Enjoy the deliciously green side of the holidays

BlissfulBites cookbook CoverThe holidays are synonymous with great food, fun get-togethers and even more fun gift giving. Along with favorite family recipes, here are some suggestions that can help spice up the holiday and perhaps give you some new favorites.

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Green your holiday gifts this year

Vegan Wallet from CoolCorC

This stylish men’s wallet is made of natural cork from Cool CorC

You’ve finally finished your list with who to give gifts to this year Then you’re suddenly in serious brain freeze with what to get.  It can’t be just ANYTHING. It has to be special, and more green, this year.

Here are some fun, affordable eco-friendly gifts that will bring plenty of smiles this holiday.

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Plan ahead with top quality LED’s from EnvironmentalLights.com

Beautiful solar LED lights from EnvironmentalLights.com

For those beginning to think about Christmas decorating – and it’s getting close to that time, folks – holiday lights are a key component. If you haven’t switched over to LED holiday lights, this can be your year.

There are a variety of gorgeous options available right now from EnvironmentalLights.com. I wrote about them last year but for many it was too late to take advantage of what they had to offer. But I’m ahead of the curve this time around.

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Healthy snacking for the holidays and beyond

As we begin preparing for the holidays, it’s easy to reach for unhealthy snacks as quick pick-me-ups. This is the time of year for rampant impulse snacking – when the urge hits, we reach for whatever we can find to snack on.

NatureBox wants to change that by making healthy delicious snacking easier and more convenient.

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Make the holidays scrumptious with Bliss Candy’s toffees

Like all their products, Bliss Candy Company’s Almond Toffee has no preservatives

Things that are “delectable” play a crucial role in creating wonderful holiday memories. And nothing helps do this like the exquisite toffees and confections from Bliss Candy Company.

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Plan for the holidays with Dionisio Winery’s preservative-free wines

It’s never too early to plan for holiday get-togethers. If good wine is a key part of your holiday fare, the top quality wines from Dionisio Winery will help make your holiday events a hit.

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A Greener Christmas tree – Rent it and Plant it!

Renting a live potted Christmas tree means less mess, hassle and less landfilling

Every year, 25 to 30 million live Christmas trees are sold in the United States. Their ornaments and decorations help brighten our holiday. But after the holiday, they end up curbside as trash or, in towns offering such service, as recycling. A sad fate for such a wonderful part of Christmas.

Around the country, a new tradition is growing: renting a living tree for the holidays.

For more on the benefits of renting a live tree, the types of choices and where to find them, go to http://bit.ly/t1MkMj.

Green your holiday wrapping

Of the Earth gift wrap contains 50% recycled content

Getting even more into the spirit of the holidays means putting those holiday cards together, making sure you have the right presents and wrapping them up beautifully (or as best as you can).

Most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable. It’s usually dyed or laminated and can contain additives like gold and silver coloring, glitter and plastics.

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Giving to others is just a click away

givingThink gift giving will be a little tougher this year because of the economy? There are a couple of websites that can help. Shopping over the net isn’t new, but helping others while you do it is fast becoming popular.

Earlier this year i did a story about two websites that give to others every time you click.

GoodSearch and GoodShop are great ways to find what you need – be it a web search or gift search – and help your favorite charity or school. Every click, every search donates a small amount to whatever non-profit you designate. It’s simple, easy and makes a difference.

GoodSearch is a Yahoo-powered search engine. GoodShop – an online shopping mall – offers thousands of money saving coupons and free shipping deals. More than 85,000 organizations are currently earning money from these sites.

Check them out for the holidays. It’ll be the easiest gift giving you’ve ever done.

Turkey, Travel and Thankfulness

ThanksgivingOnly one day away, Thanksgiving is a time for many things:

  • swelling crowds in airports waiting for overbooked planes
  • a much needed break from hectic schedules, to do’s and last minute “critical” projects
  • spending time either alone wishing you were with loved ones or actually being with them and sometimes wondering what you were pining for
  • eating way too much food (whether alone or at a big feast) that you may regret the next day (or sooner!)

I may sound a bit jaded but I’m not really. I’ve done all the above and suspect many of you have as well, at some time or other.

Snoopy ThanksgivingThis year, I’ll be spending Turkey Day with my family – parents, siblings, nephews and niece. It will be noisy, too much food and a few tense moments thrown in. But no matter what, I’m thankful for it all. After many holidays spent just my dog and me, it’s nice to be able to connect, even have the occasional “sparring” session, as it were. It’s all about family – love ’em, warts, tempers and all.

Whatever you’ll be doing, remember that gratitude – for all things small and large – is a special gift you give yourself and others this time of year.

Happy Thanksgiving. Be back again on the weekend. Come on back and enjoy the holiday!