If your job is anything like mine, you probably have a get together close to the holiday season to celebrate the end of the year. Well, COVID has made that next to impossible this year. With restrictions put in place, my coworkers and I can't do our usual potluck. But, I've brainstormed a way to still have fun while staying safe.
1: SEND OUT A VIRTUAL INVITATION
2: FIND OR CREATE GAMES
3: COME UP WITH A PLAN FOR FOOD/SNACKS
4: HOST YOUR PARTY
Tis the season for giving, but finding something interesting and thoughtful to give can be difficult. So, today, I wanted to share a few alternative gift ideas that you could purchase for a friend or loved one.
1. A SUBSCRIPTION BOX
I want to tree that you need to READ THE DETAILS. My husband had the extremely thoughtful idea to do an underwear and bra subscription box for the last year. He didn’t realize that the cost for the pieces wasn’t included in the box. If you didn’t send the pieces back, you’d be charged full price for each item. He, logically, thought that you were paying for all of the items in the subscription box. That’s not always true, so check all of the details before ordering.
2. VACATIONS OR EXPERIENCES
3. MAKE THEM A LORD OR LADY
4. DONATE TO A CAUSE
5. PAY A BILL
For many, this year has been difficult. The solace is that we have the Christmas and holiday season coming up. It is important to escape into these holidays, like we always do, to feel child-like joy and happiness after a long year.
Since it's Dec. 1, I thought I'd share a few things you can do today to get into the holiday spirit:
1. DONATE TO YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY TODAY!
2. GO SHOPPING FOR WEEK-LONG DEALS
3. GET BAKING
4. HAVE A CHRISTMAS CRAFT DAY
5. START LISTENING TO CHRISTMAS SONGS
What are you doing to get into the spirit? Leave a comment below, or catch up with me on social media!
I always feel like I have to preface my posts about children by saying that I'm not a mom yet, unless you count dogs and cats! However, I've heard from a number of parents that these three gifts are a must when you are purchasing things for your children each year.
So, here are the three types of gifts you should include under the tree for your kids this year.
SOMETHING THEY WANT
With that being said, sometime children will want something that is outrageously expensive and just kind of out of the question. This might include a new cellphone, laptop, gaming device, etc. Have them identify something they really want in different price ranges so that you and family members can give them at least one thing from their wish list.
SOMETHING THEY NEED
I can tell you as someone who regularly received clothing items and necessities that I always loved wearing my new stuff as soon as possible. As an adult, I'm thrilled to receive things like socks, shoes, and clothing items.
With that being said, it might not be clothes that your children need. Maybe they need something for school or work like a new bag or even a piece of technology!
If you don't know what that is, it is basically a word game that gives you a funny story. You have to ask your group for different types of words like nouns, verbs, adjectives, and more. You fill in the blanks and get to read a funny, custom story. These are always fun and are educational. Educational things could also include books or other educational games.
That's it! Those are the three things that I think you should include under the tree this year for your child. Do you think I'm missing a category? Drop it in the comments below!
Christmas is approaching, and stocking stuffers are usually the last thing that families purchase for the season. But, sometimes stocking stuffers can be some of the most difficult things to buy.
These little gifts are usually very small and inexpensive. So today, I want to tell you the five type of stocking stuffers you should get for your family this year.
4: LITTLE GADGETS
5: SMALL-AMOUNT GIFT CARDS
That’s it! So, what do you hope to find in your stocking? What are some of the things that you like to put into your family members’ stockings?
'Tis the season of giving. During this time of year, you may find yourself receiving a gift that doesn't fit your body or personality, you simply can't use, or you find that someone else could use more than you.
Some people likely were taught growing up that re-gifting something is tacky or rude. However, today I want to share with you five reasons why I believe re-gifting is OK. Let's get into it:
1: IT'S NOT BECAUSE YOU'RE UNGRATEFUL
2: SOMEONE ELSE WILL TREASURE IT MORE
3: YOU'RE USUALLY NOT RE-GIFTING A GIFT THAT WAS
Most of the time, if someone gave real thought and careful consideration into a gift for you, it won't be something you want to give away. In my experiences, re-gifting typically happens from office parties or when relatives you really have no relationship with always get you something you simply can't use. For example, I remember growing up that my dad's side of the family would almost always buy my brother and I
We usually had friends or people at our church who would appreciate those as little gifts.
