Camera Buying Tips – Christmas is When It Clicks

Christmas is a fun time to let your loved ones to explore their long term dream. When you say enough is enough with those mobile photography and you obviously see a need to upgrade to a professional or semi-professional photographic kit to go to the next level in photography, you definitely need to consider Christmas to be the best excuse to spend on the right kit. There are a zillion options. Where to start and what will be the ideal start-up kit to get started with.

With options ranging from DLSR to mirror-less, Canon to Nikon, 18 – 55mm to 70-200 mm, the first kit purchase can be a bit daunting.

Here are few quick tips. I hope these points will help you decide wise before you make that all-important decision to make that purchase.

  • Megapixels is not everything. Unless you are planning anything beyond sharing online or a medium size print, any standard photographic kit can hold on, it can be 12 megapixels to high power 50 megapixels. For a digital output or up to a medium size print, all are the same
  • Kit lens is a kit lens. You are not going to live till the end with your kit lens. So do not go choose a model that comes with a better kit lens. You can obviously change your camera lens, so do not base your decision on the lens the package comes with
  • Body is all that matters. Make sure you invest on the right camera body. Everything in your kit will be around this body. If you are planning for outdoor and wet condition shooting, make sure you get a good weather protected camera body. These can be a little high on cost, but you are paying for what you get.
  • UV filter. Get one. You will definitely need a UV filter along with any of your lens. This protects your lens front element from any scratch. You will not realise its importance until you find out what happens without it.

CHRISTMAS – 4 Ways To Give Back This Christmas

Christmas is a wonderful time to share with your closest family and friends however it is also the perfect season to give back to the community. Here are 4 ways in which you can provide for others so that they can also enjoy the holiday season.

Buy An Extra Gift

The one activity that the majority of people will do is to go out and buy a whole host of Christmas presents. The sad thing is that there will be lots of people who will not receive a gift this year. This is particularly hard if you are a child. One simple thing that you can do is to add an extra gift to your shopping list and donate it to the local children’s home or hospital in your area. You could even find out if there is a specific organisation in your town that will collect extra toys and presents to give to those less fortunate. It doesn’t have to cost you too much money and it could make a world of difference to a young child.

Help in a Soup Kitchen

There are lots of churches and charitable organisations that open their doors on Christmas day in order to ensure that people from a disadvantaged background can also get a hot meal. These places are always looking for an extra pair of hands so you could volunteer your services to help out in the kitchen to cook or to help serve. If you belong to your local church your minister or priest will definitely welcome your assistance during the holiday season.

Invite An Extra Guest To Christmas Dinner

If you live in a small community where everyone knows each other you may already be aware of an individual who will be alone this Christmas. A wonderful gesture would be to open your home and your hospitality to them. This would be a great way to give back and it would be a good opportunity to find out more about the people in your area.

Give To Charity

A simple and straightforward way to give back this Christmas is to make a monetary donation to a charity of your choice. The money could make all the difference to the organisation. You could choose to donate funds to a children’s charity, an animal shelter or a research facility like Cancer Research. It doesn’t matter if your donation is a large or small amount of money as these organisations are very happy to receive whatever people can give.

This Christmas, why not make it an occasion where you can not only enjoy the holiday season with family and friends, but also help to give others a great Christmas too.

CHRISTMAS – Indoor Decorations For Christmas

Decorating the inside of your home for the Christmas season doesn’t have to be a chore. As long as you are organised, you should be able to carry out this task in a single afternoon. You could even make it a fun group activity for all the family to enjoy.

Line Up the Christmas Stockings

Sunnyglade 3PCS 18″ Christmas Stocking

One of the highlights of your Christmas decor has got to be the Christmas stockings. You can choose to buy a colourful set or you can make your own. You may already have a set that you have used for years. Well if this is the case it is time to get them out of storage and hang them out on display. The most common place to hang them is from the mantelpiece surrounding the fireplace.

Get The Perfect Christmas Tree

The centrepiece of any Christmas decoration is the Christmas tree. You can choose to use a real life tree or you can invest in a good quality artificial tree which you can then use year after year. A lovely collection of accessories for the tree will include colourful baubles and figurines to hang from the branches. Children will love deciding where to place the baubles. A great idea is to actually buy a special trinket with your child’s initials or something that resembles their favourite cartoon character. Then create a lovely piece of theatre by getting them to place their very first ornament on the tree. Add some streamers, tinsel and a large star or angel on the very top and your tree is complete.

