t true, why would Google and NORAD (jointly run by the Canadian AND U.S. governments!) still track Santa every year?

I’m just glad NORAD knows Santa is real so they don’t accidentally shoot him down!

Santa is a Time Bender!

Where does Santa live? The North Pole.

Where do all the time zones in the world meet? The North Pole.

Let’s Do The Time Warp Again!

How fast does Santa travel?

Elves cracked the secret of Time Warps and Wormholes a long time ago (well, it was only a few seconds ago if you know how to time travel back to when they did it!).

They use science so Santa, his reindeer and sleigh can sit in a small bubble of the space-time fabric. They use the reindeers’ antlers to create and keep the bubble going. Of course, the elves’ wormhole technology also means Santa can use cosmic short-cuts (that means time-travel). When you can time-travel, it’s really easy to visit all the homes in what appears to be one night.

Santa Delivering Presents

So now you know the secrets to Santa delivering presents! And now you know how fast Santa can travel. You even know how Santa gets around the world in one night! Just please don’t tell everyone. I don’t want people appearing and disappearing all over the place like they were Santa Claus delivering all the presents! That would make me really grumpy!

Posted on Last updated: March 3, 2022

Go to Home » Post Archive » How To Cool a Cake Quickly (In 4 Simple Steps)

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So you’ve made a cake and it just came out of the oven, looking perfect (yay!). The only problem is you need to decorate it….now! No time to wait around letting it cool for hours, that cake has a deadline and it can’t wait.

So what can you do when you need to cool a cake quickly? Time to find out!

How to make christmas come faster

1 – Take the Cake Out of the Pan

The first thing that will help your cake cool quickly is to get it out of that hot pan (unless of course you’re trying one of my ways to bake a cake without a pan). Even though the cake is out of the oven, the pan it is inside of is quite hot.

Cake pans actually retain a lot of heat and also don’t let any cool air get to the cake itself.

An easy solution to the hot pan problem is to take the cake out of the pan (try one of my tricks if it’s stuck), getting it away from the hot metal and allowing some cool air to get to the cake itself.

However, it’s not as easy as flipping the cake out of the pan the second it comes out of the oven. If you do that, you may find that the cake immediately cracks and falls apart when you flip the pan upside down. No one wants a broken cake!

When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool in the pan for ten minutes. Then, place a plate or cake board directly on the surface of the cake. Flip the pan over, allowing the plate or cake board to catch the cake, holding it together.

Gently remove the cake pan, lifting it straight up off of the cake. Tada! Hot pan, gone!

2 – Use a Cooling Rack

Using a cooling rack to help cool your cake will definitely make the process faster. If you put a cake on a plate or cake board to cool, the bottom of the cake is covered, trapped, and stuck with all that heat!

A cooling rack lifts the cake off of the table and lets cool air touch every part of the cake. This is a very simple and effective way to help your cake cool faster.

Cooling racks are very affordable and readily available online at Amazon. I like this particular set because it’s heavy duty (stainless steel), can withstand high heat (for more than just cooling), and comes in several sizes.

3 – Cut the Cake

One of the fastest ways to cool a cake is to cut the cake. If you intend to fill the cake with frosting or a tasty filling, you will be cutting the cake anyway- why not cut it now!

When you slice the cake horizontally, prepping it to be filled later on, you will be allowing cool air to touch more of the cake. Now, you have multiple skinny layers of cake rather than one thick cake with the heat stuck inside the dense center.

Gently cut the cake with a serrated knife which will not tear the soft warm cake but rather saw through with ease.

Going slow is key! If you try to cut the cake too fast, you may rip the delicate fresh pastry. Once the layers are cut, spread them out on a cooling rack and your cake slices will be chilled in no time!

If you do not intend to fill your cake, you can still cut off the top of the cake to release some trapped steam and help the cake cool faster. You can also then eat the warm, delicious cake top- sounds like a total win!

4 – Use the Fridge or Freezer

How to make christmas come faster

One of the most common ideas for cooling a cake quickly is to throw the warm cake right into a fridge or freezer. Of course, this wil definitely help cool your cake faster!

