All Year Round: a Calendar of Best Ideas for Celebrations

We have all been in the situation when it is a holiday season coming up but you have no ideas what you will be doing during this time and how you can celebrate it differently from all the previous years. If you are not planning to become broke while getting the most of these celebrations, you will it useful to implement our ideas on how to enjoy various festivities during the year including Halloween, Christmas season and Independence day. Check them below and enjoy your time on an unprecedented scale!

Top Ideas for the Halloween Party 

person wearing gray sock standing on stairs celebration ideas

Spooky times in town once again! On the night of the 31st , we assume that you have already researched all the best Halloween costume ideas for this year and have done your last-minute Halloween costumes shopping crawl in town. No? Or maybe you have decided on your favourite pumpkin carving ideas and you have purchased stocks of pumpkins! And what about Halloween party games that will make your celebration even more memorable? Just imagine: it is dark, you are surrounded by your friends dressed as nuns, catwomen, super Marios and you are focused on playing an interesting game together! Sounds like fun?  Check below our Halloween ideas 2019 that we have prepared specifically for you.

1. Old Costume Relay Race

toddler wearing snow white costume idea on Halloween

One of the good old dressing games has never killed anyone! The idea is to put on DIY Halloween costumes and undress afterwards as quickly as possible, disregarding where the clothes end up eventually on your body. To make it even more fun, you can split your guests into two teams. You prepare 10 clothing items for each team, pile them on the floor at the opposite ends of the room and with the command “go” the first player of each team has to sprint to the pile of clothes and put them on top of their own clothes. The winning team will have its last player coming first to the starting point!

2. How Many Halloween Candies Guessing Game

This is one of the best ideas on how to break the ice at a big Halloween party of yours if your guests do know each other very well. You need to prepare a jar of candies of various sizes ahead of the celebration. Then you should ask your guests about their best guess on the number of candies you have put in. The winner is the one with the closest guess! 

3. Halloween Jinx

Every child used to play this game and it can be a very popular Halloween entertainment as well. The main goal of the game is to avoid saying certain phrases or words. At the arrival, you can hand in your guests with the same cards that have certain “forbidden” words written there. As an example, it can be something like “Halloween”, “night”, “October”, “costume” etc. As guests start to socialize, and someone says one of the words on the card’s list  – the card will be taken away and they are out of the game. The winners are the people who have their card with them at the end of the party!

4. Halloween Word Scramble

This game is for some of your guests who are not afraid of academic challenges! They have to come up with new words from the Halloween mishmash you have written for them on the cards. It is great for warming up when the alcohol is over!

5. Halloween Movie Trivia

You cannot imagine a Halloween party without a movie guessing game! You can look up some ideas for your Trivia questions here and get ready to test your guests on their Halloween horror movies knowledge.

6. Famous Halloween Horror Movie Quotes

You can also check how well your guests can guess the Halloween movies by the famous phrases of the main characters. You can prepare cards with quotes from such horror classics as Scaremonger (1996), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Dracula (1958) and let people guess!

7. Halloween Battle of the Balloons

A very energetic start to your Halloween party that will get your guests going! It is a team game when the opponents are trying to pop the balloon attached to their opponent’s ankle with their feet. No hands are allowed! The winner is the team whose last member has its balloon popped.  

8. Halloween Mystery Box Game

You can get your guests involved in a box game as well! The players should pick up items “resembling eyeballs and bones” in the dark boxes and guess what these things can be in real life. 

9. Halloween Memory Cards

Why not dedicate a bit of your Halloween party to practising some memory concentration techniques? Here you can create your own Halloween cards. You should print 6 or 12 unique cards in 2 copies, then lay them all on the table and try to match the pairs. The winner is the player with the biggest number of pairs and definitely with the best memory!

10.  Pumpkin Penny Pitch

Halloween celebration ideas with hat

With this game, you can split your guests into teams and let them try to pitch a penny into carved pumpkins. The winning team will have the highest amount of coins pitched into their pumpkin!