Decorate With Lights

If you want to create a warm and cosy atmosphere you need to get the lighting just right. This can be achieved with a combination of string lights, candles and an assortment of lanterns.

The string of lights can be draped around the Christmas tree or you can frame your windows so that they twinkle when the sun goes down.

Candles can completely transform a space. You can buy large church size candles and display them in groups of three. If you have small children or pets and you are worried about the naked flame, you can also buy a set of flameless candles that are battery operated. These will produce a flame like light without you having to worry about the danger of the flame or the possibility of burns from the hot melting wax.

Display Your Christmas Cards

When you start to receive Christmas cards you will want to put them out on display. You can place them on table tops and sideboards. Once you have run out of space you will need an alternative way to show them off. One great way to produce a pretty effect is to take a long strip of ribbon, attach the cards with some glue and then hang the end of the ribbon from the side of your fire place or hang it on your wall.

Sorting out your Christmas decorations is a great way to get everyone into the holiday spirit. Get the whole family involved and you can have a fun afternoon making your home look picture perfect.

CHRISTMAS – Christmas Shopping Made Easy

When the time comes to start getting Christmas presents for friends and family, it can be a little overwhelming. If you are looking for a stress free alternative that will still result in the giving of gifts, here are 4 different solutions that you could consider.

Do Your Christmas Shopping Online

If you absolutely hate the idea of facing crowds of people then you will want to avoid the high street and the shopping malls at all costs. Everyone is looking for the same thing and you can end up really frazzled and annoyed. The simple solution is to do your Christmas shopping online. You can avoid the crowds, the traffic and the queues at the checkout.

Most of the popular stores have an online presence so you can calmly browse the site and order just what you need. You can even get it all delivered to your home hassle free.

Ask People What They Want

Some people can get really stressed out trying to decide what to buy as gifts. The simple solution is to ask the recipients just what they would like to receive. The advantages are that you will get them something that they actually want and you will not have to endure sleepless nights worrying. It is true that you may lose the element of surprise so you have to decide what is more important to you, seeing the look of surprise as each person opens their gifts, or knowing that your shopping list is filled with items that will be truly appreciated.

Make A Charitable Donation On Their Behalf

If you want to do something philanthropic this Christmas you could choose to spend your Christmas budget by donating to a range of different charities on behalf of those people you would normally buy presents for. The donations could be made to a charity that you know your friends already support or is something that they have an interest in.

One example is to give to a charity where you can adopt an animal. These can be for an endangered species or for one of the many animal shelters in your own country. Donating to an animal charity would be perfect for animal lovers. Alternatively you could provide funds to sponsor a child in a developing country. The recipient of this gift would reap the benefits by receiving regular updates on the child’s development. This would make a wonderful Christmas gift all round.

Make Your Own Christmas Gifts

If you have a special skill or particular profession that you can use to make things then you should definitely put those skills to use by creating custom made Christmas gifts. Everyone is sure to appreciate a gift that has been made specially made for them. If you are a great baker, you could prepare batches of homemade cookies or cupcakes. If you are an artist, you could produce individual works of art. If you are a writer, you could write a poem for loved ones. Whatever your skills, you can put them to use and give people a gift that they can’t get anywhere else.

Shopping for Christmas presents doesn’t have to be a burden if you use one or all of the above options to get all your gifts for the holiday season.

CHRISTMAS – Christmas Inspired Baby Clothing

If this year is your very first Christmas with your baby, you will want to make it extra special. One way to do this is to get some lovely Christmas inspired clothing that he or she can wear on the day. There are lots of different things to choose from and you can easily place an order by purchasing from any online store. These items would also make excellent gift ideas if you know someone with a newborn.

Here are just a few example of what you could buy online today.

