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Edito r’s note

From the world of Fashion and Beauty, WE offer you makeup ideas for a New Year eve party, while you update your winter look with the classic hat and fabulous winter jewelries. To cap this up is Evan Rachel Woods’ celebrity look.

Editor-in-chief Ojay Milah

Read about Adriana Noton’s article on music education benefit for children. From asking yourself what you need in a mentor, to being one yourself and doing an advanced search on LinkedIn, allow Maxine Wagner take you through 12 steps on how to find a mentor.

Contributing writers Jemima Owen Ojay Milah Tiffany Jasper Johneen Jones Kerry Hannon Adriana Noton Sam Sample Vicki Griffin Morgan C. Schimminger Pat Strawbridge Charles Garnett



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Every write up in Woman’s Essence magazine is the opinion of individual writers and not that of the publisher Find us on facebook!

Woman’s Essence Magazine

It’s Christmas! WE bring you yet another special edition. There’s going to be lots of feasting, so first you may want to go through our Cuisine tips and grab some ideas on lovely Christmas dishes you can prepare for the family, such as the old-fashioned holiday glazed ham. While you gear up for a memorable event, WE plan to make it big for you. The cover is an instructive write up from the team on Celebrating Christmas the Family Way. Some ideas expressed are making Christmas cooking a family affair, and sharing love this season through gift giving. Also is an interesting writing from one of our readers, Vicki Griffin, on what Christmas means to her. While Tiffany Jasper gives you clues on how to celebrate Christmas with your kids and Jemima Owen helps you plan that dream wedding of yours, WE also would love you to experience how Christmas events are celebrated round the world, from Bethlehem where it began to Romania’s important Christmas custom called ‘Ignatius’, celebrated every 20th of December.

Say goodbye 2011 and welcome the New Year watching spectacular fireworks at Times Square USA, join the crowd at either Champs Elyse or Eiffel tower. Or at the sound of a bell in Tokyo Japan, enter a temple and pray for happiness and prosperity in 2012. You can also watch the final countdown alongside the Big Ben and see London explode in brilliant lights and colours. Remember to drop us an email and let Aunty Neenee answer your hearts deepest questions. Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to come!

Ojay Milah Editor Your comments, letters and Suggestions are most welcome. Write to

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14 The Cover Story

30 Weddings

Christmas Celebration the family way Being one of our Special Months, WOMAN’S ESSENCE has decided to bring you best possible ways women all over the world celebrate Christmas with family

All I want for Christmas Is You This festive season means something different to everyone, but this year, it holds something a lot more sentimental to those awaiting their wedding day.

Career Management 6 12 STEPS How to find a Mentor

Education 7 Music education benefits for children

Culture & Art 8 Christmas celebrations around the world

Fashion Trends 22 Update Your Winter Look With Classic Hat

Celebrity Style

25 Evan Rachel Wood’s Masculine Meets Feminine Style

Health & Fitness

Jewelry fashion

12 Give yourself a Gift This Christmas - Stay healthy this season

26 The jewelry trends for this Winter and how to wear it

The Cover Story - Special Issue 14 Christmas Celebration the family way

Beauty Tips 20 New Years Eve Party Makeup Ideas

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29 Parenting

20 Beauty Tips New Year’s Eve party Makeup Ideas Prepare your holiday look beforehand in order to rule out the chance of beauty disasters.

Marriage & Divorce

To be or not to be... Santa! As we begin to bring in the holidays, parents usually have traditional ways of celebrating with their kids.


28 Christmas Ornaments and a Successful Marriage

34 Save Your Relationship - Forgiveness


35 Who Will Be Blessed By What You Plan To Do For Christmas?

29 To be or not to be... Santa!

Weddings 30 All I Want For Christmas Is You

Let’s Ask Aunty Neenee

Cuisine 36 Lovely Christmas Dishes for the Family

Home & Decor 42 Give Your Home That Christmas Festive Feel

Travel & Destinations 44 “White Christmas” Destinations 45 New Years Destinations

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12 STEPS How to find a Mentor by Kerry Hannon


t pays to have a helping hand to get ahead in the workplace whether you’re transitioning to the nonprofit world from the for-profit one, or switching into a whole new field. Most of us can benefit from having a mentor or sponsor at our back to teach, promote and encourage us. A study published earlier this year by economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett found that both men and women who have a sponsor behind them are more likely to ask their boss for a “stretch” assignment and are more likely to ask for raises than those without one.

satisfaction they get in paying it forward. Start by simply asking for advice on one action or problem.

But landing the right person to have in your corner isn’t always easy. Here are twelve steps to find a mentor.

have a pressing need, take the plunge and make a specific request when you want someone to speak up on your behalf. Most people don’t know where to start to help you.

1. Ask yourself what you want in a men-

tor or sponsor. Is it an expert who can help with a specific business challenge—asking for a raise, say, or ways to spiff up your image with the proper dress for success attire? Do you want someone inside your workplace who has the inside track to be an advocate for your project or promotion, or someone who can act as a more general sounding board and big-picture guide?

2. Check your employer’s human re-

sour-ces department to see if they have a mento-ring program. Many big corporations– General Mills, Intel, Ernst & Young, Proctor & Gamble, American Express, Cisco, Citi, Deloitte, Intel, Morgan Stanley and Time Warner offer sponsorship and mentoring programs. Entrepreneurs might tap into industry associations or SCORE. org, a nonprofit association and resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

3. Look outside the office. Mentoring

doesn’t have to be a “business” relationship. You can find mentors outside the workplace from associations you belong to, activities you’re involved in, neighbors, and relatives.

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4. Do an Advanced People Search on

LinkedIn. You might search for someone from your alma mater. College ties do bind. You type in a title and your university, for example, current vice presidents of marketing and attended Duke University. You can focus the search on your zip code or town, so you can connect with someone nearby.

5. Consider a mentor younger than you.

50-plus workers might want to tap someone who may be junior in age, but can offer more experience and guidance when it comes to new fields and areas like technology where they might not be quite as fluent.

8. Show them how to help. If you truly

9. Make it fun. When asking, don’t make

it sound like work. Exude a sense of excitement, smile, and laugh a little. Mentorship and sponsorship is an energy-boosting opportunity for both of you, and it often turns into a friendship. Find ways to meet regularly, even without an urgent agenda. Nurture the relationship.

10. Do something for them. Show your

gratitude. Make the relationship reciprocal by serving as a source of information and support for your mentor in some way. It’s the proverbial two-way street.

Be a mentor. This will give you a 6. Practice your “Why Me” speech. This is 11. better idea of how to work with a mena sales job. Landing a sponsor calls for selfpromotion. You must toot your own horn, aka, your accomplishments to get a higherups attention. They aren’t going to back someone who doesn’t have the potential to be a winner and make them look good. Skip the modest approach.

7. Steer clear of the formal request. The

“Will you be my mentor?” invitation can be stiff and off-putting. Sounds like way too much work and responsibility. This is an inner endeavor. The main reason most mentors and sponsors say they take the time to counsel and help is the intangible

tor yourself. Even if you are at the bottom of your hierarchy at work, you might find mentees through alumni associations or non-profits where you volunteer.

12. Listen. Whether you are the mentor

or mentee, you can cultivate the relationship by asking questions and sincerely listening to the answers. Sometimes a mentor’s most important input is to give practical feedback. Resist the knee-jerk urge to respond defensively.

