Archive for March, 2011

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What do you get a hardcore gamer for Christmas? There are the usual suspects such as the latest videogame, a new console, or a hardware upgrade if they happen to be a PC gamer. But in general, these are areas that most gamers will take care of on their own.

If you want to give them something that will truly put a smile on their face while enhancing their gaming experience, the answer might come in the form of a new wireless gaming headset. Some gamers aren’t always able to afford higher end headsets so you can be sure they will appreciate a chance to own one of the best. The Logitech G930 is sleek, comfortable to wear, loaded with functions – and the perfect choice for a PC gamer.

Gaming can be an expensive hobby but many gamers accept that fact and budget for some of the best peripherals around.  There was a time when a good gaming headset was considered a luxury, but with more games that require chat compatibility, these days it’s becoming more of a necessity. When the action turns fast and furious and a gamer needs to rely on their reflexes to simply stay alive, the Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 does the job to perfection.

It’s certainly not the least expensive in the line of Logitech products, but you get what you pay for in a solidly constructed headset that delivers in the key areas of sound and communication. At Christmas time it usually retails for just a touch under $150, although you might be able to find great online bargains if you look hard enough.

The user will enjoy the surround sound that this model offers and it will probably be the first thing that they notice. It has the ability to elevate even the most modern video games to another level as all the intricate details in a gaming environment are brought to life. Fans of first-person shooters can be assured no one will be able to sneak up on them again when they have the ability to hear footsteps and even enemies reloading their weapons. Lovers of online role-playing can really immerse themselves in their chosen fantasy environment as all the ambient sounds bring their virtual characters to life.

The G-key touch system allows the user to customize various features with side controls that are placed conveniently on the headset itself. With time, a user will be able to sync playing habits with the way they want to control and personalize sound which incorporates Dolby 7.1 technology.

This model is extremely comfortable to wear and the user can engage in long sessions without having to worry about fatigue. Unfortunately, the major downside of the Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 is its limited compatibility with computers – not consoles. So if you happen to be shopping for a console gamer then you will have to look elsewhere.  But again, for PC gamers this is the best gaming headset in this price range. You get good quality sound with this product, the ability to customize preferences, and solid chat capability to keep in touch with friends in any chosen gaming environment.

The 40 feet of wireless free range will let any gamer situate themselves wherever they like, and there are generally no problems with interference using the frequency that comes with the transmitter.  Any gamer is going to love receiving this as a gift during Christmas, just be warned that once they open up the present it’s likely that they’ll disappear into their room to try it out right away.

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A Karaoke Machine for Christmas

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Music and Christmas go hand in and there is a deep-rooted tradition of caroling that accompanies any holiday celebration. Unfortunately, in recent times there seems to be less singing among the family during Christmas, and the familiar site of carolers roaming the snow-covered streets seems to have fallen by the wayside. But there is no reason you can’t bring music and singing back into the Holiday routine, and thanks to new technology you can do it in an exciting way. You might not associate karaoke with Christmas yet, but it’s the perfect way to get the family together to enjoy some of the most popular songs of the season. New karaoke machines for sale can also make great gifts for children and adults alike.

When you buy a karaoke machine for sale you want to make sure that you are spending your money wisely.  There is a lot of competition for your entertainment dollar these days and people don’t have a lot of extra cash to spare, even when searching for the perfect gift.  A karaoke machine is considered a luxury item so you obviously don’t want to waste a lot of time, energy, or money on the wrong product.  The good news is once you find a suitable karaoke machine it will likely last you for several years, or whoever is lucky enough to receive it.  And during Christmas, there is nothing stopping anyone from setting up their new system right after opening their gift for an impromptu singing session. Here is a brief overlook on some of the best products that make great gifts.

Singing Machine SML-383 – this is one of the least expensive karaoke machines you will find on the market and it’s possible to bring one of these models home at around the $50.00 mark.  This is the best basic karaoke machine out there and a great place to start if you are a beginner.  There aren’t many frills as you can imagine from the price, but you get solid performance and decent sound.

Singing Machine STVG-535 – this karaoke machine is always popular around Christmas time and usually sells out if you don’t pick one up fast.  It has a good combination of neat features and an affordable price that makes it one of the most attractive options out there.  For well under $150 you get a machine that comes with great sound, two microphone jacks, and a video camera so that you can record your own performances.

Memorex MKS-SS1 SingStand – more karaoke machines these days come with a way to play MP3 songs or iPod compatibility.  This is one of the best models that has this feature and it will effectively allow you to expand your song library without having to buy any karaoke CDs at all.  This model has a different design from most standard machines and it comes in the form of a microphone complete with a stand where the main system is the base.

EnterTech ED-9000 Magic Sing – this is another model that does not follow the traditional box design.  It is basically a microphone that serves as the entire system so you don’t have to deal with a cumbersome machine.  The main feature of the “Magic Sing” line of karaoke products is you get thousands of songs that are pre-programmed into the system.  That basically means you get everything you need in one box and you can play around with this product for months without having to update your songs.  If you want to expand your collection then all you have to do is buy another song chip.  There is also an option to get this product in a package that comes with two microphones instead of one.

