Christmas Short Stories Reading Holiday Favorites Together

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Ready to start a fun new tradition using great Christmas short stories?

Most families have a Christmas tradition or two that they look forward to sharing together year after year. Traditions draw us closer together and allow us to slow down and enjoy the Christmas season; they’re also something special to share with future generations. If you don’t have a Christmas tradition, try reading Christmas short stories together this year! It’s free, meaningful and gives a slight pause to each day of the hustle and bustle that comes with the holiday season.

Begin on December 1st and read a story each night until Christmas. You may want to plan ahead by having each family member pick out several of their favorite holiday stories to have on hand. You can borrow some from your local library, download them to your iPod (many can be downloaded free), or listen to audio stories. If you are stuck and don’t have enough favorites for each day, explore some new stories. We’ve created a list below to help get you started.

Make story time special by turning off the TV, computers, and iPods after dinner each night (unless of course, you’ve downloaded your Christmas short stories to your iPod). Light some candles, or gather the family around the lit Christmas tree. Make some apple cider or hot chocolate and have a small treat like a Christmas sugar cookie or shortbread to go with your hot drink. Then settle in to read, or listen to, your Christmas short stories.

You’ll be surprised at how much your family will look forward to this quiet time with each other and you may even have some wonderful conversations during or after reading these timeless Christmas short stories together. Story time is also a great way to wind everyone down before bed, both young and old.

Make this Christmas special and begin a tradition that your family will look forward to each year. Your kids will remember this tradition and may even pass it on to their kids someday!

Here are some stories to get you started. You can find many of these free online.

The Gift, by R. Louis Carroll
The Story of Babouska
T’was the Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore
The Christmas Story, the Bible – Matthew Chapters 1&2
The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry
The Little Match Seller, by Hans Christian Anderson
The Selfish Giant, by Oscar Wilde
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, by L. Frank Baum
A Kidnapped Santa Claus, by L. Frank Baum
The Cobbler and His Guest, by Anne McCollum Boyles
The Story of the Candy Cane

We hope that you enjoy reading them and continue the tradition for years to come.

Season’s Favorite Holiday Cookies

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I have two childhood memories that center around Christmas cookies. My Mom’s no-bake cookies and my Aunt’s sugar cookies. I can still see my Mom stirring the cocoa for the no-bakes and can still smell their savory, sweet, aroma. I remember being just barely tall enough to peek up at the waxed paper-lined kitchen counter to sneak me a cookie while they were still warm.

My Aunt made the best sugar cookies that I can remember. The shapes that I remember the most were the Christmas trees, the candy canes, and the wreaths. I like soft doughy cookies and my Aunt’s were the best. She lived just three blocks down from our house and I still remember walking to her house with my parents…visiting, and eating those cookies. Those were the good old days.

What are the cookies that you remember as a child? Which ones were your favorites?

If you’re like most people…you will come up with the following four

*Sugar Cookies

*Chocolate Chip Cookies

*Peanut Butter Cookies

*Gingerbread Cookies

These four kinds of cookies are America’s top pick when it comes to holiday cookies. There are many variations of each kind. But my favorite…other than the cookies I mentioned at the beginning of this article, is chocolate chip cookies. Every Christmas, my Sister-In-Law brings everyone in the family a big bag of them. It’s a tradition with her. She enjoys baking chocolate chip cookies for us all.

Below is my Sister-In-Law’s recipe

(It’s actually the same recipe that is in the Betty Crocker cookbook)

bettycrocker.com

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened

1/3 cup shortening

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

(The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup chopped nuts, my Sister-In-Law doesn’t include nuts)

Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugars, margarine, shortening, egg and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until light brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

I look forward to these every year. I too, have made them many times and they don’t last long around our house. My Husband loves them.

Do you bake cookies for the holidays? Everyone has their personal favorites.

If you’re baking cookies this Christmas, don’t forget to leave Santa a special plate full of them.

Happy Holidays to all!