Music education

benefits for children by Adriana Noton


usic has always played a big part in children’s lives, from their favorite children’s songs to the music played on children’s television programs. The educational benefits that music provides have been known for centuries. For children, research has shown that the effects of music education have had a positive and long lasting impact. As well, studies now show that music education will have a positive impact well into adulthood. Below is a list of the music education benefits for children: excellence and the discipline that is required to accomplish a goal. They learn that the rewards of hard work results in a successful hysical Development of the Brain: The brain of a child is con- performance. stantly developing. Early musical training helps a child’s brain eamwork Skills: When in a school band or another music orphysically develop the part of the left side that is involved with ganization, children develop a strong work discipline and teamprocessing language. Musical training can actually wire the brain’s work skills. They will work with other music students as a team circuits in specific ways that improves brain’s function. to achieve excellence in their musical performance. As well, they oost Spatial Intelligence: There have been many studies that will benefit from practicing with other students in a harmonious have shown that music education helps a child develop the abi- manner. lity to form mental pictures and perceive the world correctly. That elf-Expression: Music education helps children learn how to exis, a child will better develop the ability to visualize how things are press themselves in creative and healthy ways which will lead to put together which helps with the development of keen problem solving skills. A child is better able to develop critical thinking skills. developing excellent communication skills. Through self-expression, children’s self-confidence and self-esteem will be boosted. They mprove Creative and Innovative Thinking: Music education helps will be more likely to take on challenges in other areas of their lives. children learn to imagine various solutions to a problem and pro- Children will get in touch with their feelings and will be able to uncess these solutions to rule out possible solutions in an effort to derstand and manage their emotions in a productive way. As well, come up with the correct solution. Children will learn to think it teaches them to conquer their fears, insecurities, and overcome outside the box when faced with a challenging problem. There shyness. have been studies that have shown that students who have had a or parents who want their child to have every opportunity in musical education, score higher on standardized tests and achieve life, providing them with a quality music education will help them higher grades in school. open many doors of opportunities in the future. Music is a powerppreciation for Hard Work: Children who have a music edu- ful tool and can dramatically improve and enrich the lives of the cation will learn the rewards of working towards and achieving children. It just makes sense for parents to encourage their children a specific goal. They learn the value of a sustained effort to achieve to participate in a music education program.








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celebrations around the

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e world


hristmas is one of the biggest celebrations for the people belonging to the Christian faith. But it would be wrong to assume that it is only celebrated among the Christians. With the world becoming a global village, Christmas is now celebrated in many countries around the world. Caroling, feasting, and gift-giving along with the prayers and wishes - Christmas is celebrated with high spirits in various parts of the world. Though the mode of celebration, the dates and the traditions vary, the spirit remains the same everywhere. Read on to have a glimpse of the different ways in which it is celebrated in several countries of the world.

Christmas in Bethlehem Bethlehem is the town where Jesus Christ is said to have been born. Naturally, Christmas here is a major event and the festival is celebrated in a grand manner. From a few days before 25th December, the town is decorated with flags and other items of adornment. Streets are strung with Christmas lights. A Christmas market comes up and Christmas plays are performed. A cross is painted on the doors of every Christian home and Nativity scenes are displayed in every household. On Christmas Eve, annual Christmas processions are taken out. Residents of the town as well as tourists crowd the doorways and roof of the Basilica to get a view of the parade, led by horsemen and police mounted on Arabian horses followed by a man riding over a black steed and carrying a cross. After him come the churchmen and government officials. The procession quietly enters the doors and puts an ancient effigy of the Holy Child in the Church. The visitors are then taken through deep winding stairs leading to a grotto where a silver star marks the site of the birth of Jesus. In Bethlehem, Christmas Day is observed not on a particular day. Bethlehem consists of people of different Christian denominations - Catholics, Protestants, Greek Orthodox’s, Ethiopians, Armenians and more. While Roman Catholics and Protestants celebrate Christmas Day on December 25, Greek, Syrian and other Orthodox Christians observe it on 6th January. For Armenian Christians, Christmas Day is on January 18. Hence, Bethlehem witnesses a longer and glamorous Christmas celebrations than many other places.

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Christmas in Brazil In Brazil, Christmas is one of the most important festive days, or “dia de festas”. It is celebrated on 25th December. On Christmas Eve, thousands of devout Catholics attend the “Missa do Galo” or Midnight Mass. Masses are also organized on December 25 in the morning and later afternoon. Christmas decorations in the country involve setting up Christmas trees in individual homes and adorning them beautifully with decorative items such as lights, plastic balls and glass balls. A highlight of Christmas celebrations in Brazil is making huge Christmas “trees” of electric lights that can be seen against the night skies in major cities such as Brasilia, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro. Caroling is quite a popular custom here. Various christmas carols are sung during Christmas to commemorate the birth of Christ. Like Santa Claus in the U.S., Papai Noel (Father Noel) is the gift-bringer in Brazil. According to legend, he lives in Greenland and resembles Santa in many ways. Papai Noel can also remind you of Chile’s “Viejo Pascuero” (Easter Old Man). This gift-giver of children is depicted as wearing a red fur coat with boots and carrying a bag full of presents. Except for the high temperatures and the absence of snow, Christmas here is pretty much the same as it is in other countries.

Christmas in Romania Popularly called ‘Craciun’ in Romania, the festival until the country was declared a communist republic in 1947, and Romanians were forced to abandon many of their Christmas traditions was once observed in the country with much fanfare. However, the festival has again begun to be observed since the country regained its independence in 1989, with young adults now experiencing the Yuletide traditions they previously heard their parents and grandparents talk about. A very important Christmas custom practiced in Romanian villages is ‘Ignatius’, the sacrifice of a pig in every house in the honor of Saint Ignatius, five days before Christmas, on 20th of December. A small portion of the pig’s meat is fried and a feast is held. This feast is known as the pig’s funeral feast. But the real celebrations begin with the decoration of the Christmas tree on “Ajunul Craciunului” (Christmas Eve). Gift exchanges take place in Romania in the evening of Christmas Eve. Romanian children believe that ‘Mos Craciun’ (the , 10 Woman’s Essence Magazine

Romanian equivalent of Santa Claus) is the one who delivers them their presents. Christmas dinner in Romania is a rich, multi-course meal of various kinds of pork sausages, along with plum brandy and homemade pickles, ‘Sarmale’, an indispensable item for the festive dinner that consists of pickled cabbage leaves stuffed with a combination of pork and beef, along with rice, pepper, thyme and other spices and red wine. The wine is consumed to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Christmas in China In the People’s Republic of China, December 25 is not a legal holiday. However, it is still designated as a public holiday in China’s special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, both former colonies of Western powers with (nominal) Christian cultural heritage. The small percentage of Chinese citizens who consider themselves Christians unofficially, and usually privately, observe Christmas. Many other individuals celebrate Christmas-like festivities even though they do not consider themselves Christians. Many customs, including sending cards, exchanging gifts, and hanging stockings are very similar to Western celebrations. Commercial Christmas decorations, signs, and other symbolic items have become increasingly prevalent during the month of December in large urban centres of mainland China, reflecting a cultural interest in this Western phenomenon, and, sometimes, retail marketing campaigns as well. In Hong Kong, where Christmas is a public holiday and a major retail period, many buildings facing Victoria Harbour will be decked out in Christmas lights. Christmas trees are found in major malls public buildings and in some homes as well, despite the small living area. Catholics in Hong Kong can attend Christmas Mass.

Christmas in Mexico Popular cultural traditions in Mexico, called “posadas”, have given rise to several traditions observed here during Christmas. Mexican Christmas celebrations begin on December 12, with the birthday of “La Guadalupana” (Virgin of Guadalupe), and end on January 6, with the Epiphany. Like Santa Claus in the US and other western nations, the Three Wise Men are the ones believed to bring gifts not only to baby Jesus but also to millions of Mexican children who have placed written requests in their shoes. Also unlike in the US where children get presents on 25th December most Mexican kids receive their gifts at Epiphany ( January 6th). At midnight on Christmas Eve, dazzling fireworks, ringing bells and blowing whistles announce the birth of Christ. The bell-sounds beckon families to the Midnight Mass. Families after the mass return home for a sumptuous Christmas dinner of traditional Mexican foods. Though the dishes vary from region to region, common foods are “tamales,” rice, rellenos, “atole” (a sweet traditional drink) and “menudo”.