Buy A Christmas Baby Bib

Hudson Baby Unisex Baby Cotton Bib and Sock Set

Every baby needs a bib to keep their clothes free and clean from drool and any food spillages. There are plenty that have been designed for the holiday season with a variety of motifs embroidered or appliqued on the front. The majority of these bibs are made from poly cotton which makes them soft and comfortable for baby to wear. This combination also means that the fabric is easy to clean and can be thrown into the washing machine when they get soiled.

Toddler Newborn Baby Girls Boys Christmas Outfits My 1st Christmas Romper

The perfect type of baby bib that you should buy is one that has the words “My First Christmas” embroidered or printed within the design because all your photos will provide extra special fond memories when you look back at them as your child gets older.

Buy A Christmas Body Suit

Carter’s Baby Girls’ 2 Piece Sets

As well a baby bib, you can also find a nice selection of Christmas style bodysuits or onesies that have been created for baby to wear on Christmas day. You can choose a bright red number which represents the colour of Santa Claus’s suit. Many of these bodysuits will also have things like “Baby’s First Christmas” or “My First Christmas” printed on the front. Choose between a short sleeved or a long sleeved bodysuit and your little one will look perfect on Christmas day.

Buy A Christmas Fancy Dress Costume

Fancy dress costumes are not just for Halloween. You could also take this opportunity to get a Christmas style outfit for your baby. This would be particularly suitable if you are planning on visiting friends and relatives during the Christmas holidays. If you pick out an adorable outfit for your baby, everyone will rush to admire just how cute he or she looks.

The type of Christmas costume you could buy include things like a baby Santa outfit, a baby elf outfit or a baby snowman bodysuit. The baby snowman suit would be a great alternative to a normal bodysuit that your baby wears every day and it adds to the cute factor. The baby Santa or baby elf costumes are similar to everyday clothing, meaning that they consist of a top or jacket and a pair of co-ordinating pants or tights. These outfits would look stunning in family photos.

Baby’s first Christmas will only happen once so you are entitled to make a huge fuss and have lots of fun dressing your little one in Christmas inspired clothing that is easy to find online today.

How To Prepare For Your Christmas Guests

Christmas is the time for families to come together and this can mean having to accommodate overnight guests. If you are expected a house full of guests, here are a few ways in which you can ensure that everyone has somewhere to sleep for the night.

Confirm How Many Guests Are Staying

The first thing you will need to know is how many people will actually be staying. If you have extended an invitation to quite a few members of your family and close friends, you will want to confirm how many will actually be taking up your offer. It is important to know if they are not only spending the Christmas day with you but if they are planning to spend the night too. Make sure to get in contact with everyone you have invited in order to confirm what their plans are for the holiday season.

Invest in An Inflatable Sofa

QDH air Mattress Inflatable Couch Home Air Sofa Bed

The best way to ensure that people enjoy a good night’s sleep is to invest in a convertible sofa. If you do not already have this as part of home decor, you can easily remedy this by purchasing an inflatable sofa bed. The benefit of buying a sofa version as opposed to an inflatable mattress is the fact that you will gain extra seating space. This will be a much more comfortable option instead of expecting people to sit on the floor. Most good quality inflatable sofas come equipped with an air pump so it shouldn’t take you too long to get it ready for use. Once your guests have left, you can store it away in the attic or basement and reuse it whenever you have more overnight guests.

Ask People To Bring Sleeping Bags

Sleeping Bags – TETON Sports Mammoth Queen Size Flannel Lined Sleeping Bag (94″x 62″)

Although people own enough bedding to change their own beds regularly, the majority will not have an extensive supply. It is therefore important to ask your friends and family to bring their own bedding with them. They can choose to use sleeping bags, which would be appropriate for making up a bed on the floor or for sleeping on the sofa. If they do not have sleeping bags, then thick comforters and blankets would also do the job too. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed to ask your loved ones to help out by bringing their own bedding.

Check Availability of Nearby Hotels

If you really do not have any space in your home to accommodate everyone then you should definitely find out where the nearest hotels or motels are. If you plan ahead, you may be able to negotiate a deal with the hotel manager. It is possible that they will be happy to offer a special rate for a bulk booking if you can guarantee a certain number of reservations will be made during the holiday season.

Christmas can be a very hectic time when you are entertaining a lot of people so if you figure out all the sleeping arrangements ahead of time, this is one thing that you can tick off your list.