Once again, it is that time of the year, when the feel of Christmas will soon fill the air just like the cold. You will decorate the house with lights and shop Merry Christmas stockings for your kids; and then finally the day will come with all the delicious dishes, unloading of Merry Christmas stockings and unwrapping of gifts.
Even though people around the world celebrate Christmas in different ways, there are some things which say ‘Christmas’ like nothing else. Here are five things that establish the true spirit of Christmas.
The shimmering white snow
What is Christmas without the snow? The first snowfall of the season makes you feel the onset of Christmas festivities for real. Christmas and snow are inseparable, and the sheer beauty of one complements the cheerfulness of the other only too well.
Christmas cookies and cakes
Christmas is incomplete without lots and lots of cakes and cookies to fill your tummy as well as hearts. Be it the delicious, syrupy plum cake of the traditional Dundee fruit cake, or the huge variety of cookies like chocolate chip, anise-almond, Italian walnut, peanut butter, gingerbread and so on you always have something or the other to please your sweet tooth.
Christmas tree decorations
A big part of the festival is to bring out the stars, balls, lights, and streamers and decorate the tree with your family and kids. Nothing beats the feeling of seeing your tree in its fully adorned form on the Christmas Eve, ready to take home for all the gifts tomorrow.
Santa Claus and Merry Christmas stockings
Coming down from the legend of a kind-hearted Bishop Saint Nicholas who loved kids and gave them gifts on Christmas, the tradition has been maintained to this day across the world.
Santa Claus comes sneaking in through the chimney, leaves the loveliest of gifts in your 24-inch Christmas stockings and goes to the next house ho-humming on his reindeer-pulled sled car a story that we all know since childhood and wanted to believe, even when we knew it was not true. It was a different feeling to hang the Christmas stockings the night before and go to sleep wondering what gifts we will get.
The choice varies, but watching a good Christmas movie with your family is a quintessential part of the Christmas holidays. The TV channels run Christmas Specials all day, or you can hire a DVD of the classics old and new like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ or ‘Elf.’
Without these, Christmas is just a winter holiday with lots of lights. Embrace the festivities in a classic way and don’t forget to send your best wishes!
4 Reasons Why School Closing Lists Are ReleasedRead More
Schools release closing lists to announce the days on which they will stay shut because of various reasons. These lists are also used to inform parents about any delay in school timings. Schools closing lists are usually released during bad weather conditions, national emergencies, and other situations where children would be in danger if they stepped out of their homes for school. Following are some of the reasons why schools announce closing lists. Please note that the reasons behind these closing lists vary from state to state because every state has different conditions for this.
Public holidays and celebrations
One of the most common reasons why schools release closing lists is to inform parents about the dates on which they will remain shut for state or national holidays such as Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc. Parents need to know some of these holidays in advance to plan their day and celebrations accordingly. All schools have to release an annual list where they mention all the dates on which the school will stay closed. These lists help parents avoid a lot of confusion. They are also helpful for planning vacations in advance.
Bad weather school closing lists
When a particular city or state is experiencing bad weather, the state officials declare precautionary holidays for school children. All schools have to strictly follow these announcements made by government officials to ensure that kids stay safe in situations such as floods, storms, hot weather, and other drastic weather conditions. At such times, schools release a closing list with the number of days off and other relevant instructions, if any. Local government bodies, newspapers, and news websites also publish school closing lists. Parents are supposed to look for the school’s name in these lists.
On rare occasions, school closing lists are announced such as in case of national emergencies like a terrorist attack, the spread of a contagious disease, and other serious reasons that call for the temporary closure of institutions like schools.
Again, this is a rare reason to release a school closing list. When teachers go on a strike in city, county or state, schools are forced to stay closed for a few days or until normalcy is restored. If it is a large scale strike, then the state education authorities create a school closing list and share it on relevant mediums so that parents and students are informed and updated about the situation.
Invest in these top retirement bond funds for a carefree retirementRead More
“Retirement is a time for personal growth, which becomes a path to a greater personal freedom.” Your retirement is often the perfect time to delve into your hobbies and passions that took a sideline since you were engrossed in ensuring that you and your family lead a comfortable life. You would be taking a great risk if you didn’t start planning for your retirement while you are still working, and this retirement planning involves investing in the right places which will yield desirable output at the right time. Simply relying on your Social Security would threaten your peace of mind, and you would be left high and dry in case of emergencies.
So, how does one lead an ideal retirement life? In addition to opting for retirement plans that your employer provides, such as 401(K) plans, it is imperative that you invest in the right, interest-yielding places. When you think interest, you think stocks. However, people harbor this misconception that stocks are foolproof, but the recent stock market crashes have proven that stocks can be perilous as well. In such cases, bonds are what seem like the ideal choice. There are a plethora of reasons why people opt to invest in bonds; bonds provide stability, pay interest regularly, are highly secure, and are a source of tax-free income.
Here are some of the top retirement bond funds you can consider investing in.
Fidelity ® Intermediate Bond Fund
Fidelity Investments offers one of the top retirement bond funds and requires a minimum investment of $2,500. It is the ideal bond fund for those who are looking for the long-term investments in the time of rising interest rates. As the federal reserve is known to hike the rates at least thrice a year, it can exert pressure on long-dated bonds, and make shorter and intermediate-term fare more appealing. One can say that Fidelity ® Intermediate Bond Fund would be a safer investment for you if you have risker funds in your portfolio as this bond fund would act as a core anchor.
Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 Fund
It is one of the top retirement bond investment funds as it requires only $1,000 as a minimum investment. Also, it is best-suited for those investors who have five to seven years to retirement as this fund expires in the year 2025. This retirement bond fund has the ability to withstand risks which arise from volatile stock and bond markets. This retirement bond fund invests in four of Vanguard’s index funds and holds approximately 65% of the assets in stocks and 35% in bonds. Also, this fund allocates 25.7% of its fixed income weight to the US bonds with 11% devoted to international debt.
Buffalo Discovery Fund
You are often advised against investing in companies that are still growing in a bid to steer clear off incurring any kind of losses. However, what most of us don’t realize that as long such a retirement bond is a moderate part of your portfolio, you won’t be coming in harm’s way. A growth fund from Buffalo Discovery Fund makes for a meaningful investment in small and mid-size operators. Moreover, your portfolio will be managed by efficient portfolio managers who engage in a disciplined approach to find opportunities that were overlooked, and unlike other retirement bond fund firms, with Buffalo Discovery Fund, it is not simply about tech and healthcare; they invest in other industries as well.
VanEck Vectors® High-Yield Municipal Index ETF
This is one of the top retirement bond funds, and it is a municipal bond. These function on the lines of the Treasurys as these are also in government debts but are issued by the state, countries, cities, and other municipalities. Investing in this retirement bond fund is quite sensible, even if these municipal bonds aren’t as secure as the Treasurys, they yield more than their other counterparts. Also, another sensible reason to invest in this retirement bond funds is that it offers more income than their headline yield indicates as they are exempted from federal taxes, and at times from the state and city taxes as well.
If you invest in the right retirement bond fund, which yields the required results, you can live securely in your twilight years.
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