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Christmas Ideas

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Dancing Snowmen Jars



What You Need:





• Glass jars or candy jars

• White air-dry clay, such as Crayola Model Magic clay

• Metallic-colored crafting wire

• Wire cutters

• Ice pick

• Metallic-colored beads

• Clear adhesive

• Acrylic enamel paints in black and white

• Toothpicks

• White glass paint

• Pencil with round-tip eraser

• Assorted ribbon



1. Wash the jar. Let it dry. Avoid touching the areas to be decorated.

2. Shape two or three small balls from clay for each snowman. Press together. Lay jar on its side. Place snowman in position on jar and press gently against glass.

3. Cut and shape wire arms, nose, and hat, if desired. To make a small cone nose, wrap wire around the end of an ice pick. While the clay is still moist, push wire pieces in place. Turn slightly to secure. Push beads into place for buttons. Let clay dry on jars.

4. Remove clay shapes from jar and glue back in place. Let the glue dry.

5. Use a toothpick dipped in paint to add eyes and a mouth.

6. If desired, add polka dots to the candy-jar lids. Dip the eraser end of a pencil into white glass paint and dot onto the surface. Let the paint dry.

7. Tie ribbon bows around the jar tops. Trim the ribbon ends.

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Snowflake Coasters



A set of these no-sew, sparkly, soft snowflake coasters is a thoughtful gift.




What You Need:




Add holiday confetti to give these

coasters extra beauty.



• Scissors

• Ruler

• Felt in two contrasting colors

• White mesh tulle

• 1/2 yard of 3/8-inch-wide velvet ribbon to match base-color felt for each coaster

• Various sequins, including snowflake shapes

• Fabric glue



1. Cut a 4-1/4-inch square from the base-color felt and from the mesh tulle. Cut four 4-1/4-inch lengths of velvet ribbon.

2. Enlarge a snowflake sequin on a photocopier until it is 3 inches in diameter. Use this as a pattern to cut a snowflake out of the contrasting felt.

3. Glue the felt snowflake to the center of the felt square. Sprinkle a few sequins over the felt snowflake, keeping them toward the center of the square. Lay the square of mesh tulle on top of the felt square and snowflake; line up the edges.

4. Put a bead of fabric glue 1/8 inch from the edge of the coaster on all four sides. Dab additional glue on the back of each piece of ribbon.

5. Lay the four pieces of velvet ribbon along the edges of the coaster and press them into the glue, overlapping corners. Let dry.

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Sparkling Beaded Candleholder




What You Need:




Colorful beads sparkle by candlelight.



• Beading wire (available in crafts and discount stores)

• Wire cutters

• Glass or plastic beads as desired

• Glass votive candleholder

• Hot-glue gun and hot-glue sticks



1. Cut a piece of wire approximately 36 inches long.

2. Place one bead on the end of the wire, threading the wire through the bead a second time to secure. String beads on wire as desired, securing last bead as for the first.

3. Wrap beaded wire around candleholder to determine the placement. If you desire more length, simply cut and bead an extra length of wire.

4. Secure one end of beaded wire with glue at the top edge of the candleholder. Wrap the beaded wire or wires around the candleholder, securing with glue about every inch.


More Ideas:

• To cover a larger candleholder with beaded wire, simply make several lengths and glue in the same manner as for the small votive candleholder.

• Try this same idea threading miscellaneous jewelry findings, shells, and shank buttons onto the wire.

• If desired, select beads in seasonal colors. Add them to the wire in 6-inch lengths of one color, or mix them up for a mottled effect.

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Hi Stacey,

I tried the site now and they are probably working on it now because I too, could

not get on it. I tried all the links this morning( to make sure they were correct on the post) and I got on it. Try it again later or tomorrow, it is a great site.

Have fun! Gina :-D

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Hi All,

I LOVE this month!! So many fun crafts to do.....

Here are two that I just did with my residents.

This is a great idea for the doors, and its fairly inexpensive and

you can make an activity out of it.

Make candy garland to put around the ladies name plates outside

their doors. It is very easy and looks great.

All you do is take red and white or green and white mints(like the

kind you get a resturants after your meal)and tie one mint to the

next with ribbon in between each mint and keep going until your

desired length.So easy!!:lol:


Or make cinnamon stick frames to put on the ladies doors.

All you do is buy whole cinnamon sticks(usually in the spice section

of most stores) a glue gun ,a picture or old christmas card front

and ribbon.

Get the sticks(four or eight for each frame)and make a square frame

out of the sticks with the picture attached to the sticks from the

back,then glue together and tie ribbon on the top to hang from the

door.This craft is sooooo easy and it smells wonderful!!