JetBlue Vacations

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Book Your Next Excursion with JetBlue Vacations

JetBlue has revolutionized flying with its affordable tickets, comfortable seats, free entertainment and snacks, and friendly flight crew. In fact, it is difficult to find someone who has something negative to say about this great airline with its strong customer care policies. Now, you can take your JetBlue experience even further by booking your next trip with the JetBlue Vacations. Before you book your next trip, learn more about where JetBlue can take you.

It’s easy to find the right vacation from JetBlue Vacations. The website offers four different ways to choose where you want to go: Hot Deals, Top 10 Deals, Destinations and Travel Styles. Each category features affordable getaways to a variety of locales.

Hot Deals – Found on the bottom half of the front page of the JetBlue Vacations website, these deals are the top three currently being offered. They are only available for a specific time period, but you can take advantage of lower prices to top tier destinations with these packages that have limited availability.

Top 10 Deals – Among the many JetBlue Vacations that are currently being offered, these packages are the best you will find. The prices are even lower than the standard discounted rate, and the destinations include popular vacations spots like San Juan, Puerto Rico, Riviera Maya, Cancun, and the Bahamas. Guaranteeing high end accommodations to go with the low prices, the hotels are all rated three stars or above.

Destinations – If you prefer to browse for your vacation based on where you want to spend it, the Destinations category makes it easy for you to do so. Once you select it, you can choose from a variety of popular vacation spots like Las Vegas, Aruba, and Punta Cana. Choose your preferred destination and then pick a hotel from the hotel selection page. Even if you are personally unfamiliar with the accommodations, JetBlue Vacations offers a short description and a star rating of each hotel to help you make your choice.

Travel Styles – For the traveler who is sure exactly where they want to go, this is the best way to look for a vacation. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, a relaxing spa trip, or a suggestion for a family vacation, you can find suggestions that fit the bill here.

Once you choose your destination and your hotel, you can start pricing out your trip. If you need a car while you are a way, you can rent one as part of your JetBlue Vacations trip. Otherwise, you can get a quote based on date, hotel and location. You can select from the offered itineraries and then book your trip directly online. JetBlue makes it easy to find the right place to go, easy to choose the perfect trip at the right price, and easy to book.

Fabulous January Holiday Destinations

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January remains one of the most favoured months for planning a winter getaway. With different parts of the world being under different climactic zones, there are plenty of places to escape to for a warm sunny winter far away from the somewhat brutal English cold. The Golden Triangle Tour of India, sightseeing in Egypt, and going on an odyssey to Thailand are just some of the ways for ensuring a pleasurable time during January.

Egypt

Planning ones January holidays in Egypt makes for a terrific idea. In fact, many travellers worldwide catch their flights to Egypt during January. The weather gods ensure that weather conditions dont play spoilsport for exploring all the seductive trappings of the destination such as the legendary Nile River cruises and the knock out sightseeing attractions. In simple words, January is one of the perfect times to revel in the wonders of Egypt like taking hot air balloon rides over Luxor and getting awed by the stunning monuments such as the pyramids of Giza, the Egyptian Museum, the Coptic Quarter, and Hanging Church.

India

India, with its scores of tourist trappings, is another popular hot choice for a January winter holiday. Weather conditions are just about perfect for almost every imaginable activity such as exploring the tourist gems on the Golden Triangle Tour, visiting wildlife zones, getting high on the sun, sand, and surf experience of Goa and Kerala, and indulging in adrenalin pumping winter sports like skiing and rollerblading in the high altitude areas of Kufri, Auli, Manali, and Gulmarg. No small wonder that India is one of the perfect places in the world for a cheap winter sun destination.

Thailand

Most British visitors who escape to the land of smiles during the bone chilling cold of an English January find swear by the destination. The pristine beaches of Phuket, Koh Samui, and Krabi, as well as the seductive nightlife, shopping escapades, temples, and cuisines of Bangkok draw quite a few tourists during January. The country also bubbles with merry festivals such as Mekong Sunrise: The First Sunrise in Thailand, King Meng Rai Festival, and Bang Sai Folk Arts & Crafts Fair during January. In fact, reasons are aplenty for hunting down all inclusive holiday deals to Thailand during the month.

