Old Fashioned Christmas Gifts

imagesThese days, it seems like everyone wants some kind of electronic device for Christmas.  But that can get expensive.  You also then have the entire family sitting around with their faces glued to a screen for the rest of the day.  How about getting some old fashioned Christmas gifts this year?  You could even make that the theme of your entire holiday—decorate your tree with old fashioned ornaments and use wreaths and other items that invoke the past.

What exactly qualified as an old fashioned gift?  Basically, anything that would have been given about 50 years ago.  Many people enjoyed jigsaw puzzles then, and you can find puzzles with thousands of different designs.  There are some aimed at kids, and then there are the 5,000 piece monsters aimed at those who consider themselves experts or want a challenge.

Another old fashioned idea is candy, such as a jar of jelly beans, a box of ribbon candy, or an assortment of hard candies.  Food such as cheese or summer sausage is also somewhat old fashioned, but it’s usually very appreciated.

Clothing can be an old fashioned gift, too, especially if it’s something like a nice dress shirt or a dress.

Some people like to give a single Christmas ornament to each member of their family at Christmas.  You’ll find many different vintage and old fashioned ornaments at most stores that carry decorations.

One more thing you need for an old fashioned Christmas: a beautiful arrangement of Christmas flowers delivered in Washington, DC.

Our Favorite Christmas Movies

One favorite tradition of many families during the holiday season is to set back, pop some popcorn, and watch those great Christmas movies.  There’s something magical about these films, and they can often put us in the holiday mood when nothing else can.  Here are some of the best Christmas movies (including TV specials).

It’s a Wonderful Life – the classic Christmas movie.

A Christmas Carol – there are a number of different versions of this Dickens classic, including one featuring Kermit the Frog and his Muppet friends and one starring Bugs Bunny.

Die Hard – If you want a little more action-adventure in your Christmas movie.

White Christmas – Nobody does it like Bing!

Elf – a great comedic Christmas movie.

Hogfather – the BBC adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novel is a great holiday movie for fantasy fans.

Miracle on 34th Street – another holiday classic.

Animated Specials

A Charlie Brown Christmas – everyone knows that scene where the gang decorates their pitiful little Christmas tree.

Frosty the Snowman – and everyone knows the lyrics to this show’s theme song!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas – who doesn’t love to hate the Grinch?

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – they just don’t seem to make specials quite like this stop-motion classic these days.

Television Series Specials

Many different television shows have Christmas specials or episodes dedicated to Christmas.  Here are some popular series with Christmas episodes:

The Big Bang Theory

Have you orders your Christmas flowers in Washington, DC, yet?

How to be Your Own Santa

How many times have you done this: you’re out doing some holiday shopping and you come across something you absolutely love.  “Well,” you say to yourself, “I’ll just buy this as a gift to myself.”  Some people even buy their own gifts, wrap them, and put them under the tree and act surprised on Christmas morning when they see what “Santa” has brought them.  Being your own Santa isn’t anything to be ashamed of, though.  There are a number of reasons for doing it, and being your own Santa is very easy.

Sometimes, couples will actually agree to buy gifts together instead of purchasing things for each other and keeping them a secret until Christmas.  For example, they might decide together that they need to buy a new car or purchase a new large appliance for their home.  Other couples might decide to take a vacation together and count that as their Christmas gift to each other.  Some even decide to set aside a certain amount of money for each to spend on themselves.

Being your own Santa doesn’t mean you have to wrap up your gifts or anything like that.  Simply set aside some money to treat yourself with this holiday season.  Don’t worry about what others think.  Yes, some people who act as their own Santa don’t have a huge number of friends or relatives from whom they receive gifts.  Others, though, have huge families, but they still like the idea of playing Santa for themselves when they see something they like.

One fun way of being your own Santa is to send yourself a lovely Christmas bouquet in Washington, D.C.  You can even use it as part of your holiday décor if you need a reason to justify sending it to yourself!

Holiday Traditions, Old and New

There are many different holiday traditions for you and your family to choose from.  Some people love the older traditions, the ones that have been around for decades, if not centuries.  Others like more modern traditions, and some families even start their own traditions that are a little different from everyone else’s.  If you’d like to add a tradition to your Christmas, here are a few options, some old, some new.

