Things for Christmas

Christmas Traditions, Activities, Recipes, Carols, Gifts, Decorating, Trees

Things for Christmas - Christmas Traditions, Activities, Recipes, Carols, Gifts, Decorating, Trees

Christmas Traditions and Customs

Christmas Traditions and Customs

Christmas traditions and customs play a significant role in most of our lives.  I can remember all of the holiday traditions that I learned as a child and to some extent, have tried to pass these same Christmas traditions and customs onto my children so they might do the same and keep them alive by living them with their own children.

Have you ever wondered what the origins could be of some things that we accept as the norm during the Christmas season?  I was raised in the Province of Quebec and was exposed to primarily French Canadian traditions, such as reveillon, tourtiere, buche de noel, the creche (nativity scene) family gatherings, trudging to the woods with my Dad and a toboggan to get a tree.  When I was little, my Dad would dress as Santa and run around the house in the snow, ringing bells.

I was also always allowed to open one gift on Christmas EveMidnight mass in the Catholic church was also a big thing.  It was a magical time and I was in awe of all the pomp and circumstance, the decorated and well-lit houses, the snow, the smells of cooking, helping my Mom make special cookies with the cookie press, the sounds of children and families laughing.  The huge nativity scenes were amazing and when I was really young, I remember (money was scarce) how excited I would get when I saw my store-bought mesh Christmas stocking full of plastic toys and my Christmas apple and orange waiting for me on Christmas morning.

What types of Christmas Traditions and Customs are you passing along to your children?  There are as many Christmas traditions and customs as there are people, I suppose, based on religious belief, culture and heritage.  It’s a fun topic to explore and a worthwhile thing to do.  I know that over the years, with my 4 children there was one special book that we all read together on Christmas Eve, called “The Polar Express“, by Chris Van Allsburg.  It’s a wonderful story about a magical train ride on Christmas Eve that takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas Storage Ideas

christmas 2007
Image by paparutzi via Flickr

…for Your Ornaments, Decorations, Tree, Wrapping Paper, Wreaths and Lights

Everyone is different and has their own traditions around Christmas time, including when they put up and take down their tree and decorations.  When I was young, we always left our tree up until January 6th and then my Mother would put her Christmas storage ideas to work.

Christmas is a time for wonderful celebrations, but once it’s all said and done, you’re left to deal with the chore of taking down Christmas tree, storing it and packing away the ornaments and decorations.  If you use an artificial Christmas tree and it’s pre-lit, no worries for the lights, but if not, you’ll have to deal with those lights and perhaps outdoor lights as well.

Keeping your Christmas wrapping paper in good shape to use for next year can be a challenge, so good storage is a great idea.  If you make your own wreath from real boughs every year, no need to worry about storing it, but if you’ve made or bought one with artificial greenery, you’ll need a great storage solution for it as well.

You want all your Christmas “stuff” to be in tiptop shape for the next Christmas, so how you store your cherished items is important. There are a number of ways to put these things away, so here are a few suggestions that will help preserve your Christmas goodies for years to come.

Christmas Storage Ideas

Ornaments – Wrap all Christmas ornaments in bubble wrap even if they’re not breakable. This keeps them from getting nicked. Also wrap all Christmas candles in bubble wrap before packing them away in plastic storage containers. The bubble wrap prevents the candles from having chunks gouged out of them.

Decorations – If you’re putting away cloth – such as tablecloths and napkins, towels, Christmas afghans, rugs, etc. don’t place them in a cardboard box. If you usually store your seasonal decorations in your attic or basement and there’s a leak, these items will get damaged by the wetness.

You’ll end up with a box full of mildewed linens that have to be tossed into the garbage. And if any of those items are heirlooms, you’ll end up feeling disappointed and upset. Instead of cardboard boxes, store these materials in an airtight plastic container. Get one with a snap on lid, not one that pulls out like a drawer.

Wrap each Christmas village piece in bubble wrap and store back in it’s original box then place that box in the large plastic container. You should have room in the same container the lights are stored in.

If you’ve purchased any of the newer flameless candles in the last couple of years, it’s best to remove the batteries before putting them away.  Store the batteries separately, but in close proximity to the candles so they’re easy to find next year.

