Cut the Crazy: Choose a Holiday Plan

What's the best road to calm and joyous holidays? It's all about the plan!

Preparing for Christmas with the help of a step-by-step plan makes quick work of seasonal chores, and leaves plenty of time, energy--and money!--to celebrate the season. Which plan is right for you? Check out these options to get ready for a stress-free Christmas:

Dreamsicle Cookies In A Jar

Dreamsicle Cookies in a Jar

A favorite hot-weather sweet sparks a great gift in a jar: Orange Dreamsicle Cookies!

Taking the name--and flavors--of a cool summer treat, Orange Dreamsicle Cookies are punched up with vanilla baking chips and a burst of citrus.

Layered and decorated with a pretty gift tag, Orange Dreamsicle Cookies In A Jar are perfect "just-because" gift or gift basket item.

We make it easy with a free printable gift tags.

2018 House & Holidays Plan Calendar

Will you clean house, cut clutter and prepare for the holidays by following the House & Holidays Plan this year?

The 2018 House & Holidays Plan begins on Sunday, September 3! Join us to get ready to celebrate the holiday season in a clean and organized home.

First step: check in with the Plan calendar. In the weeks to come, you'll schedule STOP clutter and deep-cleaning sessions for each area of your home and set aside time for holiday planning and preparation.

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

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.

Best idea: start now. Saving money for holiday spending is a little less painful with these do-it-now ways to come up with Christmas cash:

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

4th of July Jiffy Pop Popcorn Topper Template

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 Recipe: American Blessings Mix

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.

Leprechaun Poop: St. Patricks Day Gag Gift

Leprechaun Poop Gift Tag

Faith and begorrah! What's the greenest gag gift for St.Patrick's Day? Leprechaun Poop!

Inexpensive and easy to make, Leprechaun Poop is a great gift for workplace friends, neighbors or youth groups.

To make Leprechaun Poop, place a handful of Lucky Charms brand cereal, green jelly beans or candy mints in a small zipper food storage bag.

Seal the bag and add a printable gift tag or add a hand-written tag using the poem below.

Seasonal Storage Tip: Make a Holiday Stragglers Box

Holiday Stragglers Box

Christmas has come and gone ... or has it?

Lights are stored, the tree is down, and holiday decor rests in boxes in the storage area, waiting for next year.

Then you turn the corner and spot an overlooked Santa, shining on top of the piano.

In the refrigerator, the holiday butter dish hides the last remnants of a stick of butter. Holiday linens, napkins and kitchen towels pop up in the laundry area this week, next week and the week after.

Organized Christmas? Easy Tips to Get Ready For Next Year

Christmas is here ... but you're not ready? The e-mails in my inbox tell the story: "I wish I'd found this site earlier!"

During this time of year, I hear from scores of readers who came looking for holiday help at the height of the celebration-and faced with the reality of Christmas chaos.

Stumbling over our site, they see that it's possible to be organized--and joyous--during the holidays. They just wish they'd found us in time!

So say you're starting now, to think about next year. What's the secret to a stress-free season? Plan ahead!

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