Christmas in US In the final days leading to December 25, small evergreen trees are seen to be established in every home and beautifully decorated with colored lights, tin- sel, angels, stars and bright ornaments. The exterior of almost every house and the adjoining shrubbery is adorned with strands of electric lights. In New York City, holiday shoppers stop to watch skaters on the ice beneath the tree at Rockefeller Center

while others gaze in awe at the magnificent Neapolitan Baroque figures on the Angel Tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Christmas Eve is not an official holiday here. Hence most people have to work. However, many workplaces hold Christmas parties or celebrations, so there is a celebratory air to the day. The Christmas dinner in the U.S. includes turkey or ham, potatoes and pie, also consists of a lot of desserts such as the “Crostoli,” fried bread spiced with orange peel or the “Pfeffernuesse”. After dinner on Christmas Eve, children go to bed early but not before hanging up their stockings on the fireplace or the end of their bed to be filled with gifts and goodies by Santa Claus. On the following morning, children wake up to look for their desired items in their stockings and also find nicely wrapped presents under their Christmas tree.

Christmas in Africa Christmas is celebrated with great fun and fervor all across the African continent. Christmas preparations in Africa start with the annual Christmas pageant. During Christmas worship in Africa, one of the most significant things is the love offering to Jesus. These gifts are meant to honor Jesus. Birthday of Baby Jesus is celebrated around 8 or 9 O’clock. In Africa, it is the tradition of offering gift on the raised platform close to Communion table during Christmas celebrations. During Christmas decorations, people in Africa decorate their homes with pine branches, along with Christmas fir. In order to get beautiful and attractive Christmas presents, small kids hang up their stockings. Another major highlight of Christmas celebration in Africa is buying new set of clothes for church services. Traditional Christmas delicacies in Africa are turkey, roast beef, mince pies, suckling pig, yellow rice, vegetables, plum pudding, crackers and paper hats. Western Coast of Africa features oil palm as Christmas tree. People express their love by exchanging gifts with each other. Truly, being a part of Christmas celebration in Africa promises to be a lifetime experience for you. Regardless of the component (gift giving, carol singing and dinner), Christmas is a festive vacation for everyone the world over. So wherever you are spending Christmas this year, at home or away, let it be a very merry one. And if you are spending it overseas embrace the local traditions and cultures and make it a truly memorable occasion. , Woman’s Essence Magazine 11

Health & Fitness

Give yourself a Gift This Christmas Stay healthy this season by Sam Sample


t’s that time of year again. Although it’s hard to believe another year has flown by, I am clearly not mistaken as today I heard my first Christmas song on the radio, shops are displaying their Christmas themed windows, and my inbox is full of “Christmas Gift Idea” emails from all my favorite brands that I subscribe to. With the risk of sounding a little like the Scroodge, please be sensible. It’s not called the silly season for no reason. Partying, drinking, indulging, overeating and running around like a headless chicken from event-to-event and shop-to-shop, it’s no wonder many of us feel tired, rundown, overweight and stressed as the new year comes around. What if this year you honored YOU and entered the new year feeling refreshed, energized, slim and relaxed It’s really not so difficult. Just a little discipline and willpower, that’s all. Here are a few tips to help you keep on track.

Top 5 Tips to help you stay healthy over Christmas 1. Exercise

Remember to keep up with your exercise routine. Just because you were out and about the night before is no excuse to sleep in and forego your workout. Staying active will help you feel better. I promise! My favourite hangover cure used to be a run on the beach and swim in the surf. Great way to sweat out those toxins! Try and exercise outside as much as possible and take advantage of the bright sunny summer days. If a run is too much, how about calling a friend who was out with you the night before and take a brisk walk around the park.

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2. Relaxation

As much as Christmas is a lovely time to catch up with all your friends and family, remember to take some time out for YOU. Take a few moments in the day to practice meditation or stress-relieving breathing techniques. We’re conditioned to think that Christmas is all about giving, so how about taking the time to give to yourself as well this year. Don’t get stressed out over Christmas present buying. Plan your shopping in advance, write a list of all the presents you need to buy and avoid the frenzied crowds.

3. Nutrition

Remember to make healthy choices this Christmas. It’s easy to get carried away with all the puddings and chocolates and shortbread and party food, but before overindulging remember how it’s going to make you feel the next day. Remember to eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. If you do like enjoying Christmas treats, limit your portion size. Read Dr Naras Lapsys article on the top 10 things to avoid when eating at Christmas.

4. Water

Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. If you do drink alcohol, remember to alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water and please don’t drink on an empty stomach. Best to have a healthy snack before you go to the party as it will also prevent you from snacking on unhealthy party food. Dandelion tea is a great herbal tea to drink throughout the days when you know you’re going to be out and about, partying and drinking alcohol at night, as it helps to detoxify the liver.

5. Sleep

Get plenty of rest and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. It’s not going to make or break your life if you don’t go to EVERY party. How about having a night in Create a relaxing spa experience at home, snuggle up on the couch with a good book or DVD and get to bed early.

And if all that fails, please don’t beat yourself up about it. Take each day as it comes and strive for a healthier day the next day.

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Christmas Celebration By Ojay Milah

the Family Way

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eing one of our Special Months, WOMAN’S ESSENCE has decided to bring you best possible ways women all over the world celebrate Christmas with family, so we could learn something for that special family occasion we’ve been planning since the year began.


hristmas for the loving wife and caring mother who is business or work busy, aside maybe Easter, Valentine and Birthdays, is the most important festive time she has for family. As reported in the Daily Mail, the average mother spends 13 whole days preparing for Christmas. According to the survey of 3,000 women by the mail order catalogue Kaleidoscope; it says they spend 288 hours shopping, 4.19 hours wrapping presents, 3.03 hours decorating the house, 4.27 hours preparing the main Christmas meal and 4.38 hours cooking it.


o make this rare occasion memorable, the woman’s been known to be inventive in creating avenues for expressions. Through the ages, various avenues employed ranges from gift giving to the traditional snowman. All these we’ve sampled here for you. We know you have your Christmas all planned out since the last one ended, but we urge you to read on. You just might have missed something special in your well thought-out plan.

Celebrate in God’s Presence Even with a helpful family, Christmas stress can

weigh heavily on your physical strength. To help you create a sanctuary of peace in your home this season, turn off the superficial revelry and turn on the pure, clear light of Jesus with some Christ-centered activities. Sing together! From psychologist’s advice, it lifts depression. We all know a few Christmas carols, so teach children words of the Bible. he most important is to give God time, attention and affection through family worship, praise and prayer. Remember the family that prays together stays together. Read or tell stories; play games by firelight or candlelight. The soft, flickering lights have a soothing effect. Enjoy Gods nature by taking the family outdoors and to church. Build a snowman or make angels in the snow. Create a manager scene with twigs and branches and remember the humble beginning of the first Christmas at the manger.


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Too many hands is Good for the Broth Whether it is turkey in America,

Chicken in Nigeria and lamb, beef, pork or turkey in the UK, Christmas cuisine’s been known to be that which every member of the family looks forward to. Unlike normal days when its mostly the mother doing the cooking all alone, with the father watching TV or reading the papers, while the children play outside, for Christmas cooking, you should try doing it the family way.

Christmas cooking is usually

very stressful for you the mother, who is the family cook. During Christmas, dinner is enjoyed with a number larger than normal days. Since you know you are going to be

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cooking for a larger crowd, you may need to get an estimate. This you can know by sending out invitations for Christmas dinner at least a couple of weeks in advance and ask that every recipient RSVP.

While you prepare for

cooking, the best way to keep you out of panic mode would be by delegating some of the cooking work to family members. Children can help with simple recipes. Having multiple people in the kitchen can increase the sense of chaos, but lighten the load on you the mother. If only for this once, you should ignore the saying that “too many hands spoil the broth.”

Let the home have a feel of everyone You and your children could benefit from

decorating your home for Christmas together. This experience is good for the children to be more proud of their work or their accomplishments. They will also be proud of the fact that you asked them for assistance, as well as how their decorations turned out. If you are really looking to make Christmas decorating a family fun event, you and your family could also make some of your own Christmas decorations.

While the majority of the benefits, to

having your whole family help you decorate your home for Christmas is centered on family, there is another benefit that is not really. By having your whole family assist you with decorating your home for Christmas, you could save yourself a fairly large amount of time. The time saved can be used then for other stuffs. Since Christmas is all about family, you should let your family help you prepare for and celebrate the upcoming holiday.