Amazon Christmas Ornament and Decoration Storage Solutions

Trees – When you’re taking down the Christmas tree, assuming it’s an artificial one, as you take down each row of branches, put a rubber band around the stems to hold them together.

Write on the rubber band what number the row is. Put these branches in bags specifically made for storing artificial Christmas trees. Again, you don’t want to use regular cardboard as moisture will also affect the tree.

You’ll end up with a tree that stinks. If you take the time now to label each row of branches as you put them away, you won’t have the problem of trying to figure out which branch belongs on which row.

The new tree I purchased this year came with a stand, screws to keep the “trunk” firmly in place in the stand and three sections of branches.  I was impressed by how easy it was to store, but it didn’t fit back into the box in which it was originally purchased.

Amazon Christmas Tree Storage Solutions

Wrapping Paper – For Christmas wrapping paper that’s left over, put these in the tube containers that were invented for this purpose. It’ll keep the paper from unraveling and the ends from splitting and tearing.

Amazon Christmas Wrapping Paper Storage Solutions

Wreaths – If you’re saving your Christmas wreaths, buy the round containers that are specifically made for wreaths.

Amazon Christmas Wreath Storage Solutions

Lights – Before packing away the Christmas lights, always check each strand to make sure all the bulbs light up. Then, forget the boxes they came in. Don’t try to save them in the same boxes.

It’s like trying to stuff an elephant into a thimble. Instead, wrap the lights in strands, secure them in place with twist ties and store the lights in small plastic containers that you can place down inside larger containers.  You can also purchase special reels to wrap the lights around to store them.

Amazon Christmas Light Storage Solutions

All of these Christmas storage ideas will help preserve you special Christmas items and proper storage will save you a lot of money in the long run.

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Merry Christmas

Holiday Greetings
Image by Anemone Letterpress via Flickr

 

 

Seasons Greetings!

 

Just a simple post today to wish all my readers a VERY Merry Christmas, filled with joy, peace and love and a Happy, Prosperous & Peaceful New Year.

 

 

 

 

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Christmas Breakfast Dishes

Grades of Vermont maple syrup. From left to ri...
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Christmas Breakfast Menu

Christmas Day can be totally nuts, insane and out of control – don’t ya just love it?  Before everyone’s temper gets out of hand, sit them down for a nice warm breakfast.  These Christmas breakfast dishes fit the bill and one can be made the night before and combined in the morning and the other requires being made the night before.  You can serve these yummy Christmas breakfast dishes with a variety of juices, coffee, tea, cocoa and, if you’d like, cheese and fruit.  You can find some great, non-alcoholic Christmas beverage recipes (including Candy Cane Cocoa) by clicking HERE.

 

Clementine Waffles with Mixed Berry Compote

For best results, have room and eggs at room temperature.   

 

 

 

Ingredients – Waffles:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (425 ml)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder (10 ml)
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • pinch allspice (if you don’t care for allspice, you could just use cinnamon or nutmeg)
  • grated zest of 2 Clementine oranges or 1 large orange
  • ¼ cup melted butter (50 ml)
  • 2 Tbsp. icing sugar (30 ml)
  • 3 eggs, separated – at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ cups 2 % milk (425 ml) – at room temperature

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, soda and allspice.  Stir in the grated zest. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg yolks and the milk until smooth.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and gradually stir in the wet until just combined.  Do NOT over mix. Let stand covered for 30 minutes.  (This part can be done the night before and kept in the fridge.  Allow to come to room temperature before the next step)
  3. In a clean, dry bowl whisk the egg whites until fluffy.  Gradually add the icing sugar while continuing to beat until whites hold soft peaks.  Fold gently into batter.  Ladle waffle mix into prepared waffle pans, according to manufacturer’s directions. 

Mixed berry compote*:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook gently over low heat, until mixture is warmed through and slightly thick, about 5-8 minutes.
  2. Lightly sprinkle waffles with icing sugar and serve compote warm over waffles.

Makes about 6 waffles

No nutritional information available for this recipe.

*These can also simply be served with some butter and maple syrup if you’d rather not make the compote.