Some holiday traditions are so old that they’ve become integral to the holiday season.  These include putting up a Christmas tree, hanging stockings, and lighting the Menorah.  These traditions depend on the holiday you celebrate, of course.  The idea of exchanging gifts is common to all of them, and even those who aren’t religious exchange gifts during the holiday season.

Having a family gathering and eating a large meal is another family tradition.  Turkey and ham are often served, although those who really love old traditions will get a Christmas goose.  Apple cider, eggnog, gingerbread cookies, and fruitcake are other traditional food and drink that you might want to include in your Christmas menu.

If you’ve got young children, there are two popular traditions you may want to continue.  You could help them write a letter to Santa asking for gifts (and in some places, even mail it or have it printed in the local paper).  Another tradition is to help your young ones put together a plate of milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.  The story says that he gets very hungry and thirsty delivering all those gifts, so a nice snack is appreciated.  Of course, be sure that “Santa” eats the snack before Christmas morning.

While gifts are usually opened on Christmas morning, some families have a tradition of allowing the children to open one gift on Christmas Eve.  Some split Christmas visits and will go to mom’s family on Christmas Eve and dad’s on Christmas Day in order to have more time to visit.

Some more recent Christmas traditions involve watching holiday movies.  Frosty the Snow Man, Rudolph, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and It’s a Wonderful Life are just a few movies that have become family traditions.

Another tradition is attending a performance of The Nutcracker ballet or A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Instead of buying gifts for everyone, some families do a secret Santa game.  There are several variations.  In one, each person puts their name in a hat.  Then everyone draws a name, and that’s the person you buy a gift for.  In other families, it’s more of a “dirty” Santa game—everyone brings a gift that many people would enjoy.  Then family members draw numbers and open gifts in that order.  The twist is that the next person to open a gift also has the choice of stealing someone else’s already-opened gift.

While poinsettias are the traditional Christmas flower, there are many amazing arrangements for this holiday.  We can help you with all of your Christmas flower needs in Washington, DC!

Caring for Poinsettia Plants

The poinsettia is perhaps the flower most associated with Christmas.  This tradition seems to have originated in South and Central America, where the poinsettia was a favorite flower of the Aztecs.  It later became associated with Christmas in Mexican culture due to its bright red color.  In the early 1800s, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, saw the flowers on a Christmas altar and asked to take some poinsettia seeds back home with him.  He then grew poinsettias for local churches to use on Christmas.  When he first started passing around flowers, people referred to them as Poinsett’s plants, which later was shortened to poinsettia.

Unlike bouquets of cut flowers, which will last several weeks if taken care of, poinsettias can actually last months!  However, you have to be very careful that these flowers do not get exposed to the cold.  Here are a few tips for taking care of a poinsettia:

•    Poinsettias only need about six hours of light a day. Bright, indirect sunlight is the best.

•    Make sure the plant doesn’t touch a cold window.  Even a little exposure to the cold can damage the plant.

•    Don’t place the poinsettia anywhere where it will get hit by a draft, hot or cold.  Heat from a radiator or heating vent can be just as damaging as a draft of cold wind coming in the door.

•    Poinsettias thrive in daytime temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a nighttime temperature of 55 degrees.  Higher temperatures will make the plant wilt sooner, so you may want to move it to a cooler area at night if you can.

•    Give your poinsettia some plant fertilizer once a month, but don’t fertilize it when it’s blooming.

•    Water the poinsettia only when the soil is dry.  Also, make sure excess water can drain out of the soil so that the plant doesn’t get too much water.  Once the excess water drains out, be sure to empty the saucer.  Don’t let the poinsettia sit in water.

•    If your home is fairly dry, you may want to use a mister on your poinsettia.  They are tropical flowers and love humid conditions.

•    Poinsettias tend to be susceptible to whitefly infestation.  If you see tiny white spots on the plant that fly off when you move the poinsettia, your plant is infested.  Some insecticidial soap or indoor pesticide will get rid of them.

That’s about all there is to it!  If your diligent, your poinsettia might even last all year round, although there’s no guarantee that it will bloom again next Christmas (they’re finicky like that!).

Need a poinsettia or other holiday bouquet?  We’ve got a large selection of Christmas flowers in Washington, DC.