11.  Halloween Film Festival

If your party guests are likely to have creative inspiration, then this game is for them! Create teams of 3-4 people minimum and challenge them to film a 5 min story for your Halloween Festival. Print a list of classic horror movies and give them out to people. Ask them to avoid placing a title of the short movie to let other participants guess! And once every team uploads their story on a YouTube channel – you can start your Halloween Film Festival!

12.   Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Some adventure ideas for your Halloween party guests: prepare a list of Halloween inspired items that the guests have to find outdoors or indoors. Place some pumpkins, brooms, balloons etc in your house, in the garden or even in the park and let your guests discover them.  

13.    Killer Instinct Game

The game to stir up the nerves of your Halloween Party guests! Turn off the lights in your house and ask the guests to hide. Dress up into a scary costume and scare the hiders with a flashlight in the dark as well as with your costume!

14.  Have you Learned Something from Horror Movies?

You can challenge your guests to develop a horror scenario from a typical story plot. You can find some ideas for the questions that will start your guests thinking here. And let them get scared together!

15. Prop Builders

Another way to get creative at a Halloween party is to reconstruct a scene from a classic horror movie. Split the guests into teams, prepare the piles of the same materials and let them get creative. The winner is the one who creates the scariest scene of course!

Now that we have talked about the activities for your Halloween party this time of the year, let’s get down to some other important elements that will add to your celebrations! We should not forget the most important reason why we celebrate Halloween with our friends – to have fun! And if you want to throw an unforgettable Halloween-themed campus party, you need to think of the following:

decor ideas on Halloween

1. Costumes

Of course, the dress-up part of this holiday always steals all the spotlight – Halloween outfits are a must! In order not to rush to Walmart and grab the last pathetic cat ears two hours before the party, think about your costume a couple of weeks before the actual date. You might want to do an easy Halloween costume as a group of friends or even set a theme for the whole party, like Walking Dead characters or Pokémon. 

2. Decorations

It’s always cheaper to make the decorations yourself, be it a spider web or a spooky tombstone. However, you can hit the thrift stores and find inexpensive Halloween items, creepy old toys and clothes that may serve as an inspiration for your costume. 

3. Food

Almost everyone knows the cookies in the shape of severed fingers, but you can also try making cupcakes with frosting that looks like brains, blood-red vampire punch, and pumpkin cheese balls.

4. Setting the mood

If you have a TV, put a recognizable movie on the background to get the Halloween vibes going. You may choose from a wide variety of horror films and classics like Hocus Pocus or Nightmare before Christmas. Make sure the sound is set to the minimum and does not interfere with the music. 

Last and not least on Halloween time of the year: Here at BooksRun, we like to organise Halloween surprises for you – check our website for Halloween coupon codes and get some extra cash! Let’s get the Halloween party started! Happy Halloween, our dear readers and followers!

10 Most Unusual Traditions for St Valentine’s Day 

with love neon light signage idea on Valentines Day

Now it is time to check our ideas for another world-renowned celebration! In mid-February, on the 14th it is the time to celebrate the most romantic and sweet tradition of the year – St Valentine’s Day! Do you remember the origin and history of St Valentine’s day? Who is this mysterious saint and where do the traditions of sharing love come from? There are at least three martyrs named Valentine (or Valentinus) recognised by the Catholic church. One legend suggests that Valentine was a Roman priest in the third century in Rome who despite Emperor Claudius’ ban to perform marriages for young people (because single men made better soldiers) continued to unite loving hearts. When the priest’s actions were discovered, he was ordered by the emperor to be put to death. Another legend links the origin of St Valentine’s day with the escape of Christians from harsh Roman prisons. One such imprisoned man Valentine fell in love with his jailor’s daughter and before his death wrote a letter to her which he signed with an expression “From your Valentine”, which we still use today. These sad and beautiful Valentine legends emphasized the romantic appeal of his figure and made him one of the most important and popular saints in England and France by the Middle Ages. That is why we celebrate St Valentine’s day even today!

