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Gift Giving Rewards

Time-Saving Cooking Tips Annual Edition Ornament High Quality Steam Station Gift Giving Website Home Entertainment Family-Friendly Digital Gifts Take Movies With You

The Ultimate Reward For The Gift Of Giving

(NAPSI)—It may be better to give than to receive, but now you can do both at once. Get rewarded for giving and shopping this holiday season by following these gift-giving rules of thumb and helpful tips:

Make a List and Check it Twice.

Decide on gifts for your friends and family (and set a budget for each item) before you go shopping. Once you've made your list, keep these suggestions in mind for smart shopping:

• Take advantage of holiday deals by using a credit card that rewards you with cash back or one that offers discounts for retailers where you'll be shopping. Now through Dec. 31, cardmembers who use their Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card on Amazon.com get 10 reward points for every dollar spent on all downloadable digital purchases like MP3s, movies and videos, eBooks, Audible.com audiobooks and video games.

• Redeem credit card reward points for popular holiday gifts. Every weekday through Nov. 25, Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire and Ink from Chase cardmembers can bid on hot items like PlayStation3, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Sony HDTV with points.

• If you're stumped, go with a gift card. Many credit card rewards programs will allow you to cash in your points for gift cards for popular retailers. Through Jan. 4, Chase Freedom cardmembers can redeem points through Ultimate Rewards to get 10 or 20 percent off select gift cards. Visit the Great Gift Card Sale here: www.ultimaterewards.com/great.

• Look for deals online and avoid the crowded shopping malls. According to Chase Paymentech's Cyber Holiday Pulse Index, online sales are up more than 25 percent compared to last year. Online shopping can often be more efficient, therefore saving you time, and you can more easily compare prices to get better deals on gifts.

• And don't forget business gifts-'tis the season to treat your employees and clients. If you've got more than a handful of business gifts, buying in bundle orders can often save you money.

Think Beyond the Material Things.

Gifts that include a unique experience can be even more memorable than a present that comes in a pretty box. Consider these options for unique holiday surprises:

• Tickets to the big game will delight any sports fan. Chase Ultimate Rewards members have exclusive access at home games for the New York Jets and New York Giants, including pregame field passes and private box tickets.

• Make the most of credit card perks that provide access to exclusive events. For example, Chase Sapphire offers a ski clinic with Olympic gold medalist Picabo Street, five-star hotel accommodations, culinary specials and other winter activities.

Learn More

For more information, a merchandise auction calendar and specifics on holiday deals, visit www.ultimaterewards.com/holiday.

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Time-saving Tips To Help You Enjoy The Holidays

(NAPSI)—As the holidays get closer, it can be easy to feel like there is too much to do and too little time. Fortunately, there is no need to panic.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to make the holidays simple and stress free, cutting down on chaos and making more time for what matters most: family and friends. Now is the best time to utilize your Amana brand appliances to make the mixing, cooking, prepping and baking easy. Here are some tips:

Start with smart planning. Two weeks before guests arrive, look over your recipes and write out your menu to make shopping quick, organized and easy. Stock up the week prior to the main event and store produce in your refrigerator crisper to keep it fresh.

Make as much as you can ahead of time. A week before the main event, take a closer look at the menu. What can you make ahead of time? Prep deli meats and cheeses and make what you can of your appetizers and even side dishes. Set them on a serving platter and store in the refrigerator. All you have to do is unwrap and serve when your guests arrive.

Make good use of your microwave. With your side dishes already prepped, pop them in the microwave so they're ready to serve in seconds. Reheat as needed during your dinner and—of course—use your microwave when feasting on leftovers.

Let the freezer be your friend. Whether you're hosting a big holiday dinner or bringing a dish to pass, if your schedule is hectic—fear not. Freeze cookies, dessert bars and breads. Thaw them out and you're good to go. Keep a few extra batches on hand in the freezer during the busy holiday season and never be left empty handed.

Clean as you go. Just like whistling, try cleaning up while you work. Keep dishes moving from the counter to the dishwasher so they're ready when you need them. It'll keep you from facing a mountain of cleanup at the end of the night.

With a head start on holiday planning, entertaining friends and family couldn't be any easier or more enjoyable. And that's really the whole point of the holidays.

For more useful tips, visit www.amana.com.

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Make Your Season Sparkle

(NAPSI)—A simple way to add seasonal magic and joy is to choose gifts that sparkle.

When making your gift list and checking it twice, consider all that glitters—whether it be ornaments, housewares or fashion jewelry.

Given the season, you may want to start with ornaments. For 20 years, Swarovski's Annual Edition Ornament has adorned Christmas trees and homes. This year's modern star design sparkles with exceptional brilliance.

The star-themed Pleasure necklace, made of clear crystals, sparkles just like shooting stars. The Pin-Up necklace is punctuated by gold and clear-colored spheres, bound together by black ribbon, while the Prime Time necklace and bracelet are Art Deco inspired.

In the Crystalline housewares collection, minicrystals lend shine to champagne flutes, wine glasses, vases, photo frames and candle holders.