Make Ahead French Toast

Prep Time: 15 Min

Cook Time: 45 Min

Ready In: 14 Hrs 10 Min

Serves 8

 

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 1 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream and vanilla. Dip bread slices into egg mixture and place in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next morning: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. In a small bowl, combine butter, sugar, maple syrup and pecans. Spoon mixture  over bread.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional info courtesy of:  ESHA Research

If you'd rather not venture into making waffles or French toast, Christmas breakfast dishes can be as simple as a pan full of scrambled eggs, some orange juice and whole wheat toast.  Simplicity is best on such a hectic day, but if you don't usually make waffles or French toast, these Christmas breakfast dishes can start a new Christmas family tradition that will be enjoyed for years to come.

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Christmas Craft Creativity for Kids

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Creativity for Kids

So the shopping is done (you hope), the gifts are wrapped, the tree is up, but the kids are home on Christmas break.  Everyone remembers how difficult it was as a kid to be patient during the weeks before Christmas. There was just too much excitement about presents and candy and having fun with friends. What’s a kid to do? Here are some quick and easy ideas for Christmas craft creativity for kids.

Christmas themed activities for kids can keep them busy and entertained and also force you to sit and relax and have some fun too, so it’s a double-edged sword!

Creativity for Kids – Christmas Treat Cards

Use cardstock or construction paper to make the card and then find some winter scenes from an old magazine. Paste or glue the scenes on the front of the card. On the inside of the card tape an envelope of hot chocolate drink mix, dry soup mix envelope or a tea bag to the inside of the card. Write a warm greeting and place some XXX000 and the child's name.

Another idea might be to glue some wrapped striped peppermint candies to the cover of the card as part of the scene/image.

Creativity for Kids – Wreaths

Wreaths are special at Christmas time because they celebrate the circle of friendship. Make this season special around your home by decorating the doors with special holiday wreaths.

1.  Cereal Wreath

Take a white paper plate and have the kids paint with green non-toxic paint all around the outer edge of the plate (if no edge have them paint like an inch or two in). Once the plate is dry have them cut out the inner circle of the plate.

You’ll need to have colored cereal in different shapes on hand. Glue the cereal pieces to the green part of the plate. Now attach a big red bow to the bottom of the plate and you have a beautiful handmade cereal wreath to display on one of your doors.

2.  Card Wreath

Take a large piece of cardboard and draw a circle. Now cut out the circle and draw another circle in the middle so that you leave at least 6" all around the outside of the circle. This is your wreath. Now go get all those old Christmas cards you have stashed away in the attic from last year, and the year before, and the year before that. Have the kids go through this pile of old Christmas cards and pick out their favorites. Line them up so they encircle the wreath side by side. You can overlap the cards for a great affect. Now glue the card backs to the wreath where you want them until the entire wreath is covered with Christmas cards. Attach a holiday bow and you have a fantastic wreath for your home.

Creativity for Kids – Christmas Wish List Tablecloth

What better way to remember what your child wants for Christmas than to make a Christmas Wish List Tablecloth? They are fun for the kids to make and very useful for Santa when it comes to making those special gifts appear.

Purchase a white plastic tablecloth at the store and make sure you have plenty of non-toxic markers on hand. Place the cloth on the table or floor and give the kids the markers. Tell them to draw pictures of what they want for Christmas or if they are older have them actually write out their list (in great detail), this should keep them busy for a while and you will end up with a Christmas craft you will treasure for years.

I hope these few ideas help take the stress away from coming up with ideas for Christmas craft creativity for kids this season.  Sit them all down with some nice hot cocoa and a few cookies, have safety scissors on hand and be prepared to supervise, play some Christmas music and enjoy!  These activities and crafts for children aren’t going to break the bank and getting a chance to have some family time will help relieve some of the holiday madness.

Check out the Barnes & Noble Sale on Arts & Crafts for more great ideas to enhance your Christmas craft creativity for kids.