So when you are getting ready for lots of Valentine’s day flowers, chocolates and sweets, as well as romantic dining and travelling, here at BooksRun we decided to write about unusual festivities all over the world that are associated with this happy day. It can add to your inspiration to prepare something wonderful for your other half this year – maybe you can write anonymous poetry like they do in Denmark? Don’t forget, love is all that matters and there are numerous ways you can show it! We hope our selection of traditions will help you with romantic St Valentine’s ideas this year!

Ghana

This country is one of the largest cocoa bean producers in the world so it is no wonder that chocolate presents are a particularly well-celebrated tradition over there! Every St Valentine’s Day this nation prepares tailor-made hampers and boxes full of handmade chocolates for their loved ones. This tradition has become so popular so that the National Government even decided to give the title National Chocolate Day to the date of the 14th of February to encourage people to eat even more chocolate! Therefore, if your better half is a chocoholic, you should get inspiration from these Ghanaian chocolate traditions and order some handmade chocolate! Lots of happiness is promised!

Japan

Probably, you did not expect it but in Japan, it is the girls who chase the guys! So on the 14th of February, Japanese wives and girlfriends prepare chocolate-infused gifts for their men hoping that they will return the gesture the following month. The national chocolate retail industry is particularly well-prepared for this day with various unique chocolate creations since half of all the chocolate sold in Japan falls on the period near to St. Valentine’s Day! 

Denmark and Norway

In these Nordic countries, there is a very romantic and unusual St Valentine’s tradition:  a man sends his loved one anonymous Valentine’s poem or card, signed with only the number of dots that represent the letters of his name. If the girl can guess the suitor, she will get a Chocolate Easter egg as a gift! How wonderful, isn’t it? If she is unable to come up with the name of her admirer, she will have to buy the egg herself which will serve as some kind of an apology!

Wales

In Wales, there is a national Welsh patron saint of lovers who is called Saint Dwynwen! So that is why St Valentine’s Day is rather unusual over there: it is more St Dwynwen’s Day this time! As a celebration, loved-up individuals exchange wooden carved spoons on this day. Usually, they give out such spoons in January to avoid the rush associated with 14th of February. This tradition has grown dramatically in recent years and now such wooden spoons symbolizing affection and love, have become popular wedding, birthday and anniversary present in the country. So what about gifting a Welsh carved wooden spoon to your other half?

South Korea

If you feel over the moon and look for some romantic day ideas, you can take inspiration from South Korea where they have a tradition to celebrate the 14th day of each and every month. Traditional expressions of love include roses, wine, hugs and kissing. When the main day of the 14th of February arrives, it is time for chocolates, fluffy toys, flowers and other Valentine’s gifts that replace gestures in abundance.

Philippines

In this country, St Valentine’s day means nothing more than perfect time to get married! This universal day of love is strongly associated with mass wedding ceremonies that take place everywhere from shopping centres to local parks. These celebrations tend to attract people who have been married for a long time but who would like to renew their vows once again. The government can even sponsor some of these loved-up events in the name of “public service”. So if you are keen on putting a ring on your girlfriend’s finger and taking part in a mass wedding, do not hesitate and book your tickets to this wonderful country immediately!

Czech Republic

If you happen to be in this European country on the 14th of February, do not get surprised about large numbers of people kissing beneath cherry blossom trees! It is a massive tradition over there which is believed to bring couples good luck for the year ahead!  Why not try this with your better half if you are on a romantic vacation in Prague?

England

Girl with boy celebrate Valentines Day

In the UK the tradition associated with St. Valentine’s Day actually goes back several centuries ago when women in England would place bay leaves in every corner of their pillow. This was supposed to help them see their future husband as they slept through the night. This beautiful tradition has become less popular now, but who knows, it might be worth a try?

South Africa

In South Africa, there is a very unusual and interesting tradition associated with St Valentine’s day and it is called Lupercalia. On this day people do not send out cards with hearts but rather pin on the sleeves of their shirts the names of those they fancy so that it is visible to everyone! This is said to attract interest and may lead to a date and even marriage if an individual is lucky! 