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Unleash Your Family’s Art of Giving Gifts On this great occasion, you can be a Santa to those around you; your family and

strangers. The great joy of Christmas is not only the wonder of nativity, but the opportunity to practice generosity. Gift giving is much more than an obligation. It is an opportunity to love somebody else. In your quest to find that perfect gift, remember it takes time to understand what a person truly needs and loves. So take time and get your children that gift they’ve been tugging at your skirt all year long.

An act of love is to bring the gift

of giving to the children around you; children other than your own. As a family, fill a shoebox for a needy child through an orphanage. Make sure you include your children in wrapping presents or even have them create the wrapping paper. Give them the opportunity to physically pass the presents out on Christmas. This really is the fun part! Let them enjoy the act of giving. So in simple terms, give gifts to family members and encourage a trip together to the orphanage or needy.


or the business mother and wife who have worked round the clock 365 days through the year with little time for family, Christmas can be that getaway holiday. So, this Christmas holiday, don’t forget to enjoy all of the amazing Christmas Gifts that the season of goodwill always brings. These gifts come in a number of different forms, and aren’t always wrapped and placed underneath the tree. So why don’t you get all the family involved by decorating the house together, spend fun time by going outdoors and let the children help with cooking.

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Christmas for me is fun time – By Vicki Griffin Christmas

lunch is always at my place, my grown children, grandchildren, sisters and friends who have nowhere to go on Christmas day arrive, and it’s like Central station! First however comes breakfast, a family affair of sliced ham, eggs, croissants and fresh orange juice that’s after unwrap ring the presents. Scooters, bikes, perfumes and chocolates are frequently on the giving list. Nom, nom! The table is set with a red and gold Christmas theme complete with Bon Bons, nuts pretzels, lollies and white Christmas.

We have lunch out the back in the

play in the pool with their new water toys and adults exchange token gifts. After filling our stomach with prawns, chicken, salads of all different combinations such as rice, potato mango it is dessert time.


always have a choice of hot plum pudding and custard or ice-cream and fruit salad. Then we all sit around either playing cards or catching up on much needed family news whilst listening to children’s delightful laughter in the background. Lunch never finishes until around 6 pm! You got to love Christmas day in Australia!

cool in the carport which has been decorated in a Christmas theme also then we have ‘a help yourselves cold banquet ‘and yes we all wear silly hats. The kids

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New Years Eve

Party Makeup Ideas


repare your holiday look beforehand in order to rule out the chance of beauty disasters. These New Years Eve party makeup ideas will suit the preferences of the beauty-aware pack thanks to the versatile quality of each and every design. Pair the right shades and styles with your character, skin tone as well as eye color and make sure you polish your application skills with the best products and tools.


pecial moments as the New Years Eve scream for a special and refined look. What could be more easier to find than a makeup that would offer you the best accessory to be spotted right away. Break out of the box and prepare for this cool moment beforehand. Look for the best shades, textures and also designs that would highlight your radiant sex-appeal and best

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assets. Play up the eyes, the lips or in the case of bold makeup designs both features for the desired effect. Go through these fabulous Holiday makeup ideas that help you make the most flattering decision and arm up your beauty kit with the must have elements from lipsticks, mascaras as well as eye shadows


hese romantic makeup ideas have the power to bring out the classy beauty of your character and look. Choose red lips as the secret weapon to shift the attention immediately to your kissable lips. In order to achieve success it is also essential to spot

the best shade from the endless red tones. The principles you should follow is indeed skin tone. This factor would ease your decision and would guarantee the successful outcome of your selection.


air the stylish red lips with nude eyes or you can also tint your lids with a less flashy shades that would perfectly complement your lip makeup. White is fabulous and would give you an ice queen appearance which is lovely for these special events.

If you wish to make a more impressive statement you can also try your hand at the ohso-popular smokey eyes in a muted and more classy version.


lirting with the idea of sporting a more extravagant and bold makeup is not a bad trick either. These makeup designs however would definitely attract the attention of your entourage therefore wear them if you have the proper attitude to show off your style-consciousness. Choose the eyes to highlight your mesmerizing glimpse and create a piercing look with the help of vibrating shades as turquoise, red, purple and other tones. For a mysterious and sultry eye look you can also appeal to the infinite smokey eyes ideas that are just fabulous when paired with any eye color and shape. Copycat these looks and make sure you adapt them to your skin tone and features

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Christian Dior

Update Your Winter Look With Classic Hat D

espite the fact many girls think there is no place for fashion during winter as we have to put as many layer as possible to keep warm, we say there is a way to stay in style during these month. And the easiest thing to do is to choose the right accessories. A great hat can update your look in no time, make it classier and more stylish.


hile in some parts of the world hat is a beautiful and stylish accessory for many regions it becomes a necessity when temperatures drop below zero. And at such time nearly every girl asks herself what kind of hat she would like to wear to both feel warm and look trendy. Considering the latest fashion trends we advise you to try a classic hat which will update your look in no time and protect from winter cold.


y ‘classic’ hat we imply fedora hat or a wide brim hat. Both these style are absolute hits this season and designers presented them in a huge variety. So, we definitely have a lot to choose from. , 22 Woman’s Essence Magazine


y favorite fedoras come in Kenzo Fall/ Winter 2011/ 2012 collections. They look fantastic and are easy to wear with almost any type of clothing. Fedora is the most versatile hat style of all.


ide brim hats are even more popular during Fall/ Winter 2011/ 2012 fashion season than fedora hats. Gucci, Dsquared2, Reiss, Monsoon, Miss Sixty, Christian Dior and other designers and brands have offered their vision of this type of a hat.


Nina Ricci


iss sixty hats are made of luxurious fabric which looks similar to velvet, Nina Ricci trimmed hats with fur and changed the shape of brims. Lanvin hats have very wide and stiff brims, and Dior hats are softer and more feminine.


ide brim hats are also very versatile. You can wear them with chic classic coats or free spirited Bohemian outfits.



Miss Sixty

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Evan Rache Masculin Feminin Evan Rachel Wood has been busy promoting her

latest film, The Ides of March, and standing out on the red carpet in the process. Her unique ensembles usually inspire rave reviews or utter disappointment. Regardless of the outcome, this young actress certainly has mastered the art of experimenting with style.

Flash-forward to 2011, when Evan became more bold when it came to her wardrobe. The Conspirator premiere in April took place in Washington, D.C. and Evan picked a Jill Stuart Fall 2011 long-sleeve printed frock with necktie for the occasion. She styled the dress with rust-colored Gucci suede peep-toes, a gold-trimmed Salvatore Ferragamo clutch and Neil Lane jewelry. Evan arrived at the True Blood Season 4 Premiere in Hollywood this past June in a gray vest and trouser combination from Dolce & Gabbana. Loose red suspenders, Jimmy Choo Balance patent-leather mesh pumps and C. Greene Jewelry stud earrings pulled the unique look together. , 24 Woman’s Essence Magazine

For The Ides of March photocall at the 2011 Venice Film Festival in August, she suited up in a black Dolce & Gabbana menswear ensemble combined with a delicate ruffled ivory blouse. Salvatore Ferragamo houndstooth pointed-toe heels rounded out the look. Alessandra Rich’s Autumn/Winter 2011-12 shantung shirtdress which featured striped lace details was Evan’s premiere attire at the festival. Accessories included black Giuseppe Zanotti mesh ankle strap pumps and chandelier earrings by Bulgari.

el Wood’s ne Meets ne Style She is fearless when it comes to fashion and isn’t afraid of showing off her masculine as well as feminine sides. Back in January 2009 at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Evan was more femme fatale than tomboy. The actress impressed in a teal Monique Lhuillier Pre-Fall 2009 gown complemented by an eagle brooch, purple Sergio Rossi pumps and a matching clutch. Evan was draped in an elegant red Gucci with gold fringe detail for Fashion Group International’s 26th Annual Night Of Stars in October 2009. Her coordinating cage buckle heels and gold python clutch were also Gucci. by Morgan C. Schimminger

This Gucci Fall 2011 merlot-colored dress was Evan’s daring selection for the New York premiere of The Ides of March that same day. Another standout hat, coordinating Salvatore Ferragamo pointed-toe pumps, a Judith Leiber bag and jewelry by Fred Leighton completed the look. Evan once again opted for leather when she sported this mini dress as she exited the Chelsea Lately studio after taping an appearance last week. Both the dress and that funky zebra belt were by Preen Line.

