December 2012
I am thinking about throwing a holiday party. Nothing lavish, but I want to invite plenty of guests to make the house feel merry! I am also thinking about putting together some cute party favor gift bags for my guests and am brainstorming ideas. Perhaps you are looking for some ideas yourself? I have organized my thoughts and come up with a list of checkpoints for great gift bags full of fun favors that are both unique and inexpensive. My check list includes:

-The Bag Itself
-Gift List
-Personalize Something!
-Sweets and Treats

Glad Tidings Cookie Trio
The Bag Itself
The bag or container that the gifts are presented in can actually be a gift in itself! Use adorable decorative baggies or reusable bags. You can even get crafty and decorate them yourself. An idea that I really like is using a box instead of a bag. There are some truly terrific gift boxes out there that add so much fun to the gift. These Cookie Gift Boxes would make really cute favors and are fairly inexpensive. I just love the boxes!

I have also seen people use mugs as containers. I am thinking about doing this myself. Take cute holiday mugs, or even personalize a mug for your guests with a nice holiday greeting, and fill the mug with a package of cocoa or small bag of coffee, a baggie full of marshmallows, and a chocolate dipped stirring spoon. Another idea I picked up is the cinnamon stick. Tie together a bundle of cinnamon sticks with festive holiday ribbon to add to their mug!

Try taking a mason jar or other pretty jar and decorate it with puffy paint or whatever you choose, and then stick an appropriately sized candle inside. This is a fun idea because you can decorate each favor uniquely for a fun way to light up your party!

Personalized Beveled Glass Bell OrnamentThe Gift List
Now to consider filling your adorable container. Small, fun items applicable to everyone’s interests are perfect. Christmas ornaments, homemade or bought, are always fun. Also consider adding coaster sets, money clips, cufflinks, inexpensive jewelry, small candles, etc. If you are throwing a New Year’s party, add wine bottle stoppers, openers or aerators for a fun addition to their gift bag.

Personalize Something!
Add something personal from your party to the gift bag. Personalize an ornament, picture frame, coaster set, key chain even a wine bottle stopper! Add the details of your party like a location and date for something that can be kept as a memento of your fun night. Arttowngifts has tons of personalized holiday items perfect for a gift bag. Adding one or two personalized keepsakes creates a unique favor.

Now for What We’ve All Been Waiting for…. The Goodies
I have been itching to get to the best part of my article. Finally, I get to talk about food, and not just any food, holiday sweets and treats! Be sure to supply your gift bags with plenty of candies and goodies. You may be like my mom and spend hours making holiday candies, fudge, roca etc. Or perhaps your candy making skills are not so sharp. You can always buy candies and treats with which to supply your guests.

Lady Fortunes© Merry StampsA holiday favorite of mine is the homemade preserve. If you made any preserves this year, decorate jars full of yummy jams and jellies for your guests!  Get creative and add festive ribbons and decorations for an eye-catching addition to your party.

Baked goods are more than welcome, whether you make them or buy them. Everybody loves a brownie! These Holiday Stamps from Arttowngifts are so cute. They consist of delicious white Belgian chocolate covered graham crackers with edible Merry Stamps completely absorbed into the chocolate... Yum! The vintage Christmas imagery on the stamps makes them even better. Order a set and split them up between your gift bags for a very lovely and tasty holiday gift for guests.

Candy canes are a standard which can’t be ignored, though they are often left untasted. On a side note, is there anyone who actually likes candy canes? I think they are just disgusting. My mom must have too, because every year, we would pull candy canes out of our Christmas storage boxes that must have come from 1970. I think some people are simply afraid to wastefully throw them away, so they are kept, slowly decaying. Anyway, candy canes do make a pretty addition, though if I was you, I would go with the fruit flavored canes, they just taste better!

Cinnamon Sticks
Other delicious additions to your goodies bag may include packets of coffee, cocoa, cinnamon sticks, cheeses, salamis, etc. Popcorn balls are really tasty. Create multi-colored popcorn balls to surprise your guests with! The list goes on and on, with holiday treats never failing to be varied and numerous! Just be sure to try and cover sweet and savory for taste buds of every sort.

