Holiday Crafts and Fun

Holiday House Fever? Cure It With A Home Spruce Up Exercise

Organized Christmas -

   October 26, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

This weekend's furniture ads are hard to avoid when you browse the Sunday paper--and they're symptoms of a serious holiday disorder: Holiday House Fever!

Look around the house. Does your temperature rise when you see stained carpets, smudged switch plates and faded window coverings? Gotcha!

With Christmas on the horizon, it's tempting to dive right in to a long list of home improvements. Stop! Wait! Biting off more than you can chew on the home front is a sure-fire recipe for holiday stress.    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown Day 6: Start A Christmas Card List!

Organized Christmas -

   October 26, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Will you send holiday greetings to friends and family this year?

Lovely as the tradition can be, it takes more time than you think to select, address and send holiday cards or Christmas letters--and a haphazard approach to season’s greetings is a recipe for Christmas-card chaos.

Remind yourself of last year. Was the job of writing and addressing holiday greetings meaningful--or manic?

Between procrastination and failure to plan, too many of us find ourselves scrawling signatures late into the night, in a frantic dash to beat the postman to the mailbox. Next day, our eyes blur as we sort the incoming mail: did we remember to send a card to Aunt Kaye?

Not this year! Take charge of sending holiday cards and letters with a Christmas card list. Properly pruned, it'll let you home in on holiday greetings without the chaos.    Read More >>

Simplify Season's Greetings: Using Computers To Send Christmas Cards

Organized Christmas -

   October 25, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

As an online old-timer, I can attest to this fact: few subjects stir as much controversy as computers and Christmas cards.

The questions come year after year. Should we use the computer to address the cards? Write a Christmas letter on inkjet letterhead?

What about pre-printed signatures? Is it okay to use e-mail to send holiday greetings?

What's the right-and-wrong of harnessing computer technology to make it easier to send Christmas cards and holiday letters?    Read More >>

Almond-Chocolate Toffee

Organized Christmas -

   October 25, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

My brother John's favorite holiday treat, this candy is easy to make, transports well--and has a buttery, crunchy taste that is "to die for".

To prepare this recipe for shipment, pour hot candy into a buttered disposable foil pan. Follow with chocolate chips as the recipe directs and smooth melted chips to form chocolate coating.

When cool, carefully fold down pan edges, then wrap in a zipper freezer storage bag. Wrap pan tightly without breaking to mail candy. Yum!

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Adult Journal in a Jar: Make-Ahead Gift to Print

Organized Christmas -

   October 24, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Looking for an easy make-ahead holiday gift? It's a journal in a jar!

Jumpstart journal writers with a quart-sized canning jar filled with folded strips of paper. Each one contains a single thought provoking journal prompt. Paired with a pretty blank book, a Journal Jar makes a great gift.

We've made it easy to craft your Journal Jar. Free printable journal prompts have colorful legends and graphics to make a pretty gift. Add a free printable gift tag for a professional touch.    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown Day 4: Connect With Holiday Values!

Organized Christmas -

   October 24, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

What do you really want for Christmas?

For most of us, our dreams center around family, faith and friends: a celebration of our deepest joys.

Yet too often, those dreams go by the wayside as the holidays take on a life of their own. What can cause this distortion of what we truly want?

The season brings many pressures to bear on our celebration. Holiday commercials raise their voice to an unavoidable shriek during this time of year. Lavish television programs showcase food and décor standards out of all reality. A trip to the mall can bring a quick end to a wish for a homemade holiday; all that glitz can be seductive!    Read More >>

Recycle Halloween Candy: Harvest S'Mores In A Jar!

Organized Christmas -

   October 23, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Making seasonal S'Mores In A Jar for any holiday is easy--if Peeps ® brand Marshmallow Candies are available for the celebration of your choice. Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Valentines Day are on the list, but so far, Thanksgiving Day is not.

Until JustBorn, manufacturer of Marshmallow Peeps, gets with the harvest holiday, we have a work-around for you!

Better yet, it's a frugal way to repurpose extra Jack O'Lantern Peeps left over from Halloween.

These Harvest S'Mores In A Jar are created using the back side of Halloween Pumpkin Peeps. Pointing the Jack O'Lantern faces to the inside of the jar creates a pretty harvest jar gift.

Better still, with Halloween Peeps on sale at clearance prices after October 31, it's a frugal and festive way to say "Happy Thanksgiving!"

To make it easy, our printable gift tag includes the S'mores in a Jar recipe.

   Read More >>

Christmas Countdown Day 3: Set Up a Holiday Calendar!

Organized Christmas -

   October 23, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

What's the number-one way to cut Christmas stress? Keep a careful eye on the calendar!

No doubt about it, December days can be busy. Keeping track of commitments, events and activities keeps the season real. If you know where the family must go, it's easier to get there--and to say "No!" to too many obligations.

