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

Holiday Home Spruce Up Exercise

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.

Easy Craft Gift: Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Toppers

Jiffy Pop Popcorn Topper

It's a craft gift that's hot, fresh and easy to make: customized "popcorn topper" labels for pop-in-pan popcorn.

Better known as Jiffy Pop®, this perennial kids' treat is even more fun when spiffed up with a cheerful message and given as a gift for holidays, seasons or special occasions.

Free printable templates make it easy to make and give Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Toppers for holiday gifts throughout the year.

Use them for teacher gifts, secret sister exchanges or home teaching presents--and they're simple enough for children to make.

Make a Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper for Halloween

Halloween Jiffy Pop Popcorn Topper

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.

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

Computers speed holiday cards

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?

Halloween Treat: Haunted Gingerbread House

Haunted Gingerbread House

Gingerbread houses aren't just for Christmas anymore! Use our easy-build methods to create a Halloween Gingerbread House to brighten your autumn home or workplace.

Using melted bark coating or candy melts makes this craft simple enough for kids.

A black cat peeps from piles of pumpkins. Orange and black gumdrops light the path on Halloween night. Spiders creep and bats flap.

Don't miss our friendly ghosts!

Get Organized: Create A Christmas Planning Center

Center for Christmas planning

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.

2017 Christmas Countdown Calendar

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:

Ready for Christmas: Countdown Daily Messages Index

Will you follow the Christmas Countdown to prepare for Christmas?

Beginning in mid-October, we'll count down to an organized Christmas together. This six-week get organized plan helps you be ready for Christmas by the first weekend in December.

Bookmark this page to follow the 2017 daily messages day-by-day. Get ready for a great holidays!

Santa Savings: Make A Holiday Budget

Christmas holiday budget

For many families, Christmas comes not once a year, but lingers on for months! Credit card bills arrive shortly after season’s end, not to be paid off until the following summer. Nearly two-thirds of American families don't know the true cost of their own Christmas celebration--and if they did, they'd be shocked. That much ... for a single day?

Fight the seasonal spending spree with the financial tool of choice: a Christmas budget. Try these ideas to create--and keep!--a holiday budget to save money on Christmas.

Halloween S'Mores In A Jar

Halloween Smores in a Jar

Sharing seasonal fun with friends and family? Share some Halloween S'Mores In A Jar!

A simple layered gift-in-a-jar recipe featuring layers of graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows and seasonal candy-coated chocolate candies, it's easy to make and fun to give.

Free printable gift tags with the S'Mores In A Jar recipe bring a decorative touch to this Mason jar gift.

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