Mauritius

Mauritius tends to get somewhat hot, humid, and rainy during January. However, this very reason makes the country a good choice for seeking some cheap all inclusive holiday packages to. Careful planning can even go a long way in getting discounts on first as well as business class flights to the destination during January. Areas near the western coastline are best for a January visit as the rains here are comparatively less frequent than the other regions. Usually, temperatures range from 29C to 31C in the coastal regions and normally dont fall under 20 C in the higher regions.

Tunisia Holiday Sickness Claims Continue

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It is important to get the right advice if you are considering taking legal action against your Tour Operator for an illness that you contracted while you were abroad in Tunisia. Specialist Holiday Illness Claims Solicitors may be able to handle your claim when you are back in the UK.

Many holidaymakers who visit Tunisia each year also return home having suffered with illness while away or continue to suffer sickness when in the UK. In Tunisia, the foods to avoid are undercooked or reheated meat, unpasteurised milk, local tap water, ice cubes and unpeeled fruit. Holidaymakers should only consume purchase branded bottled water.

Hotels in Tunisia will often serve a range of hot and cold foods. Cold foods such as salads, salad dressings and mayonnaise need to be kept in a refrigerator prior to being served to hotels guests. This also applies to the cold food served at the buffet. Other foods served at the buffet should not be reheated and then served to guests. Further to this, any freshly cooked food should never simply be added to food that has already been served out as contamination could occur. Kitchen staff must maintain basic levels of food hygiene and the kitchen food preparation areas must be kept clean at all to times to prevent the spread of infection.

All Inclusive hotels in Tunisia that have had episodes of illness and sickness need to be inspected on regular basis by Tour Operator representatives. This is to ensure that repeat outbreaks of illness and sickness do not happen. Holidaymakers that contract illnesses from an all inclusive resort are likely to have caught the infection from the food served within the resort complex.

All food, but especially meat such as chicken, pork and burgers, should be well cooked and served hot. Any food that appears undercooked and is lukewarm should not be eaten and should be avoided. If the food is like this at your all inclusive hotel in Tunisia then you should report it to the hotel management.

Infection caught from food in an all inclusive hotel will likely lead to symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea. It may be the case that the holidaymaker has contracted Salmonella, E-Coli or Campylobacter food poisoning. In the case of a confirmed pathogen it is very important that you seek medical attention and treatment. Constant vomiting and diarrhoea will cause the body to dehydrate causing the holidaymaker to become seriously ill. Holidaymakers have reported cases of Salmonella upon returning home from Tunisia.

A specialist holiday illness claims solicitor will be able to help you claim compensation for an illness that you have suffered whilst on holiday in Tunisia. Compensation can be awarded for your illness, loss of holiday enjoyment and any medical expenses you incurred whilst you were out in Tunisia. The claim can be taken on a no win, no fee basis so that you wont have to fund any expensive legal bills.

Srilanka Country Vacations Provides You With An Opportunity To Devour The Beauty

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Srilanka has today emerged as one of the major tourist destinations in South Asia. Not only does the country gain immense popularity owing to its geographical location but it also serves as a hub of varied cultures and traditions. Bearing this strategic vitality of this island country in mind, Country vacations has acquired its first International club in the vicinity of the Srilankan city- Kandy. This venture of country vacations into Srilanka has brought the club a perfect blend of pleasure and pride. Located at Mount Franion Road in Muruthalawa, this part of the Srilanka country vacations stands on a large area of approximately 2 acres. Nestled amongst the woods which bask in the rays of dawn and taste the essence of the twilight, this country vacations club gives you a unique experience and truly turns out to be your gateway to an exotic Srilanka.

The biggest advantage with Srilanka country vacations is the fact that the club is positioned at a very convenient distance from the local means of travel and transportation. Consider a beautiful sight awaiting you merely at a distance of 14 kilometers from the bus stand and the railway station alike! Moreover, the distance of country vacations from the domestic and international airport is just 120 Kilometers! And its not just this, with Srilanka country vacations you get to experience a total state of bliss.

