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!    Read More >>

Welcome Home ... for the Holidays!

Create a welcoming home for the holidays

The approach of the holidays! There's nothing quite like it to turn our hearts toward home.

Literally. As the holiday nears, are you suffering from "Housing Dissatisfaction Disorder?" It's a little-known seasonal indicator of the coming of winter--and it afflicts many of us as we plan Christmas celebrations.

Look around. What do you see? Dirty carpets. Furniture that's seen better days. Mismatched china, cluttered kitchens, drab and bedraggled window coverings.    Read More >>

Puzzler Puzzle Mat: Make-It-Now Gift

Make a puzzle mat

Every parent knows the story: jigsaw puzzles are fun to work, but tough to work around. What's the solution to tying up table tops or floor space with a puzzle in progress?

Its a Puzzler! This one-seam easy-sew puzzle mat allows puzzles to be worked at will, then rolled up and stowed away between play sessions. It's crafted from a short length of craft felt and a recycled gift wrap roller.

Make them in multiples for the holidays. The Puzzler puzzle mat is perfect for teacher gifts. Paired with a new jigsaw puzzle, the Puzzler Puzzle Mat makes a special family gift.    Read More >>

Tips for Holiday Season Travel

Will you visit family or take a Christmas holiday?

Between tight security, cramped airports and busy highways, holiday-season travel can be a big source of Christmas stress.

Whether you're flying or driving, being prepared means you'll be better able to roll with the inevitable punches.

Try these tips to keep the “happy” in holiday travel:    Read More >>

Candy Cane Reindeer

Candy Cane Reindeer

He's sweet, sassy, and easy enough for children to make: a Candy Cane Reindeer!

Our little Candy Cane Reindeer makes a great craft project for school, scouts, church groups or Secret Santa gifts.

Using candy canes, chenille stems and google eyes from the craft store, Candy Cane Reindeer make great stocking stuffers--or add them to holiday gift wrap for a sweet touch!    Read More >>

Tiny Christmas Craft: Graham Cracker Gingerbread House

Graham Cracker Gingerbread House

Simple, no-bake Graham Cracker Mini-Houses are a sweet holiday treat. Use them as place cards for holiday meals, or hang them as ornaments on the Christmas tree.

Decorations are applied while pieces are flat, then pieces are assembled with melted bark coating in a plastic squeeze bottle.

While an adult should trim the graham cracker sections, decorating and assembling is easy enough for kids.

Makes 10 - 20 houses, depending on breakage and number of crackers.    Read More >>

Mason Jar Recipes: Holiday Ideas for Gifts In A Jar

Gifts in a Jar

Gifts in a jar! These frugal consumable gifts feature bath salts, cookie ingredients, holiday beverage mixes, baking mixes or bean soup fixings layered in a glass canning jar, or Mason jar.

Mason jar recipes make easy homemade Christmas gifts. Topped with a colorful fabric circle and a free printable gift tag, they're a welcome holiday treat.

We've got all you need to know to make gifts in a jar. Get started with our instructions, tips and mason jar recipes for holiday giving. Printable gift tags make it easy to craft a special holiday gift!    Read More >>

Child's Journal in a Jar: Printable Journaling Prompts

Child's Journal in a Jar

Spark young writers with a clever non-food gift in a jar: a Child's Journal in a Jar!

This set of colorful journaling prompts asks simple, kid-friendly questions. Cut, folded and tucked into a mason jar, you'll create a Journal in a Jar to turn journaling sessions into fun!

We've made it easy to craft your Child's Journal Jar. These free printable prompts include colorful legends and graphics to make a pretty gift.

Add a free printable gift tag to your Journal in a Jar for a professional touch. Perfect for teacher gifts, stocking stuffers or Secret Santa!    Read More >>

Rhonda's Cranberry Bread

cranberry bread recipe

Tangy cranberries spark up this buttery Cranberry Nut Bread recipe, from Christmas Notebook blogger, Rhonda Coulter.

With the sparkling flavors of cranberries, walnuts and orange, these moist loaves freeze well and can be made in quantity.

Add them to your holiday gift baskets for a welcome taste of Christmas! Paired with Chocolate Coffee Spoons, this recipe makes a perfect, personal Christmas gift.

Make and freeze these quick breads up to 8 weeks before Christmas for holiday giving.

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