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5 ways for children to celebrate National Grandparents Day

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Marian McQuade was an expert in grandparenting. A West Virginia mother of 15, she had 43 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

If McQuade’s name doesn’t ring a bill, her work no doubt will. She was the founder of National Grandparents Day, which President Jimmy Carter signed into law in 1978.

National Grandparents Day is held on the first Sunday after Labor Day (Sept. 13 in 2015; Sept. 11 in 2016; Sept. 10 in 2017). September was chosen to signify the autumn years of life, according to Legacy Project.

To help celebrate the holiday, the Royer’s Kids Club offers five activities that children can do for or with their grandparents:

Send flowers: OK, this is an obvious one, but our founder, Hannah “Mom” Royer, was a doting grandmother and much loved by her grandchildren, as was her husband, Lester.

Make a card: Draw a pretty picture and write a note to tell your grandparents how much they mean to you.

Interview them: Grandma and grandpa have seen and experienced a lot of things in their lives. This handy interview form can help get you started. Listen closely to their answers because you can learn a lot.

Trace your family tree: Here’s a family tree chart that will make it easy to identify the people in your family by generation.

Read a book together: The kids club is a big believer in the power of reading. Here’s a terrific reading list to get you started.

Of course, there is an endless list of things that grandchildren and grandparents can do together.

What are some of your favorites?

 

 

We’ve developed a new Christmas arrangement, and you can name it

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Santa needs a helper.

Royer’s has developed a new arrangement for the holiday season, but we need help naming it.

This is where you come in, by entering our name-the-Christmas-arrangement contest. A lucky winner will receive one of the arrangements that he or she has named.

The arrangement, in a red mason jar, will include red carnations, white alstroemeria, hypericum, tips of Douglas fir and white pine, pinecones, and shiny red stick-ins.

To enter the contest, visit royers.com/contest.

The deadline to enter is Aug. 15; limit one entry daily per email address.

We asked, and our communities delivered ‘Holiday Mail for Heroes’

Royer's Holiday Mail for Heroes
From left, Paul LeVan, Maureen LeVan and Elizabeth Lechner, American Red Cross volunteers; Robert Callender, regional service to the armed forces manager, Red Cross; Dena Eberhart, human resources manager, Royer’s Flowers.

Thanks to the generosity of our customers and community members, our stores collected thousands of cards and coloring pages between Nov. 17 and Dec. 5 to benefit the American Red Cross’ “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.

We delivered five bags filled with the donated cards and coloring pages to the Red Cross office in Harrisburg, for distribution at the Lebanon Veterans Administration Medical Center and other locations.

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Behind the scenes of our holiday visit to Fox 43

Barry Spengler, Royer’s vice president of operations, is a regular contributor to Fox 43 Morning News. For his final visit of 2014 to the station’s York studio, he brought with him poinsettias, a carnation snowman and other symbols of the holiday season.

You can view the entire segment by clicking here.

Meanwhile, here are some behind-the-scenes photos from before, during and after the appearance.

Santa has a new ride: our 1969 Ford Econoline van

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Sure, you picture him riding in a sleigh pulled by reindeer.

But Santa is spending part of this holiday season behind the wheel of our classic 1969 Ford Econoline delivery van.

The van is parked at our Columbia location, where store manager Patti Barclay decorated it for the yuletide. Just in case the headlights need an assist in the fog, there’s Rudolph’s very shiny nose as a backup.

 

There’s no cutting corners with these square holiday wreaths

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Teddy Roosevelt had his Square Deal. Huey Lewis said it was hip to be square.

We have the square holiday wreath, and it’s pretty hip.

Of course, you’ll still find more round wreaths, but we’re stocking a small number of square wreaths in each of our stores.

No matter the shape of your evergreen wreath, here’s a great tip for keeping them in great shape throughout the holiday season: hairspray. Click here for details.

 

Poinsettia primer: learning about and caring for the most popular holiday plant

Poinsettias

We typically think of the North Pole when it comes to Christmas, but the most popular holiday plant originates with our neighbor to the south.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico and were introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett, who was the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico.

