Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Our Favorite Chinaberry Gifts to Give

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

We’ve heard from several customers that this year’s fall/holiday catalog has been one of their all-time favorites. I know it’s been mine. We asked everyone who works here to share their #1 favorite gift item from this year’s offerings, and here’s what they said:

Ann’s Favorite

Ann, Founder and VP Merchandising

15853 Tap Water Bottle

I know that every single person I give the Tap Water Bottle to will love it. Practical and “green,” it always gets comments when guests see it in my fridge or when I put it on the dinner table. The fact that there’s a wonderful story behind it (a portion of the proceeds goes to Water.org; watch the incredible video on Chinaberry.com) makes ME feel good about giving it, too.

Janet’s Favorite

Janet, Assistant Director of Merchandising

16668 Night Before Christmas Mug

16668 Night Before Christmas Mug

I’ve been buying every parent I know (well, okay, maybe four…) our Night Before Christmas Mug. There’s really nothing like it, and anything that gets the emphasis off of “me, me, me” gets MY vote. With “Thank You, Santa” written along the inside rim of the mug, it’s really a Gratitude Mug. This year, my daughter and grandson, Tristin, are spending the night Christmas Eve, and we’ve already talked about making peppermint hot chocolate for Santa (we hear it’s his favorite, along with Wassail) to thank him for all he does. While Tristin’s sleeping, my daughter and I will hide the removable Santa on the tree. Tristin knows we won’t begin opening presents until he finds Santa. (He loves doing stuff like this, and I’m hoping it will buy me some time to get the Christmas Morning Coffee Cake in the oven!) I’m excited to add this fun new tradition to our mix.

Mary Jo’s Favorite

Mary Jo, Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

10818 Wooden Advent Calendar

10818 Wooden Advent Calendar

My family has a tradition of giving advent calendars. When I saw our Wooden Advent Calendar, I thought that having a note for each day would be a fun thing to do, but I didn’t know if a child would like an Advent calendar with just notes and no presents. When I asked my niece if she would like it, she said yes, so I bought the calendar, dug out last year’s Christmas cards, and started writing notes on the back of the cards. On Thanksgiving Day, the calendar was in our dining room and my niece looked at it, looked at me, and said, “I can’t wait to start opening my calendar.” Well, she loves it so much that she has told her friends about it. Last night, my sister called to tell me that Dominique reads her card every morning, puts the card back into the calendar, and in the afternoon brings three of her friends over to read the card. All of her friends think it is the coolest Advent calendar they’ve ever seen. I will keep the tradition going and write different messages for next year.

Julie’s Favorite

Julie, Buyer

12020 Children's Room Blessing

12020 Children's Room Blessing

I’ve lost count of how many Children’s Room Blessings I’ve bought for each new baby born in my circle of friends and family. The plaque is such a sweet reminder to continue to pray and bless the children in your home. It’s a beautiful, elegant gift, and everyone I’ve given one to is always very touched by its significance. And I love going into their homes later and seeing the plaque hung in the child’s room!

Nancy’s Favorite

Nancy, Manager - Human Resources

12734 Hand-Dipped Bayberry Tapers

12734 Hand-Dipped Bayberry Tapers

This year, as in the past, I am purchasing bayberry tapers to give as gifts to friends and family. It has been my family’s tradition for many years to burn bayberry tapers on Solstice, Christmas or New Year’s to bring good luck in the coming year. As the saying goes, “A bayberry candle burned to the socket brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket.”

Leah’s Favorite

Leah, Quality Assurance Representative

15673 Veggichop

15673 Veggichop

The VeggiChop is amazing! I have already given this as a gift on several occasions — multiple weddings, housewarmings, and a birthday. Everyone loves it. It is easy to use and can speed up dinnertime with a lot less chopping to do. Kids love to help with dinner preparation and it’s nice to let them help without having to supervise chopping with a knife. I am giving a few more for Christmas, including to my step-mother, who loves to cook but has mobility and motor skills issues. I can’t tell you just how cool it is. You’re going to have to try it for yourself and then give one to all of your friends and family!

Mary’s Favorite

Mary, Catalog Production

16361 Christmas with the Mousekins

16361 Christmas with the Mousekins

I’ve been giving Christmas books to all the children in my large, extended family for years now, and there have been many favorites along the way. Now that I’m a
grandmother — to 3-year-old Willow — it’s especially heartwarming to bring out the Christmas books and pore over them with her. Last night I brought home Christmas with the Mousekins to share with her, and Willow was enthralled! She wanted to make every project in the book right then and there! And as soon as we finished reading it, she wanted to start all over again. Though it was too late to start any projects last night, you can guess what we’ll be doing next time she’s over. This book is brimming with the warmth and coziness of family and holiday cheer.