However, when using a fridge or freezer, keep in mind that while the top of the cake may be cool to the touch, the center may still be quite hot.

Place the cake in the fridge or freezer in conjunction with the other cooling methods to speed everything along. This means take the cake out of the hot pan and then place it in the freezer for a few minutes.

Then, slice the cake gently and put it back in the freezer. Move the cake to the cooling rack and let the cooling process finish at room temp. See, all the techniques can work together!

If you put a cake into the fridge or freezer, don’t forget that it is in there! Unwrapped cakes in a freezer can dry out very quickly which will cause a whole new set of problems.

Cooling a cake in the fridge or freezer straight after it comes from the oven can also change the crumb texture of the cake.

So yes, the fridge and freezer can help but don’t leave your cake in there too long or you won’t be happy with your “frozen on the outside, hot in the middle” cake!

The Best Way to Cool a Cake (When You’re Not Short on Time)

For the times that you are not in a rush, it is good to know the best way to cool a cake. When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool on a cooling rack for an hour or two.

Then, flip the cake out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic and then place it in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, you will have a perfectly cooled cake with a texture that dreams are made of.

Okay, okay, we don’t always have a full day to let cakes cool. But when you do, use this tried and true method and you will not be disappointed!

Cool That Cake!

Now you are well versed in ways to help cool your cake quickly. So the next time you are in a rush and need that cake cooled in a matter of minutes, you know what to do!

Get it out of the pan, slice it, use a cooling rack and use the fridge or freezer in a smart way- easy enough, right?

Once your cake is cooled, the obvious next step is to store it. So, be sure to check out my tips for storing your cake to keep it fresh.

How to make christmas come faster

How many times have you experienced this: You’re wide awake at 3 a.m., unable to get back to sleep. Your mind races with a rising sense of panic about the difficult day ahead if you don’t fall back to sleep. But it seems impossible, at that point, to drift back to sleep.

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What you’re experiencing is a type of insomnia, says behavioral sleep disorders specialist Michelle Drerup, PsyD.

Many underlying health problems such as chronic pain, sleep apnea or acid reflex can cause insomnia. But if your difficulty getting to and staying asleep isn’t due to health problems, here are some tips that can help you get back to sleep fast.

  1. Stop watching the clock. Marking off the minutes only heightens your distress about being awake.
  2. Try relaxing your body to fall asleep. Working from your toes to your forehead, tightly tense each muscle group for five seconds, then relax.
  3. If you can’t fall back to sleep after approximately 15 to 20 minutes, get out of bed. Use your “mind clock, ” Dr. Drerup says, to estimate how long you’ve been awake. After 20 minutes of wakefulness, get up and leave your bedroom. “Don’t spend time in bed trying to fall asleep,” she says. “You’ll probably worry about not falling asleep and then learn to associate the bedroom with not sleeping well.”
  4. Find an uninteresting activity. Read something uninteresting. Listen to relaxing music. When you start to feel drowsy, go back to bed.

In addition to these tips above, you can also adopt daytime habits that will help you sleep better at night, Dr. Drerup says.

  • Create a consistent sleeping and waking schedule — even on the weekends and days off work. “What works best is going to around bed at the same time and waking up at same time every day,” Dr. Drerup says.
  • Avoid consuming drinks or food with caffeine before bedtime. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages for at least five to six hours before you plan to retire, Dr. Drerup says. “Caffeine can play a major role in not getting a good night’s sleep,” she says.
  • Make your sleeping environment comfortable. The room should be set at a temperature that’s not too warm or too cold. Find a mattress and pillow with a firmness level that you find restful.
  • One hour before bedtime, stop doing work or other mentally-challenging tasks. Switch to something calming such as reading a book.
  • Use your bed only for sleep or intimacy. Do not watch television or play with electronic devices while lying in bed. “Otherwise, we come to associate the bedroom with not sleeping,” Dr. Drerup says.

Chronic insomnia affects up to 15 % of adults, and many don’t seek treatment for it.

If your symptoms last longer than a month or so, it’s time to seek medical advice. Ditto if lack of sleep interferes with your daytime activities, Dr. Drerup says.