Does a family calendar guide your holiday plans? It should ... if the goal is an organized Christmas!

To Do Today

Set up a family holiday calendar    Read More >>

Sand Art Brownies

Organized Christmas -

   October 22, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Looking for a classic "gift in a jar" for holiday gifts?

Sand Art Brownies are easy to make gift in a jar and oh, so pretty! Layered cocoa, brown sugar, chocolate chips and pecans make this Mason jar recipe extra-special.

Welcome a neighbor, thank a teacher or give a homemade Christmas gift with this layered cookie-in-a-jar recipe.

Our recipe includes free printable gift tags to make assembling your Sand Art Brownies a breeze!

Christmas Countdown Day 2: Make A Christmas Planner!

Organized Christmas -

   October 22, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Today in the Christmas Countdown, we introduce the tool of choice for organized holidays: a Christmas planner.

Whether you're new to the concept, or have been using one for years, your Christmas planner is about to become your new best friend in the days and weeks to come.

Your planner will be home to lists, notes, ideas, recipes, decor inspiration, receipts, menus, inventories and journal pages. It's your personal record of the planning, deciding and doing that goes into creating the Christmas of your dreams.    Read More >>

Get Organized: Create A Christmas Planning Center

Organized Christmas -

   October 21, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

When planning for the holiday season, why try to wing it, on the fly?

Making lists on the go often finds them scattered in your wake, never to be found again.

To stay centered as you plan the holidays and get into the seasonal swing in comfort, find a place in your home to create an activity center devoted to Christmas planning.

A dedicated spot to make gift lists lists and track menus keeps holiday planning on track.    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown Day 1: Get Organized!

Organized Christmas -

   October 21, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Are you ready to get organized for Christmas? Will it surprise you if I say, "Me, either!"?

Welcome to the Christmas Countdown! I'm Cynthia Ewer, author of this six-week Christmas organizing plan--and like most of us, I come careening in to Day 1 of the Countdown firmly in denial about the passage of time.

Today's reading assignment pretty much sums up how I'm feeling: it can't possibly be time to start preparing for the holidays!    Read More >>

Ready ... or Not?

Organized Christmas -

   October 21, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Are we ready to get organized for Christmas?

It's the traditional opening greeting of the Christmas Countdown. Problem is, each year when I ask the question, I have to remind myself to duck!

I've seen it happen year after year: we careen into the first day of the Countdown saying to ourselves, "It can't possibly be time to prepare for the holidays!"

For many of us, the coming of the holiday season brings a feeling of panic in its wake--and I am not one whit different.    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown: Get Organized Week

Organized Christmas -

   October 21, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Welcome to Get Organized Week!

The first week of the Countdown is a time for planning and calendars and lists, and for setting our values and our overall course. As we break down holiday preparations into small, simple steps, we'll sketch out the outline of the holiday season to come.

This week, we begin to build a Christmas planner to organize holiday chores, assess the state of the house, and prepare for Halloween festivities.

Ready? Let's get organized for a stress-free Christmas season!    Read More >>

House & Holidays Plan Week 8: Family Space Week

Organized Christmas -

   October 21, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Christmas is a time for family, so center the season around a clean and organized family space. This week in the House & Holidays Plan, we take aim on the family room, playroom or family area.

In holiday prep, the family room theme continues as we decorate for Halloween, review holiday movies and music, and craft a holiday housework plan.

Mailing deadline: mail overseas gifts this week!    Read More >>

2018 Christmas Countdown Calendar

Organized Christmas -

   October 20, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Ready to join the Christmas Countdown? Working together over six weeks from late October to early December, we'll prepare for the holiday season with daily messages, weekly assignments, encouragement and fun.

Your road map begins with the Countdown calendar. Setting out each week's focus, it'll keep you motivated and on track to an organized Christmas. Print yours today to be ready for Christmas:

Print A Christmas Countdown Planner

Organized Christmas -

   October 16, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Are you ready to get organized for Christmas with the Christmas Countdown?

The first step along the Countdown path is to designate a Christmas planner: a simple 3-ring notebook stocked with Christmas organizing forms, calendars and checklists.

During the first week of the Countdown, you'll print most of the Countdown planner forms, but many people prefer to get a head start. The links below will take you to all the Countdown checklists, inventories and forms.    Read More >>

Make a Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper for Halloween

Organized Christmas -

   October 16, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

It's ghoulish-good fun: a printable Halloween topper for Jiffy Pop® popcorn!

Add our free printable template to a package of Jiffy Pop® brand pop-in-pan popcorn for an inexpensive "popcorn topper" craft gift just right for the spooks and goblins on your gift list.

Paired with Witches Brew Halloween mix, it's perfect for Halloween BOO-ing, co-workers or classmate gifts.    Read More >>

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