Have fun and Happy Holidays. Gina :lol:

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Hi All,

I saw this on my MSN home page and thought it was cute to share with

my residents. You might like it too....

The Cost of A Partridge in a Pear Tree:


One Partridge in a Pear Tree $93

Partridge 15.00

Pear Tree 78.00

Two Turtle Doves 40.00

Three French Hens 45.00

Four Calling Birds 396.00

Five Gold Rings 255.00

Six Geese-a-Laying 210.00

Seven Swans-a-Swimming 3,500.00

Eight Maids-a-Milking 41.20

Nine Ladies Dancing 4,400.13

10 Lords-a-Leaping 4,039.08

11 Pipers Piping 2,053.20

12 Drummers Drumming 2,224.30

Total Christmas Price Index 17,296.91

True cost of Christmas in song 66,334.46


Source: PNC Advisors


Outsourcing keeps unskilled maids cheap

The holiday survey is used as a tongue-in-cheek indicator of

inflation. And this year's increase in the Christmas Index is near

to the rise in the government's measurement. PNC's Christmas Price

Index is up 2.4% from 2003 and up nearly 37% from 1984. The

government's Consumer Price Index for October was up 3.2% from thee

same month in 2003.


For the Christmas inflation gauge, the higher cost of fuel is

reflected in the delivery costs of the pear tree, while the trend of

outsourcing is seen with the price of eight maids-a-milking.


"The Christmas Price Index reflects the changing economic mix in


U.S. away from manufacturing to a more service based economy,"


Kleintop, chief investment strategist for PNC Advisors, said in a

statement. "The abundance of cheaper labor in countries such as

India and China has resulted in pressure on U.S. manufacturers to

outsource unskilled labor. As a result the cost of skilled dancers

has steadily increased, while the unskilled milkmaids haven't

managed an increase in pay for their services in many years."


Swans stable, French hens higher

Last year, swans were the big mover of the index, jumping more than

66% in price. This year, seven swans-a-swimming stayed steady.


The active fowl were the three French hens, up 200% to $45, and the

six geese-a-laying, up 40% to $210. That could be "due to fewer

hatchlings during this breeding cycle creating an imbalance in the

supply-demand chain," PNC said.


A surprise for those that watch the commodity market would be the

drop 29.4% drop in the price of the five gold rings. Gold is at an

all-time high, but the price of the rings dropped to $255 from

$361.25 the year before because of a significant drop in demand for

plain gold bands in the United States.


This year, the price of 12 drummers rose 3.6% to $2,224.30, while

the price of 11 pipers also jumped 3.6%, to $2,053.20. Leaping

lords, in this case the Philadelphia Ballet, rose 3% to 4,039.08,

and the price of ladies dancing -- taken from the price charged by a

modern dance troupe -- rose 4% to $4,400.13.


PNC also checks the cost of Christmas on the Internet, which is

significantly higher. The Christmas Internet Index rose 10.5% to

$27,736.50 primarily because of shipping costs, up due to rising

fuel prices, PNC said.


But maybe your true love would just rather have the cash.

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I am a new AD at a Nursing Home and I was wondering what you all do to make sure all residents get a Christmas Present on Christmas. Also do you find yourself worrying about it before then? Our facility does nothing for the residents except give them a Holiday dinner in mid December. This gets me because this is a Non Profit Church Organization. Help me here. :cry:

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Welcome to the world of Activity Directors. I hope that you are enjoying your new position. I'm at a nursing home, but I can tell you what we do here to ensure that all of the residents receive a Christmas present. I or one of myassistants buy relatively inexpensive items from the dollar tree or wal-mart and either wrap it or use a gift bag. On Christmas day, the individual that is scheduled to work that day passes the gifts out to all of the residents that celebrate Christmas. Please be sure to double check their religious preferences (if they are Jehovah Witnesses, we are sure not to give them a Christmas gift due to religious beliefs).


I hope this helps, but I'm not sure if you have a budget to work with or not. We also have local church groups that come to carol and bring gifts throughout the month of December. If you don't have an activity budget to work with, call some of the local organizations to see if they would be willing to donate or bring gifts for the residents. Most companies or churches are looking for things like that to participate in.


I hope this helps.

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this was the first year that I was able to put in my budget money for Christmas Presents. I was able to put $5 per person. Not bad considering years past.


In the past I had mad a stocking for everyone, put their name on it, and filled it with candy.


In another facility, people from outside the community have donated presents. There is a group of people that donates 100 gifts at Christmas time.


Then, there is always te giving tree idea. We had place the names of residents on a tree in the lobby. Anybody who wished to donate - staff, visitors - took a name and was responsible for getting gifts for that resident. This was nice, the staff in the facility really took pride in what they did and had not objections to getting the residents they care for a gift. Usually, the Department Heads ended up with more than one resident, but all were happy to be doing it.