Sheila’s Favorite

Sheila, Web Marketing

17078 Silver Snowflake Ornaments

17078 Silver Snowflake Ornaments

This year I decided that less is more, so when I took down my Christmas boxes, I only chose to use the decorations I really loved best. The crowning touch was hanging these delicate snowflakes on the tree, the mantle, and even over a mirror. They added such a festive touch and bit of sparkle.

One-Day Tuesday Featured Item

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $4.97

Click http://www.chinaberry.com/ to see today’s specially-discounted item.

Was $24.95, Today (12/07/10) Only $4.97.

Price goes back up tomorrow (12/08/10). Shop Now! One per customer.

One-Day Tuesday Featured Item

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $2.97

Click http://www.chinaberry.com/ to see today’s specially-discounted item.

Was $14.95, Today (11/23/10) Only $2.97.

Price goes back up tomorrow (11/24/10). Shop Now! One per customer.

The Art of Imperfection

Friday, November 12th, 2010

No matter how hard I try, the perfection I strive for seems to be just out of reach. As soon as the floors are mopped, a little tuft of dog hair inevitably appears in the corner. No matter how many hours of tender care I give my roses, the critters that forage in the yard at night leave nibbled petals and an occasional broken branch for me to find in the morning. Then, there are those personal life ‘experiences’ that burst the perfection bubble. Let me explain.

It was a picture perfect (nature can be perfect!), sunny afternoon, and my husband, our two sons, and I were at a high school graduation party for one of the nicest kids you could ever hope to meet. He and his beautiful mom (also one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet) live in a gorgeous home on a hill with an absolutely stunning view. I felt pretty confident that I looked nearly perfect: my hair was up, my dress was cute, and everything about my outfit said ‘this woman has got it together.’ Little groups of people were scattered about, chatting and munching on the yummy food, enjoying the whole setting. As I was chatting and munching, a soft breeze came up and blew a couple of pieces of lettuce off of my plate. Being the conscientious guest that I am, I stepped back so that I could pick up the lettuce. Did I mention we were outside? So, I stepped back — and directly into the Jacuzzi. Way in, to the middle, completely submerged. When the need to breathe overpowered my feelings of utter humiliation, I surfaced and slowly opened my eyes to see a row of surprised faces and my oldest son sitting on the steps and holding his head in his hands in total mortification. As I retrieved the piece of pizza bobbing on the churning surface of the water, all I could do was laugh. My stunned husband helped me out of the water, the really nice kid brought me a big towel, and his even nicer mom asked what, if anything, she could do for me.

Well, there wasn’t anything she could do; it was up to me to own the moment. So, I wrapped the towel around my dripping dress, apologized to my embarrassed 18-year-old son, removed the clip from my hair and fluffed it a little so it could dry, accepted the new plate of food my darling husband brought me, and enjoyed the rest of the party. Did I still look nearly perfect? Not a chance. My hair was frizzy, my dress was a little wrinkled, although it was completely dry by the time we left, and my mascara had settled into dark smudges beneath my eyes.

So, as you are frantically cleaning, decorating, baking, and wrapping this holiday season, remember that the little mishaps in life make it interesting. Your friends and family are not coming to your home to check whether your cloth napkins are expertly pressed, or whether or not all the candles in the centerpiece are perfectly straight. They are coming to see you, to share your warmth and laughter, because they love you and want to be with you just as you want to share yourself with them. Relax and own the moment, imperfections and all. Who knows, you may just end up with a great story to share.

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $4.97

Click http://www.chinaberry.com/ to see today’s specially-discounted item.

Was $21.95, Today (11/02/10) Only $4.97.

Price goes back up tomorrow (11/03/10). Shop Now! One per customer.

Ghoulish Goodies

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Here’s a couple haunting recipes from Ghoulish Goodies by Sharon Bowers.

Chocolate Spider Clusters

Chocolate candy with an arachnid vibe, these spidery clusters get their creepy appeal from gleaming red candy eyes. If you have time before the chocolate sets up, pull a few chow mein noodle legs upward in each cluster to wave around.

