THE RAGE OF TOY SOLDEIRS

Toy soldiers are the love and fascination of everyone, be it a kid or an adult. They look attractive and give an expression to the passion for action. These miniature figurines that look like a real soldier are a great gift for your child. These uniformed military personnel from all countries, eras, including cowboys, knights, pirates, militia officers are the collectors’ delight. They come in great varieties and are made of different materials. Plastic toy soldiers are nevertheless the most popular and most widely found.
The imagination behind creating the toy soldiers is wide. They may range from simple unrealistic playthings to detailed models of realistic soldiers from different nations. The traditional toy soldiers are different from models, dolls and action figures and come in military or soldier uniforms. There are many kinds of soldier toys in the market, made of metal and plastic. The various varieties include plastic army men, flat soldiers, hollow cast figures, composition figures etc.
There has been an interesting trend in the sale of soldier toys. The toy soldiermade of metal are traditionally sold in sets. In UK and other parts of Europe, the plastic figures were sold in toy shops separately. In the US, they were sold in large boxed sets. In the modern times, the collectable figures can be bought individually.
Brief history and trends
Army men toys became first popular in the 1940′s and within a few years, they were a household name. The bags of plastic green soldier toys had become favorites of many. Both metal and plastic toys were readily available and children of this generation grew up playing with both. However, in the sixties, dangerous materials, such as lead were banned to be used in toys and this changed the toys industry forever. One of the major manufacturers of soldier toys, William Britain, had to cease manufacturing lead figurines and transform their toys completely. This gave a boost to plastic toy soldiers drastically and the gap was filled with them. The initial plastic soldiers were generic and unpainted. Gradually, plastic soldiers were also made high end with details. They were modeled after different war periods and eras to attract the attention of people.
In the 90s, Internet gave a new dimension to the market of toy soldiers. With the online websites selling a great variety of them, demand improved. People bought them to play or collect, choosing from a great variety. Since the 2000 s, there are several big players in the market and the best of modern technology is used to create these toy figurines.

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Chocolaty Gifts for Kids this Easter

Kids love festivals for reasons of their own. The holiday feast, break from boring school, more time to play with their buddies and most importantly the gifts! Choosing gifts for kids will be relatively easy, unless the kid is particularly choosy.

  • Any child would love chocolate, in any form, as long as it tastes delicious. Try making chocolate recipes and stuffing chocolate eggs in a bunny shaped bag. It will make a nice Easter gift for your kids.
  • Bunny satchels are usually ‘in’ thing during Easter and gifting your kid one could be a great idea. Stuff the satchel with the usual Easter goodies along with some generic gifts like video games, hair bands and clips, etc.
  • Paint personalized chocolate eggs for your kid and present it in a personalized Easter basket. Decorate the basket as cutely as possible with ribbons and Easter symbols. Embroider your kid’s name on the cloth layering the basket. Choose your kid’s favorite color for the layering.
  • Another chocolaty gift is a personalized gift tin filled with your child’s favorite candies and a homemade caramel and chocolate apples. For this you need medium sweet tart apples like Fuji apples, poke a popsicle stick into it, dip into warm melted semi sweet chocolate and roll on hundreds and thousands or M&M’s to get the desired coating. Allow it to set and cut into quarters. A perfect homemade Easter gifts for the kids.
  • Instead of a bunny, a teddy bear will be a welcome option. Combine the teddy with a Easter themed tote bag filled with candy sticks, some generic gifts, some useful items they could use for school. This is a great time to give a hobby inculcating gift to your kid. Along with the chocolaty stuff include some books or engaging games or CDs that might help them think better, while enjoying a great deal.
  • Last year you gifted a bunny doll along with goodies? Then this year gift a dress for the bunny doll along with goodies. The chocolate part is never going to change, whatsoever. So you might as well couple it with something new.
  • For those religiously serious, you could give a white or dark chocolate Cross or other symbols of Easter as Easter gifts for kids.
  • Enough of chocolate? How about chocolate flavored cookies? You can buy all wrapped up embossed molded cookies from the store. But if you want to give a personal touch to the gift, try baking them yourself. Instead of chocolate you can try lemon cookies or fruitcake cookies too.