Well that about covers it! Now that you are loaded down with holiday party favor ideas, start planning a holiday party that they’ll remember from now til their uneaten candy canes finally disintegrate into dust! Best of luck surviving the holiday season, see you next time.
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We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. -Sam Keen
                                                                                     - Sam Keen
If you have been married this long, you probably know all about your partner’s imperfections… and your own. You also may have discovered that imperfections can define a person in ways that actually highlight their true beauty and goodness. This year, take time to remember all of the little things you love about your partner and all of the ways that you have learned to see them perfectly with the help of their imperfections. Here are a few gift ideas to get you started on your anniversary celebration…

Traditional: No traditional 21st anniversary gifts
Contemporary: Brass or Nickel
Flower: No traditional 21st anniversary flower

Brass Circle Strawberry Quartz Earrings
Jewelry is usually the gift of choice for the 21st anniversary, as nickel and brass jewelry is the first thing that comes to mind. Cufflinks and pocket watches are classic jewelry gifts for men. Many of these items can be personalized for an extra special touch. Check out the Personalized Gift Store at to gather ideas. For the ladies, these Brass Circle Strawberry Quartz Earrings will make a stunning addition to her date night outfit. Take her out to show them off!

I wish you the perfect 21st anniversary celebration. Love can bring out the best and worst in any person, and the imperfections of your partner may, at times, bring the worst out in you. On your big day, remember your own imperfections that have been overlooked by your partner. Acceptance can work miracles in our lives, so reflect on just how great it is to be taken for what you are, bad habits, mistakes and annoying tendencies included! Thank your spouse for their acceptance and understanding. Join me next time for year 22.
My favorite part of Christmas is the stocking. Forget the bigger packages under the tree, let me at that sock full of little tiny stuff. I think my love of stockings has something to do with my compulsion to organize and stow things away in places. On more than one occasion, I have been accused of being a “cubby holer” that is, I like to store things away in designated places known only to myself like a squirrel storing nuts away for the winter. Anyway, I like to have little items that I can store away, it makes me happy. I know that there are others like me out there, and for us, a stocking is an opportunity to neatly hoard gift matter.

For the “normal” people out there, I’m guessing stockings are still pretty fun, right? Hanging there over the fireplace is a sock with your name on it, filled with candies, chocolates, tiny tools, gadgets and more. Now to address the moms and dads responsible for filling these stockings: I have a new gift category suggestion to include in the stuffing of stockings. I think personalized gifts make really fun stuffers for young and old alike! If you agree, try checking out the Stocking Stuffers at to fill up on ideas for all the people on your gift list.

Personalized Snowscapes Coffee Mug

We have a huge selection of personalized gifts at Arttowngifts, perfectly sized to fit in a stocking. There are plenty of Christmas themed items, such as Christmas tree ornaments, holiday frames and mugs. They also have tons of gifts for guys and gals with something for just about any hobby or interest under the sun!

Silver Plated Tiffany Style Keychain

Jewelry is always a popular addition to stockings, and we have lots of different options . Bracelets, necklaces and key chains are perfect for a young lady. This Silver Plated Tiffany-Style Key Chain is perfect for a young woman’s first set of keys. For men or boys, you will find custom dog tags, personalized cufflinks and pocket watches. Engraved money clips are also great gifts for a husband, brother or son.

Silver Plated Yo-Yo

For young kids, this silver plated yo-yo is perfect. Personalize it with a name for a really fun addition to their stocking. Other great gifts for children include a custom stainless steel harmonica, a sterling silver charm bracelet, a personalized leather bracelet and an engraved heart-shaped mirror, just to name a few!
Yukon Lock Back Knife

For a man or older boy who enjoys tools and gadgets, this Yukon Lock Back Knife comes in a tin case for safe storage. The wood-handled knife is perfect for taking on hiking, hunting and camping expeditions. Multi-purpose tools, custom Zippo hand warmer, personalized lighters and an engraved army knife can all be found at Arttowngifts as well.

Stainless Steel Engraved Wine Bottle Stopper

Adults love getting stockings too, I’m living proof of that, and there are lots of gifts for the over 21 age sector. For wine lovers, personalize a stainless steel wine bottle stopper, wine glass, coaster set or bottle opener. We also offer a whole bunch of nifty flasks in every style from camouflage to plaid for both guys and gals.

Small, personal gifts like these are perfect for filling space in their stocking and creating Christmas memories that will last. Personalized gifts make great keepsakes that can be treasured for a lifetime and not just tossed in the trash. Consider custom stocking stuffers this year to delight those loved ones whom have a place in your heart and a sock over your mantelpiece!

How To Make Your Stocking Stuffer Shopping Easier