All You Need to Know About How the Grinch Who Stole Christmas

The Christmas holiday just isn’t complete without viewing certain programs. Over in Sweden, the entire country sits down every Christmas Eve to watch a Disney Christmas special from the ’50s. Here in America, we have a kind of Triple Crown of Christmas specials that are also required viewing. These include Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Of that group, I’m going to have to go with the Grinch as my favorite. Today we’re going to load you up with Grinchy factoids that will serve to enhance your next viewing.

Must Have Holiday DVDs

Get your Grinch on with your own Grinchy DVD. Image Source: Flickr user Mike Mozart

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Written by Rick B.

December 18th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Unique Christmas Traditions from Around the World

The great thing about joining a new family through marriage is that you get to embrace their holiday traditions. Some families are so large that the only manageable approach to gift giving is a “Secret Santa” campaign wherein one member buys a single gift for another member. It’s always fun to see what someone thinks by the type of gift they select for you. Other families have very specific meals for the holidays. Around our home, lasagna is the traditional Christmas Eve dinner. On Christmas morning, breakfast must include Taylor Roll. If you’ve never tried this, seek it out and fry it up. You can thank me later. I have a feeling that we’ll also be starting the Elf On a Shelf tradition when the young one comes of age. I look forward to snapping that Elf in all kinds of fun poses! As for the rest of the world, many people have unique Christmas traditions. Maybe you’ll want to take some of these on for your holiday.

Santas Everywhere

If you've ever wanted to play Santa, SantaCon is a good start. Image Source: Flickr user Anthony Quintano

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Written by Rick B.

December 17th, 2014 at 3:45 pm

The Festival of Lights: A Brief History of Hanukkah

“Eight crazy nights.” That’s how Adam Sandler summed up Hanukkah in his popular holiday song. When it comes to holidays around this time of year, Christmas traditions aren’t the only ones being celebrated. All around the globe this evening, Jewish families will gather around their menorahs to relive an amazing chapter in their history and share in traditions that have been handed down through the generations. If you’re not familiar with this wonderful holiday, we’ve got a perfect primer for you. To tell the story of Hanukkah, you have to go back a few years…..quite a few.


Candles burning bright for Hanukkah. Image Source: Flickr user Shoshanah

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Written by Rick B.

December 16th, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Mobile Mission Monday: Make Earning Cash with iPoll Your New Holiday Tradition

For many people, the holidays are all about traditions. From the music on your playlist to the cookies you bake to the way you decorate your Christmas tree, everything can be filed under the heading of “tradition.” Even things like ugly Christmas sweaters or your crazy aunt’s fruitcake can be warmly embraced because it’s the way it’s been done for years. But just because you have a long list of holiday traditions doesn’t mean you can’t add to them each year. There may also be a new ornament to hang or a movie to share with your kid for the first (or 10th!) time. I propose adding a holiday tradition that will actually be quite rewarding. By rewarding, I mean cash in your wallet. We’re talking about the tradition of iPoll’s Mobile Missions. The more missions you undertake, the more cash is deposited in your reward account. It’s just that simple. When was the last time you earned money decorating the tree?

House Lit Up For Christmas

Can you count all the lights? It's somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000. Image Source: Flickr user terren in Virginia

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Written by Rick B.

December 15th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Collectible Toys: What You Have in Your Closet Could Be Worth a Fortune

Never toss a toy! As an adult, this may be something you wish you embraced as a kid. That’s because collecting classic toys has turned into a big business. Oddly enough, a toy doesn’t even have to be vintage to be considered valuable. There are toys on the collectible hot list that only date back to the 1990s. Of course, for an old toy to be valuable it must be in good condition. If it is still in its original packaging, then it’s really mint. Imagine as a kid you were given an action figure, but were told not to open it. Tough call. Here are some valuable toys that still might be lurking in your closet:

Rare Star Wars Toy

If you have this toy packed away somewhere, you're sitting on a gold mine. Image Source: Flickr user Walter Lim

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Written by Rick B.