4: IT CAN HELP THE ENVIRONMENT
5: IT SAVES MONEY
Last but not least, re-gifting can help you save some money around the holidays. You won't have to invest in purchasing as many presents. As sort of mentioned previously, this should be done with gifts that you obviously can't use. However, if you have a holiday white elephant party to go to and you happen to have a gift that doesn't work for you, wrap it up and put it in the exchange!
WAKE UP AND ENJOY SOME FOOD!
This morning, I make and enjoy some treats including sausage balls, one of my favorite things! We normally do stockings at my mom's house in the morning, as we are going to see Jonathan's family today and probably won't do Christmas presents at my family's house until tonight. I always love having Christmas breakfast and just enjoying the morning before heading out!
HEAD TO JONATHAN'S GRANDPARENT'S HOUSE!
On Jonathan's side of the family, they get together on Christmas Eve at his mom's parents' house and meet up again the next day for some food and gifts for the little ones. It is a nice time to get together and hang out with cousins. Afterward, we will probably go to Jonathan's parents' house where we will exchange gifts with them!
HOPEFULLY SEEING MY GRANDPA!
If you're a loyal reader, you may remember me mentioning that my grandpa has been in several hospitals and rehab facilities this year. I really would like to see him on Christmas, but I don't really know what the plan is. He may be able to come home on Christmas, or he might have to stay where he is and we may need to go and see him.
Regardless, it wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't see him if we could, so I'm hoping we can go and be with him for a bit this year instead of leaving him wherever he is all by himself. I'm hoping that this will give him the strength he needs to work hard in rehab so he can come home, but it is all up to God! Please continue to pray for him!
PRESENTS WITH MY FAMILY!
My favorite Christmas film is probably How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey.
2. Have you ever had a White Christmas?
I can't remember, but I'm sure it happened at some point. I live in the United States in the south, so we don't get much snow around Christmas, but usually get some around January.
3. Where do you usually spend your holiday?
We usually spend holidays with our family in North Carolina
4. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I really like the Christmas song "So This is Christmas (The War is Over)" by John Lennon. It is really weird, but I like it because of the kids singing in the background because I just think it is so cute!
5. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
When I was growing up, we would go to our family get-together and Santa would visit. He always brought my brother and I a present and that present was always a game that we could all play together before we went to bed. We also always received Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve. Those are the only presents we opened!
6. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Yes! Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph!
7. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?
I am looking forward to making some Christmas treats, watching Christmas movies, and enjoying time with my family and my husband's family!
8. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
Fake. My mom always had terrible allergies, so we got a fake one. Now that I am married and have my own home, I still use a fake one. I worry my allergies will also flare up but, more importantly, I like that my fake tree is pre-lit so I don't have to bother testing Christmas lights every year.
My favorite holiday food is sausage balls. They are sausage mixed with cheese and flour. We traditionally have them the morning of and sometimes the night before Christmas. I really miss my brother, who is in Thailand right now, but his absence means more sausage balls for me!
10. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?
I LOVE to give gifts and sometimes I get sad when I can't give people exactly what I feel they deserve. You can ask my husband, I will go into all out tears! However, I love to show people I love them and know what they love and show them that I listen to their needs and hopes!
11. What is the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
I honestly don't know. I was really jazzed when I received an iPod touch when they first came out. I was kind of shocked my mom got me and my brother one because she is a single parent and they were quite expensive!
12. What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?
I would love to visit New York or somewhere similar during the holidays. I just think of all of the shops and lights and even snow would be so beautiful, even though I hate snow and ice (because it is slippery here)!
13. Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?
I would say I have good days and bad days. I can wrap presents well, but I really struggle one some days and on some packages that are shaped strangely.
14. Most memorable Holiday moment?
Probably all of the baking and cooking with family!
15. What made you realize the truth about Santa?
My mom and grandparents told me! But, at that moment, I realized the truth about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Leprechauns at that moment as well.
16. Do you make New Years resolutions? Do you stick to them?
I make them sometimes and I try to stick to them, but I don't beat myself up if I falter.
17. What makes the holidays special for you?
The holidays are special because everyone is so happy and cheerful and I get to see my family and friends. I love giving and receiving is always nice too!
But, it is the thought that counts, and you can actually make a ton of amazing gifts that anyone would love to receive. In today's post, I'll give you instructions on six DIY Christmas gifts that most people would be happy to receive! Enjoy:
1. CUP OF CHEER HOT CHOCOLATE MIX
It may seem a little cliche because hot chocolate mix is cheap. However, hot chocolate made from scratch is soooo much better, as I've recently discovered.
