Holiday Crafts and Fun

Christmas Countdown Day 21: Give ... to Make a Difference!

Organized Christmas -

   November 10, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Is your holiday giving only about "stuff"--or is it a reflection of your heart? To express your deepest holiday values, plan to make a gift of yourself this holiday season!

This week in the Christmas Countdown, we've focused on gifts and giving. 99% of the time, we've seen this effort in terms of "things." Stuff. Boxes and parcels and bags. Stocking stuffers. But have we considered making a true gift: a gift of ourselves?    Read More >>

Clutter-Free Gift Solution: Think Consumable!

Organized Christmas -

   November 9, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Gift-giving. Seldom do we engage in an activity that invokes so many conflicting values.

On the one hand, we hope our gift will entertain, educate, and amuse.

We dream of seeing our special gift proudly displayed in the home of the recipient.

We hunt and search and shop, trying to find just the right gift to stand for the relationship we're celebrating.

On the other hand, gift-buying brings us up against our limitations. While our emotions urge extravagance, our wallets counsel frugality.    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown Day 20: Status Check!

Organized Christmas -

   November 9, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Nearly half-way there: time to do a little status check on the progress of the Christmas Countdown.

I hope that most of us feel a bit more prepared, a bit better organized. We've met together for three weeks, and we've covered a lot of ground.

Still, it's natural to feel a bit of panic today. From here on out, time will fly with a vengeance. Rehearsals, parties, holiday activities will rain down upon us.

During the next three weeks, the Countdown slows the pace to match the season. Because we're doing more in other areas of our life, the Countdown will lighten the load.

Ahead lies Get Cooking Week, appropriately so as America begins to prepare for Thanksgiving Day. Beyond that, we'll Decorate, then prepare to Celebrate ... an organized Christmas.

Get ready to settle into a slower rhythm! Because ready or not, the holidays are nearly here. This year, though, we are riding relaxed and in control, prepared and ready for the best holiday season ever!    Read More >>

Magic Elf Tradition: Will Santa's Magic Elf Visit Your Home?

Organized Christmas -

   November 8, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

What would happen if one of Santa's elves came to your house to visit?

He'd arrive sometime before the holidays began. Sent by Santa to check on good little girls and boys, he'd roam the house at night, popping up in the most unlikely places come morning.

Sometimes, elf mischief would take place--and he'd be caught red-handed! Finally, on Christmas Eve, he'd report to Santa and hitch a ride back to the North Pole ... until next year.

If you can imagine it, you can do it: meet Santa's Magic Elf!    Read More >>

Blessings Mix Tutorial: Make Seasonal Gift Mix Treats

Organized Christmas -

   November 8, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Have you shared your blessings with a Blessings Mix?

Small bags of snack mix with a seasonal theme, each ingredient in Blessings Mix reminds us of our blessings.

Inexpensive and easy to make, holiday Blessings Mix gifts have graced dinner tables, classrooms and offices the world around.

Use them as table favors, workplace gifts or party treats at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or to celebrate American holidays such as Independence Day or Veterans Day--and bring home the values that underlie each occasion.    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown Day 19: Simplify Handmade Gifts!

Organized Christmas -

   November 8, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Ask any wife and mother what she needs most during the holiday season, and she'll tell you, "More time!"

Yet this same busy lady will fill her Christmas gift list with elaborate hand-crafted gifts, requiring substantial outlays of cash, time and skill.

Result? She careens into mid-December either (1) working nightly until 1 a.m. to finish the lot or (2) substituting last minute purchases for the unfinished gifts.

How to take charge of out-of-control crafting? Apply the Rule of Four!    Read More >>

Cutting Costs? Christmas Cheats For Frugal Gifts

Organized Christmas -

   November 7, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

If the local newscast (egged on by local retail merchants) tells me one more time exactly how many "shopping days" are left until Christmas, I'll scream! No matter what the count, there are never enough days to shop for/buy/craft/bake gifts for family and friends--and this year of all years, disposable income is in short supply.    Read More >>

Make a Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper for Thanksgiving

Organized Christmas -

   November 7, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Blessings are popping up all over for Thanksgiving? Celebrate them with this free printable Thanksgiving topper for Jiffy Pop® popcorn!

Add our free printable template to a package of Jiffy Pop® brand pop-in-pan popcorn for an easy "popcorn topper" craft gift.

Shared with family, friends or co-workers, it's an inexpensive way to share the blessings of the Thanksgiving season.

How To Make Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Toppers

Thanksgiving Jiffy Pop Popcorn Topper Template

Christmas Countdown Day 18: Set Up a Wrap and Mail Center!

Organized Christmas -

   November 7, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Wrapping holiday gifts can be one of the most-overlooked chores of the Christmas season. Too often, it takes "hind place" on the to-do list.

Then suddenly, it's Christmas Eve ... and there's a long evening ahead among the ribbons, gift tags and scissors. Assuming you can find them!

Not this year! To make it easier to wrap as we go, it's time to set up a wrap and mail center: a dedicated space to wrap gifts and prepare them for mailing.