Barnes&Noble.com

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Transformers Dark of The Moon Optimus Prime – A Review

Cropped image of shooting for Transformers wit...
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Transformers Dark of The Moon Optimus Prime

Transformers Dark of The Moon was one of the biggest movies of 2011 and that means that the toys and DVD or Blu-ray are in VERY high demand this Christmas 2011. One of the top toys that you want to check out if you know someone that loves Transformers, is the Transformers Dark of the Moon Optimus Prime from MechTech.

Now, Transformers have been around a long, long time and I’ve always found them fascinating and even at my age I just had to see the movies!  This review is rather subjective of course, but I will say that I find this “toy” ridiculously expensive (but no doubt it’s so to profit from the timing – the release of their most recent movie this year coupled with the Christmas season).

All of the Transformers are recommended for children 5 and above and there is a choking hazard because of small pieces.  So keep this in mind if you have children younger than 5 that will be around these figures.

One thing to note about the Transformers Dark of the Moon Optimus Prime is that the durability and quality of the item is very good which is great because you know how things can get accidentally broken when the kids get excited!

The Dark of the Moon Optimus Prime is able to transform into a vehicle and then back to a robot with ease. Of course Optimus wouldn’t be much of a Transformer otherwise! You also get an Ion blaster that converts to a battle cannon.

This version has been voted the top figure because it is the most realistic version that is VERY close to the movie version of Optimus Prime.  You will even notice small details like the scar on the helmet that Optimus Prime has in the movie.

When you transform Optimus to a truck you can store the blaster behind a compartment in the truck so you don’t have to worry about losing parts. Just a note about the transforming process – if you are new to Transformers or have very young children you might have problems with folding back the arms that you have to do to transform into a truck, however I found after a few goes this gets a lot easier.

You can also check out the Megatron Dark of the Moon figure if you are looking to have a battle and once you have a few of these that are very close to the movie it does look awesome!

Here are some of the features of this Optimus Prime toy:

  • converts from truck to robot
  • has extending wings
  • has the Ultimate Super Cannon that flips into place
  • has extending energy collection panels
  • has blasting battle sounds
  • has glowing weapon lightsm
  • makes launching missile sounds

So with Christmas day quickly approaching, if this is one of the items that interest your children or the collectors on your list, there isn’t much time to get Transformers Dark of The Moon Optimus Prime or the DVD or Blu-ray.

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Playstation 3 320GB With Move Bundle

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Another great Christmas Gifts 2011 selection

For the gamers on your list, you know they'll appreciate a complete gaming system this Christmas and the Playstation 3 320GB with Move bundle won't disappoint.

Playstation®3 320GB With Move Bundle

The Playstation®3 is always an awesome toy and, as expected, for Christmas 2011, it will be one of the top sellers.  What now makes the Playstation®3 more appealing is the fact that the 320GB version is now offered with the Move controller.

For those of you who are not sure about the Move controller and the Playstation®Eye Camera that is also included in the package, this post will help explain these features. The move controller is equipped with a three axis gyroscope and a three axis accelerometer as well as a magnetic field sensor!

During game play the Playstation®Move tracks precise movements and the angle of the controller and the Playstation®Eye camera (which will be set up to be aimed at the player) allows the console to detect the exact position of the player at any given time.

When you add both of these features together you get very realistic and responsive movements in game and this of course means that you will have hours of fun controlling your Playstation®3 and playing games with your movements alone.

Product Description

It Only Does EVERYTHING.™ With Blu-ray gaming and movies all playable in stunning high definition, the ability to download games, movies and more from the PlayStation®Network, built-in Wi-Fi, Internet browser and hard drive, and now PlayStation®Move, the PlayStation®3 can be enjoyed by every member of your family.

Move into the most immersive gaming experience ever with PlayStation®Move and the PlayStation®3 system. The PlayStation®Move pairs with the PlayStation®Eye camera to provide the world’s most accurate motion gaming experience. So whether you’re hitting a home run, taking a long-distance sniper shot or tapping in a 3 foot putt, your every move is translated into the game with complete precision. It’s the world’s most immersive gaming experience ever, and it’s only possible on the PlayStation®3 system.

Special Features:

  • The PlayStation®Move places you in the game through ultra-sensory precision. PlayStation®Move gaming is accessible and characters are easy to control.
  • Challenge friends online, download games, movies, and more, with PlayStation®Network.
  • Watch high-definition movies via the included Blu-ray player.
  • Enjoy immersive 3D games with your PS3™ system on your 3DTV.
  • Stream music and movies from your PS3™ system to your PSP® system.

Bundle Includes:

  • PlayStation®3 system
  • PlayStation®Move motion controller (wireless)
  • PlayStation®Eye camera
  • Sports Champions™ Blu-ray game
  • PlayStation®Move game demos disc
  • AC Power Cord
  • AV Cable
  • USB Cable
  • Move Gun
  • 2.4GHz Wireless Controller
  • Dual Charging Station
  • 2 Silicone Cases for Move Controllers (Black & Blue)

If you know someone that is after a Playstation®3 this Xmas then there has NEVER been a better time to pick up the system and with a whopping 320GB Hard Drive and the Playstation®Move device you can save some big bucks this Xmas!  Just remember to pick up another controller if you want to play with 2 players!

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Nintendo 3DS Flame Red

Nintendo
Cover of Nintendo

Games and Videos

More Top Christmas Gifts for 2011.  Today I'm focusing on games and videos and specifically, the Nintendo 3DS in Flame Red.

The Nintendo 3DS Flame Red is set to be one of the top sellers this Xmas 2011 and we also think that the Flame Red version will be the most popular, but it is also available in black.

The Nintendo 3DS is a brand new hand held gaming console and is the fourth major release from the DS product line with the major changes being that the new 3DS utilizes 3D Slider functionality and it also gives you an improved LCD display which will actually give you a 3D effect on games without having to wear 3D glasses.

The 3D Screen as with previous models of handhelds by Nintendo has an upper and lower LCD display with a "clamshell" layout. The lower screen gives you touch screen technology which makes it easier to pick options.  It measures 3.02" (2.42" wide x 1.81" high) with a 320x 240 pixel resolution.

The screen is also capable of displaying 16.77 million colors!

However the top screen is where the REAL technology is and you will get a 3.02" wide x 1.81" high screen that will give you the same 16.77 million color display but it also gives you a 3D display so it adds depth to game play.

There is also a built in 3D depth slider and this will allow you to adjust the 3D effect to your liking. The games do look better with 3D but if you don't like it with the slider you can turn the effect off and have it in retro 2D if you prefer!

Another awesome feature of the 3DS is that you get a built in 3D camera and the pixel count is quite high so the quality will be very good. You get 300,000 pixels that make up your pictures.

In short if you are looking for the ultimate handheld games console then you need to give the 3DS Red a look, of course you don't HAVE to go with the red color.

This is set to be one of the top toys for Xmas 2011 and with big discounts in place for the festive period as well.

Here is a look at what you get in the 3DS box:

  • system
  • charging cradle
  • AC adapter
  • stylus
  • SD Memory Card (2 GB), six AR card(s) (view the cards using the outer cameras to play supported AR games)
  • Quick-Start Guide
  • Operations Manual (including warranty)

A word of caution however:

If you are planning on picking up the Nintendo 3DS for Xmas 2011 make sure you do so soon!  There is a HUGE demand for these gaming consoles and you should order early to avoid disappointment.

Nintendo 3DS Flame Red

Nintendo 3DS – Flame Red by Nintendo

3DS 20-In-1 Essentials – Red DreamGEAR

Nintendo 3DS 13-In-1 Gamer Pack – Red DreamGEAR

3DS Limited Edition Game Console With Super Mario 3D Land

3DS Aluminum Shell plus Stylus Pens Kit – Red

Nintendo 3DS 11-In-1 Starter Pack – Red DreamGEAR

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Christmas Baking – Recipes and Tips

Recipes and Tips

Recipes with candy cane, peppermint and Hershey's Peppermint Kisses!

Tips for your good health!

Peppermint Kiss Cupcakes Christmas is by far one of  the busiest and most hectic times of the year.  We put so much pressure on ourselves to have everything "perfect".  So today, I'm here to share some Christmas baking recipes and tips.

