Make It Now, Give It Later: Confetti Bean Soup

Confetti Bean Soup

Looking for a make-ahead holiday gift? Try this gift-in-a-jar treat: Confetti Bean Soup! Savory Italian herbs spark this hearty, easy soup. Paired with Texas Cornbread Mix, this duo is just the thing for cold winter weekends!

Better, it's a good keeper, so make this gift-in-a-jar ahead for holiday giving. Unlike cookie jar gifts, Confetti Bean Soup won't go stale in storage.

Makes 12 gift jars at a cost approximately $2 per jar.

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Santa Saves: 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.    Read More >>

Too Early to Think Christmas? Starting Now Makes Sense

Start early to plan for Christmas

Summer's in full swing--and baby, it's hot outside! Need a diversion? "Christmas in July" can be the perfect time to look ahead to the holiday season! But not everyone agrees. Many people resist the idea of starting early for an organized Christmas.

So why begin Christmas organizing early--and without the benefit of holiday sentiment? Here are six reasons why starting now makes sense:    Read More >>

Blizzard Bites In A Jar

Blizzard Bites Gift Tag

Crunchy and sweet, this no-bake snack mix in a jar is easy to make and fun to give.

Layer crunchy cereal, pretzels and peanuts with tangy dried cranberries and candied pineapple in a Mason jar or canning jar, then add meltable white-chocolate chips.

To make Blizzard Bites snack mix, recipients will melt white chocolate chips and coat the snack mixture with a sweet holiday topping. It's simple ... and sweet!

A great gift for teachers, Secret Santa exchanges or 12 Days of Christmas activities. Make it easy with free printable gift tags!

Candy Cane Bath Salts In A Jar

Candy Cane Bath Salts

Looking for an easy, inexpensive holiday gift? Pretty layered bath salts make a perfect gift for teens, co-workers or teachers. Sparked with the holiday scent of peppermint, Candy Cane Bath Salts are a seasonal treat.

Makes 12 gift jars at a cost approximately $1.50 per jar.

Free printable Candy Cane Bath Salts can be used as a hanging tag, or trimmed to fit beneath the outer ring of a Mason jar lid.

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

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.

Haystacks: No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Unbaked Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Each year, our family would wait eagerly for my grandparents' box of Christmas treats. This recipe was my grandfather's contribution: Haystacks. But we called these easy, unbaked chocolate-oatmeal cookies "Gramps Goodies"!

Chocolate bundles of crunchy rolled oats, crisp coconut and plump pecans, these traditional Christmas favorites are easy to make ... and this candy freezes well if properly packaged.

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