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How to Take Christmas to a Whole New Level

How to Take Christmas to a Whole New Level

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    Our children love certain toys or brands and they make their lists for sure, however, I suggest that we parents do something a little extra special at Christmas.

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    Christmas is such an exciting time. Family and friends gather together to laugh, eat great food and share gifts with each other. What could be better? There is one way parents can make Christmas even better and that is by giving their children a present that is a tradition.

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    My parents always gave us presents that we had asked for however my mother always bought us a new pair of pajamas. We were just as excited to see what type or color we would be getting that year. It gave warmth to our Christmas celebration and deepened the connection we had with our mother. My father saw how happy we became, even as teenagers when we opened the special gift from “MOM”, so he decided to start his own tradition. He bought five different types of Scratch n’ Win Lotto tickets for each of us and after all the other presents were opened we sat at the dinner table and used pennies to scratch away. We have continued this tradition throughout boyfriends and now husbands.

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    It is really wonderful to watch our faces after we have opened the gifts because we all know what is coming next! One year, during the last recession, we lost the two restaurants that my family owned. There were no presents under the tree that year, dinner was tapered down, and there were no Scratch n’ Wins to scratch. Going without the presents was easy, and eating a little less was fine. The one thing we all felt melancholy about was the fact that we could no longer do our special tradition after dinner. It’s silly, really. We never win much, maybe ten dollars, but it was the consistency we missed and the hollers of, “Whoo hoo, I won a dollar!” that we missed. Of course we had other traditions that we continued like playing board games until the wee hours of the night, but it just goes to show how special and cherished traditions are for people and children especially.

    So, here are some gift ideas that you can use to begin a family tradition and add more warmth to your family’s Christmas experience.

    1. Books, novels
    2. Calendars
    3. Funny or colorful socks
    4. Crafty toys
    5. Scientific toys
    6. Bookmarks
    7. Slippers
    8. Christmas ornaments
    9. Wallets
    10. Something with the 1st letter of your child’s name (pens, pads of paper, notebooks, pencils, books, socks, picture frames, calendar, key chain, wallet) The ideas are endless and will always keep your child guessing!

    Christmas is a magical time where family is the focus. Deepen the bonds you share with your children by adding a special tradition. I promise you that when your child remembers holidays past, in ten years time, it won’t be the toy they asked for that they will remember, it will be the one that their mom or dad always gave them.

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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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