In fact, Poinsett’s death in 1851 is commemorated every Dec. 12 as National Poinsettia Day.

Some other facts:

  • The colored parts of poinsettias aren’t flowers but bracts (leaves).
  • Poinsettias have been called the lobster flower and flame leaf flower.
  • Poinsettias are not poisonous, to humans or pets: An Ohio State study found that a 50-pound child who ate 500 bracts (leaves) might have a slight tummy ache.
  • Poinsettias are commercially grown in all 50 states. For instance, the 20,000 poinsettias that Royer’s receives each year are from Lancaster County.
  • Ninety percent of all poinsettias are exported from the United States.

Source: www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/poinsettia 

HOW TO CARE FOR POINSETTIAS:

  • Average room temperature is fine; they cannot tolerate cold.
  • Bright light is best, as they originate from the warm, bright southwest and Mexico. If given ample sunlight, they’ll last well into the new year.
  • Avoid keeping a plant too wet, they like moist but not wet. Frequency and amount of water will vary depending upon amount of sun, humidity in house and pot size.

Barry talks Thanksgiving flowers and Christmas wreaths with Fox 43 Morning News

Barry Spengler with Fox 43 Morning News' Amanda McCall.
Barry Spengler with Fox 43 Morning News’ Amanda McCall.

Before his latest appearance on Fox 43, Barry Spengler stopped at a drugstore for a bottle of hairspray.

It wasn’t an act of vanity. Rather, Barry brought it to the TV studio as a prop for his visit with Fox 43’s Amanda McCall.

She introduced Barry, Royer’s vice president of operations, by noting: “The food certainly is important, but don’t forget the Thanksgiving centerpiece.”

Barry brought two centerpieces, including a small one made in a wicker basket that looked like a turkey and a larger one to show how simple it is to convert from Thanksgiving to Christmas use.

If you’re visiting for Thanksgiving, Barry recommended loose flowers as a hostess gift.

“This always works,” he said. “It works like a champ.”

If you’re the recipient of loose flowers, Barry suggested creating a tape grid — essentially an X across the opening of your vase — to support the flowers.

As for the hairspray, it’s Barry’s not-so-secret tip for making Christmas wreaths last longer. It acts like glue to hold the wreath together and gives it a nice sheen.

“It will glue it together,” he said. “It will make (the wreath) last so much nicer. It won’t get that brown hue as fast. It will hold up so much nicer against the wind and the sun and all that.”

You can watch the full segment here:

You’re invited to our holiday open house, Nov. 29-30

There’s no need to stop at Black Friday. What are you doing the rest of the weekend?

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Join us for our annual holiday open house. All of our stores will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

We’ll be offering:

• 30 percent off Christmas silk arrangements
• Door prizes
• Free balloons for children both days
• Refreshments on Sunday

And through Dec. 5, all of our stores are collecting holiday cards and coloring pages for the American Red Cross’ “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program. For details, click here.

Of course, we’ll have lots of beautiful flowers, plants and giftware available, too, as we usher in the holiday season.

We hope to see you there.

Royer’s stores collecting ‘Holiday Mail for Heroes’ Nov. 17-Dec. 5

Holiday Mail for Heroes Recipients

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts and the American Red Cross are teaming up this year to deliver “Holiday Mail for Heroes.”

From Nov. 17 through Dec. 5, Royer’s stores will collect holiday cards and coloring pages that will be delivered to patients at the Lebanon VA Medical Center. Red Cross volunteers will organize the cards and tie them with ribbons for hand delivery to the veterans.

Cards may be dropped off during normal business hours.

The Red Cross, which created the national “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program, offers these guidelines for preparing cards:

• Include messages of support and thanks;
• Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member” as cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program;
• Don’t include letters or inserts such as photos;
• Don’t include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships;
• Sign your name to them;
• Refrain from choosing cards with glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.

Coloring pages are available at all Royer’s stores or can be downloaded here, courtesy of Coloring-Page.net: