Posts Tagged ‘christmas gifts’

Tuesday Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
Chocolate. And peanut butter. Need we say more? These yummy treats are easy to make ahead of busy schedules, and perfect for gifting (and enjoying) the entire holiday season.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Just right for that quick chocolate fix.


  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks plus 2 tbls unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cocoa nibs
Hershey's Baking Chocolate Candle
Personalized Cookie Jar Directions

  • Place sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Combine butter, cream, peanut butter, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring, until butter and peanut butter are melted and mixture starts to boil.
  • Pour over sugar in bowl and whisk until smooth. Transfer to an 8-inch-square baking dish; smooth surface.
  • Place parchment or plastic wrap directly on surface of mix and refrigerate until set; about 2 hours.
  • Roll heaping teaspoonfuls of peanut-butter mixture into 1-inch balls. Melt chocolate, stirring until smooth, in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water; remove from heat.
  • Working with 1 ball at a time, dip into chocolate and remove with a fork, letting excess chocolate drip off; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets and immediately sprinkle top and sides with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cocoa nibs.
  • Refrigerate until set; 30 minutes. Truffles can be made 1 week ahead and stored in a single layer, covered, in refrigerator. Enjoy!

Giving a gift to a friend or family member who loves peanuts, almonds, and other nuts of many varieties? Add a package of Maple Coconut Roasted Almonds to the gift and receive a smile every time. For those who just adore chocolate in every form, the Whimsical Days of Christmas Chocolate Lover’s Towel is sure to please.
Whimsical Days of Christmas Chocolate Lover's Towel Maple Coconut Roasted Almonds

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Environmentally Friendly Gifts and Holiday Tips

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

There’s no reason you can’t be eco-friendly with your gift giving this year and throughout the entire holiday season. The products below each offer an environmentally friendly benefit or they are made with eco-friendly materials, such as recycled wool, rubber, or plastic. We have also gathered some of our favorite tips for having a green Christmas this year, and every year. Take some small steps to go green and you will help to make the world a better place.

Recycled Wool Moose Ornament

Now you can say you’ve seen a true Maine moose! Made of recycled wool, this eco-friendly ornament will surely bring a smile to your face this holiday season. Adorned with green, yellow, blue and red lights on his antlers and a red and green “Maine” scarf, this friendly moose also has adjustable legs to really get him moving!

Have a lot of old wool sweaters at home? You can create your own ornaments by felting your sweaters in the washing machine – just so long as you do not want to wear them anymore! Simply wash and dry your 100% wool sweaters with the rest of your wash, and they will shrink and compress into a tightly felted piece. You can then cut the wool into shapes, thread them with yarn, and decorate a package or your tree!

Maine Wool Moose Ornament With Lights

Holiday Greetings Doormat Recycled Fibers Rugs Are Charming and Green

Doormats are great for many reasons. They help you clean your feet when your shoes are mucky with winter mud and slush, and they greet folks as soon as they step on your porch. Add an extra charming greeting this year with a mat crafted from recycled materials. The backs of both of these two holiday door mats, Holiday Greetings and Tis the Season, feature recycled rubber. Provence Sunflowers features 35% recycled post-consumer PET plastic. That’s the stuff in all of your water bottles that is turned into fibers for fleece, t-shirts, and, of course, this rug.

Provence Sunflowers Rug Tis the Season Doormat

Recycle Holiday Greeting Cards

We all have lots, and lots, of greeting cards lying around the house; in storage, hanging on walls, on display on counter tops and mantels. The messages inside of  these cards are most always worth cherishing, and it is often hard to recycle a thoughtful card that we have received. Here’s a thought: cut off the front of the card, or the parts without the message inside, and piece it all together into a new card that you can send to a friend, or for use as a gift tag on a holiday package. This way, you are able to keep your cherished message tucked away for enjoyment each year, but have a chance to send some Christmas cheer to someone else in your life! Another idea is to string all of the cards together for a festive garland that you can display each year.

Christmas Cards

Jute Fibers Are Naturally Durable

Before the invention of steel cable, jute rope was the preferred rope material on clipper ships. Our braided jute rugs are naturally fire retardant; they can be used safely around fireplaces and in kitchens. We like to call jute braids “true braids” as they do not have a core inside like flat braids. Jute is also naturally moth proof, grown from the earth like flax, and biodegradable (which means it will not clutter up a landfill when you are ready for a new rug).

Cardinal Rug
Feather Tree Jute Rug Gingerbread Man Accent Rug

Red Compost Keeper Home Composting Made Easy
Composting is an activity you can do all year long, especially with Red Compost Keeper, or the ever popular Stainless Steel option, right in your kitchen. Kitchens are the ideal place to store vegetable and fruit scraps, recycle rinds, peels, and get eggshells out of sight.  Contribute to composting your garden in an eco-friendly way by storing compost in air tight containers in the garage during the winter months to use early spring. To complete as a green gift this year, include additional Compost Filters.
Stainless Steel Compost Keeper Stainless Steel Ccompost Keeper Replacement Filters

Christmas Paper Pile Make Recycling Easy on Christmas Day

The hustle and bustle of Christmas morning can be exhausting. Wrapping paper, bows and tinsel can be seen flying across the house as the mad dash for gift giving begins.

Save time and energy this year by dedicating separate areas for trash, donating, recycling, and reusing of the paper and decorative pieces from each gift.

Reuse those bows! Keep paper separate and only throw away the items that are cannot be donated, reused, or recycled.

Chemical Free Household Cleaning Products

Although they may not seem like it at first, these earth-friendly cleaning products are a thoughtful gift idea because surely everyone could use some this time of year. Composed of simply bee’s wax and mineral oil, this Bee’s Oil wax not only spruces up your furniture, but cleans and protects your cabinets, counter tops, cutting board and any other wood accent. Chemical free, no petroleum by-products and entirely earth friendly; made right here in the USA. The holidays are notorious for testing the limits for furniture and rugs as entertaining takes center stage. Help a friend get rid of stains by using non-toxic, solvent free Rug Spot Remover.

Bee's Oil Rug Spot Remover

There you have it. Some simple ways to make your holiday gift giving season a bit friendlier on mother earth. If you have more ideas for how you stay green all year long, let us know!

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Sturbridge Yankee Workshop Santa Showcase

Friday, December 6th, 2013
Santa has been given many names over the years. Santa, Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, St. Nick, Father Christmas and the list goes on if you begin including variations from other languages. The roots of where Santa Claus originated from stem from a combination of folklore in Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, and Great Britain.

This is where perhaps you have heard of Sinterclaas. Sinterclaas, who decides who is naughty and nice like our western understanding of Santa does, arrives by steam boat and chooses to ride a white-gray horse; as opposed to a sleigh and eight reindeer. Whatever you choose to call this jolly gift giving man in your home, he always finds a place in our hearts.

Williraye Studio Santa Sculptures
Candy Store Music Box Musical Santa

Cooking up magical treats in the candy shop, keeping children entertained at The Kringle theater during the showing of the Nutcracker, or creating magical memories at the North Pole Toy Shop, Santa is everything to everyone during the Christmas season.

These displays all play 8 traditional Christmas songs from Jingle Bells to We Wish You a Merry Christmas and more to keep you and your guests entertained all season long.

Santa's Toy Shop Music Box Nutcracker Musical Theater Display

Sculpted Santa

Add just the right touch to your mantel space or bookshelf display year after year with a sculpted Santa that will sit pretty and offer holiday cheer to all who see him. Red Carved Santa With Tree offers folk art appeal, as Artist Jim Shore’s Canadian Santa is ready for Christmas Eve celebrations French Canadian style, and Alpine Santa, from Williraye Studio™, brings his forest friends along for a walk in the winter weather, bundled up with his Nordic sweater and striped scarf and colorful mittens.

Red Carved Santa With Tree Sculpture
Jim Shore Candian Santa Apline Santa - Williraye Studio

Here Comes Santa Collectible Wooly Snowman Extra Special Santa

Collectible Wooly® Snowmen are great for gift giving, and available in many styles for display in every room of the home. Start your own collection, or complete a collection for a friend. Artist Karen Didion showcases Midnight Snack Santa with his cuddly teddy and a plate full of delicious cookies as they head off to read a Christmas story before settling down for the night. Enchant children and adults alike with the Santa’s Flight Night Light, where Santa’s sleigh appears as just a silhouette across the blue sky with bright yellow moon.

Midnight Snack Santa - Karen Didion Santa's Flight Night Light

Plush Pillow Santa

Ready to support you when you need a break from holiday shopping and festivities, these pillows offer comfort and cheer wherever they are displayed. Showcased in 100% hooked wool, Santa Bunny is as cute as can be, and looks quite realistic!

Below, Santa and his forest friends are ready to bring cheer to all who are near on this cold winter night. Vintage jingle bells add a whimsical touch to the red felt pillow, perfect for display on an entryway bench or favorite chair.

Santa Bunny Pillow
Santa and Forest Friends Pillow Vintage Jingle Bells Pillow

Dear Santa Print Vintage Santa

When was the last time you wrote a letter to Santa? It is never too late to continue believing in the magic! Hang this print, Dear Santa, in any room to enliven the holiday spirit in your home. Vintage Christmas Apron showcases quite the jolly Santa character, with fun nostalgic imagery and brightly colored ties to surprise the cook in your family. Marching Santa offers vintage folk art appeal with his feather tree and striped pants.

Vintage Christmas Apron Marching Santa Coaster Set

How do you celebrate the magic of Santa in your home during the holidays?

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