Finland

In Finland St Valentine’s Day is more of the tradition of celebrating friendship when best friends exchange presents and cards. It is a wonderful way for Finns to show how much their dearest people mean to them. You can consider doing the same thing with your friends as well! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Best Ideas for Winter Break 

Now it is the time to speak about the most awaited time of the year by every family out there – Christmas! We would like to spice up traditional Christmas time spending habits! The winter break is that time of the year when you can relax and do absolutely nothing. However, nothing is not the only thing you can do during the Christmas holiday season, and some activities can be both useful and entertaining! Let’s look at some ideas for your free time this winter so that you can enter the New Year full of new energy and ready for a new career and academic achievements! Here is our BooksRun’s list of ideas around and about Christmas:

1. Read a book. You may not have enough time for reading books for pleasure during the semester, but now you’ve got a chance to remember that books can also be not just about calculus.

2. Try a new hobby. Get out of your comfort zone and finally do what you’ve been dreaming about for a long time: sign up for a gym membership or attend painting classes.

3. Spend time with your family. Going back home and hanging out with your old friends is no doubt amazing, but don’t also forget about your parents who don’t get to see you too often.

4. Get rid of your unwanted clothes. It can be extremely hard to part with your favourite old t-shirt that has more holes than fabric in it – it brings back so many good memories. But you would feel better and more free without all this junk on the shelves.

5. Search for volunteer opportunities. This might turn out to be a really good experience and a chance to give back.

6. Travel. Even a short road trip may be a fun adventure, especially if you take a bunch of friends with you.

7. Sell your textbooks. If you don’t need some of your used college textbooks anymore, you can sell them on BooksRun. At BooksRun we do Special Christmas coupon codes  – check our Website for more information! Don’t miss the chance to earn extra cash – especially on busy Christmas presents-buying times!

8. Improve your CV. While you might want to concentrate on catching up with sleep and your friends during this winter break, we advise you to dedicate some time to revamping your CV and adding those extra experiences and courses you did over the first semester! This will make you stand out among the crowd of other applicants and help find better jobs once Christmas is over!

9. Get a New Christmas Sweater. You should consider investing in a new sweater with those lovely reindeers, Christmas trees and snowflakes! It looks cool and it will make you the King or Queen of any winter celebration you might wish to come over too!

10. Do Some Exercise. You should never forget about your health and well-being. That is why hitting the gym around Christmas time, doing some swimming sessions or jogging with your dog will help you to relieve stress, get new energy as well as keep fit! It is the best thing you can do before the start of the New 2019 Year!

11. Learn to make Mulled Wine. A little party never killed anyone, in particular, a party with your closest friends while sipping mulled wine – what can be even better? As a symbol of German Christmas markets (Christkindlmärkt), mulled wine with its spicy aroma will make your holiday time unforgettable! And do you remember that “Unforgettable” song by Nat King Cole? We suggest you the best recipe for your mulled wine party below (and don’t forget the fireplace!):

  • 2 medium lemons
  • 2 medium oranges
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups of water
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 2 (750-millilitre) bottles dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 cup of brandy

Steps:

  1. So you peel the zest from lemons and oranges in strips avoiding the white pith. Then you squeeze lemons and oranges for juice and add it to the saucepan. You put your peeled zest to the pan as well.
  2. Place cloves and cardamom into a piece of cheesecloth and tie it with butcher’s twine. You add it to the saucepan as well.
  3. Add sugar, water, cinnamon sticks and heat the pan. Once you brought the ingredients to simmer, stir it thoroughly and reduce the heat to cook it for about 20 minutes more. The mixture should reduce by 1/3.
  4. Add the red wine and brandy, stir well to combine the ingredients and bring them to simmer without boiling. Remove the spice bundle and the mulled wine is ready for serving.

