Organized Christmas

Too Early to Think Christmas? Starting Now Makes Sense!

Ah, September! The month brings brisk mornings, fall colors, back-to-school ... and deck the halls?

In a word, yes. Summer's end is the perfect time to think ahead to the holiday season; start Christmas planning now, and you'll reap abundant benefits come December.

Here at Organized Christmas we hear a deafening chorus of objection: "But it's too early to think about Christmas! I can't get ready until I feel the holiday spirit!"

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House and Holidays Plan begins on Sunday!

Labor Day weekend ahead! School bells are ringing, football fills the airwaves and September looms. Will the holidays be far behind?

Sure, you're dreaming of the perfect Christmas--then you open your eyes to reality. Looking around the house, it's hard to imagine how to cut the clutter, manage fall cleaning and prepare for Christmas all at once.

How will you bring the current state of domestic chaos into holiday readiness: clean, organized, prepared?

It's time to kick off the House and Holidays Plan! Working together week by week, we'll deep-clean, declutter, and prepare for the holiday season in small, sustainable bites. This whole-house plan will leave us ready to celebrate Christmas in a clean and organized home.

Along the way, we'll create a personalized Christmas planner to simplify the holidays--and online HHP communities provide motivation, inspiration and fun.

The fun starts Sunday, August 30! Will you be ready?

House and Holidays Plan

Make-Ahead Holiday Gift: Melt-and-Pour Soap

You've seen them everywhere from crafts fairs to bath boutiques: pretty handmade gift soaps. Clear and colorful or rich with natural additives for beautiful skin, they're a welcome holiday gift.

Best of all, they're easy to make using melt-and-pour soap. Heated in the microwave, clear or opaque glycerin soap base is combined with colorants and fragrances, then poured into molds to harden. When cool, soaps pop right out of the molds, ready to use.

Follow the soap-making tips and soap starter projects linked below to help you master this squeaky-clean craft.

Back-to-School Craft: How to Make a French Memory Board

It's pretty place for photos, cards and mementos: a French memory board!

If you can sew a button and wield a stapler, you can make it.

Begin with a stretched artist's canvas, add batting, cover with cotton fabric, then criss-cross with ribbons.

Novelty buttons secure ribbons to the memo board's canvas and add a bright touch.

Light, pretty and oh, so easy!

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Santa Saves: Six Back-to-School Bargains for Holiday Giving

With summer winding down, school is on the way--and so are rock-bottom prices on back-to-school needs!

During late summer, office supply stores engage in penny price wars, while discount stores bring racks of school supplies front and center ... and cheap!

Back-to-school loss leaders--products sold below cost to attract sales--are hot and heavy in the supermarkets these days--and even the crafts stores offer a variety of binders, stickers and backpacks at sharply reduced prices.

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Beat the Heat: Make A Cool Tie!

Beat summer's heat with this sew-simple craft project: a cool tie!

This bright cotton neckerchief has a summer secret: a filling of water-absorbing polymer granules from the garden center.

Soaked in water, the cool tie's polymer granules absorb more than 200% their weight in water. Tied around the neck or worn as a headband, a cool tie provides all-day cool relief through evaporation.

A cool tie is simple to sew, requiring only a straight-stitch sewing machine. It makes a great gift for gardeners! Printable Cool Tie gift tags adds a splashy note to your hot-weather gift.

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Summer Craft Ideas For Gifts In A Jar

It's summer and canning jars, like fresh produce, are in season--but you can do a lot more with them than put up tomatoes for winter!

Savvy holiday planners know that gifts in a jar are easy, welcome and fun to make, so check out these summer-inspired gift-in-a-jar ideas from FreshPreserving.com.

You'll find a great round-up of gifts in a jar, mason jar recipes and crafts projects to celebrate summer holidays ... or for no reason at all. Check 'em out!

Summer Gifts in a Jar

Need more ideas? Visit our Gifts In A Jar page for recipes, inspiration and easy gifts:

Gifts In A Jar Index

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Cash In! Do-It-Now Ways To Save Money For Christmas

Think "Christmas" ... in July? Sure, if you want to make it an all-cash holiday!

Holiday spending can be hard on the pocketbook--and bought on credit, "Christmas Day" can stretch into the new year for weeks or months.

Ease the Christmas cash crunch with creative ways to save money for Christmas! Financial institutions offer dedicated Christmas clubs for the disciplined, but savvy holiday planners have found other ways to accumulate cash for holiday spending.

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Make A Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper for the Fourth of July

Looking for popping-good fun for America's birthday celebration? Make a Fourth of July Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper!

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

Share with family, friends or coworkers to bring a patriotic "pop" to Independence Day gatherings.

Patriotic Gift In A Jar: Red, White and Blue Brownies

Three cheers for the red, white and blue ... brownies in a jar!

Looking for a quick summer gift with a patriotic theme? Try this recipe for Red, White and Blue Brownies In A Jar.

An easy-to-make holiday or hostess gift from Ball's summer crafts ideas, you'll be the hit of the Labor Day celebration with this sweet treat:

Red, White and Blue Brownies In A Jar

(In .pdf format; you'll need Adobe Reader to view file)

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June Rudolph Club Meeting

Welcome to the Rudolph Club: your once-a-month meeting to simplify your holidays and get organized for Christmas!

At Organized Christmas, we know that the holiday season can be fast and furious. Solution? Take a day once each month throughout the year to plan and prepare for a more-organized holiday season.

On the 25th of each month, we'll bring simple assignments and easy tips to try now for a simpler, more joyous season.

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Patriotic Recipe: American Blessings Mix

It's a sure-fire hit for patriotic celebrations like Memorial Day or the 4th of July: American Blessings Mix.

This easy recipe creates a simple snack mix favor to remind us of our nation's blessings.

Bagged in favor-sized gift bags and decorated with a patriotic poem, American Blessings Mix brings a festive touch to July 4th celebrations.

Follow the recipe below, and get packaging and assembly how-tos with our Blessings Mix Tutorial.

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