It was a different Dolce & Gabbana suit at the political drama’s premiere during last month’s Toronto International Film Festival. This pinstripe version was paired with black Christian Louboutin pumps and a porkpie hat. The actress wore a red Preen Line Prym belted stretch cotton-drill dress outside a New York City hotel earlier this month. A black leather jacket, textured tights, Christian Louboutin Metalipp boots and Prada Baroque shades all served as accessories.

We can’t wait to see what fashionable risk this star takes on next!

Images: Apega/, Flashpoint /

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The jewelry trend

In today’s cosmopolitan age, both men and women display

a weakness for trendy jewellery. In this article we will focus on Jewelry Trends Winter 2011 and how the same can be imbibed in everyday life. Jewelry pieces are an integral part of a woman’s wardrobe and are easily her favorite accessory that she uses to jazz up any outfit. Though each of us has one or more classic jewelry pieces in our wardrobe, wearing them on a daily basis hardly inspires any sense of excitement. (foto 1) Foto2

To ensure that your look does not get stereotyped, it is important that you diversify your jewelry collection and include some in vogue pieces that can be paired with various outfits and worn on various occasions. If you like experimenting with different jewelry pieces, you will have great fun mixing and matching the jewelry trends for Fall/Winter 2011. Some of these are listed in these pages. (foto 2)


Go bold with statement jewelry that is available in bright

colors and comprises mostly of chunky pieces. The keyword while choosing these pieces is that they should stand out rather than blend with the outfit. Go for extra-large bracelets, shiny danglers for ears, flashy necklaces. (foto 3)

Metal jewelry has also made a splashy return on the fashion

runways this winter. However, do not confuse this with classical pieces made of gold or silver. Instead go for jewelry pieces made of lightweight metals that are available in shiny white and yellowish hues. The structured pieces are a major hit as they look quite beautiful composition wise. However, you can also go for oversized metal jewelry available in angular and asymmetrical shapes. (foto 4) , 26 Woman’s Essence Magazine

Foto 4

Foto 5

ds for this Winter If you are a fan of motifs in jewelry, now is your time to show them off as strong motifs are being used by jewelry designers across the world. Do not hesitate to mix and match various elements such as animal motifs, floral motifs and religious motifs. Simply combine these pieces in such a way that they create a unique look to complement your ensemble. (foto 5)

Foto 6

The fringe is back in fashion this winter season and it is no

longer restricted to adorning outfits, handbags and shoes. (foto 6) This style can be seen in jewelry pieces as well that are quite a craze this season, thanks to similar pieces being worn by celebrities on the red carpet. Another hot jewelry trend this season is the layered necklaces. To carry off this look you need to exercise greater caution in the selection of your outfit rather than the jewelry. (foto 7) Foto 7

Do not forget to invest in a few square bangles

this season. These are a must have for every fashionista. Those who are in love with chunky rings can flaunt huge Retro inspired rings that not only look great but are easy on the pocket as well. (foto 8)

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Christmas Ornaments

And a Successful Marriage


s we hang ornaments on Christmas trees, we are reminded of the characteristics that make a successful marriage. The stress, the tension, the busy life-style or financial worries often cause a marriage to hang by a thread at Christmas; you may be thinking about divorce. As you decorate this season, it is a good time to evaluate the success of your wedding vows. by Pat Strawbridge As you hang the fish ornament for the fisherman of the family, think of the blessings that you have shared with your spouse-the love, children, trips, and gifts. Maslow said that to have success, people should have love, food, a dwelling and security. After that all thinks fall into place. Hang a house ornament to remind your family of the foundation of a home. Many ornaments have hearts on them. A heart reminds a couple that true love creates a lasting relationship that goes into eternity. Why did you marry in the first place? Was it for love? Love covers a multitude of mistakes; one Writer in the Bible says.

Do you have an ornament with a rose on it? Let that remind you of the honor and affection that you have for one another. Think about the smiles, the laughs, the hugs, the kisses and the intimacy you’ve shared during your life together. Most trees have angel ornaments. The Bible says that angels guard and protect us. Sometimes angels come in human forms. They come in the form of pastors, friends or relatives who can be role models and give you guidance in making decisions about your marriage and even pray for you, if you desire. Some people collect teapot ornaments, which represents hospitality and openness of heart. Recall the good times that you’ve had at social events or doing something that may have meant sacrifice on the part of the partner.

Find a bird of joy and hang on your tree. Let this represent the joy and faith that your marriage will last a lifetime. Your live tree represents the lasting power of your marriage. As you view the pine cones on it, evaluate the fruitfulness or blessings of your marriage. Think about children, your surroundings, your health and most of all your love. Hang a fruit basket on the tree to remind you that with prosperity comes responsibility. Mentally fill that basket with peace of mind, love for one another, joy of sharing a life together. Hang a flower basket on the tree to remind you to fill your life with happiness, understanding, compassion and communication. Don’t let your marriage hang by a thread this Christmas. Keep your marriage from falling and shattering in divorce. Use some of this advice to hang onto your wedding vows and keep your commitment to have a lasting relationship through your marriage.

Occasionally you have an ornament or decoration that has a rabbit. Rabbits represent hope in the future. Make a list of the things that would make your marriage successful in your eyes. Take time to talk with your spouse. Communicate about the blessings you enjoyed, the sad times and the future. Decorating a tree takes time, energy and patience. Yet it is a work of art when you finish. Your marriage requires the same effort. , 28 Woman’s Essence Magazine

To be or not to be… Santa! by Tiffany Jasper


he holiday season is upon us and it is that time again! Our kids are seeing the toy and winter time commercials, sitcoms and cartoons that are centered around the winter weather, Christmas and of course, the infamous Santa Clause. As we begin to bring in the holidays, parents usually have traditional ways of celebrating with their kids. Here are a few of mine: 1) Three weeks before Christmas I have my (now) 11 year old daughter write out her “list” which includes the items she would like “Santa” to bring her on Christmas morning. 2) After she mails it to “The North Pole” she and I consistently talk about my daughter’s love for the holiday and what she thinks Santa will bring her from the list she wrote him. 3) I choose a few favorites from her list, buy them and place them in my closet. I wrap them on Christmas Eve and sneak them under the tree while she sleeps. 4) Christmas Eve we have pizza and popcorn while watching holiday movies such as “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”, “It’s Christmas, Charlie Brown” and “Polar Express”. 5) Before I tuck her in bed we make Santa some cookies and pour him a glass of milk that are placed neatly on the living room table. Santa (really me) eats a few cookies and drinks some of the milk on Christmas Eve. But somehow over the years my daughter has taken every myth of Santa and his red suit, with his coming down the chimney, giving presents in one night to all the good little girls and boys and dissected it. Is it now time that I really break it down to her now that she is questioning? Many parents at some point have had to face revealing to their children the myth of Santa. It can bring anxiety and sometimes a bit of sadness. This may be my year. My daughter is on the fence about if Santa is real; she is siding more on not. I am prepared to tell her the truth; I buy gifts for her because I love her and I continued the spirit of Santa because I love happiness. The thought of Santa brings joy, fun and anticipation. So why not believe? The best part of it is that as I end the myth of Santa with my daughter, I can start the spirit of Santa all over again with my toddler son! Remember, there is not a right way when it comes to holiday traditions and beliefs. Only individual families and members are allowed to begin, continue, change or terminate traditions. This is a time of year where we can dream and believe beyond the norm. The Christmas holiday is more than just giving presents; from my experience, the holidays are for families and making your children’s dreams come true. , Woman’s Essence Magazine 29

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A C hristmas W edding

All I Want For Christmas Is You


by Jemima Owen

ells ringing, children singing, lights glowing, mistletoe hanging; it’s that time again. Advent calendars appear at the front of every supermarket, fairy lights are flashed on around the streets in the bitter cold nights and fireplaces are lit to keep the family warm. Christmas is back. The wish lists are being drawn up, the family politics are being dealt with and the Paul McCartney songs are repetitively starting to belt back out of that radio station that you once loved. Maybe the advert breaks weren’t so bad after all. This festive season means something different to everyone, but this year, it holds something a lot more sentimental to those awaiting their wedding day. A Christmas Themed Day If the theme sets the tone for a wedding day, then a winter wonderland would set a very elegant and classic one. With the fresh crispy air swirling outside and the buoyant carols dancing around the town, a wedding with warmth crackling amongst the vows could be the perfect way to begin your life together. It is important though at this time to decide whether you want to embrace the festive season, or distance yourselves from it. For someone, it might be their dream to sing carols in their ceremony, but for another, it could be their worst nightmare. Decide what works for you – colour palette themes, such as, royal dark purple, glamorous tiffany blue or vibrant reds. Instead, emphasise Christmas with cosy log fires and silver and gold decorations.