Singing Machine SML-390 – for the last of our karaoke machine suggestions we have decided to list a simple and fun product that the entire family can use.  This is an affordable machine that comes with basic functions like every other model on the list, and the added feature of disco lights.  The lightshow itself will make this a brilliant choice for kids, and you can bet they won’t be able to put it down until well after Christmas is over. They can also take it to their friend’s house for sleepovers or use it for entertaining during their next birthday party.

This information comes from our friends at the karaoke machine guide, and you can consult their website for more detailed reviews or buying options for a great new karaoke machine.

Understanding Christmas in Japan Traditions

Many Christmas in Japan traditions exist, and they are celebrated throughout much of that country. Here are a few examples of Japanese culture at work.

Christmas Greetings:

Christmas in Japan Traditions

photo by Danny Choo

Christmas Greetings are large aspects of the Japanese culture. Here are a few different forms of traditional Japanese Christmas greetings:

  • Merry Christmas:
    • A popular Christmas greeting, at least for those who celebrate Christmas in Japan, is “Meri Kurisumasu,” which means Merry Christmas. This is what they wish each other on Christmas Eve, which is when the people of Japan celebrate Christmas, instead of on December 25th.
  • Different Ways to say Happy New Year:
    • Of course, how we wish each other a happy new year around Christmas time also differs for the Japanese. There are a few different ways to wish someone a happy new year in Japan. You could say, “Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu,” or some other form of popular greeting.

Christmas Gifts

Christmas in Japan Traditions 2

photo by jewell willett

Another popular tradition among a variety of cultures is the giving of xmas gifts. Japan is no exception to this famous tradition either. Here is how they do things in Japan:

  • Receiving the Presents:
    • Christmas presents are not necessarily given by family members. In America, we believe in Santa Clause, who gives the children presents. In Japan, Santa is known as “Hotei-osho,” who is basically a Buddhist monk equal to Santa.
  • Presents for Loved Ones:
    • If a couple is together, the man typically buys the woman in his life something romantic like a teddy bear, flowers, a scarf, a ring, or other types of jewelry. Friends also exchange greeting cards during Christmas.

Christmas Cards

People do give each other Christmas cards in Japan, although these are mostly exchanged among friends. Typical Christmas card messages consist of things like Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and other elements of that nature. They are quite similar to American Christmas cards.

Christmas Symbols

Christmas in Japan Traditions 3

photo by durian

Perhaps the most important Christmas symbol is Hotei-Osho, the Japanese Equivalent of Santa Clause. However, there are a few other Christmas symbols that hold meaning to the Japanese people around Christmas time:

  • Artificial Christmas Trees:
    • For decoration, the Japanese also put an artificial Christmas tree in their home to add a festive element to the season.
  • Nativity:
    • For people who believe in Jesus, the Japanese do tell the story of the Nativity. This is widely recognized, at least by some people, just like in America.

Christmas in Japan traditions are an important part of the holiday season, and are very similar to the Christmas traditions celebrated in all parts of the world.

The History of Christmas Symbols

christmas symbol

photo by kristine imperio

Many holidays are filled with symbolism dating back hundreds of years, and the winter season filled with Christmas symbols is no exception.  From Easter to Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day to Halloween, the mere mention of these holidays brings all sorts of traditional symbols to mind.

Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells

photo by j.lee43

Many hundreds of years ago, bell ringing ceremonies were held to frighten away evil spirits that supposedly lurked during the fall and winter months.  As years passed and traditions and beliefs changed, bells were used in celebration as opposed to fear. The celebration of Christmas and the birth of Jesus were announced by the ringing of church bells.  Bells were also used by carollers as they roamed the streets sharing Christmas spirit and song.

Christmas Greetings

christmas greetings

photo by Anne With An “E”

We sometimes take things for granted and don’t question the origins of many of our traditions.  The majority of us have received a Christmas card at some point.  Millions of Christmas cards are sent out every year.  But where did it all start?  In 1843 a British aristocrat by the name of Sir Henry Cole hired an artist to paint the cover of a card to send to family, rather than sending a Christmas letter.  They didn’t become popular right away but by the 1900s, they were extremely popular.

Christmas Angels

christmas angel

photo by Chris Campbell

There are many references to Angels as they relate to Christmas.  The Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her that she would have a child who would be the saviour.  Angels are also said to have guided Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem.  Following the birth of Jesus an angel appeared to shepherds to announce the birth.  This angle become known as the Christmas Angel.

Christmas Reindeer

christmas reindeer

photo by feministjulie

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen and of course Rudolph – we’ve heard all the names, but why is that?  Be it based on Norse mythology, Scandinavian references to goats or the Yule buck, or if he had access to a poem by William Gilley, when Clement Moore wrote his story entitled:  “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, he helped establish reindeer as a cherished Christmas symbol.

There are many Christmas symbols that trigger wonderful memories, from Christmas trees and wreaths to turkey and Santa Claus.  It’s sometimes nice to take a minute to discover the origin of some of these symbols.  If you take the time to explore some of these, it will give new meaning to your Christmas celebrations.