This holiday collection can help make your season sparkle. These gifts are available at Swarovski boutiques, authorized retailers and at www.swarovski.com.

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Tips To Get More Out Of This Holiday

(NAPSI)—'Tis the season for family, friends and a whole lot of food. Preparing for holiday parties and family visits doesn't need to take up all your precious time; Below are five tips to help you make the most of your time this holiday season.

1. Hot idea. Instead of hiring a babysitter so you can battle the mall parking lot, spend time with your family and make holiday gifts together. The Rowenta Design Studio—www.designstudio.rowentausa.com—offers free online tutorials for stylish and unique DIY gifts such as a recycled T-shirt necklace, patchwork coasters or an iron-on applique pillow.

2. Wrap it up. Purchase large rolls of solid-color or striped wrapping paper, which can work for any holiday, birthdays or other occasions throughout the year. If you run out of paper, improvise with comics pages, maps or aluminum foil.

3. Sew smart. Everyone wants to look their best during the holidays, but with all the rushing around, fabric rips and snags are bound to happen. For last-minute sewing repairs, save time threading the needle by dipping the thread end in nail polish. It should dry in seconds and then you can quickly thread the needle.

4. Flat-out time-saver. Invest in a high-quality steam station to take care of your garments.

A steam station saves you time, money and effort. The water boils in the separate tank and flows to the iron through the steam hose. The constant flow of high-powered steam makes this the perfect household tool for big pressing jobs such as table and bed linens. With the ability for vertical steam, it can even be used for hanging garments such as drapes, so you save even more time by not having to take them down to have them pressed. It will also save you money over time on your dry-cleaning bills, given that you can achieve the same professional results at home with minimal effort.

Althea Harper, fashion designer and "Project Runway" finalist, prefers the unrivaled steam performance of a Rowenta Steam Station because it offers:

• An extra-large 33-ounce water tank for up to 90 minutes of continuous steaming—ideal for shorter batch ironing sessions;

• Three times more steam than a regular iron to instantly remove deep-set wrinkles and create sharp creases;

• A stainless steel soleplate for high-performance glide with high scratch resistance.

5. Make sending cards easy. Instead of signing, addressing, stamping and mailing all your holiday greetings, send friends and family e-cards. You can create your own, perhaps with your favorite photos, or select from a variety of predesigned options online.

For more time-saving tips and additional information about Rowenta irons, visit www.designstudio.rowentausa.com or call (800) ROWENTA.

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Website Makes It Easier To Give

(NAPSI)—In a time of great need, when 49.2 million Americans live in poverty, a group of friends has found an easy way to improve the simple act of giving.

After much thought and even more planning, they created YouGiveGoods.com—an innovative website that enhances giving by making it social, immediate, smart, environmentally friendly, dependable and easy.

Making Giving More Social

By applying technology people use every day (the Web and social media), the site has modernized charitable giving. Individuals, groups or organizations can start a drive in less than 15 minutes on the website. A drive can be started anywhere to help a food pantry, animal shelter, soup kitchen or homeless shelter located anyplace in the U.S.

Once a drive opens, "Drive Starters" use social media to ask others to visit their YouGiveGoods.com drive page and purchase goods from the site. Goods for purchase start at $5.

Simplifying Giving

By simplifying the process of giving (and receiving), the organization hopes that more people and organizations will be empowered to do more good during this giving season. The socially conscious organization was founded with the purpose of making it as simple as possible to start and promote drives that support charities and organizations that help those in need.

Since the site launched a few months ago, over 100 drives have been started all over the country.

The site is based in Morristown, N.J. and is owned and operated by a group of people who strongly believe in the importance of helping others in need. It was developed to allow people and organizations to send goods more efficiently and effectively to food pantries, animal shelters, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other organizations across the country.

For More Information

For more information, visit www.YouGiveGoods.com.

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Home Entertainment Choices Can Help Ease Holiday Season Budgets, Save Time And Reduce Stress

(NAPSI)—It's holiday season, and for many that can mean long lines, time crunches and short tempers.

Indeed, the National Retail Federation expects holiday retail sales for 2011 to increase 2.8 percent, to $465.6 billion. Additionally, nearly six in 10 holiday shoppers (59.9 percent) say they plan to take advantage of retailers' sales and discounts to make additional nongift purchases for themselves and their families during the holiday season.

But there's good news for time-strapped, budget-conscious consumers looking to treat themselves and their families to more relaxing activities and avoid the long holiday lines. It's home entertainment—particularly this season's movies. Movies bring families together and cable providers bring movies into homes, saving consumers valuable time and money.

Entertainment from Movies on Demand on cable delivers to digital cable subscribers the latest movies, often weeks before the DVD can be rented. With just a click of the remote and for only a few dollars, movie lovers can enjoy recent theatrical releases, as well as favorite flicks and seasonal classics—instantly.

No waiting in line at a vending machine, and every movie listed on the menu is always in stock. Current and future film releases are listed at www.rentmoviesondemand.com. Here are a few examples:

Ralph Fiennes wreaks havoc in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." Johnny Depp takes another swashbuckling journey in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." Those gleeful kids of the hit TV show "Glee" take center stage in "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie"; Jim Carrey delights in "Mr. Popper's Penguins"; "The Smurfs" fall into our world.

And this holiday season there's something for the grown-ups, too. Viola Davis risks everything when she speaks from the heart and tells it like it is in "The Help," along with Emmy Award winner Allison Janney. Then grab your "kitchen pass"port and head to Thailand for another bachelor party gone seriously wrong in "The Hangover, Part II."

With fun movies like these available in your own home, family holidays can be more relaxing; even last-minute shopping may seem easier.

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Tips On Family-Friendly Gifts

(NAPSI)—It may come as a surprise to some, but digital devices can be a handy way to bring your family together. Here's how:

A family that jams together…

Share your playlists with the family and let your kids be guest deejays with a customizable, multidevice music system that can easily be operated from an iPhone, iPad or Android device. The Sonos Wireless Hi-Fi Music System (PLAY:3 $299.99, PLAY:5 $399.99 at Target) is simple to install and a great speaker solution for digital households looking to be cord-free.

This year's hottest video games cater to multiplayer audiences. One of the top-selling games, "Just Dance 3" ($39.99 for Nintendo Wii or Xbox 360 Kinect), creates an instant dance party with 40 sound tracks and new party-ready multiplayer modes that can appeal to people of any age. Target even offers an exclusive version with additional tracks for more dancing fun.

A family that plays together…

The new version of "Call of Duty (Modern Warfare 3)" was released just in time for the holidays, complete with new modes and zones to attract the big kids to your game room. Your family can even reunite remotely with Xbox LIVE connectivity. Think about teaming up for a long-distance co-op match between home and the college dorm, or competing against other players with global leaderboards.

Xbox LIVE's streaming capabilities (for services including Netflix and Hulu) also ensure movie night can be all about the family. Make pizza or popcorn and get comfortable at home with your kids. Microsoft's Xbox 360 is a popular gift idea with unique, age-appropriate choices.

Another option for streaming entertainment is Sony Internet TV powered by Google TV ($799.99 at Target). It's the Internet, on your TV. If your digital lifestyle is all about convenience, this makes a marvelous gift. Instead of each person browsing alone on mobile devices, your family can share the latest YouTube sensations, games, music and more. Because it uses Sony hardware, you can be sure of an easy setup process.

A family that saves together…

Just because high-tech toys are on your family's wish lists, it doesn't mean you have to ignore your holiday gift budget. Trade-in programs are popping up in unexpected places, making it easy and cost effective to upgrade your gadgets and games for new ones. At Target, for example, there's a program that lets you trade in new or used iPods, iPads, mobile devices, video games, cameras, calculators, Blu-ray discs and more for a store gift card.

Bringing your family together through technology this holiday may help you please just about everyone. As you create your gift list, think about things the whole family can enjoy together.

For more holiday gift ideas, visit www.Target.com/Christmas.

 

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Take Your Movies With You

(NAPSI)—Whether you're braving the airport or packing the kids into the car, keeping yourself (and the entire family) occupied during flight delays and road trips can be the key to maintaining your holiday spirit.

While games like "Angry Birds" can improve a short wait, when you have a few hours to kill, a movie or TV show may be your best weapon against boredom. Fortunately, cloud storage technology means you can take your entire movie collection with you when you travel-without taking up space in your luggage.

What Is Cloud Storage?

While cloud storage sounds like it has something to do with weather fronts or storm systems, it actually refers to saving data to an off-site storage locker (the cloud) instead of your computer's hard drive. The Internet then provides the connection between you and what's in your personal locker.

One benefit of cloud storage is that you no longer have to worry about large files (such as movies) taking up space on your hard drive. Since you can access your personal locker from the Internet, you don't have to be tied to your home computer to retrieve your files. Also, if your hard drive crashes, everything in your locker is protected.

Movies To Go

Recently, a new cloud-streaming service called UltraViolet was introduced. Backed by leading technology companies and major Hollywood studios, it provides consumers with a digital locker to store copies of purchased films and TV shows. Buyers of an UltraViolet-enabled title can then access their online digital library from iPhones, iPads, smartphones, laptops and other mobile devices. The system lets you share your movie collection with other members on your account, even if you're in one place and they're elsewhere.

The quickest way to get started is to set up a free account through Flixster.com, the first service that lets you collect, manage and access UltraViolet Digital Copies, either on the Flixster website or through a free downloadable app. Then you simply follow the instructions to add your movies to your digital locker.

Current and upcoming UltraViolet-enabled titles include "Horrible Bosses," "Green Lantern," "Crazy Stupid Love," "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," "Shameless" (the TV series), "Final Destination 5," "The Smurfs," "Friends With Benefits," "Cowboys & Aliens," "The Hangover: Part II," "One Tree Hill: The Complete 8th Season," "Underworld Trilogy: The Essential Collection," "The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption," "Killer Elite" and "Honey 2."

The next time you plan to travel, store your home entertainment collection in the cloud where you can access it from anywhere-a gift that truly keeps on giving.

Learn More

For more information, go to www.UVVU.com and www.ultraviolet.flixster.com.

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