In a baggie, container, or mason jar, layer 1/2 a cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of baking cocoa, and a dash of salt. In a separate baggie, and at the top of the container, add in some marshmallows. Then, you can simply print out this free label or make your own with the same instructions!
I tried this hot chocolate out for myself and it was so delicious. I also added in a bit more cocoa and some chocolate chips. It really enhanced the chocolate flavor, so you can suggest that when you give them their gift. It is so simple and you can make a ton of these. Each container will make 5 cups of hot chocolate!
2. DIY CANDLES
All you will need for this DIY are empty mason jars, essential oils of your choosing, candle wicks, and a big dollar store candle.
First, glue your wick to the bottom of your jars and allow it to dry. Next, cut up or shred the candle and add the pieces into your empty jars. Melt the wax using the double boiler method and add in your essential oils. Let it sit over night to harden and make a custom label!
3. SUGAR SCRUBS
Winter can take a toll on everyone's skin. Sugar scrubs can be use to rid the body of dead skin and moisturize it, keeping it safe and soft during the coldest months of the year. All you will need is a container, sugar, coconut or olive oil, and essential oils.
Make a candy-cane inspired scrub by using a body-safe red food dye on half of your mixture and layering it with the white. To create the scrub, combine a cup of sugar with 1/2 a cup of oil and a few drops of peppermint essential oil.
4. DOLLAR STORE GIFT BASKETS
If you know a coffee lover, fill your basket with coffee grinds and creamer. A movie lover? Add in a ton of snacks for a movie night! You can create a cheap yet full basket of items just by going to the dollar store!
Other ideas include a makeup basket, a skincare basket, an automotive basket, a kitchen basket, toy basket, pet basket, or decor basket! Your options are limitless and you just need a basket and the items you'd like to gift them!
5. A HOME-MADE HAT OR SCARF
My mom has been crocheting for years, and she has taught me how to do it. I'm a little rusty because I don't do it much in the spring and summer months, but you can easily look up a tutorial. All you will need is yarn and a crochet hook.
You can make hats, scarves, socks, gloves, and even blankets if you choose to do this. It is time-consuming, so leave yourself enough time to work on it!
6. HAND-MADE JEWELRY
Jewelry is always a big hit around the holidays and, if you get skilled enough at the craft, no one will even know that you were the one who made it. You will just need beads, clasps, and jewelry wire.
This is an awesome way to give a one-of-a-kind necklace, ring, earrings, or bracelet to that special someone in your life without spending a fortune!
So, sit back, grab a snack, and check out these five Christmas traditions you need to add to your Christmas celebrations this year!
1. ADDING A NEW ORNAMENT
When I was growing up, my mom and grandparents would always choose a new ornament for my brother and I each year. The ornament always reflected our year in some fashion. Jonathan and I now do this one. It is great as a young married couple as we can continue to grow our tree decor, and it would be so cute with children in the mix!!
For me, and for anyone who loves baking or making things in the kitchen, this tradition will be loads of fun. Each year, we make a set of treats and finger foods the night before Christmas so that we have them to enjoy Christmas morning. My favorite are sausage balls and my chocolate oatmeal cookies! They aren't great for your waistline, but you have to treat yourself sometimes! We don't have egg nog though!
3. READING THE CHRISTMAS STORIES
Jonathan's family on his mom's side gets together Christmas Eve and have breakfast for dinner. After eating, his grandpa reads the Christmas story in the Bible of Jesus' birth and then reads the traditional Christmas story poem. It is so great if you have smaller children because it shows the importance of both stories and gets everyone excited for the celebrations the next day!
4. WHOLE FAMILY GET-TOGETHER
Both of our families do this, but my family does a potluck. This is my grandpa's side of the family. We get together each Christmas Eve and have a potluck. Santa makes a visit for the children and the children usually sing Christmas carols to everyone else at some point during the night. It is a great way to enjoy different foods and have a mini reunion with your family!
5. GO SEE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
There are a ton of places around the U.S. and I believe in the UK where you can go and see Christmas lights. My family usually goes to Tanglewood Park's Festival of Lights, but I think we will all go somewhere different this year. Jonathan and I have already been to Tanglewood together this year. I highly recommend doing this to get into the Christmas spirit!
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