12. Prepare Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow.  Have you seen those atmospheric pictures on Pinterest with festive mugs full of hot chocolate and decorated with marshmallows and caramel? Well, nothing prevents you from doing this yourself, adding extra layers of chocolate on top of it! It is super-easy, lots of fun and tastes amazingly well!

13. Check Next Semester’s Classes. It can be a good idea to check the timetable for the second semester and familiarise yourself with the new modules you will find yourself doing in a couple of weeks’ time! You can think of deciding on which subjects you should prioritize more due to your future career aspirations and personal interests and which subjects you can study at the last minute! This will save you time for any extracurricular activities and should relieve stress in the long run as well.

14. Look for Scholarships. If you are deciding on your graduate school, you can use this time to research any scholarships and grants at the universities that interest you. In such a way you will make sure you can follow your dream at an affordable cost! You can start with university websites, charity foundations that specialize in academic endowments as well as government programs for student exchange programs. You might find a free graduate program in Europe next year and do some travelling at the same time!

15. Write a List of Next Year Goals. Here at Booksrun we always write New Year Resolutions and you can do it as well! It should help you understand better where you should apply your efforts and where you would like to find yourself next year. Maybe you want to earn more money? Maybe you want to lose weight or start eating healthier? Maybe you want to dedicate more time to your family and friends? Write it down and start thinking about the steps to achieving these goals!

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving on Campus?

person slicing pie beside bread

Speaking about Christmas we always mean celebrations amidst your family members as well as close relatives and friends. Going home for Christmas holidays might be just what college students need in order to relax before the tests: a lot of real food, meeting your old friends and family, clean laundry, even showering without flip-flops (which is a luxury for dorm dwellers). However, not everyone can afford such a trip, and BooksRun has come up with a few options that can help you make your Thanksgiving more enjoyable!

  • Get invited to a local friend’s house

If you have friends native to your college town or living nearby, chances are that they wouldn’t mind having you with them on their feast. In such a case, you can bring something with you to contribute to the dinner. 

  • Join other people
wine on thanksgiving day ideas

You’re most likely not the only one who stays at the campus for Thanksgiving. Find some friends (or even make new acquaintances) and plan the dinner. A potluck would be the best way to serve food—just make sure that everyone brings something different, otherwise, you would end up with a ton of cranberry sauce.

  • Campus dinner

Some colleges throw Thanksgiving dinners for their staff, international students, and for everyone who stays in the dorms for the holiday season. Sometimes students even prefer staying at the campus and participate in a bunch of other community activities instead of going home.

Here at BooksRun we like to offer our followers and users Thanksgiving presents as well – you know that, don’t you?  Check our website for Thanksgiving coupon codes on your buyback orders and earn some spare money!

Best Shopping Tips for Black Friday!

mall ideas

Once Thanksgiving is over, you know what is coming next – it is Black Friday! And you already know what you should be doing – shopping and more shopping! The best idea on such a day is to find excellent deals and nice bargains on stuff that you have been dreaming of to purchase for a long time but could not afford because of biting prices. Before doing this, let’s remember where Black Friday traditions come from.

Black Friday history is more linked to the financial crisis rather than to shopping activities – in particular, the crash of the US gold market in 1869. At that time almost everyone from Wall Street to farmers ended up bankrupt after two ruthless Wall Street financiers bought almost all available national gold with the intention to drive the prices sky-high and send the stock market into free-fall! The origin of the term Black Friday refers to the post-Thanksgiving tradition for retailers to discount their merchandise. After an entire year of operating “in the red” (which simply means at a loss), stores would earn a profit on this day and would go “into the black” because shoppers would spend a lot of money on cheaper products.

Sale signage

So you are ready to hit the megastores and boutiques to get the stuff you have been looking at all year round? To get the most out of Black Friday tradition, Tom the Bookworm has prepared a bunch of useful tips! Let’s hit the big time together with some tricks of ours:

  • Stay in tune with e-commerce

There is no secret that recently online shopping has already gained love and respect from the majority of the population due to its convenience, fast shipping, and pretty nice return policy. No doubt that such a service has made our lives easier. So, Black Friday is not an exception: instead of lining up for years for the item of your choice on such a day, you may just search for the requested stuff online or even reserve it for yourself in advance to purchase on Black Friday with the same discount. Luckily, there is an abundance of offers from our respected sellers that also have their online stores doing business online with whom you can even win more bonuses.