The tips aren't necessarily about baking, but might be considered more "taking care of yourself" tips.  We all need time to breathe and relax because if we overdo things for an extended period of time during the Christmas season, we'll get worn out, tired, cranky and likely physically ill as well.

Tips

Take time for yourself by doing something that's "just for you" on a daily basis.  Some suggestions might include:

  • Meditating
  • Exercising
  • A nice, hot bath with soothing music and candles
  • Some time out for the spa and a great massage
  • A date night with hubby
  • A cup of cocoa, your favorite coffee or tea by the fire (or even your fave alcoholic libation)

Just let yourself have some breathing room, away from shopping, cooking, baking, cleaning and partying.  Recharge your batteries.

The recipes I'm sharing today for Christmas baking include 2 made with "mixes" and one made from "scratch".  You can include the whole family and have a baking party and the littlest ones will surely delight in poking the Hershey's Peppermint Kisses into some of the recipes!  You can also let folks take out some of their holiday frustrations while crushing/smashing the candy canes… lol

Today's Christmas baking recipes includes one for each of the following:

  1. cookies,
  2. cupcakes, and
  3. brownies

Candy Cane Kiss Shortbread Cookies & The – Something Swanky

www.somethingswanky.com12/12/11

Something Swanky: {DIY} Specialty Cupcakes and Desserts It's from my Peppermint post. Did you miss it? It's a favorite of mine. Read it! But first, make these cookies. Then you'll have something to eat while you read :). Candy Cane Kiss Cookies. Recipe Source: Recipe Girl. Ingredients: -2 cups all purpose flour -1/4 teaspoon salt -1 cup unsalted butter, softened -1 cup granulated sugar -1 teaspoon vanilla extract -1 large egg yolk -6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet

Monster Mama: Christmas Cupcakes

monstermama-monstermama.blogspot.com12/8/11

Peppermint Cupcakes – Made a peppermint one out of white cake with peppermint flavoring and peppermint frosting inside and out, rolled it in crushed candy canes and topped it with a peppermint kiss. Spice Cupcakes

peppermint kiss brownie bites* | croutons & cupcakes*

croutonsandcupcakes.blogspot.com12/6/11

I am in LOVE with these peppermint kiss brownie bites! Only mine didn't really turn out to be 'bites'. I didn't make mine in a mini muffin tin, but in a regular-sized muffin tin. I made these for dessert for the students, and dessert is a really big treat

The cupcakes and mini brownies can be baked in festive cupcake wrappers such as these:

 

Or, your local grocer usually has seasonal baking cups for your Christmas baking needs.  You can also serve these Christmas baking delights on fancy Christmas plates – some of which are simply gorgeous – and use colorful doilies.

 

 

 

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Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3

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THE Most Popular Xbox 360 Game for Christmas 2011

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is probably THE most popular Xbox 360 game this Xmas!

If you’re looking for something for gaming fans this Xmas 2011 then you need to check out the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 game. This game is not only available for Xbox 360, but also for PLAYSTATION 3, Nintendo Wii, Nintento DS, PC and PC download, depending on what game console or manner of playing you have.

This is the latest game in the Call of Duty franchise and it goes without saying that it will be popular if the success of Modern Warfare 2 was anything to go by. Call of Duty Black Ops also did VERY well.

This is the one that EVERY gamer on the planet has been waiting for!

I can’t think of a better way to get an excellent product description except to copy and paste the best info from Amazon.com, so here it is:

Amazon.com Product Description

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is First-person Shooter rooted in a fictional, but ultra realistic near-future conflict of mostly American forces with those of the Russian Federation around the globe. The third installment in the Modern Warfare branch of the Call of Duty franchise, Modern Warfare 3 features a heavy focus on multiplayer gameplay which includes innovative new functionality that encourages multiple gameplay combat strategies, a new 2-player co-op option, new play modes, weapons and more. The game also includes a gripping single player campaign that picks up where Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 left off, and game integration with the Call of Duty: Elite online service.