With tools and supplies at hand, finding your "center" speeds the job--and keeps the joy!    Read More >>

Set Up a Wrap and Mail Center

Organized Christmas -

   November 6, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Wrapping gifts for the holidays? Repeat after me: "This year, I won't be wrapping gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve!"

If there's a single most-underestimated holiday chore, it's gift wrapping.

Supplies lie scattered throughout the house, while space and privacy are hard to come by.

Translation: late-night Christmas Eve wrapping sessions, grumbling your way through the job.    Read More >>

Turkey Poop: Silly Thanksgiving Gag Gift

Organized Christmas -

   November 6, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Looking for a silly treat for Thanksgiving? it's Turkey Poop!

Just right for a gag gift--or even Thanksgiving Day place cards--Turkey Poop is easy to make.

Place a handful of Milk Duds-brand candy, chocolate-covered raisins, or brown jelly beans in a small zipper food storage bag or seasonal cellophane gift bag.

Label with the Turkey Poop poem below or a free printable Turkey Poop gift tag or bag topper:    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown Day 17: Organize Online Shopping

Organized Christmas -

   November 6, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Ready to shop for Christmas gifts? Between mall madness, high gas prices and lack of time, it can be the holiday season's greatest source of stress.

There's got to be an easier way!

Organized gift shoppers know there's an alternative to crowded malls and long lines at the checkstand: shop online or from catalogs!

We'll make it easy with online/catalog shopping tips and a printable order tracker to organize purchases.

Will you do this year's Christmas shopping from your easy chair? It's time to begin shopping catalogs and the Internet!    Read More >>

You've Been Elf-ed! Start A Neighborhood Holiday Tradition

Organized Christmas -

   November 5, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Have you been Elf-ed? Join the fun with this Christmas version of the Halloween BOO game.

Sometimes called "You've Been Jingled", "You've Been Elf-ed!" is easy to play.

Sometime before Christmas, one neighbor starts the game, secretly leaving a basket of treats together with an Elf sign and Elf poem explaining how to play the game.

Ring the doorbell and run! It's the best part of You've Been Elf-ed!    Read More >>

Gifting Guidelines: The Unwritten Rules of Gift-Giving

Organized Christmas -

   November 5, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Christmas is coming! Do you understand the unwritten rules of gift-giving?

Each of us carries within ourselves a set of rules about gift-giving. Seldom acknowledged and rarely discussed, these rules determine what we give, how much we give, and to whom we give. Despite living only in our minds and expectations, the unwritten rules of gift-giving govern everything from the office Secret Santa exchange to the family's morning under the Christmas tree.    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown Day 16: Renegotiate Gift Exchanges!

Organized Christmas -

   November 5, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Time, finances, or changing family circumstances sometimes require adjustments to the holiday gift list. Will this be the year you renegotiate gift exchanges?

Where has your gift-giving overstepped the bounds? Has an exchange with a friend or neighbor grown too expensive and elaborate over the years?

Perhaps it's over-elaborate expectations for adult family gifts, or an outgrown exchange with old school friends. Office gifts and "Secret Santa" exchanges can mushroom into an onerous obligation after a few years.

Will you be the brave soul who calls a halt?    Read More >>

In Praise of Simple Gifts

Organized Christmas -

   November 4, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Gift. Say the word and many levels of meaning go through our minds! When preparing for the Christmas holidays, "gift" can be a loaded term, one that provokes equal parts of anxiety and joy.

In our consumer society, the idea of "gift" is no longer simple, no longer free. The forces of consumption have taken the pure and simple concept of "gift" and layered that concept with staggering traps.    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown: Gifts and Giving Week

Organized Christmas -

   November 4, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Welcome to Gifts and Giving Week! It's the time we focus on gift lists, gift buying and gift wrapping.

A recent poll at our site shows that gift-buying wins out as the "biggest holiday organization challenge". During Gifts and Giving Week, we'll give you the tools to get on top of the gift list. Hint: more lists!    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown Day 15: Gifts and Giving Week!

Organized Christmas -

   November 4, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

For many families, gift-giving is among the most stressful aspects of preparing for the holiday season. Wonderful as the tradition can be, it has another side: where the rubber of our budget meets the road of our expectations.

Anxieties abound! Will our gifts be enough? Will we send the right message? Can we afford them? Will we find the year's hot toy ... or should we even try to look for it?

There's another, brighter side to gift-giving. Reading assignments this week will help us draw closer to the true meaning of the holiday season. Today's essay, In Praise of Simple Gifts, is intended to get us off to a good start, reminding us that holiday gifts and holiday giving are only pale reflections of the true gift of the season.

Ready? It's time to take on the gift list and get ready for Christmas with Gifts and Giving Week!    Read More >>

House & Holidays Plan Week 11: Food Storage Week

Organized Christmas -

   November 4, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

American Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful for our bounty--and in most homes, that blessing is most clearly seen in the larder.

In our homes, refrigerator, freezer and pantry hold a wealth of foodstuffs--and with holidays ahead, these food storage areas will be called into front-row service.    Read More >>

Pages

Subscribe to Christmas Planner aggregator - Holiday Crafts and Fun