Kate Pullen is an accomplished artist and rubber stamping expert with over 15 years of professional crafting experience. She founded the website Away With The Pixels, a digital rubber stamping studio, and conducts craft workshops around the country.

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How to make christmas come faster

The Spruce / Kate Pullen

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Seed paper is produced by mixing recycled paper pulp with seeds and pressing the mixture into a shape. You can use plain white paper, newspaper, tissue paper, cardboard, and most other types of paper (besides paper with a glossy finish) to create the pulp. The process is quick and easy, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. But it can be messy and wet, so it’s important to work on a protected surface. The end result is a textured paper with a more natural look than store-bought options. Plus, seed paper can even be planted in soil where the seeds should grow if the soil is kept moist. Seed paper is excellent to use for gift tags and cards. Be sure to include directions for the recipient that they can plant the paper, and tell them which seeds you used.

Small seeds are best for plantable paper, particularly if you plan to write on it. Flower seeds, a wildflower mix, or even herbs and vegetables will all work.

Putting up a live Christmas tree can be a lot of work

How to make christmas come faster

December 23, 2010

Putting up a live Christmas tree can be a lot of work. You have to make sure that the tree has plenty of water, sometimes having to crawl beneath the branches while trying not to dislodge any of the breakable ornaments. And then there’s the clean-up. No matter what you do, the tree is going to shed needles destined to become lodged in the bottom of your foot. Now scientists from Canada, reporting in the journal Trees, have figured out why those needles fall off, and they’ve come up with a couple of solutions that could keep needles on longer.

There are plenty of myths advising how you can better keep the needles on your tree. When the Mythbusters tested several of them—adding fertilizer, Viagra or bleach to the water, for example, or coating the entire tree with hairspray or polyurethane—most of the home remedies weren’t much help, or they turned the tree a sickly color. But these solutions don’t address what the scientists now say is the cause of the needle loss: ethylene, a plant hormone. That’s the same molecule that ripens many fruits, and the reason why adding a ripe banana to a bag full of green tomatoes will turn them red. In the balsam fir trees of the recent study, ethylene is produced around 10 days after the tree is cut and signals to the tree that it should drop its needles. And by 40 days after cutting, the branches were bare.

The researchers then tried two ways of interfering with the ethylene. First they added 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) gas to the chamber where they had put cut fir branches in water. Needle retention rose to 73 days. 1-MCP blocks ethylene receptors in the cell and is used by ornamental horticulture and apple industries to prolong the life of their products, and it could be used during the transport of Christmas trees from field to market.

In their second test, they added amino-ethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), which inhibits the production of ethylene, to the water in which the fir branches sat. Needle retention rose to 87 days. Because AVG can be easily dissolved in the tree’s supply of water, it’s more likely to find use in the home.

The scientists caution that they have yet to scale up their experiment from single cut branches to whole trees, but “what is really encouraging is that we managed to double the needle retention period of the branches,” says study co-author Seeve Pepin of the Universite Laval.

How to make christmas come faster

The life cycle of the poinsettia may seem a bit complicated, but this short day plant must satisfy certain growing requirements in order to bloom.

Where Did the Poinsettia Come From?

In order to fully understand or appreciate this plant, it is helpful to take a look at where the poinsettia comes from. The poinsettia is native to Central America, near southern Mexico. It was introduced to the United States in 1828 and got its name from Joel Roberts Poinsett. Poinsett was the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico with a passion for botany. Upon discovering this shrub, he became so enchanted with its bright red blooms that he sent some to his South Carolina home to be propagated.

What Makes Poinsettias Turn Red?

Many people wonder what makes poinsettias turn red. It is actually the plant’s leaves that provide its color through a process called photoperiodism. This process, in response to certain amounts of light or lack thereof, turns the leaves from green to red (or pink, white, and other shade variations).

What most people mistake as flowers are in fact specialized leaves, or bracts. The small yellow flowers are found in the center of the leaf branches.

How to Make Poinsettia Turn Red

In order to get a poinsettia plant to turn red, you need to eliminate its light. Flower formation is actually triggered by periods of darkness. During the day, poinsettia plants require as much bright light as possible in order to absorb enough energy for color production.