Involving your kids in the process of egg decoration and cooking will be a great idea to keep the kids engaged. By this way they learn too. And by the way of gifting, this would be a great time to make them understand the religious significance of Easter, inculcating new habits and of course, have loads of fun.

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Children’s Easter Gifts that Fit the Budget

Easter is a nice family fest, but not exactly great for your children’s teeth. So why not opt for something much healthier and inexpensive this year? Here are some ideas to perk up your brain on where to look and what to do for this year’s Easter gifts for your children.

  • Easter Basket is old fashioned. Try to get your children gifts that will be usable even after Easter. Instead of buying a basket each year, buy pails or containers or bandana’s tied to a stick or backpacks for older children. Anything to make the item to look like a basket. All it needs to do is hold the goodies. Another option is using the same basket every year. It is low budget and environmentally friendly too.
  • Instead of sugary goodies, give your children something homemade and definitely something useful, other than candies. Each year, theme the basket and include related items. This will make the tradition more interesting. A good list of items you can include in the basket are:
  • Books
  • Dollar perfume
  • Change purse
  • Nail polish
  • Hair clips and bands
  • Hand held video games
  • Playing card decks
  • Potted plants
  • Seed packs for planting
  • Family photo
  • Journal
  • CDs
  • Gift certificates
  • Games
  • For the homemade goodies, try oatmeal cookies or low sugar fruit cookies or homemade Easter candies with flavors of your choice. Fruit snacks with pieces of assorted fruits and nuts would be great choices too. You might even find some new healthy recipes which are quick and simple and tasty that you could try for this Easter and gift them to your children
  • Buying Easter gifts well ahead of time will save lots of money. Most dresses, summer outfits, toys and lots of other kiddies’ stuff will be on sale right after Christmas. That’s the best time to start shopping for Easter and this way you will get something more for your money.
  • With older children, it is difficult to fit many of the tiny items you can use with younger kids. So, for older children, it is advisable to give one specific gift and few of the usual Easter gifts. This way, you will save up bucks and make your child happy too.
  • For example, a 12 year old will no longer be interested in decorating baskets as such. Hence replace the basket. Next, he/she might be even embarrassed to have just homemade items filled. So, get them a useful item like a music CD or a book or a something beyond just candies and themed baskets. Rake your brains to see what interests your son or daughter and make a basket accordingly.

‘Waste not, want not’ goes a long way. Children can lose interest on stuffs pretty easily if it is not up to their level or even if is beyond their level. Choose carefully.

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Celebrating Quarter Of A Century In Love- Gift Ideas

Completing your 25 years in marriage is a big achievement. This time is for celebration and buying gifts for this great occasion, it could be for your partner or for someone else, may be your parents. Here are the ideas for the Silver Anniversary Gifts to present:

  • Gifts for Wife: Give your partner the most romantic gift you can think of. You can think of silver themed flowers or silver jewellery for your wife. Give a love letter in a bottle, personalized canvas art, anniversary memories photos canvas art, silver jewellery box, picture frames, silverware, mirror with silver canvas, Silver crystal figurines, etc.
  • Gifts for Husband: The best gift for men is always gadgets, even though its 25 years now. You can present him a laptop computer, ipad, cell phone, digital camera, ipod, sports gadget, games related gadgets, etc. You can also gift a  photo with silver frame, a watch, silver key ring, silver ring inscribed with wedding date, silver anniversary wedding band. If your husband is fashion cautious than gift him designer silk tie, leather wallet, stainless steel bracelet or stylish cuff links.
  • Gifts for Parents: You can buy them a 25th anniversary plaque, which they can remember in the later years of their marriage. You can give gift in crystal like a photo frame with the couple photo, champagne glass or a crystal vase. You can present a silver clock with a personalized message. One very innovative thought could be to arrange for a family portrait session. Another idea is to give years of marriage book, where you can place the memorable pictures from each year of their marriage. Gift a silver money tree with a personal touch by crafting the tree yourself.

Whatever you decide Silver anniversary gift, remember that it should have a touch of silver. Even if you are giving tickets for a concert, movie, theatre or a sports event, etc., wrap it with a silver ribbon or place in a silver packet or box.

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Celebrating Five Years of Marriage- Gifts Ideas

The anniversary time is to remember the precious time you have spent with each other. Spending the time with lots of emotions and love you don not realize as when the fifth year of you marriage has completed and it’s to wish each other the 5th Marriage Anniversary. So, here is the time for celebration and also to think of a best gift for this occasion. Some of the options for 5th Anniversary Gifts for your spouse could be,

  • Wooden Gifts: One of the traditional gifts for the 5th Wedding Anniversary gift is Wood as it represents solidarity and strength of your relationship for five years. Some of the ideas of wooden gifts are, chocolates in a wooden box, wooden sculpture of a embraced couple, wooden carved flowers, a love spoon with number 5, etc.
  • Silverware: This is one of the modern styles of anniversary gifts and it represents connectedness of your relationship. You can gift silverware serving dishes, candlesticks, new everyday flatware or decorative kitchenware etc.
  • Romantic Gifts: You can think of some personalised gifts for this romantic occasion. This way you can make feel your pattern more special. Some of the ideas are, Showcase of few lines of your own poem engraved, fine chocolate with personalized engraved message, real roses in gold, extra large hammock, personalized novel where you are the main character, Guardian angels with your names and many more.
  • Jewellery For Her: Women always appreciates jewellery, so do your wife. You can gift her some unique or ethnic jewellery to embrace her beauty. First of all you must decide on the favourite gem of your wife, than you can decide further on what to buy. You can buy pearls, diamonds, blue topaz, ruby, jade and many other choices of gem embedded in earrings, pendant, bracelet or a beautiful ring.

Always remember to buy a gift which has your personalized touch. Keep in mind the favourites of your partner and then plan your surprise.

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Celebrating Easter around the World

Easter is a major festival of Christians throughout the world. It is celebrated as a mark of rise of the Lord Jesus Christ from death, three days after he was crucified. Easter celebrations differ from country to country and even region to region within the same country.

Easter’s etymology follows an Anglo-Saxon word ‘Eostre’, the Goddess of fertility and spring. But earlier and even now, some countries prefer to use the Hebrew derivatives of ‘Pascha’, to mean Passover (to rise from death).

Around the world

  • In Britain and Ireland, similar Easter traditions are followed. The favorite foods are hot cross buns, roasted lamb and Simnel cake. Eggs represent fertility and are vibrantly decorated.
  • For the Germans, Easter represents the onset of spring after a long spell of winter. Additional symbol of Easter in Germany is the Easter bunny, which represents fertility. The greetings ‘Frohe Ostern’ (Happy Easter) is derived from the earlier mentioned Anglo-Saxon word ‘Eostre’. Easter Sunday lunch is usually potatoes, lamb and loads of vegetables.
  • Iceland’s Easter celebrations start on the Holy Thursday. On Easter children receive eggs made of chocolate. Easter is a family festival in Iceland where families get together for a nice family feast. Here Easter is called Páskar (Hebrew: Pascha).
  • Easter celebrations start a week later than the West for the Russians. This is because the orthodox calendar followed by the church. The traditions are very old and still hold deep rooted meanings with the symbols of Easters. Egg represents fertility and red egg represents Jesus Christ’s blood. The usual non-goers too can attend Easter services in the church, taking their Easter basket. Feast includes kulich, paskha, eggs and other delicacies. Food is blessed by the priest.
  • Polish Easter fest is a rocking time. The food is roasted lamb, veggies, eggs and other forms of meat delicacies. The Easter Monday is celebrated as Wet Monday or Smigus Dyngus where men and women our water over each other. There are fares and concerts and loads of other festive activities that happen all through the Easter week.
  • In Italy, the Easter bunny will be conspicuously absent from the typical symbolisms of Easter celebrations. The preceding weeks are marked by procession of the Virgin through the city. Easter Sunday is celebrated with Scoppio del Carro in Florence, while in Aruzzo region it is with La Madonna Che Scappa in Piazza. Festive foods are chocolate eggs and meat.
  • Spanish Easter week is called Semana Santa and one has to experience it in person to enjoy the vibrant celebrations. The Domingo de Ramas (Palm Sunday) marks the commencement of Semana Santa. Celebrations in Seville are the most famous for it has many brotherhoods and each celebrates it in their own way.

For celebrating Easter at home, Easter egg painting activities could be included for the kids, along with rendering help with cooking. For the adults, any party involving a get together could be arranged.

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Best Personalized Christmas Gifts for Parents

Choosing gifts for peers is relatively easy compared to choosing gifts for parents. Parents are always a special part of a person’s life and the gift given should emphasis the same. Personalized Christmas gifts would be a good way to tell how much they mean to you. With that in mind here are some choices you might like to regard.

  • Apron or mitten with Monogram. For moms who love cooking, show your appreciation this Christmas with a readymade or homemade personalized mitten or apron. For a cheaper option you can use transfer letters. It will give a nice personal touch to it.
  • Tote bag for flat wares. Recycle the used bags to create a nice flat ware holder. A very inexpensive yet nice gift for any occasion.
  • Scrap book. Scrapbook will ever be in fashion till memories are made. Collect all knick knacks of your mom and dad, add photos of the times you spent together, put it all in a book and there you have a scrapbook full of memories preserved for years to come.
  • Personalized books. If your mom or dad is an avid book reader, then pick her favorite book and have it personalized with his/her name on the book cover.
  • Poem on glass. Etch a poem on the glass and frame it. Gift it to your parents and see how tears roll by. A very touching personalized Christmas gift.
  • Personalized star of fame. Who doesn’t want fame? And if the praise is from one’s own children, which parent wouldn’t love it? A personalized star of fame tile with your parents name is definitely going to make their day.
  • Glass etchings. Anything can be etched on glass with laser. So pick up any form of glass item, be it a whisky glass or just a paper weight, etched your heart out for your parents and show your love to them.
  • Handmade jewels. If you are feeling real crafty, you can make a nice handmade jewel for mom out of beads and rhinestones.
  • Family tree picture frame. Metal or silver, a family tree is always fun thing to have around. Collect photos of family members and fix into the tiny frames. Great way to remember who’s who.
  • Key racks. Family name based key racks are a proud reminder of how much your parents mean to you.
  • ‘Dad and Me’ T-shirts. A baseball fan? Pick up the team jersey your dad loves and print your name on one and dad’s name on the other. Wear it on the day your team plays!
  • Photo mugs. Personalized coffee mugs are cheap yet can make a great impact. A lovely personalized Christmas gift for frequent coffee sippers.

Parents are never picky about their Christmas gifts. All they need is to be remembered. Show your affection this year by a tiny token of love in the form of personalized Christmas gifts.

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Anniversary Gift Ideas for the Fourth Year

In marriage one of the most special times is Anniversaries, completing another year with each other’s companionship. Anniversaries are a time to rejoice the love and dedication you have for each other. Though gifts are only part of the celebration, you should spend quality time doing something significant together. Every anniversary starting from the first year has specific gift ideas, both traditional and modern.

Some of the gift ideas for 4th Anniversary Gifts are:

  • Traditional Gifts: The traditional 4th anniversary gifts have a theme of Flowers, Fruits and Books. A dozen of classic red roses are obviously an option, or four roses with a personalized love note. If you know that your beloved loves gardening than you can gift a flowering shrub, rare species of rose or even a bonsai tree. If you plan to gift a fruit basket than select the seductive fruits like strawberries and peaches. In contrast if the gift is for your wife than you can select a flower shaped jewellery or a floral perfume for her.
  • Modern Gifts: A modern 4th anniversary gift has a theme of Silk and Linen. You can gift Linen tablecloths and napkins, Decorative pillows and Quilts, Lingerie and silk pyjamas, Sports bag for the gym, Silk purse, Clothing and Scarves and ties etc.
  • Ultra Modern Gifts: Now a days’ more modern 4th anniversary gift has a theme of Electrical Appliances. Try to buy the appliances if your spouse really loves the gadget, especially men and also if they really need one. For men you can buy exercise equipments, electronic gadget, laptop, or a new hi-tech mobile or i-pad.  And, for women you can buy any home appliance like Mixers, Blenders, Bread Makers, Ice Cream Maker, Food processor, coffee maker, vacuum cleaner, steam cleaners etc. You can also buy them appliances for beauty aids.

If all of this doesn’t suits your idea than try to be innovative and create your own gift as per the interest of your partner. There are many gift stores who do create personalized gifts for you.

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Affordable Amazing Christmas Gifts

Finding it hard to pick up some good yet inexpensive gift for friends and families? You have few ideas but feel it might blow your budget? Here are cheap Christmas gift ideas to an affordable purchasing for this year’s Christmas.

Gourmet food

If you can cook, then congratulations for you’ve just found the perfect cheap Christmas gift you can gift your loved ones. If not, no problem. There are several gourmet food baskets that will easily fit your budget. And who doesn’t like food?!

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are lovely gifts to give someone a nice experience to a spa or discount shopping spree or a video rental. And what’s more, they are pretty cheap.

Prepaid Phone cards

This might be a very good gift to someone who is living away from family and uses loads of calling cards. A very thoughtful yet cheap Christmas gift idea that fits the budget perfectly.

Hobby accessories

A cook book, makeup tote, software, memory sticks, sports accessories, traveler’s pochette, craft kit, etc can be bought pretty cheap and will make others think of you as a considerate and thoughtful gift giver.

Handmade Personalized Gifts

Let those creative juices flow and make a handmade Christmas gift for your friends and family. The only disadvantage would be that you cannot make a lot of them. But if the number is less, then you can always opt for homemade gifts to give that personal touch.

Keepsakes

Most keepsakes are under $5. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be cheap looking and not impressive. Key chains, miniatures, photo frames, vintage items (sold online by previous owners) are some cheap Christmas gift ideas you might want to try.

Christmas ornaments

You have plethora of ornaments to choose from. Christmas decoration baskets and great ideas in which you can buy assorted ornaments make of different materials and wrap it with printed cellophane and tie with a bow to get the holiday gift look.

Coffee Mug and Exotic Coffee

Gifting coffee will actually end up cheap compared to most other Christmas gifts. You can buy these online and a combo will cost less.

Kitchen gadgets

Here, try to avoid repetition but still gift something that is peculiar, new and definitely useful in kitchen. A true home maker will appreciate your efforts for they know the pain of not having the right gadget around.

Make up brush kits, Perfumes, Cosmetics and Scented oils

Hit the internet stores. You can buy these under $15 and yet make it look expensive. This is a great gift idea for girl friend or just about anybody who likes cosmetics and perfumes.
The cost of the gift doesn’t matter. What matters is the thought. Christmas is a time for sharing joy. So spread joy by surprising your loved ones this holiday season with something very useful yet inexpensive. This way you will be able to give gifts to more people and spread more joy!

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A Li’l Creative, A Li’l Sentimental – Christmas Gifts for Him

Picking out gifts for loved ones can be a real tough. You don’t know whether you want to give something sentimental or keep sakes or romantic or handmade. But for most guys, a sentimental gift would be to do something together and enjoying the moment.

Here are some suggestions that might spark of some more for a great Christmas gifts for him.

An evening together

Make a nice picnic basket with all the goody stuff your boy friend or spouse loves. Go to the spot where you first met or kissed. Relive those moments. Go creative on this by including some more components, like his favorite love song CD, that might make the day just too awesome.

Cook gourmet dishes

Cooking for somebody is a great way to show your love for them. IT shows how much care you have taken to put each ingredient and that with each ingredient you thought of him. A very sentimental Christmas gift for him for sure.

Scrapbook

It might sound clichéd, but nothing is too clichéd for love. Make your scrapbook as creative as possible and look around for more ideas on this. Include as many souvenirs from past, photos, even scraps.
Making a ‘when we first met’ or ‘our first year or love’ or ‘reasons I love you for’ kind of themes will be great too.
Nothing more will bring happiness on Christmas than seeing a loving smile on your spouse’s or boy friend’s face.

Embroidered accessories

If you are a crafty kind of person you can try something on your own too. Try embroidering his monograms or names on a towel, his shirt or handkerchief. Your efforts will not go in vain. If he uses a head band or hand band for sports, you can get him a personalized gear, creating them with your own hands.

Ordering personalized keepsakes

Online sites are strewn with lovely sentimental keepsakes. You can choose something like a montage of your photos together or ordered personalized silver rings with your birthstones studded on it. Or how about a wooden telescope or kaleidoscope? A lovely personalized Christmas gift for him.

There is no such thing as the best Christmas gift for him. All that counts is the thought. And to make the thought more meaningful, gift something that is as precious as your relations and speaks a thousand words of your love for him.

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