Makes about 2 dozen

1 6-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips

2 cups chow mein noodles

1/4 cup red hots or red mini M&Ms

1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.

2. Melt the chocolate on top of a double-boiler or in a microwave, in 10-second bursts, stirring frequently and being careful not to overheat.

3. Stir in the chow mein noodles and drop by tablespoons onto the baking sheet. Press two red candies on one edge of each cluster to make eyes and lift a few chow mein legs up to give a spidery impression. Allow to cool and harden in the refrigerator and serve chilled.

Screaming Red Punch with a Hand

Kids love the icy hand floating in the punch. Freeze a couple in case you break the fingers pulling off the glove. The trick is to use scissors and slit alongside each finger. You can not pull the glove off the ice hand as if you were pulling it off a real hand. If you find it too difficult, you can always put the hand in the punch with the glove still on.

Makes 24 servings

New rubber surgical or food service glove

2 quarts apple juice

2 quarts cranberry juice

2 liters ginger ale

1. Rinse the glove inside and out several times with cold water to make sure it doesn’t have any powder. Fill with water and tie the wrist tightly with a twist tie. Freeze solid.

2. Mix the juices and ginger ale ingredients in a large punch bowl. Peel the glove carefully off the hand and float it in the punch.

Find more wonderfully frightful recipes in Ghoulish Goodies.

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $1.97

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

One-Day Tuesday Mystery Item - Only $1.97

Click http://www.chinaberry.com/ to see today’s specially-discounted item.

Was $12.95, Today (10/12/10) Only $1.97.

Price goes back up tomorrow (10/13/10). Shop Now! One per customer.

One-Day Tuesday: No Tricks… Just Treats

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Click http://www.chinaberry.com to see today’s extra-special One-Day Tuesday item.

We’ve created a Chinaberry Grab Bag just for our One-Day Tuesday customers.

Worth over $100.00, Today (9/28/10) Only $19.97! How sweet is that?!

Shop Now! One per customer.

Gifts From My Mother

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Recently, while cleaning someone else’s bathroom floor, I thought to myself, ”My mother would have had a fit.” Although the middle of the floor had been kept clean, the sides, corners, and behind the door hadn’t been cleaned in years. I was taken back to my teens, with my mother telling me how important it was to clean thoroughly, and me arguing back, ”Who cares; no one ever sees it anyway?” She was teaching me the right way to clean, and as a teen, I was arguing for the easy way. Now, years later, I was witnessing what happens when you don’t know how to clean properly. Not only had I never thanked my mother for teaching me this valuable skill, I had argued with her about it.

My mother passed away before I owned a house, was married, or had children. While she was alive, I was in frequent touch and told her how much I loved her, but while cleaning this bathroom floor, I realized she gave me so many gifts I had never really thought about — gifts I use or benefit from to this day. So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mother for all the gifts I didn’t know were gifts:

• Teaching us that a clean house is important, but family time was more important.

• Showing us that people were more important than things. No matter what broke, spilled or went wrong, you always asked ”Are you ok?” before you asked about the things.

• Having us work beside you until we could do the job right by ourselves.

• Making us clean the kitchen and stay there until everyone was finished. At the time, I thought you were just trying to make sure the whole job was done and no one said, ”That’s not my job.” Now I realize you were also creating bonds between us siblings.

• Making us go to our siblings’ activities. This increased our circle of support and helped keep us out of trouble.

• Teaching us to be polite to older or lonely people — sometimes that is the only chance they get to communicate all day.

• Being there to listen when we needed someone to listen (I doubt anyone realizes what a gift this is until their mother is gone), and listening to us with your full attention — not only to us but to our friends as well.

• Believing in me. To this day, I think of you when I am having challenges.

• Teaching me how to iron, stand up straight, and swim.

• Enjoying my company and biting your tongue when I came up with my grand philosophical ideas.

• Letting me learn and accepting that Chemistry was as hard for me as Spanish was for you.

• Showing me that even after failures or problems, we can pick ourselves up and go on with life.

As we approach this Mother’s Day, I hope we can all take the time to think about the intangibles gifts from our mothers and the other important women in our lives.

Last Days to Order For Christmas Delivery

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Last day to order from Chinaberry to receive packages by Christmas via Standard UPS is Dec. 16 to the East Coast, Dec. 17 to the Mid-West, and Dec. 21 to the West Coast.

See our FAQ’s Shipping and Handling section for detailed information.