At night, however, poinsettia plants must not receive any light for at least 12 hours. Therefore, it may be necessary to place plants in a dark closet or cover them with cardboard boxes.

Make a Poinsettia Rebloom

To coax a poinsettia plant to bloom again, it’s necessary to repeat the poinsettia life cycle. After the holidays and once blooming has ceased, limit the amount of watering so the plant can go dormant until spring.

Then, usually around March or April, regular watering can be resumed and fertilizing can begin. Prune back the plant to about 6 inches (15 cm.) from the top of the container and repot.

Poinsettia plants can be kept outdoors in a protected sunny area during summer, if desired. Pinch out the tips to promote branching of new growth until about the middle of August.

Once fall returns (and shorter days), reduce the amount of fertilizer and bring outdoor plants inside. Once again, limit watering in September/October and give the poinsettia bright daylight temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees F. (16-21 C.) with total darkness at night with cooler temperatures of around 60 degrees F. (15 C.). Once flower bracts have developed definite color, you can reduce the amount of darkness and increase its water.

Making Doughnut Batter

A basic doughnut batter is pretty simple stuff: Flour, sugar, salt, yeast or baking powder, plus milk, butter, and eggs. We have dozens and dozens of doughnut recipes to choose from.

Yeast Doughnuts

Add yeast to the batter, and you’re making yeast doughnuts — also called ″raised” doughnuts because the yeasty dough needs time to rise.

To make yeast doughnuts, you’ll dissolve the yeast in warm water, and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy. Then stir the foamy yeast into the flour mixture, adding the remaining ingredients as the recipe describes.

When the dough is firm enough, turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Place into an oiled bowl, cover, and, allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Favorite yeast doughnut recipes to try:

  • Glazed Yeast Doughnuts
  • My Mom’s Raised Doughnuts
  • Crispy and Creamy Doughnuts

Cake Doughnuts

Add baking powder instead of yeast, and you’re making cake doughnuts. With cake doughnuts, the dough goes straight from kneading and shaping into the hot oil (or oven) — no rising time required. Not surprisingly, they have a denser, cake-ier texture.

Favorite cake doughnut recipes to try:

  • Applesauce Doughnuts with Buttermilk
  • Plain Cake Doughnuts
  • Super Easy Doughnuts

Doughnut Dough Shortcut

Grandma would never cheat, of course. But Grandma’s Doughnuts fudge things just a little by using refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough in place of batter! With this shortcut recipe, you’ll have doughnuts prepped, fried, and on the drying rack in 20 minutes.

Boost Your Batter

Once you have a basic batter, you can kick things up a notch. Add chocolate chunks or funfetti to the batter. Or mix in pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree, or a little cinnamon and nutmeg, maybe a little orange zest, or give ’em the carrot cake treatment.

Instructables is a community for people who like to make things. Come explore, share, and make your next project with us!

Instructables is a community for people who like to make things. Come explore, share, and make your next project with us!

Instructables is a community for people who like to make things. Come explore, share, and make your next project with us!

Instructables is a community for people who like to make things. Come explore, share, and make your next project with us!

Instructables is a community for people who like to make things. Come explore, share, and make your next project with us!

Instructables is a community for people who like to make things. Come explore, share, and make your next project with us!


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Why does time seem to fly by the older you get? Why are “firsts” so memorable?

Posted December 22, 2012

Does it seem like Christmas comes sooner and sooner each year? As a child, it seemed like Christmas would never get here. As an adult, they seem to come around sooner and sooner. Many middle-aged folks (whatever that means) notice that time seems to be flying by; the years quickly pass. Why is it that time appears to go more quickly as we get older?

There are some recent books that tackle this psychological issue, and while there are a number of theories, the best explanation is that novel experiences seem to slow time perception down. Repetition of events seems to make them go faster. As a child, who has experienced few Christmases, each one brings anticipation and a certain novelty. For the parents (and especially the grandparents), it’s all too familiar – the same old, same old.

