Attractive packaging is a good thing

By Times Staff, Wires
Published November 24, 2007

Giving homemade goodies this holiday season? The Martha Stewart Crafts line, sold at Michaels craft stores, has a wide variety of boxes, bags and wrappers. There are envelopes with cellophane windows big enough for one or two treats, cupcake liners and cookie boxes with multiple compartments. Dress them up with coordinated labels, ribbons, stickers or red-and-white baker's twine. The packaging starts at $3.99.

Instant holiday atmosphere

Lights! Music! Christmas! These battery-powered, flameless Colorfusion Candles change color while you watch. They bear holiday motifs and they play a medley of seasonal tunes. A three-pack is $49.99, at many Walgreens, Kmart and Home Depot stores. The manufacturer makes a variety of flameless candles, scented and unscented, with and without sound. View them at www.colorfusioncandles.com, where you'll also find a list of local retailers.


A gift for you, more for me

What did we spend on holiday shopping last year? Here's the breakdown, from the National Retail Federation:

- Family gifts ... $451.34

- Friends' gifts ... $85.60

- Co-workers' gifts ... $22.40

- Other gifts ... $44.52

- Gifts for self (!) ... $99.22

- Decorations ... $46.49

- Greeting cards and postage ... $30.57 


Beat the crowds, shop Sunday

If you're shopping this weekend, know that the crowds will be a lot thinner in the stores on Sunday than they were Friday. (Last year 58.9-million people shopped the day after Thanksgiving; 22.9-million hit the stores the Sunday after Thanksgiving.)


Decorate for the season

At 9:30 p.m. Tuesday on HGTV's 24-Hour Design, host/designer Angelo Surmelis will spend 24 hours making over the living and dining rooms of a home for the holidays. Get tips on making room for the tree and sprucing up the fireplace in classic holiday style.