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 >>

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie In A Jar

White Chocolate - Macadamia Nut Cookies

A deluxe cookie with a sweet taste of the Hawaiian Islands, White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Cookies are a sweet and tender accompaniment to hot coffee--or a cool drink.

A recipe from C&H Sugar, this layered cookie in a jar mix makes a happy holiday gift for family, friends or classroom teachers.

Our version includes free printable gift tags.

Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies Recipe

This is a wonderful cookie, but I find it a bore to make. Each and every year I drop this one from my list, and each and every year my daughter asks, hopefully, "Are you going to make those candy cane cookies this year?"

Each and every year I reply, "Well, all right, but ONLY if you'll help me!"

The reason for this devotion is obvious from the first taste. These cookies are distinctive and wonderfully flavored--and they look, smell and taste like Christmas!

Magic Reindeer Food: Printable Stocking Stuffer

Magic Reindeer Food Gift Tag

Many families leave cookies and milk for Santa, but what about his reindeer?

Sprinkled on the lawn on Christmas Eve, Magic Reindeer Food leaves a glittering path--and a sweet snack--for Rudolph and friends.

An inexpensive stocking stuffer, Magic Reindeer Food makes a great classroom or Secret Santa gift.

Package this simple recipe in zipper food storage bags, and add a free printable gift tag containing the Magic Reindeer Food poem to make Magic Reindeer Food easy to make--and to give.    Read More >>

Make Christmas A Family Affair

Who knows why? How did it happen? Women--wives and mothers--have come to bear the brunt of holiday preparation.

It's enough to make Barry Manilow sing! Women plan the meals, list the gifts and shop until we drop. We cook, we clean, we decorate--and we wrap and wrap and wrap.

Our hands cramp from addressing Christmas cards. We go short on sleep to run the sewing machine late into the night. We rise before dawn to anoint the holiday bird and entrust it to the oven.    Read More >>

Cut Tree Clutter with an Under-Tree Storage Box

christmas clutter

Christmas is a time of cheer ... and clutter! You'll find Christmas clutter lining each box and storage bin as you pull out holiday decorations.

An ornament box spills over with hanging hooks and zip ties. The tiny red-tipped light bulbs you need to make light strands blink. Special tools and assembly sheets for your "nevergreen" artificial tree. The dandy gun-shaped light tester, complete with instructions and replacement bulbs. Left to their own devices, they scatter around the house, never to be found when you need them--but popping up to haunt you right into the new year.

How to bring order to Christmas clutter? An under-tree storage box.    Read More >>

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