I have written about time perception before, and readers have proposed some competing theories. One popular theory maintains that there is a sort of mathematical formula going on that divides our lifetime. As an 8-year-old child, a year is one-eighth of the lifetime – a significant (and memorable) portion; as a 50-year old, it’s only one-fiftieth. But that theory assumes that our brains work like computers, storing every single bit of information, like a filmed, life-long documentary. But that’s not how the brain works.

Perception and memory psychologists argue that memories are a social re-construction, not a literal record like computer files. Not every memory is stored as a distinct event, and the vast majority of our memories of places and times are not accessible.

Here’s another example: The first time you drive to a distant locale, it seems like it takes forever (remember that first weekend getaway, or commuting trip the first day of the new job?). As you repeat the drive, over and over, the time flies by, and you can’t recall any specific trip, unless something “memorable” happens. A really long traffic jam; a fender bender; etc. Or, the first day of a two-week beachside vacation seems to go on and on, a long, and enjoyable experience (“Wow, I’ve got two whole weeks of this!”). But before you know it, you’re packing for home.

So what is the key to time perception? Routine makes time go faster, unique and memorable events slow down time. Although there is comfort in routine, it does make time fly. So, if you want to “slow down” time, and make your Christmases (or your every day) last longer, change the routine. Create unique experiences for each one. You can also engage in greater mindfulness – focusing on and savoring each passing moment. The old adage of “live for the moment” is the key to slowing down those quickly passing years.

Two good books on time perception are “Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older: How Memory Shapes our Past” by Douwe Draaisma, and Philip Zimbardo’s and John Boyd’s “The Time Paradox.”

How to make christmas come faster

Finding the best solution to how to make a baby boy is easier when you have some knowledge on how the female body works and how the eggs get fertilized by female or male sperm.

However, some people aren’t really into scientific methods and medical theories so they prefer using home and natural products or methods, such as various foods or plants for example.

Whether you’re among those persons looking for solutions on how to conceive a boy naturally or among those individuals searching for the most accessible scientific ways to increase your chances of giving birth to a male baby, you should check the tips and suggestions below.

How To Make A Baby Boy By Having Frequent Sex

So, if your relationship isn’t exactly exciting at this point, you should try to spice it up and have intimate contact more frequently as frequent sex gives male sperm more chances of reaching the fertile egg.

Male sperm have shorter tails and smaller heads thus they swim faster through the not so hospitable cervical mucus. If you have sex more often, male sperm is more likely to reach inside the vagina around the ovulation date and to fertilize the egg.

How to make christmas come faster

How To Conceive A Boy Naturally By Limiting Alcohol Intake

How to make christmas come faster

Increasing the odds of conceiving a baby boy involves not only looking for foods to show you how to make a baby boy but also for those foods or beverages that can decrease the chances of giving birth to a male baby.

A good example of products that considerably lower the chances of conceiving a baby is represented by alcoholic beverages.

These increase the production of female hormones, thus lower the amount of male hormones and the sperm count as well.

Moreover, some studies suggest alcohol can affect the sperm-producing cells located in testicles so it’s obvious that by drinking alcoholic beverages frequently, chances of conceiving a male baby are lowered.

How To Get Pregnant With A Boy By Having Unplanned Sex

Lots of women claim they conceived their baby boys in random weeknights, without tracking ovulation, basal body temperature or paying attention to changes in cervical mucus.

Basically, what these women say chances of giving birth to a male baby are higher when you have intercourse without candles, romance and a long prelude.

So if you’re looking for ways and suggestions on how to make a baby boy, you should have more unplanned and unromantic sex in random days.

Ways To Conceive A Boy With Cough Syrup

How to make christmas come faster

As strange as this may sound, there are lots of women who claim they conceived a baby boy after using cough syrup a couple of hours before having intimate relationship.

Apparently, this theory does have some scientific arguments behind it.

Cough syrup works by thinning cervical mucus as well as mucus in the respiratory tract.

It’s well known and proven that the fragile male sperm travels easier through thinner mucus so by using this syrup during certain days one can considerably increase their chances of giving birth to a boy as internal environment becomes more hospitable for male sperm.