Do What is Necessary in the Face of Invasion

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a direct sequel to the previous game in the series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In the game's single player campaign Russian Ultranationalist Vladimir Makarov continues his manipulation of Russian Federation forces in their invasion of the United States and Europe. In their way stand characters like Task Force 141 Captain John "Soap" MacTavish, former SAS Captain John Price as well as new playable characters from Delta Force and the British SAS. Engage enemy forces in New York, Paris, Berlin and other attack sites across the globe. The world stands on the brink, and Makarov is intent on bringing civilization to its knees. In this darkest hour, are you willing to do what is necessary.

Multiplayer That is Bigger and Better than Ever

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 delivers a multiplayer experience that continues to raise the bar by focusing on fast-paced, gun-on-gun combat, along with innovative features that support and enhance a large variety of play-styles. Now, you can truly define your approach with a toolkit more expansive than any previous title… Read much, much more…

 

 

               COD Modern Warfare 3 for Xbox 360

 

 

 

 

 

              COD Modern Warfare 3 for PLAYSTATION 3

 

 

 

              COD Modern Warfare 3 for Nintendo Wii

 

 

 

 

 

              COD Modern Warfare 3 for Nintendo DS

 

 

 

 

 

              COD Modern Warfare 3 for PC

 

 

 

 

              COD Modern Warfare 3 for PC Download

 

 

I have a mad, gamer, son-in-law who was so excited when Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 was finally released (and he's 32!).  He loves "saving the world" with his buddies on Xbox Live!  If he loves it, I'm sure the gamer in your life will too!

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LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet

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Have Fun And Learn This Xmas 2011!

Continuing on with posts about the top toys for Christmas 2011, today we'll look at the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet.

If you’re looking for the kids to have a bit more than just fun this Xmas and get something educational, then the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet is worth having a look at!  The LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet mixes fun and education so your kids can enjoy themselves without actually realizing that they’re getting smarter!

 

This is an awesome Christmas gift and is touted as one of the top sellers for 2011!

Here are some features and details of the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet:

The screen is fairly large, at 5" so it’s easy on the eyes.  It’s an upgrade from the 3.2” screen on the Leapster Explorer.

  • The LeapPad also gives you a 480×272 resolution.
  • The LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet has a touch screen and can be controlled either with your child’s finger or the magnetic stylus that is supplied and can be attached to the tablet with a cord.  Should you misplace or lose one stylus, the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet comes with two (which means you can put one aside  in a safe place).
  • The LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet includes the following games and activities:
    • PetPad:  This game/activity teaches your child how to draw letters and will teach him/her custom pet tricks. Your son or daughter will need to keep their pet happy, clean and fed while playing the game and they do so by drawing the letters.
    • If your child wants extra food and accessories for their pet then you can connect the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet up to your home computer and purchase more.
    • Story Studio: In the Story Studio kids can create their own personal story book and it can then be uploaded to Facebook or shared via email.
    • Art Studio: This is an awesome feature of the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet. It allows children to use brushes, pencils, erasers, shapes and stamps to make their own art and express their creativity.
    • Camera/Video Recorder: As the name suggests, the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet comes equipped with a Camera and Video Recorder and the kids will love this feature.  The only thing to bear in mind is while the camera is very good it is low resolution.
  • The LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet also comes with a whopping 100 games and apps so it really is an awesome product this Xmas to help your kids learn and have fun at the same time!

If you’d like more images and pricing information, click on the product name (just above the image).

LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet At a Glance:

  • Age: 4 to 9 years
  • Requirements: 4 AA batteries (not included)
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
  • Library of 100+ games and apps
  • Works with all Leapster Explorer game cartridges, eBooks, videos and more

One customer review:

Hi! I am Erin T. and I run a website called theMomBuzz. Recently I received a LeapPad from LeapFrog to review and I am sharing my thoughts here on Amazon.

The LeapPad has a great 5" screen. It is large and bright. I didn't see a way to control the brightness. The screen is larger than the Leapster Explorer Screen, which measures 3.2". The resolution for the LeapPad is 480 x 272. (The Leapster Explorer was 420 x 420.) It is a touch screen. You can use your finger or the supplied stylus. The stylus is magnetic, but it can be harnessed to the device with a supplied cord. An extra stylus is supplied in case one gets broken or lost. That has happened 3 times to us with other Leapsters – so it is great having that extra on hand… read more

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