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you might try connecting with your city's giving tree.

I actually do two trees, that way i can make sure all my residents recieve a gift.

The city i work in is very generous. I hope this can help.

By the way you usually have to put in for the the trees in October.

So maybe this can be an idea for next year

Good luck.


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This may be to late for this year, but who knows.

Here is what I do every year, In the newsletter I ask that family members bring their loved ones (the res) a gift to the activity office by ----- (name a cut off date) I have a list of all the res. as we recieve the gifts we mark out that res. name. From this we know who will not be getting any gifts. I also explain why we do this in the newsletter and ask anyone wishing to buy gifts to donated for this cause. Ask them to wrap it & put a tag on it that says female or male. Santa give all of the res. a present at their Xmas. party.

From this list we know who will not be getting anything on Xmas. day. Usually you have several gifts left over from your donations, people also call the facility wanting to buy gifts &/or donate money.

If I do not have enough gifts &/or money to buy for these res. the Administrator will give us money to buy presents. The facility usually has money put aside in the budget for things like this.

Then on Xmas. day (my staff & I are off) one of us will run up to the facility & pass out the gifts.

We also make little stocking, put the res. name on it. Then fill it with small inexpensive items. On Xmas. eve my staff & I meet at the facility around 10 pm and we place the stocking on the res. doors.

If you have any questions please let me know. Ask your Admin. how they have handled this in the past. If they do nothing then explain how you feel & see if they won't come up with some money for this cause.

At least next year you will know and if need be have fund raisers and take donations all year long for this.



PS Have the res. name & a list of items they would like for gifts. Sometimes people (especially other family members) will want to adopt & buy for a res.

The generation that we are dealing with has a lot of pride and do not like to "take charity" so I really don't like using the tree ideal.

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I work in a large not-for-profit nursing home and this is what we do. I put up Christmas lists in each resident's room and encourage staff to list needs as they come up. We all listen closely to conversations where a resident may state a wish or a want and then put it on the list. This helps the families that visit regularly tremendously as often they do not know what to get their for their resident. Our activity department also sponsors a "Heart-to-Home" promotion. In September we made up four sample gift baskets for display that range from $10 to $20 each. We prominently displayed the baskets at all events and in our front lobby. This year the baskets were: Comforts of Home, Puzzles & Games, Snack Attack, and Cards for All Seasons. We put order blanks in our facility newsletters that go out to families, friends and donors. We put together the baskets and deliver them on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with a enclosure card. Families have responded very well to this promotion as it was very easy for family members who live out of town and the activity department does all the work. Our activity department made enough money to get special Christmas entertainment that was not in our budget! For those residents who did not have family respond, our facility purchases Christmas gifts for all those who may not receive a gift. This money comes from donors throughout the year.

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I have had the staff adopt a resident for christmas a bring the gift in at there party it is usually takes a lot of work or you can call local churches for any donations.

I hope this helps

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:-D Hi All,

Here is a great game to play with your residents...

First make 2-4 teams.

Then give each team a pair of pantyhose and one/two balloons to each person on the team.Each team should have eight balloons.

When you say "go", the teams will try to make reindeer antlers by blowing up the balloons and then stuffing them into the pantyhose.

Then one team member wears the "antlers" and sings the first verse of "Rudolph, the red nose reindeer".

The first one to do this wins for their team.

Give small stuffed animal reindeers for the winning team( go to the 99 cent store).

This game is so much fun, we played it with our staff and residents, everyone had a great laugh!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Have fun! Gina


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Guest Tinki

1. Offer a personalized 'Letter from Santa' written on colorful holiday stationery and matching envelopes.


2. Compose one or more standard letters using a standard word processing program.


3. Develop an order form for personalization to be provided by purchaser. This could include the child's name, age, gender, hometown, address, good deed, accomplishment, grade in school, name and age of siblings, name of pet, etc.


4. Purchase colorful holiday stationary. Keep the quantity low until you see how sales are going. Colorful Christmas stamps are also a must!


5. Take orders in advance. Get payment with the order. Set a cut-off date to make sure the letters will be delivered timely.


6. Pick the city you want the letter to be postmarked from and contact the postmaster there to make sure that they will open your bundle of letters and re-mail them for you. Some choices of cities could be North Pole, AK; Santa Claus, GA; Reindeer, KY; Christmas, FL, etc. You get the idea.


7. Set a price. Similar letters are available from a number of sources for $4.00 to $10.00. Since you are doing this as a fundraiser, your supporters will probably be generous but keep the price reasonable enough to generate good volume. This is not a big fundraising money maker but it can be fun.



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