Once in the country, there are a few places which should acquire the status of being a must-visit on your itinerary. Ranging from the temple of Buddha Truth Relic and Elephant orphanage to the magnificent botanical gardens and tea plantations- Srilanka country vacations provides you with an opportunity to devour the beauty and wonder of each place. Additionally, White water rafting at Kitulgala, which is considered to be one of the principal tourist attractions of Srilanka, obtains an all new meaning with Srilanka country vacations.

By gaining country vacations membership, you get to feel and enjoy Srilanka all the more better- its what we call deriving actual delight! A country vacations membership can grant you a license to absolute ecstasy with the nation of Srilanka. Not only can you avail free accommodation for five years (five weeks each year) at the resorts of country vacations, but you can also get the benefits of various other discounts and complimentary stays. Facilities like spas, swimming pools, games gallery, libraries and gymnasiums are just a start- what follows with a country vacations membership is a bundle of adventure and plenty of joy. It is time to pack your bags, register for a country vacations membership and be off to Srilanka!

After all, with Srilanka country vacations, you only have the best at your disposal!

Post Holiday Blues

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Okay we ate to much. Junked out on sweets. Had a week maybe two of enjoying all those holiday foods we only make for holidays. So what now? Feeling tired, a little fatter then before, yeah, now we start rethinking about those diets and watching what we eat. Welcome back to reality!

Lets be smart about how we go about it. Don’t hit the gym hot and heavy. Work at a little slower pace, ease into it. Its known that if you have a weight issue that cutting back on the snacks an extra sugars will help you feel less bloated.

Make yourself drink plenty of water to help flush your system out. Plan ahead those meals as we all get back into the work habits of everyday life. If you think you need to diet then be smart and set reasonable goal for yourself. Cut back on your calorie intact and do some exercise.

I’m by far not an expert on diet or exercise either. But as an average person I do know and I do watch what I eat. I never miss a meal but watch what size portions I have and try to exercise a little every day. Funny studies show that people who keep food diaries tend to lose more weight and keep it off longer than those who don’t.

Now is because maybe they are more intense on losing that weight and keeping off or have less time to eat? I think although it might be true, you have to have the right reasons and mind set to do it. That’s no difference than life is.

Over the month of January I will post a few simple easy to fix type meals for those that just don’t have the time to eat a well balanced meal. Like all at the beginning of a new year things seem to take a mind of their own. Here’s to good health from Back to my Kitchen

Other Types Of Holiday Reps

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Another type of holiday rep is the transfer rep.

The transfer representative is more often than not with the guests when they are being transported from the airport to their resort accommodation and vice versa.

There is also another type of rep called an entertainment representative. This rep will often schedule activities for the guests based on their interests for daytime and nighttime entertainment.

The above listed representatives are the main holiday representatives. Often times, there is one representative that maintains the majority of these all together rather than having several separate representatives.

The Requirements to Become a Rep

Although, the requirements will vary between tour operators (companies), there are a few main qualifications to become a holiday representative. However, if you do not have these qualifications it is nothing to worry about as many of the touring companies will still consider you as becoming a representative. Of course, they prefer you to have these qualifications, but in most cases, it is not mandatory.

Below are the 4 main qualifications of becoming a representative, so you can check them of your list of your goals:

– 4 GSCE’s that are equivalent to or above a C grade

– 6-12 months experience within the customer service industry

– Ability to work within a team as a mutual effort

– Experience in administration

– Even if these 4 qualifications were absolutely mandatory, the average person looking into becoming a rep would more than likely have these qualifications.

Some useful qualifications would be certificates or degrees within the travel and/or tourism industry. By having already developed some understanding of the information that may be needed to perform your job as a rep in another country, it will be sure to help you in the long run from your interview to the actual job on location.

By trying hard enough when speaking to the touring companies, you can get the job without having the above qualifications. Most of the touring and travel companies believe in more than just the qualifications as many of the representatives can be a perfect rep without holding any of the 4 listed qualifications.

However, by having these qualifications to begin with, you will find that it is much easier to land the interview and the job. You just need to learn how to present yourself to these companies and show them that you are what they need and want because you are unique and the best.