How To Make A Boy Baby By Tracking Basal Body Temperature

It’s known that having intimate contact near the ovulation date is more likely to lead to the conception of a male baby than a female one, so charting temperature is very useful for knowing when ovulation approaches.

If you want to use this method you only need to purchase a thermometer and to keep track of your basal temperature throughout the month.

You can also get a kit from a pharmacy as there are lots of accessible kits equipped with all the needed tools for charting ovulation and basal body temperature easily.

This method is scientifically proven to be efficient so you should try it if you’re among those persons looking into how to make a baby boy.

Best Positions To Conceive A Boy: Standing Ones

How to make christmas come faster

One of the best positions to conceive a boy is the standing one, as this allows the male to have control.

Besides allowing for deep penetration, this position also makes the man the one who dominates and it’s thought such positions are more likely to increase the odds of having male babies.

You can also use variations, as long as your pelvis remains in the upright position, as female sperm is heavier and swims slower than male one.

So when it comes to fertilizing an egg after swimming against gravity, it’s obvious that a standing position is better for those looking for ways to conceive a boy.

How To Make A Baby Boy By Giving Up Smoking

How to make christmas come faster

Giving up smoking also increases the chances of giving birth to a baby boy as it is known chemicals in cigarettes affect not only the sperm count but also the motility of sperm cells, making them less mobile and therefore less likely to reach the fertile egg and give birth to babies.

Giving that male sperm is even more fragile than female one, is easy to understand why smoking kills sperm carrying the Y chromosome faster than female sperm.

So an easy to apply solution for enhancing the chances of having a boy is to avoid smoking as well as exposure to chemicals found in cigarette smoke.

Both the male and female should avoid such substances as a healthier reproductive tract is more likely to favor the conception of a baby than an internal environment that’s altered by chemicals and toxins in cigars.

Once it’s cut and inside, it’s up to you to give your tree the proper care it needs to stay alive.

Few things are as lovely during the holiday season than a real Christmas tree. The adventure of going to pick one out and bring it home is half the fun, but once it’s in the house, you may start to notice your beloved tree is starting to look a little brittle (and Christmas is still weeks away!).

Since the last thing anyone wants during the holiday season is a dried up tree, the home care experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute rounded up the best tips for making sure that your tree looks alive and fresh come Christmas morning.

First, how long do real Christmas trees last?

With proper care, most real Christmas trees should last at least five weeks or more. That means, if you decorate for Christmas in late November, your tree should survive beyond the holiday festivities.

However, Samantha Jones, a gardening expert at MyJobQuote, suggests buying your Christmas tree about a week into December.

Follow these tips to keep your Christmas tree looking fresh long after it’s cut.

1. Choose a healthy Christmas tree.

First, note that if you prefer to buy your tree from a garden store or roadside lot, it likely came from out-of-state and has been exposed to drying winds in transit. If you’re looking to start with the freshest possible tree, opt for one from your local Christmas tree farm. Either way, it’s essential to know how to choose the best Christmas tree.

Keep these tips in mind as you shop for your Christmas tree:

  • Look for a healthy, green tree with the least amount of brown needles.
  • Select a tree displayed in a shady location. Avoid picking from a sunny area.
  • Run a few branches through your hands. The needles should feel pliable and not fall off.
  • Raise the tree a few inches, then drop the trunk into the ground. Very few green needles should fall off, but it’s fine if the tree loses a few brown ones.

2. Trim the trunk (and then trim it again).

When you purchase a Christmas tree, double-check that the seller makes a fresh cut straight across the base of the trunk to aid water absorption. This gets rid of any dried-over resin that might block the tree from absorbing water. When you get home, if you’re not putting your tree up right away, place it in a bucket of water. (Note that you should always store real trees in an unheated garage or area that’s protected from wind and freezing temperatures.)

When you’re ready to bring it inside, make another one-inch cut off the bottom of the trunk. Once inside, place it in a sturdy stand that holds at least one gallon of water.

3. Make sure your Christmas tree always has enough water.

Don’t forget to regularly give your Christmas tree water — too little can cause resin to form, which means the tree won’t absorb water and it will dry out quickly. Follow this rule of thumb: For every inch of the trunk’s diameter, fill the stand with one quart of water.