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Make Your Flower Selection Broad In winter, there are not fewer options for flowers, but broader choices; we have our rich camellia, euphorbia which is useful in more elaborate bouquets, various coloured tulips, delicate snowdrops, small pansy’s, the iris and many others. The broader options, especially if you’re going down the direction of festivities is to include seasonal greenery; bright red berries, holly, pomegranates, fir leaves and pine cones. You can find them anywhere, why not take advantage? Locate a Fine Atmosphere Everyone has a different vision of their wedding day, some prefer to stay traditional and others can’t wait to get their hands dirty and try out new things. After whipping up the theme, and understanding exactly what you want for your day, you are ready to choose the location where you and your partner will tie the knot and make life long memories. For a traditional, more Christmassy ceremony, a country side church wedding would be perfect, bringing out the most symbolic elements of Christmas within your wedding and providing a cosy, classic tone. Another, out of an abundance of options, is to hold your wedding at a hotel, or even a medieval castle. The opportunity for log fires is available and there is also the assurance that the cold temperatures would not be an issue, especially in a hotel. To completely distance yourself from Christmas, as some people might opt for, it might be a good idea to have a destination wedding, planning your big day abroad in some sunny, fantastic landscape. Matching Colours for the Bridal Party A bride can look magnificent and magical in the snow, without any wintry crisis – it can be done. When you start looking for your bridal gown, it may be around the warmer months, and therefore you’ve got to remember just how cold it will be when your wedding actually arrives. Don’t get too optimistic. For every dress you look at, keep in mind particular features, such as, elegant long sleeved , 32 Woman’s Essence Magazine

dresses, a cinematic lace bolero, a draped chiffon shrug, and heavier fabrics like Duchess satin. There are ways to combat the icy bite in the air, don’t let it put you off your charming winter wedding. To avoid any apprehensions with your bridesmaids, look for dresses that are adaptable; long sleeves, covered shoulders and a shrug or bolero available to them. Darker colours are better off for a winter wedding as they are bolder and richer amongst the whiter canvas. However, if you chose a bold colour for your own dress, a rich red, champagne gold or burgundy, give some careful conside-ration so that your bridesmaids don’t overshadow you with a bolder shade. It Suits the Groom Party Well As the groom, groomsmen and best man don’t have so much choice other than to attend the wedding in a suit or in kilts – A-line dresses aren’t really a popular choice, keep that on the stag night lads – there are a range of different styles such as, the classic tailcoat and a variety of accessories such as the cravat or a bowtie. However, the main things to remember for a winter wedding are the traditional tasks and how they might be more of a challenge than if it were a summer wedding. Weather disasters such as snow or storming gales can be avoided by organisation; oversized umbrellas in each car going to and from the venues, specialised wellies for the girls, and extra coats and scarves in case anyone turns purple on the day. Consequently, if the weather does turn for the worst, be much more alert with keeping in contact with the transport company, and think about having a backup plan before it nears the day. For Rings, Go Platinum To evoke the season, a preferred option for your rings might be platinum; the white metal wedding ring. Platinum is 95% pure, hard wearing and never fades. Because it is rarer than gold, the price is obviously substantially higher. This may be a turn off, but if money is saved on a few other wedding items and spent on the rings, it is well worth investing in platinum, simply due to its high resistant to da-mage; it does the job and lasts a life time. Other choices include yellow gold which is traditional, white gold that will compliment other silver jewellery but may not wear for long, and titanium that is growing more popular with its durability. Whatever path you choose to go down – personal theme or Christmas theme – make sure you end up simply having a wonderful... wedding.

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Save Your Relationship - Forgiveness

Relationships can be very complicated. When a relationship is in trouble, there can be many different reasons for the trouble. But no matter what the cause of the difficulty, if you want to save your relationship, there is one thing you can never leave out. And that one thing is forgiveness. Many relationships have been destroyed because one or the other party would not forgive. And many times it was over something that, in the long run, was not very important at all. Your ability to forgive might make the difference as to whether your relationship is restored or destroyed. We all do things to hurt each other. Sometimes we do it unintentionally and sometimes we do it for petty and selfish reasons. But you must come to understand that when you are in a relationship with someone, there are times when you will get hurt mentally and emotionally. The fact of the matter is, you’ll probably get hurt more than once, and your ability to forgive your loved one and move beyond the hurt will depend largely on you.

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by Charles Garnett Relationships require love, commitment, sacrifice, a good sense of humor, and a not taking yourself too seriously kind of attitude. Just having a fuzzy feeling about your mate is not enough to keep a relationship together. There will be times when your love and commitment will be tested and you will be required to sacrifice things on a personal level in order to keep the relationship alive. Many times we feel that we have been wronged so severely or hurt so deeply that we are unable to forgive the other person. But you must understand that forgiveness is a choice. It is something that you choose to do. It may not be easy at first but if you really, really want to, and you really care about the other person, and you really want to save your relationship, you will find a way.

by thinking about it and rehearsing the hurt. This will eventually drain us of all positive energy and leave us feeling depleted and depressed. We end up spending all our time and energy holding on to these thoughts and feelings and we lose our ability to enjoy life and all its blessings. So ask yourself What is most important to me My hurt feelings or my relationship with the one I love Then sit down and talk to your loved one and explain to them why you feel so hurt by their actions. And then forgive them. Yes, really forgive them, and don’t bring it up again. And don’t try to use it as a weapon to punish them with in the future. If you do, it will only prove that you really didn’t forgive them in the first place. When you forgive the other person you will find that you experience a new sense of freedom in your own life. You are no longer bound by the chains of unforgiveness and can now enjoy life and your relationship as it was meant to be. Forgiveness will help to strengthen you and your relationship.

One thing to remember is that unforgiveness does not hurt the other person nearly as much as it does you. Sure, your mate may suffer emotionally for a little while knowing that you have not forgiven them, but eventually they will get over it and move on. While you on the other hand will continue to suffer under the weight of whatever you are Relationships require forgiveness. holding against them. Great relationships, the kind that last a lifetime, demand it. It is an essential You see, it takes a lot of thought, effort, part of every great relationship and and energy to hold a grudge or unfor- if you want to save your relationship, giveness in your heart against some- you will learn to make this awesome one. In order for us to hold onto un- gift one of the many that you have to forgiveness we must feed it constantly give to your loved ones.

Let’s Ask Aunty Neenee

Who Will Be Blessed By What You Plan To Do For Christmas? Though American traditions for Christmas call for a decorated pine tree to be raised as a center piece in each home, with presents stacked high around it for the family, and huge meals that could fill a “Horn of plenty”, and feed a small country; the true meaning and purpose of Christmas has been completely, commercialized and filled with pagan practices that rarely benefit anyone but merchants, whom anxiously await the opportunity to accommodate your every whim to spend, spend, spend. You may ask yourself, “What’s so “pagan” about that?” Is Christmas not supposed to be about giving? This writer contends that it’s not just giving gifts, or eating as many sweets as you can hold, but rather, your heart condition. Is your heart in line with the Biblical principles of Christmas? Acknowledging the day most Christians celebrate the birth of Christ; edifying The Father, and The Son, rather than our selves.

who despise you, or wrongfully accuse you that is the true “Agape” love God wants us to show. Giving to those who don’t have, and being joyous while you are doing it. Survey your own heart, your own motives, and your own want for sacrifice. Do you have room there for anyone less fortunate,

an idol. Then go further into sin, by lying to these children by making a false god out of Santa, having them believe he made all of this possible. In these last days before Christ returns, it’s time to stop the wondering in and out of the promise land. The practice of worshiping false gods, and other forms of idolatry, must end.