Rajasthan Tour Undoubtedly Unforgettable Vacations

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If you visit India and you do not see the deserts of Rajasthan, then you surely miss something special. The Rajasthan is one of the most incredible destinations in India . It is a land of Rajputs , the brave kinds of medieval era. There are a number of places in Rajasthan, which where you can enjoy your vacations.
In Rajasthan, you can see forts of medieval battles, palaces of emperors, heritage hotels, sand dunes, festival, fairs, handicrafts etc. Some of the major cities of this state are Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur , Jodhpur , Ranthambor, Bharatpur, Chittorgarh, Mandwa, Ranakpur and Mount Abu .

City Palace , Amber Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar are the special attractions of Jaipur. This city is popularly known as pink city and is the capital of the state. In Jaipur, you can witness the taste of royal families and Rajputs. The Jaisalmer is popular as the golden city. Here you can see the sand dunes. The desert festival can be enjoyed here by the tourists.
Umaid Bhawan Palace , Mehrangarh Fort and International Kite Festival are the attraction of Jodhpur . This city features palaces, forts and temples. The popular Thar desert is located in this great city. Udaipur is popular for Lake Palace , City Palace , Lake Pichola , Fatehprakash Palace and Fatehprakash Lake . So, this city is known as city of lakes.

Those who keep interest in Indian tourism know about the national park of Ranthambore . The national park is popular for Tigers and it is good sample of wildlife. Bharatpur is another good example of wildlife in Rajasthan. The popular park of Bharatpur is the abode of five hundred species of birds.

Chittorgarh is popular for Chittorgarh fort, which is one of the largest forts in India . On the other hand, beautiful royal paintings can be seen in Mandwa.
Ranakpur has gained popularity for its Jain Temples which set good examples of architectures. Mount Abu is basically a hill station and now is gaining popularity for its religious destinations. Dilwara Jain Temples are situated here, which are known for their scenic beauty. The major centre of Brahmakumari sect is also located here which is also a major attraction for tourists.

There are several agencies which provide tour packages to India . Many of these agencies are available online today where you can get the package for best Rajasthan tour. You can visit all the above said places within a few days under these packages. Undoubtedly, if you visit Rajasthan in India in the coming vacations, then it is for sure that you will spend the best time in these holidays

Sterling Holiday Resorts (india) Limited Company Profile And Swot Analysis

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The profile contains a company overview, business description, financial ratios, competitor benchmarking data, SWOT analysis, key facts, key employees, as well as information on products and services.

Summary
This SWOT analysis and company profile is a crucial resource for industry executives and anyone looking to gain a better understanding of the company’s business. ‘Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Limited: Company Profile and SWOT Analysis’ report utilizes a wide range of primary and secondary sources, which are analyzed and presented in a consistent and easily accessible format. WMI strictly follows a standardized research methodology to ensure high levels of data quality and these characteristics guarantee a unique report.

Scope
Examines and identifies key information and issues about ‘Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Limited’ for business intelligence requirements Studies and presents the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities (growth potential) and threats (competition). Strategic and operational business information is objectively reported Provides analysis on financial ratios along with a competitor benchmarking section The profile also contains information on business operations, company history, major products and services, prospects, key employees

Reasons To Buy
Quickly enhance your understanding of the company Gain insight into the marketplace and a better understanding of internal and external factors which could impact the industry Recognize potential partnerships and suppliers Obtain yearly profitability figures

Key Highlights
Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Limited (Sterling Holidays) owns and operates resorts and hotels in India. The company’s hotel properties include 17 resorts in various holiday destinations in India, with an inventory of 1,370 owned and 119 leased apartments. The company offers vacation ownership services, which include purchase of vacation ownership points from Sterling Holidays helping the customer to plan holidays in new destinations in India and abroad. It offers a broad range of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) services, such as airport transfers, banquets, conference facilities, accommodation, in-house recreation and sightseeing. Sterling Holiday is headquartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
For more information kindly visit : Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Limited: Company Profile and SWOT Analysis

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