I, like Buddy from Elf, loooove Christmas. Christmas is my favorite. So once November gets here, I start planning my holiday decorations, meals, and festivities. And one of my favorite ways to kick-off the season is with advent calendars. For my family, nothing creates more excitement than counting down the days until the Big Day. Getting a treat each day makes it even sweeter. Every year, Cool Mom Picks searches high and low for all kinds of advent calendar options for our homes so that our families — and yours! — can count down to Christmas in fun, festive style. From...Read More
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Even though I’m still finding Halloween candy wrappers hidden under the couch (kids!), I’m keenly aware that December isn’t that far away. Which means that it’s time to start thinking about which Advent calendar we want in our home to help us count down the days to Christmas. As we’ve done for the past seven (wow!) years on Cool Mom Picks, in 2015 we’ve searched high and low for all kinds of options for your home. From clever DIY calendars, to fun kid-like designs, to gorgeous pieces you can reuse each year and treasure, here are 15 of the best Advent calendars I really love this year....Read More
Before you deck the halls, make sure you have your advent calendar ready so you can count down the days to the night before Christmas. It’s a tradition that my kids enjoy so much, we have a few set up around the house to remind us how much longer they have to wait for their favorite day to arrive. And whether you are super crafty, want to print a DIY calendar at home, or would rather purchase something you can use year after year, we’ve rounded up a dozen options for you to have ready by the first of December. Prices and...Read More
Even procrastinators like me should start thinking about our annual Advent calendar since, with Thanksgiving falling on the 28th, we’ll still be eating turkey when December begins. Fortunately, there are loads of cool-looking Advent calendars you can order, print, or DIY now. December 1st will be here before you know it. –Christina 1. Colorful modern papers from libelu become a modern advent calendar made of cool-looking triangular packages in which to hide little treats for the kids. ($40.07, ships from Germany) 2. Such adorable laser-cut cherry wood ornaments decorate cotton drawstring bags on Peppersprout’s Woodland Ornament Advent Calendar. A definite splurge, but...Read More
There are so many ways to count down the days to Christmas, from beautiful artistic calendars, to fun DIY printables, to even 24 punk-rock tunes that’ll have you oi-ing around the kitchen. But if you want an advent calendar with loads and loads of “awwwwww”—and some eco goodwill tucked inside–look no further than these super-sweet diminutive stockings from this creative mama of four. And be sure to order soon in time for December 1! Cheerful Things designer Alicia Todd takes the best wool from rescued sweaters and scarves and turns it into the most adorable little creations like this colorful...Read More
I love Advent calendars as a way for my kids to count down to Christmas (did you catch our most recent picks?). But why should they be the only ones to have all the fun? If you’re looking for an Advent calendar that’s more sophisticated, here are some amazing options that you may want to grab before the first of December. –Christina I grew up eating waxy molded chocolates that I pulled out of the drugstore Advent calendar that my mom bought each year. Now that I’m grown up, I still love to find little treats, but I’d prefer them...Read More
I may still be full from the Thanksgiving feast, but I’m already thinking about decking those halls, trimming the tree, and getting my hands on an Advent calendar before December 1st rolls around. But no worries: You still have about a week to get ready for the start of December. The only tricky part? Picking which Advent calendar you like best from the printable gems we’ve found. Some of them are even free! –Christina This Santa Christmas Countdown from Inviting Printables is so cute. My kids would get a huge kick adding a cotton ball to his beard each day. I...Read More
We may still have Thanksgiving leftovers in the refrigerator, but December 1st is just around the corner. To my kids, this can only mean one thing: Time to get out the advent calendar so that they can start the countdown to Christmas. And just in time, we have tracked down ten (!!) gorgeous new advent calendars that might make your holidays a little more merry and bright. –Christina Love the different typography on each of the different DIY sacks from Oh Happy Day, all made with iron-on transfers affixed to little cotton muslin bags. Hang to the wall with...Read More
Fewer things throw my kids into a tizzy of Christmastime anticipation as an advent calendar with its counting down of days. But the calendar grandma gets them with the waxy chocolate behind each door isn’t much to look at and barely makes it to the 25th. I think I’ve found the calendar worthy of such an important daily ritual that is both beautiful to look at and will make it through several annual countdowns. And while it doesn’t have chocolate, it does have something else my kids adore: stickers. The Yuletide Harvest Advent Calendar from Uusi walks that fine...Read More
I may refuse to listen to the Christmas music that has been blaring on certain radio stations since Halloween, but make no mistake: The countdown to Christmas is a big deal in this household. And what better way to countdown to the big day than with a great advent calendar that you can pull out year after year on December 1st? I’ve rounded up a bunch of fabulous advent calendars at all price points for those of you who want to be ready when the calendar flips over to the next month. I have a soft spot in my heart...Read More
