Gifts That Celebrate the Moment, Look to the Future

<b>Gifts That Celebrate the Moment, Look to the Future</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Graduation is both a mark of accomplishment and the beginning of a transition — either from high school to college or from college to working life. Graduation gifts, then, should both commemorate the graduate’s success and look to the future.

PlaqueMaker Plus (Plaquemakerplus.com), a Web site that people can visit to design their own gifts and plaques, signs, trophies, badges and awards, offers the following graduation gift ideas:

* A post-graduation kit. For a high-school graduate, put together a gift basket of items appropriate for dorm life, such as a bathrobe, gift certificates for coffee or pizza, a laundry hamper and other necessary supplies. For a college graduate, purchase an item related to their new career. For example, an art major might appreciate a set of high-quality sketch books or drawing pencils, while a business major might appreciate a nice briefcase.

* Buy something for the graduate’s desk. A high-school graduate can use any desk supplies to study, while a college graduate can place items like paperweights on their office desk. An engraved pen holder will make a memorable addition to any desk. PlaqueMaker Plus makes it fast and easy for customers to custom engrave a name, date and personal message on a wooden pen holder that includes a pen set, clock and business card holder. PlaqueMaker Plus also makes custom desk plates.

* Commemorate the moment with a framed photograph. Each graduation only happens once, so frame a photograph from the occasion so the graduate can keep it as a memento. With PlaqueMaker Plus’ Clear Memories Line, you can engrave a personal message, such as a poem, and embed a photograph into heirloom-quality acrylic.

* Buy a book. Your graduate may want a break from studying, but the right book can provide a touching message that will stay with him or her. Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” is a popular choice for a reason. Other good books for graduates include books that will help them survive on their own, like “The Joy of Cooking,” or books that will help with job hunts, such as “What Color Is Your Parachute” by Richard Nelson Bolles.

Author Creates New Christmas Classic

<b>Author Creates New Christmas Classic</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – In 1985, Alastair Macdonald noticed that his children’s sense of the holiday spirit centered around Santa Claus and stockings, not the true story of Christmas. But when Macdonald went shopping for more spiritual bedtime reading, he was disappointed to see that holiday classics, like “The Night Before Christmas” and “Rudolph,” ignored the Christmas message.

Over the next 25 years, Macdonald would work to create a new children’s Christmas book, a classic with engaging wordplay akin to Dr. Seuss, but that communicated the true story of Christmas. “It was one of those ideas that refused to die,” said Macdonald. “I began writing the story one Christmas. Every year I would add to it, and at the end of each Christmas I would put the manuscript away.”

Macdonald’s enchanting book, entitled “First Christmas,” tells the story of Christmas through the eyes of an unexpected narrator -; Joseph’s loyal donkey, Zeke. Zeke faithfully recounts the events of the Christmas story in a playful, singsong voice that appeals to children without compromising the dignity and seriousness of the birth of Christ. The story provides a soothing balm for parents hoping to re-focus their children’s attention on the spiritual aspects of the holiday season.

“The fact is, writing ‘First Christmas’ has been blessed by so many moments of grace that I could fill volumes about them,” said Macdonald. “The experience has strengthened my belief in God and his quiet intervention in our world.”

Macdonald’s lovely, sumptuous book will prove an heirloom for many faithful families. The book is printed in five inks, including gold, and contains 21 illustrations by Egyptian artist Adel Nassief, a Coptic Christian who paints murals in Orthodox churches around the world. Nassief’s illustrations provide an old-world charm, helping remind children of a special moment in history.

For more information, visit www.FirstChristmas.net. The best place to purchase the book is at Amazon.com. It can also be found at Barnes and Noble book stores, www.welcomebooks.com or by calling 212-989-3200 -; ask for Eric or Wade.