Create Your Own Picnic Baskets This Christmas

Traditional English-style Picnic Basket

Traditional English-style Picnic Basket

When it comes to free and truly refreshing (albeit cold) activities this Holiday, nothing still beats the outdoors. All you have to do is head to the park or to the mountains, lay your mat or blanket down, and open up your picnic baskets.

There are still thousands who do this, and yet they don’t have time to create their own baskets. They have to rely on the ready-made ones, which are not only expensive but may not contain everything that you are going to need. Worse, they are not up to your expectations or preferences.

You can make your own picnic basket. It may sound complicated, but with all the right tools and steps, it would not be too difficult for you:

Gather the materials you need.
There are different kinds of materials you can use for your picnic baskets. However, the most common material is called wicker. This could be because it allows everything inside to be properly ventilated. It doesn’t allow the build-up of moisture, especially when you’re travelling long distances.

There are also times when you can use covers for your picnic basket, and this will depend on the theme you want to come up with. For example, if you’re planning to create romantic picnic baskets, it would be great to look for fabrics that depict sunrises, sunsets, hearts, or lovers.

Look for steps online.
There are various instructions that you can download and print from the World Wide Web. These will be your guide on how to make your picnic baskets look more appealing. Normally, though, you will need cardboards, scissors or shears, needles, sewing machine, tape measures, glue, glue gun, and perhaps some ribbons, special paper, and fabric.

Make room for your essentials.
You want to create a picnic basket that will have enough room for your picnic needs. These include your utensils, food, some beverages, and other possessions like a book or your beloved mp3 player.

It’s essential that there will be as many compartments as much as possible. You have to avoid your food from damaging your gadgets. Your beverage may accidentally loosen itself, spilling liquids to your food.

Check the grip.
Usually, picnic baskets will have handles, which make it easier for you to carry them from one place to another. Before you head on to your destination, make sure that you can check them. They should be durable enough to withhold all contents and most of all, they must be convenient to hold.

Top 5 Most Buzzed PS3 Games This Holiday

James Cameron’s Avatar the Game

James Cameron’s Avatar the Game

One of the hottest gaming consoles out on the market today is the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3). As of March 2009, more than 170 million PS3 games have reportedly been sold.

With the recent release of the PS3 slim model last September 2009, even more games have made its way into the market. Here are 5 of the most recent and yet-to-be released PS3 games:

1. James Cameron’s Avatar
One of the most-awaited films of the year, Avatar promises to be a huge hit. The film breaks into cinemas worldwide on December 18th. However, its videogame adaptation, released earlier on December 1st, has proven to be a disappointment. Set as a prequel to the film, the game’s rich graphics and cool 3D environments suffer greatly from a thin plot and weak gameplay elements. Avatar: The Game is reportedly bland and mediocre, where you run around a beautiful world, meet characters that deliver boring dialogues, and shoot weird, unexciting enemies. IGN gives it a 6.8 rating, while GameSpot gives it a 5.5. The verdict? Don’t play the game before watching the movie!

Assassin’s Creed II

Assassin’s Creed II


2. Assassin’s Creed II
One of the best games to come out for the PS3, the sequel to Assassin’s Creed not only addresses most of the issues and glitches of the original game but also offers some great new elements. The game features a beautifully rendered environment that makes you feel like you’re really walking around Renaissance Italy. It presents a compelling, detailed storyline that merges historical facts seamlessly into the game, and introduces an extremely appealing character in Ezio Auditore di Firenze. New missions, an economy system, and additional character abilities complete the sequel. Some gameplay and video glitches may occur. Released last November, Assassin’s Creed II has a general rating of 9.0 and above.

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The Top 5 Most Memorable Symbols of Thanksgiving

Ever since 1863, when it became a national holiday in the United States, American families have come together to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. Officially, it is a day to express thanks for the blessings they received and enjoyed. Admittedly, the holiday took a long time to form, yet it became one of the most awaited holidays annually in the country, and is regarded as one of only two nondenominational events in the US.