December 12th, 2014 at 2:52 pm

The Next Tickle Me Elmo? Top-Selling Toys This Holiday Season

The Furby. The Cabbage Patch Doll. Tickle Me Elmo. The Beanie Baby. These are all toys that had the distinction of touching off near riots during the holiday seasons of years gone by. Parents went absolutely bonkers in an attempt to score those coveted items for their young children. On some level, you’ve got to give it up for those moms and dads who stood in long lines, traveled to different states, and threw the occasional elbow to get the prize. Can it really be Christmas without some sort of “toy craze?” This year there are certainly “hot” toys, but there doesn’t seem to be the frenzy of years past. ‘Tis a pity. Perhaps this post can spark a frenzy. What better way to say, “Merry toy shopping!” Here are some of the top toys for 2014:

Elsa and Anna

Don't be left in the cold this Christmas - get a Frozen doll or two. Image Source: Flickr user Mike Mozart

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Written by Rick B.

December 11th, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Taking a Trip Down Toy Memory Lane

Christmas and toys go together like hot chocolate and marshmallows. You simply can’t have one without the other. As with most types of retail, toy outlets depend on holiday shoppers to float them through the rest of the year. Toys are certainly a big business, with an average of $438 being spent to fill a kids’ toy chests every year, and the bulk of that spending happening around the holidays. There is also a National Toy Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees include the green army men and Rubik’s cube. All of this has your intrepid correspondent flashing back to his own halcyon toy days. Here are my picks for classic toys that need a comeback (even if they’re still around):

Classic Joe Action Figure

Old school G.I. Joe. Image Source: Flickr user davidd

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Written by Rick B.

December 10th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

These Teachers Earned an A: Results for iPoll Quiz “The Best Teacher I Had”

At this time of year, the frontline for “good behavior” is the classroom. If a kid can bring home a solid report card, then that information will be directly funneled to Santa. Improving math skills and playing nice can always get you off the naughty list. When it comes to how we grow into adults, we owe a lot to our teachers. This is the perfect season to look back on all those educators who made a difference in our lives. Maybe you can even look up a few on Facebook and reconnect. When asked to describe the best teacher you ever had, over 7,000 members of the iPoll community responded. Here are some of the highlights that might have you thinking about your favorite teacher:

“The best teacher was my first grade teacher. She was really the only one who could handle my attitude and keep me in line. She taught me about a lot about respect and that is what a lot of kids out there today need.”


Ready For Students

The place where learning begins but doesn't end. Image Source: Flickr user Liz

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Written by Rick B.

December 9th, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Mobile Mission Monday: Put Your iPoll App to Work for Cash Rewards

Every kid knows that this is the time of year when all the hard work of “being good” is rewarded. Spend any time in a mall and you’re sure to hear a beleaguered parent warn, “You better behave or else Santa Claus isn’t going to come visit you.” As cruel as that might sound, it often proves to be quite effective. I’m actually looking forward to the day when I can make use of that edict. While our kids are working hard at being good, we’re all just working hard. Everything is building up to those glorious days off for the Christmas holiday. This year, Christmas falls on a Thursday so it will be very easy to pick up Friday as a day off and slide right into a long weekend. That will give us all plenty of time to play with our gifts! Along with the hours you’re putting in at your job, you can’t forget putting iPoll to work for you as well. Actually, when it comes to earning rewards, using your iPoll app to answer surveys is probably the easiest work you’ll ever do.


Visiting Santa

You better not cry, you better not pout... you know the drill. Image Source: Flickr user: Joel Kramer

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Written by Rick B.

December 8th, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Get Your Teen Smiling with These Holiday Gifts

You can track your child’s evolution by the photos taken with Santa. The first couple of years could be all about the tears and crying, especially if you have a baby who likes to squirm. Then when the kid gets older, you see a sense of reverence sets in. This is usually when they discover that Santa brings the toys. That reverence will last a few more years and then, poof! No more pictures with Santa. At that point, your kid has entered the teen years and you’ve got more to deal with than the annual Christmas photo! Thankfully, there is still a way to get your teen to smile on Christmas morning. Despite their efforts to be “cool,” they still like getting those presents. Luckily we have some gift ideas for the teens in your world:

Annual Santa Photo

This little guy is trying to decide if the man in the beard is friend or foe. Image Source: Flickr user U.S. Army

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Written by Rick B.

December 5th, 2014 at 12:04 pm