Our goal should be that of everlasting life with the Father, not a holiday filled with toys that end up thrown in a corner before the end of the day; because we and our children are so spoiled rotten, we don’t appreciate anything any way.

(1John 2:16-17), “For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world. And this world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever.”

Showing love for others is easy when you think that person loves you. It is to love those you don’t know at all, or those

From this month your question and answer will be in Woman’s Essence monthly magazine

This Christmas season, let us all get to the real deal of edifying God the Father, and His will for our lives. We should Teach true, and holy practices, and character traits to our children. Then they will not be lead astray by this world.

(John 3:16), “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”. We can’t top God in giving in this sense; nor any other. He is the giver of all things. However, we can have our hearts, and minds more spirit filled, than filled with want for earthly riches that we can’t get into heaven with.

This gift is not something “Santa Clause” can pile on a sled, and shimmy down a fire place to deliver.

Need some advice? You can have your dilemma solved by our advice columnist Aunty Neenee, email

or that is all alone on the cold streets? Or are you caught up in the rush to get that last baby doll on the shelf , or race car set for little Suzy, or Tommy. To speed through traffic to rap those worldly gifts, and toss under a tree worshiped as

Bless someone that has nothing this Christmas not only with food, or clothing, or even a toy. Bless them with a word from God that may save their soul. Allow yourself to be used by God to spread the good news to those who don’t know Him. Draw nearer to Christ this year, for He said in His word He will draw nearer to us; wouldn’t that be the best gift of all?

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The Christmas pizza-tree This Christmas pizza treat will require an adult’s assistance, but the kids will love trimming the “tree” with spinach and feta snowflakes.

Ingredients 1 package frozen, chopped spinach Yellow, red, and orange bell peppers Olive oil Cornmeal Pizza dough for one 12-inch round pie 1 cup tomato sauce 1/4 to 1/3 grated Romano cheese Feta cheese

Method Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cook the spinach, drain, and press it to squeeze out excess liquid. Set aside. Use tiny cookie cutters to shape circles and stars from the peppers. Set aside. Coat a 12-inch pizza pan with olive oil, then sprinkle on the cornmeal. Roll the dough into a circle and place on the pan, pushing the edges to the rim. Spread the tomato sauce on the dough and sprinkle on the grated Romano cheese. Top with the chopped spinach and then drizzle olive oil over the spinach. Sprinkle the crumbled feta over the spinach and arrange the pepper circles. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the bottom of the crust is browned. Cut the pizza into triangular slices and then trim the crust to form a trunk. Finally, top each slice with a yellow star. Makes one 12-inch pizza. , Woman’s Essence Magazine 37

Old-Fashioned Holiday Glazed Ham Ingredients


- 1 spiral-sliced half ham (Paula prefers Smithfield) - 1 20-ounce can pineapple slices, juice reserved - 15 to 20 whole cloves (optional) - 1 small jar maraschino cherries - 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar - 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

Preheat the oven as directed on the ham package and follow the instructions for baking the ham. Remove the ham from the oven about 30 minutes before the end of the warming time. Decoratively arrange the pineapple slices on top of the ham, securing them with whole cloves, if

using, or toothpicks. Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring and secure with a clove or toothpick.

apple juice to make a thick glaze. Spoon the glaze over the ham and bake for the remaining 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and just enough of the reserved pine-

Remove the ham from the oven, transfer to a cutting board and carve.

Roasted Salmon with Walnut-Pepper Relish Ingredients - 1/2 cup walnuts - Pinch of cayenne pepper - 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice - 1 teaspoon honey - 2 tablespoons diced roasted red pepper - 1 tablespoon walnut oil - 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil - 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley - Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper - 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives - 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest - 1 2-to-3-pound piece wild salmon (about 1 1/2 inches thick)


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Make the relish: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and bake until toasted, 7 to

10 minutes. Let cool, then finely chop and transfer to a bowl. Add the cayenne, lemon juice, honey, roasted red pepper, walnut oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons parsley. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste and toss to combine. (The relish can be made up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.) Make the salmon: Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons parsley, the chives, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste in a bowl. Rub the herb mixture all over the salmon. Lay skin-side down in a baking dish and roast until just cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then transfer to a platter and top with the walnut-pepper relish.

Photograph by Anna Williams

Vegetable Tarte Tatin Ingredients


2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2inch-thick rounds 1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds 4 cloves garlic, halved 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 3/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon small fresh sage leaves 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves 6 ounces mozzarella, grated (about 1 cup) 1 8.5-ounce sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed All-purpose flour, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss both kinds of potatoes, the parsnips, onion, garlic, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet; bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Meanwhile, mix 2 tablespoons water and the sugar in a skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan, until amber, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar and 1/4teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour the caramel into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish and spread with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the sage and oregano on top. Arrange the roasted potatoes and parsnips in a single snug layer on top of the caramel. Scatter the onion and garlic over the roasted vegetables; sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 9-by-13-inch rectangle. Pierce the pastry all over with a fork, then lay it on top of the mozzarella, folding the edges under to fit, if necessary. Bake 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until the dough is cooked through, 15 to 20 more minutes. Let the tart cool 10 minutes in the baking dish, then carefully invert it onto a cutting board. Replace any vegetables that stick to the dish, if necessary. , Woman’s Essence Magazine 39

Petite Orange and Raspberry Pochettes Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a floured - 2 sticks unsalted surface with a floured rollbutter, at room ing pin to 1/8 inch thick. temperature Cut out as many rounds - 8 ounces cream as you can, cheese, at room using a 3-inch-round temperature fluted cutter. Top each - 2 cups all-purpose with a heaping half-teaflour, plus more for spoonful of orange mardusting malade. Brush the edge - 1/3 cup orange of the dough with water, marmalade - 1/3 cup raspberry jam then fold the dough over Confectioners’ sugar, to make a half-moon and press to seal. Place for dusting on an ungreased baking sheet. Reroll the dough scraps and repeat, then Method repeat with the remaining disk of dough, filling Beat the butter and cream cheese in a bowl with the raspberry jam. with a mixer until light and creamy. Slowly add Bake the cookies until golden, 20 to 22 minutes. the flour, mixing just unTransfer to a rack to cool til a dough forms (do not overmix). Divide the completely. Dust genedough into 2 balls, then rously with confectioners’ flatten each into a disk. sugar. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.


Christmas Tree Sandwich Cookies Ingredients 1 package (13 oz) Pillsbury® Ready To Bake!® SHAPE® Christmas tree sugar cookies 3/4 cup vanilla frosting (from 1-1b container frosting) Candy sprinkles

Method Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake cookies as directed on package. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. For each sandwich cookie, spread 1 tablespoon frosting on bottom of 1 cookie. Top with second cookie, bottom side down; press together gently. Roll cookie sandwiches in candy sprinkles to cover edge of frosting center. Store loosely covered. 12 sandwich cookies. Vanilla frosting can be tinted with food coloring, if desired. Substitute any of the Pillsbury® Holiday Cookies shapes for the Christmas tree shape, if desired, for variety or to use this recipe for other holidays and occasions.

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Give Your Home Tha C

reate a holiday haven that will sparkle all season long with these festive decorating ideas. Plus, bake delicious Christmas cookies and serve a memorable Christmas dinner friends and family will love. Make your own beautiful Christmas holiday decorations. Create stunning outdoor decorations, festive window trimmings, and homemade Christmas wreaths. And don’t forget our Christmas mantel ideas! Decorate your home for Christmas using glasses, ornaments, and more that you already own. Check out these inventive Christmas decor ideas that won’t deplete your pocketbook. Candle and Clementines Centerpiece What You Have: oranges, candles, mirror This candle centerpiece looks intricate but takes just minutes to create. To make, gather candles of varying heights and then nestle them among clementines, pinecones, and small evergreen branches for a fun Christmas decoration. Use a beveled edge mirror as a sparkling base. Wrapped-up Chair What You Have: chair, ribbon A simple bow tied with patterned ribbon brings a nice Christmas touch to your everyday chair. Tuck in a sprig of greenery to add that classic Christmas tree scent. Editor’s Tip: No evergreens? Use artificial evergreens or mistletoe to decorate your chairs.