With the long weekend, the opportunity to connect again with family and friends, it is no wonder that people make a big deal out of Thanksgiving. As such, it has spawned a lot of symbols that live on until today. Here are the top five most memorable Thanksgiving symbols.

 

Cornucopia
5. Cornucopia
The cornucopia or horn of plenty is actually a symbol for bountiful harvests that originated from the Greek legends, wherein a goat named Amalthea presented one of its horns to the god Zeus. Cornucopias were once fashioned out of hollowed out goats’ horns, which were then filled with fruits and vegetables from a recent harvest.

The first Thanksgiving feast coincided with the Keepunumuk, or the harvest time for the Wampanoag, the Native American neighbors of the Mayflower pilgrims.

Corn4. Corn
Corn actually livens up the dinner table on Thanksgiving. More than just providing delicious dinner fare (from corn muffins, soup, to various recipes featuring corn), corn was also part of the first Thanksgiving feast between the pilgrims and the native Americans.

It was also one of the crops that the Native Americans taught our forefathers to plant, and helped them survive their first bitter winter.

The tradition continues on today, wherein corn graces the dinner table on Thanksgiving.

 

Pilgrims
3. Pilgrims
Thanksgiving not only commemorates the blessings people received for the past year. It also commemorates the gratitude of the Mayflower Pilgrims to their Native American neighbors who helped them after their departure from England in the 17th century.

It is said that after the Native Americans helped the pilgrims survive even through winter and taught them how to plant crops, they showed their appreciation by holding a feast.

Today, paper cutouts and statuettes of both pilgrims and Native American adorn almost every American home during the Thanksgiving celebrations.

 

Cranberry Beans
2. Beans and Cranberry
It is believed that Native Americans taught the pilgrims to grow beans alongside their corn, which provided poles for the beans to grow on. As such, beans became part of the Thanksgiving tradition for the same reasons as corn.

Cranberries are also an important Thanksgiving symbol. It is said that pilgrims first learned to sweeten cranberries with sugar making it a great sauce. Up to this day, no Thanksgiving turkey is served without cranberry sauce.

 

Turkey

1. Turkey
It seems that every Thanksgiving dinner needs to have a turkey. More than providing a sumptuous feast, the turkey is actually a commemoration of the first Thanksgiving dinner wherein wild turkeys were believed to have been butchered and served. For the record, however, it could have been any other fowl.

Since then, every American household always roasted turkeys and served them on Thanksgiving. The turkey has been strongly associated with Thanksgiving that the day is sometimes referred to as "Turkey Day" and there is the "Turkey Song" that is aptly sung after the dinner.

The Beauty of Large Christmas Decorations

A complete set of Christmas decorations

A complete set of Christmas decorations

When the Christmas holidays are fast approaching, especially after Thanksgiving, a lot of people start thinking about putting up decorations for the season in their homes. Large Christmas decorations, colorful ones, small ones, elaborate ones, simple ones, whatever the type, they make homes look more festive and make every member of your family look forward to the coming holidays.

If you still have not tried putting up large Christmas decorations, or if you are still deciding what decorations to put up this year, you might want to try large Christmas decorations.

Admittedly, large Christmas decorations represent a substantial financial investment on your part. That is why you should consider if you could use this kind of decoration year after year after year. It must be universal enough for you to be able to use it repeatedly. You should also make sure that it is made of really durable materials that could last a long time.

Large Christmas decorations, however, have a lot of benefits. Here are some:

Large Christmas decorations represent great fun for the whole family. You can make putting up large Christmas decorations as a great activity that involves everyone, from installing it to sprucing it up. Each one could take charge of a certain task. For example, in having a large nativity set, your kids could take care of one character each, while you take care of the set up. More than bringing the family together, getting each member of the family involved can also mean saving time and effort through the division of chores among you.

This could easily become an annual family tradition. Each year, you can gather everyone and put up decorations together.

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