As December nears, my house is ready to to become a big, kid-friendly fun house of colored blinky lights and tinsel. With three kids, I know what to expect and have given in to All Things Christmas. Except I’ve just seen the most beautifully refined and sophisticated Advent Calendar for the holidays that would make the perfect little wintry oasis from all the red, green and “blink” going on at this time of year. No Santa or sleighs, no reindeer or glued-on glitter, yet Uusi’s Advent Calendar looks just right for winter with its screen-printed chalet scene. The use...Read More
I have a pretty wooden advent calendar/box with little doors that my boys use to count down the days until Christmas but I always have trouble finding cute items to put inside. Any ideas? -Kristin The advent calendar is the first thing my kids race to on December mornings, so while candy is an obvious filler, it isn’t something I want them ingesting at 7AM. But if I try to find a toy for 24 days multiplied by 3 kids, I need a loan just to afford the month. So a few years ago I made my first trip...Read More
I’m always the one in the drug store on December 5th shopping for an advent calendar–and wondering why the selection stinks. This year, I vowed to start earlier (albeit by just a few days) and wanted to share three options that I think are way cooler than anything I’d find in my local CVS. I love 24 Penguins Before Christmas for its quirky twist on the traditional Christmas scene. Inspired by author Jean-Luc Fromenthal’s original 365 Penguins book, it features the same turquoise-and-orange landscape which includes little doors which open to one or more adorable penguins. My kids will...Read More
My family has a tradition of reading Christmas books at bedtime every night during Advent. Some years, I wrap each holiday book in our collection, so they’ll be surprised which book we’re reading each night. Other years, we take turns choosing a favorite. But every year, I like to add new books to our collection. And this year is no exception. I was excited to find some new, beautifully illustrated traditional stories as well as some clever books that are quick, funny reads (perfect for those nights when we’ve been out to a holiday party way past bedtime). I’ll be adding a couple of...Read More
We’re pulling out the Christmas decorations and dusting off the ornaments around here, and I’m realizing that one easy way to spruce up my holiday decor is with a fresh, new tree skirt. But have you ever searched for a modern Christmas tree skirt? They’re nearly impossible to come by. So I’m delighted to discover the wonderful modern Christmas tree skirts new at Minted this year. The designs are so crisp and clean, they add just the right amount of color and fun to your holiday decor. (And don’t miss out on a discount code they’re offering, right now!) Related: 14 festive and fun advent calendars to count...Read More
Let’s face it: Some nativity sets are just begging to be played with. Their tiny animal figurines and family of little dolls is simply irresistible to little hands. And as anyone who’s ever tried to convince a preschooler that these are not actually toys knows, not touching the pieces is an uphill (and, often, losing) battle. I can’t even count the number of shepherds and cows my sisters and I lost or shattered as kids. And let’s not even get into all the places we hid the baby Jesus (cough, hamster cage). So maybe this year, instead of breaking out (heh) your ceramic Jesus, Mary, and...Read More
Houses up and down our street are starting to turn on their holiday lights, and it’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas in our neighborhood. My craft-loving kids would like for us to DIY everything holiday around here — cotton-ball snowmen, reindeer food, glitter wreaths…you name it. So when I discovered Papermade’s new book Paper Holiday, I knew I’d hit the holiday craft jackpot. The book includes 20 Christmas ornaments you can make in about 10 minutes each — just punch-out, fold up, and hang on the tree. No scissors, glue, or tape required. It even includes paper hooks. The ornaments are definitely Christmas specific,...Read More
If you’re looking for some of the best Black Friday shopping deals and discounts around the web, we’ve rounded them up for you right here, along with the best Black Friday tech deals over on Cool Mom Tech. We’ll continue to update the post with sales all day (and weekend) long, so be sure to check back. And you definitely want to follow us on Twitter where we’ll be sharing great ones as they come up. We’re happy to support a lot of these businesses, indie makers, and brands, which can always use a boost this time of year. So, happy shopping —...Read More
One of our most favorite parts of the holidays (no, not presents, though we like those too) are the family traditions we celebrate year after year. There’s just something so special about looking forward to our annual holiday rituals, whether they started spontaneously one year and just kept going, or they’ve been passed down through the generations. If you’re like us, one of the best ever holiday traditions for families is to snuggle up and watch your favorite seasonal movies and television shows, which is something our newest sponsor Amazon Studios knows a whole lot about. Their two newest holiday specials, If You Give...Read More
We’re always happy to offer up parents lots of ideas for what to do with all that leftover Halloween candy you’ll surely end up with. Well, at least after the small gorge-fest that your trick-or-treaters may be entitled to after all their hard work. So I’ve put together some crafts, causes, recipes, and even experiments you can do with leftover Halloween candy that are just as much satisfying as eating it all. Well, kind of. Top Photo: Sam Howzit on Flickr via Compfight cc 1. Donate Halloween Candy to a Good Cause One of our favorite ways to get candy out of the house is to send...Read More
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