Even though you’ve heard people talk about adding things like bleach, corn syrup, aspirin, and sugar to the water, tree preservatives and additives are probably unnecessary. Most experts agree that plenty of clean water is all you need to keep a tree fresh. Just remember to check the water level daily — it should always cover the cut end of the trunk. Refill as needed.

If you lower the temperature in the room, it can help slow down the drying process (and therefore result in your tree requiring a bit less water), according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

How to make christmas come faster

4. Keep the Christmas tree away from heat sources.

Sure, there’s nothing more lovely than a beautifully decorated Christmas tree beside a roaring fireplace — but, along with sunlight radiators, air ducts and stoves, a regularly-used fireplace could contribute to your tree drying out at a much quicker pace.

If your home is prone to dryness, try using a humidifier to add moisture to the room. The Good Housekeeping Institute recommends the Vornado EVAP40 Humidifier for large areas (like the living room!). It performed well in our tests and can add enough moisture to the air to keep your tree fresh longer.

5. Take your tree down before it dries out.

If you wait too long, you’ll have more dead pine needles to deal with. The easiest way to clean up fallen needles is by using your vacuum’s hose. Skip the fancy attachments and just use the end of the hose to draw needles directly into the bag or canister.

When you’re officially done with your tree, you have a couple options: You can start a new compost pile with it, recycle it, or turn it into mulch yourself. You can also ask your town about what disposal options it offers, if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly solution.

To bloom or not to bloom, that is the question many Christmas cactus owners are asking themselves.

During the holidays, the stores are filled with acres of blooming Christmas cacti. They flower brightly with blooms in red, pink, yellow, orange, white or purple. The average gardener can’t keep their hands from clasping one or more in exotic colors and rushing to the cash register.

But at some point, reality intrudes and you not only want to keep it alive, you would like to have it bloom in future years. Why, you might even be leaving a giant, magnificent Christmas cactus to your heirs.

How to make christmas come faster
Christmas cactus. Photo credit: Bodie Pennisi, Univ. of Georgia,

Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) is also known as Thanksgiving cactus, holiday cactus or crab cactus. The crab name refers to the leaf-shaped stem segments that have curved, pointed teeth or claws along the edges. The Easter cactus (Schlumbergera buckleyi) has rounded edges on its leaf segments. They all originated in southeast coastal Brazil in shady, humid forests. They are classified as epiphytes because they live above the ground in the trees, in areas where branches meet and decomposing fallen leaves and mosses collect.

Even though this plant bears the name of cactus, the care that it requires has nothing to do with its desert relatives. It is classified as a forest cactus. Its needs trace directly to its origins. Christmas cactus grows best when it is “pot bound.” That means leaving it in a small container for as long as possible and then moving up to just a slightly larger pot. They prefer a rich, organic potting mix and should not be allowed to dry out. Increase the amount of water when the plant is blooming. They prefer bright, indirect light. Full sun can cause the leaf segments to turn dark red as the plants begin to burn.

The “trick” to getting Christmas cactus to bloom in the following years after purchase comes down to two things: light and temperature. These two are the keys to the flower kingdom. Christmas cacti produce flowers in a cool, environment-short day cycle. To initiate the production of flower buds, there needs to be at least eight days of 16 hours of dark and eight hours of light each day. Wherever the plant is placed, do not turn on the lights at night, even for a short period of time. That breaks the dark cycle required. The temperature should be around 61 degrees. Avoid placing the plant where it receives either cold or hot air drafts.

Placing the Christmas cactus on the window sill in a cool room and not turning on the lights is all that’s needed. If the plant was in a lighted room, often the side to the window develops buds, but the lighted side of the plant does not. If the plant sets flower buds and then they fall off, it usually has to do with either receiving too much or not enough water or lack of air humidity. The good news is that Christmas cacti are considered relatively easy to get to bloom again if their temperature and light requirements are met.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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How to make christmas come faster

Want your Christmas presents to look perfectly presentable under the tree this year? It’s easy. From wrapping a simple box to tackling odd-shaped gifts to making gift bows with ribbon, our gift-wrapping video tutorials will teach you how to wrap it up right!