  • Shop with gift cards

Nowadays practically all stores can provide their valued customers with gift cards that can be available all the time. Hundreds of retailers present their discounted gift cards on different online sources (for example Raise.com or Groupon.com) buying which you can even accumulate more bonuses for getting the best discount for your desired thing.

  • Try to compare prices beforehand

Be indeed careful with Black Friday discounts offered since not all extremely good bargains seem to be so attracting when analyzing the market beforehand. Some discounts on the wishing-list products could be even lower if to compare prices mentioned on earlier days, for example on Wednesday or Thursday. For that reason, do not be lazy and analyze the market for perfect deals on goods wanted beforehand.

assorted-color clothes lot
  • Stick to your budget strictly

Black Friday always has a real incentive to compromise us to purchase more and more with those brightly-coloured billboards, ads, leaflets, and brochures so that you will even not notice how the budget in your pocket will become thinner and thinner and cash will disappear at last. Thus, make efforts to create the list of needed products and attempt to pay attention to the discounts offered only on them.

  • Early Bird and Night Owl Specials

Some special offers can be guaranteed at a specific time in some stores for example only at early (from 4 to 7 am) or at late hours (from 12 to 3 pm). Such an option does not appear the most tempting at a glance, nonetheless, it may allow you to beat the crowd while cashing in and be the first one to catch your luck.

  • Find the best deals with our BooksRun venue

Do not forget that our BooksRun venue does not fall behind the schedule and would like to offer our customers the best prices for your buyback as well as for purchase and rental orders. Check our website for buyback orders that will make your merchandising even happier and more beneficial with us. Make sure you check the expiration date of our promo codes and, hurry up with perfect bargains! 

Please, enjoy your time and happy Thanksgiving holidays from Tom the Bookworm and his BooksRun Team!

4 Inexpensive Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July

photography of sparkler

And what about some interesting ideas on how to spend the Independence Day? Do you celebrate this day? Do you remember the 4th of July history – how it all started? It all goes back to the Revolutionary war and events that followed it: more and more colonists expressed their favour of American Independence which subsequently led to the adoption on the 4th of July of the Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson. 

The Fourth of July is a great occasion to spend some worthy time with friends and family members. All the preparations and holiday expenditures for this day may result in quite heavy expenses. To help you save your money and still enjoy the Fourth of July celebrations, there is plenty of tips on how to stay in a festive spirit and not get broke. Check our ideas below:

1) Fireworks

fireworks ideas

It’s not necessary to buy fireworks yourself (as everyone around seems to be doing it as well), but you can spend around ten dollars on a set or simply get some sparklers to avoid danger coming from using fireworks. Another option is to watch big community displays happening somewhere nearby—that will definitely look more spectacular than anything your neighbours can pull off.

2) BBQ party or a picnic

Hosting or attending barbeque cookout is the most popular and traditional activity on the Fourth of July. The costs of such a party have decreased compared to the last year, so organizing it might be very entertaining. Nevertheless, it can still be costly, so another option is to turn the party into a potluck where everyone brings something of their own. You can also enjoy a simple picnic in the fresh air and watch firework displays at the same time.

3) Decorations

Most likely, you won’t be using the decorations for the second time and they will be thrown away after the party, so it makes sense not to spend too much on them. You can check out the dollar stores where the decorations are usually extremely cheap, or even make some yourself. There is also a great opportunity to buy them for the next year right after the holidays when they will be on discount. 

4) Colourful food

cupcakes near cake ideas

It’s easy to get some treats like red, white and blue ice cream, and their colour palette would be right to the point of the holiday. Also, you can make a thematic cake with a patriotic-looking frosting like small stars and stripes out of sprinkles.

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