Oatmeal Scotchies In A Jar

Oatmeal Scotchies

Family favorite for after-school snacks, this kid-pleaser cookie mix in a jar makes a delicious holiday gift.

Adapted from the recipe at Nestle's Very Best Baking site, Oatmeal Scotchies in a Jar features layers of oatmeal, brown sugar and butterscotch chips that look as good as they taste!

Includes free printable gift tags.

Make Room For Santa: Pre-Season Toy Declutter

declutter children's toys

Holidays ahead! About this time of year, it's a good idea to contemplate the toy situation in your child's room. Adding Santa's bounty to overstuffed kids' rooms is a recipe for January clutter disaster.

Clear the decks and cut kid clutter with a pre-holiday toy clear-out!

It's a fact of modern life. Children's playthings have exploded in number, size, and complexity, while children's storage options have remained static. Just try storing a Happy Meal collection in the average toy box! Even the best-organized kid's rooms can easily drown in today's toy avalanche.    Read More >>

House & Holidays Plan Week 14: Storage Week

December 1 - December 7, 2019

December's here and with it, the fullness of the holiday season. This week in the House and Holidays Plan, decorations shine bright as we prepare a welcome home for the holiday season! 

As we remove decorations from storage, we'll focus on the storage space they call home the other eleven months of the year.

In holiday prep, the season moves toward full swing with the coming of Advent. It's time to begin Advent observances, complete gift shopping, mail send-away gifts and work on holiday decorating.    Read More >>

We Whisk You A Merry Kissmas: Easy Print-and-Give Stocking Stuffer

Whisk You a Merry Kissmas Gift Tag

Ready to share Yuletide greetings ... with a clever twist? This "We Whisk You A Merry Kissmas" stocking stuffer is a sweet surprise for the chocolate lover in your life!

A homemade Christmas gift, a "Kissmas Whisk" is easy enough for children to make and give--and with ingredients from the dollar store, it's inexpensive to make.

Makes a great teacher gift, stocking stuffer or office Secret Santa present.    Read More >>

Cranberry Hootycreeks Cookies In A Jar

Cranberry Hootycreeks

Pretty, festive and easy to make, Cranberry Hootycreeks make a welcome holiday cookie-in-a-jar gift.

Dried cranberries and white chocolate chips give a seasonal spin to these chunky oatmeal cookies.

To make, you'll layer flour mix with oats, dried cranberries, white chocolate chips and chopped nuts for a pretty jar gift; we make it easy with a free printable gift tag!

Low-Cost, No-Cost Ways To Celebrate Christmas with Kids

Cutting costs at Christmas doesn't mean celebrating like Scrooge. It's not about what you buy--it's about what you do!

Putting "celebration" at the center of the season--and taking the focus off of gifts and giving--can be the key to happy holidays that don't break the bank.

Better, when it comes to kids and Christmas, cheap is good! Simple, inexpensive family activities can be as meaningful as pricey Nutcracker tickets--and no need for scratchy dresses or dress-up suits.

Try these no-cost, low-cost ways to celebrate the holiday season with kids:    Read More >>

Layered Mix Success: Tips for Making Gifts in a Jar

tips for layered cookie mix gifts in a jar

Interested in making layered baking mixes in a jar?

While pretty, these gift mix recipes can leave people asking lots of questions.

How do you get all the ingredients into the jar? How do you make sure the finished product tastes as good as it looks? How far ahead can you make these gifts?

You've got questions? We've got answers! Try these tips for successful Mason jar gifts.    Read More >>

"Gimme, Gimme" v. Doing Good: Teaching Children to Give

Teach children to give

Recently, I eavesdropped on an online discussion about teaching children to give.

The original writer was a concerned, conscientious parent of a preschooler. This father shared his plan to teach his daughter about holiday giving. They would, he wrote, sort through the child's toys and set aside several toys "to give to needy children."

An admirable effort, I thought--until he set forth the rest. He hoped to locate a charitable agency that would permit his daughter to hand her toys directly to the child who would receive them. This way, he felt, his child would learn what giving meant in a direct and unambiguous manner.

I stared at the screen and asked "What is wrong with this picture?"    Read More >>

Make a Gingerbread House!

gingerbread house recipe

Are you looking for holiday crafts for kids? Try a gingerbread house!

Making a gingerbread house with a mold and melted bark coating is so easy, anyone can do it! Well, maybe a kid can do it, with a little help from grown-ups with the parts that require sharp knives and the microwave.

Here's what you'll need to make a gingerbread house.    Read More >>

Simplify Holiday Traditions: Do Less, Enjoy It More!

Simplify Holiday Traditions

"Tradition" is a powerful force that sometimes pulls an unsuspecting family along in its wake. Do your holiday traditions serve your family, your values and your spiritual beliefs--or are you running a tired and joyless circle each holiday season in the name of tradition?

To cut stress during the season, don't wait to give your family's holiday traditions a stiff scrutiny.

Give some thought to your family's holiday traditions well before the season is full upon you. Try these ideas to simplify your family's traditions--and deepen the season's joys!    Read More >>

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