Inspired? Create and share by tagging @hallmarkstores.

1. How to Wrap a Box

Difficulty Level: Easy Peasy

2. How to Top a Gift Bag with Tissue

Difficulty Level: Easy Peasy

3. How to Wrap Odd-Shaped Gifts

Difficulty Level: Easy Peasy

4. How to Make a Gift Pocket

Difficulty Level: Easy Peasy

5. How to Make a Simple Bow

Difficulty Level: Easy Peasy

6. How to Make a Gift Sash

Difficulty Level: Fancy Pants

7. How to Make a Gift Tower

Difficulty Level: Fancy Pants

Bonus: Up your holiday gift-wrapping game with a snowman gift tower.

8. How to Make a Tissue Paper Flower

Difficulty Level: Fancy Pants

9. How to Add a Personal Touch

Difficulty Level: Fancy Pants

10. How to Make a Fancy Bow

Difficulty Level: Fancy Pants

Bonus Quick Tip: A Great Cover-Up

Just a tad short on gift wrap for that special box? Watch this video for a beautiful solution featuring our new Hallmark Makers Gift Wrap Collection.

December 24, 2012 by Ella


No snow on Christmas? Oh that can’t be…!

I have an exciting tutorial here for you that will make your Christmas wish come true… yes, you can have snow for Christmas!

Want to know how to make Artificial Snow?

Here are 3 eco-friendly DIY recipes to make artificial snow in less than 3 minutes from ingredients you already have at home:

#1 Artificial Snow from Paper Towels

Ingredients : about 10 sheets of damp paper towel sheets
Directions : mix in a food processor until small little pieces form

#2 Artificial Snow from Sea Salt

Ingredients : coarse sea salt
Directions : sprinkle anywhere you wish
food safe and actually edible – great for tabletop displays where it touches food

#3 Artificial Snow from Baking Soda (Baking Soda Snow)

Ingredients : 1 cup of baking soda
Directions : add to a bowl, and drop in 1 tablespoon of water at a time, mix well with a fork. Continue adding one tablespoon of water at a time, mixing in between until a ‘snow’ consistency forms.

My personal favourite recipe(s) was to actually combine the Artificial Snow from Paper Towels with the Baking Soda Snow – together it was just the perfect fluffiness on top with close-to-real small particles of snow all around 😉 The Sea Salt Snow could also work well… but I am personally not a fan of using food (good food) as a decoration. (it’s kind of like throwing food away). But I suppose this is still a lot better than using artificial plastic that is definitely NOT eco-friendly and will just sit in the landfill with its toxins.

Now you can fully enjoy the holidays with some fun snow around!
The kids will be thrilled! (mine totally was ;)) Actually it was the little one who’s idea it was to make our own snow.

After popping into a few stores last week to pick up some artificial snow – we were devastated to hear that it was all sold out! We’ve had this cute DIY project in mind and just needed snow desperately…
With all our supplies already out… I had to explain to Miss G that we just won’t get snow in time… “Oh no….” (she said with those sad cute eyes) (but just then her little eyes lit up!) “But mom…. I know…. WE CAN MAKE OUR OWN SNOW!”

And just then, the very creative and determined little one ran off…. and came back just a minute later holding two squares of toilet paper! Ha! She excitedly started tearing it into tiniest little shreds! “Wow.. you’re onto something here!” I smiled 😉 She really was! I loved how creative and inventive she got! Didn’t take No for an answer and proceeded to CREATE HER OWN SNOW!

I then plugged in the food processor and took her idea into mass production! 😉

Well… that ladies and gentlemen is how the best ideas form – and it may be just paper snow to you! But it’s the most wonderful creative and inventive snow I’ve ever seen 😉
We then had some fun and experimented with the other two items

she gave the final approval of our closest-to-the-original-snow Snow!

And just why was this snow so important to us… well so that we could finish off our own DIY Anthropologie inspired Mason Jar Snow Globes of course! (my own tutorial will have to come a little later

great for next Christmas!)

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday

filled with love, magic, happiness and now…. snow!