Need inspiration for your door decorations this Christmas? Deck your front door with simple and traditional wreaths, fun stockings, festive garlands, and more.

Red-and-Gold Christmas Tree Shimmery ornaments and eccentric accents give this traditional red-and-gold Christmas tree gusto. Soft white lights, chorister ornaments, and sprigs of plastic holly look fancy and festive, while the red ruffle tree topper, thick strands of gold and red sheer ribbons, and glittery gold music note, angel, and bow ornaments add a distinctly modern feel. Editor’s Lighting Tip: If your Christmas tree can only be seen by passersby from the front, place all the Christmas lights to the front of the tree only. , 42 Woman’s Essence Magazine

Stocking and Garland Front Door Decoration This classic over-the-door garland frames a stuffed stocking to add an interesting touch to a traditional look. Stuff a plain stocking with berries, evergreen, and small pinecones and hang it with ribbon from the middle of the front door. Arrange a simple garland decorated with pinecones around the door frame, and complete the scene with two miniature Christmas trees in matching pots with pinecones at the base.

at Christmas Festive Feel Garden-Inspired Garland This large, leafy garland and matching front door swag is made from evergreen branches, pinecones, berries, apples, magnolia leaves, and festive holiday ribbon. Use it as inspiration for your front door or add your favorite festive elements. Editor’s Tip: Purchase a long evergreen garland to serve as the base, then use floral pins and hot glue to secure embellishments.

There’s no need to downsize your holiday expectations with a small space to decorate. Our space-saving ideas bring the merriment of the season into even the tiniest corners. A Grand Entry Ornaments not only dazzle on the tree, but can also add Christmas cheer to other places throughout your home, such as your staircase. Knot a length of thin ribbon around an ornament hook and wrap the end other end of the ribbon around your banister, securing with a knot. Let ornaments hang down at different lengths for a variegated display. Consider topping an entryway table with a small tree Decorate your Christmas tree with beautiful ornaments, ornament ideas, and lots of Christmas tree pictures and Be creative by decorating your Christmas tree with a fapersonality. We were inspired by a local festival of trees Christmas home. Bonus: We’ve included lighting tips to

Blue-and-White Christmas Tree This little snowman must have worked hard on this blue-andwhite Christmas vision. Bedecked with white and blue lights, stretchable fake snow, snowflake ornaments, ornament balls, and overlapping blue-and-white beaded garlands, this Christmas tree is beautifully busy. For more blueand-white decor, craft an elaborate tree topper from snowflakes, plastic sprigs of blueberries, and shimmery white and blue ribbons. Editor’s Lighting Tip: Use Christmas lights of all the same wattage. This will prevent power surges and prolong the life of the bulbs.

Light a Candle Add some shimmer and shine to your holiday decor with candles and sparkly silver-and-white ornaments. Arrange chunky pillar candles (in varying heights) on a round tray and surround with Christmas ornaments, rhinestone jewelry, and baubles (search flea markets and thrift stores for inexpensive pieces). Green-and-Silver Ornament Bouquet What You Have: tin can, ribbon, ornaments Use a simple tin can and a foam cone to transform leaves and a variety of ornaments into a green-and-silver Christmas ornament bouquet. Tie a red ribbon into a bow to complete the decoration. Use as a centerpiece or as a part of your holiday side-table decor. Editor’s Tip: To expand on the display, decorate two smaller cans to place alongside the larger ornament bouquet. garlands, and festive holiday lights. We’ve got decorating tips, themes to choose from! vorite theme that suits your decora-ting style or your family’s and have included tips for bringing the looks inside your own make your tree beautiful.

Family Photos Christmas Tree Photocopy pictures, glue them to silver paper, and frame them with rickrack and other trims to turn your Christmas tree into a family scrapbook. Fill the boughs with small apples, kumquats, and vintagestyle ornaments. Editor’s Lighting Tip: Pick lights in a color that match your key ornaments (in this case, orange). That way they enhance the color scheme rather than draw away from it. , Woman’s Essence Magazine 43

“White Christmas” Destinations


f you are dreaming of white Christmas this year and want to find somewhere that will let you celebrate the festive season with presents and snow, here is the perfect guide for just that! Not only it suggests some of the top destinations for a white Christmas, but also recommends if they are suitable for families, singles or couples! Japan - Perfect for Families If skiing is one of your favourite activities, then winter in Japan will offer unlimited satisfaction. There are a huge range of snowfields to visit, but Hakuba Valley is renowned as one of the premier international spots for snow sports, even hosting events for the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. Situated at the centre of the Japanese Alps, a four hour train ride north-west of Tokyo, Hakuba Valley hosts several ski resorts and magnificent landscapes with rugged peaks exceeding 1000 metres. If all that time on the slopes calls for a rest, there is a great range of luxury tours departing from Hakuba including trips to Matsumoto Castle, Nagano's well-known Zenkoji Temple and the snow monkeys at Jigokudani hot springs.

New York - Ideal for Couples For one of the most traditional Christmases, it's hard to go past New York City over the holidays. Ice skating in Central Park, seeing the Rockefeller Christmas tree being lit at night, watching the snow fall while standing in the middle of Times Square, shopping at the famed Macy's on 34th street and eating an extravagant turkey dinner at any of the incredible restaurants will undoubtedly make for a truly Merry Christmas.

Norway - For the Young at Heart The untouched landscape of Norway, which stretches right across the Arctic Circle, offers an unforgettably enchanting winter escape suitable for every age. Hikers and skiers will be mesmerized by the mountains, lakes, woodlands and waterfalls that Norway has to offer. Another extraordinary scenic feature is the Fjords. These ancient valleys, once formed by glacial activity, now provide long, narrow inlets of the sea held between towering cliffs. This white Christmas experience would not be complete without travelling north to see the world's most magical Christmas light show, the spectacular Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), which shines more brightly in the winter months.

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New Years Destinations When the New Year festivity knocks at the doorstep; Gear up to pack your bags and fly off to the most sought-after and superb New Year destinations located round the world. You too, Welcome New Year in a great style. Select a New Year destination of your own choice and take your big bunch of friends and family. Get Top 5 New Year Eve Destinations around the world.

Times Square, USA

On the even of New Year Times Square in New York comes alive. The streets are jam packed, loud music can be heard, sparkles and glitter of the crackers, overshadow the stars in the sky at night. Locals and tourists from far-flung areas opt New York as their New Year destination because of its liveliness that is exuberated on the 31st December. Times Square gets packed to the hilt and as the countdown begins, everyone shouts 10, 9,8…3,2,1 and HAPPY NEW YEAR. When you are here, you will agree with the fact that New Yorkers know how to party. Swanky hotels, local pubs, discos, delectable meals in restaurants and cafeterias are all here to make your night special.

London, England

Watch out the final countdown alongside the Big Ben and see London explode in brilliant lights and colors. See the brilliance of fireworks over Thames River and join in thousands others to welcome the New Year with the big bang.

Paris, France

One of the beautiful cities: Paris is also one of the most popular New Year destinations in the world. On the New Year Eve the City of Light comes into full force. Two places which attract the maximum crowd are the Champs Elyse’s and the Eiffel tower.

Tokyo, Japan

Fun and frolic on the streets of Tokyo elevates the New Year carniSydney, Australia val. The hangover of the New Year celebration prevails for about a Ring in the New Year with the spectacular fireworks over the Syd- week in Tokyo. In the midnight chortling of the temple’s bells can ney Harbour Bridge. To accompany you will be the brilliantly co- be heard. People visit temples and pray for happiness and prospeordinated music being played in the background. In the middle of rity for the upcoming year. all the celebration, a boat ride in the Sydney harbour is truly the perfect icing on the cake. , Woman’s Essence Magazine 45

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Woman's Essence Magazine December/2011  

A magazine for and about WOMEN the strong independent / business woman, the loving and devoted wife, the irreplaceable mother