Category: Holiday Picks

The ultimate guide to last-minute Easter ideas: egg decorating, recipes, crafts, printables, and more!

Easter is just a hop away, but if you still haven’t made a crack in your Easter list yet…don’t worry! There are still a few days left until the Easter bunny visits, which is why we put together this ultimate list of last-minute Easter ideas for you including egg decorating ideas, Easter recipes (hint: BACON!), Easter crafts, Easter printables for kids, and so much more. Let’s just say when it comes to having a special Easter with your family and friends, all your eggs are in this basket. At top: Sticker Art Easter Printables | Hello, Wonderful CMP is an rstyle affiliate Awesome Easter Egg Decorating Ideas Decorating Easter...

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Have a magical Christmas, cool parents!

Hope today brings you everything magical you’re hoping for, whether it’s a fancy gift, your favorite cookies, a Netflix binge-fest, quiet time with your family, a day with no political arguments, a really good port, the ultimate holiday playlist with no sign of “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus,” a long winter’s nap, or just someone else to pick up the teeny little shards of wrapping paper off the floor. We’ll be back over the next week with our favorite editors’ picks of 2016. Until then, enjoy your Christmas! And your Hanukkah! And hopefully, those cookies. Mmmm. – Liz, Kristen + Team Cool...

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Wishing you a happy Hamilton Hanukkah! From Cool Mom Picks and the Maccabeats

Those of us Hanukkah revelers have always had slimmer pickings when it comes to great modern music. But now Adam Sandler and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings have some great new company thanks to the Maccabeats, who are just out with Hasmonean: A Hamilton Hanukkah. If you have been loving Hamildolph as much as we all have, I think you’ll also dig this version of Lin Manuel Miranda’s opus, which happens to be a good history lesson too. Especially for those of you not quite as familiar with the backstory behind the Festival of Lights. Related: 8 of the most amazing printable Hanukkah coloring pages, one for each crazy night Oh and the...

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Web coolness: The great big holiday edition featuring hilarious videos, articles, last minute gift help + more

Here are some of the links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too.   Chewbacca singing Silent Night. That is all. Check out the funniest Christmas tweets, videos, stories and humor on the web. Who else needs these right now? Need ideas for last-minute holiday gifts? Got you covered, big time. Also, 28 cool ideas for tech stocking stuffers that we’d take any time of year. Fun twists on traditional Hanukkah recipes. Marzipan, Dark Chocolate + Orange Rugelach? ZOMG. Already onto gift wrapping? Check out the cutest printable gift tags, mostly free! (Liz went with...

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The ultimate list of awesome last-minute holiday gift ideas. We’ve got you covered, procrastinators!

Every year, I convince myself that this is the year I won’t be scrambling to find great last-minute holiday gifts; that this is the year I “shop all year” for great stuff for my friends and family and stash it away. But..nope. How is it Christmas week already? Oof. Fret not, fellow procrastinators! You don’t necessarily have to shell out for express-expedited-Santa’s-reindeer-special-overnight-shipping. I mean you can, but instead we’ve got some brilliant last-minute holiday gift ideas and tips so you can get those presents under the tree or by the menorah in record time. (And don’t forget, lucky Hanukkah revelers, if you’re...

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5 of the hottest Star Wars toys your kids totally want. Trust us.

With the perfectly timed December launch of Rogue One, of course Star Wars toys for kids are all the rage. Again. If you’re looking for an awesome gift for your little padawan — even if he or she isn’t quite so little — here are 5 of the hottest Star Wars toys right now that we wouldn’t mind getting in our own Tauntaun fur-lined stockings. But hurry, with all the urgency of a quadjumper pilot using hyperspeed! Because if you order all these Star Wars toys now, you can still get them in time for Christmas or Hanukkah delivery — most with...

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Creative holiday gift wrapping ideas to make your presents even more amazing.

I love the simplicity of brown paper packages tied up with string as much as the next person, but sometimes I’m in the mood for more creative holiday gift wrapping to make my presents really stand out under the Christmas tree or by the menorah. There are no shortage of cool gift wrap options and ideas out there; you just have to know where to look. And we’ve done that part for you! From free color-your-own printables to reusable bags, here are some of the coolest and most creative holiday gift wrapping ideas I found — including a way to pretty up a regular old brown paper...

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Our staff’s most memorable holiday gift stories: A reminder that joy comes in lots of sizes.

These memories brought to you on behalf of JCPenney We spend so much time around here thinking about the best gifts to give to those we love, that sometimes we forget about ourselves and our own gifts! (Is that a mom thing?) So we asked a few of our writers and editors to spend a little time thinking about the most memorable holiday gifts they’ve received over the years, those gifts big and small that brought them joy, and to share them here. Oof, what memories. From Allison’s unexpected surprise from Santa, to Jane’s beginning of a Christmas tradition, to Kristen’s gift that meant so much...

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The best experience gifts for kids who want to do it all.

Research shows that the happiest families are those who spend their money on experiences instead of on things. I totally get it. Looking back at my childhood, I can remember only a handful of toys my parents gave me over the years — a Strawberry Shortcake lip gloss, still being a favorite. But every out-of-the-ordinary trip we took together is etched in my memory, whether it was a week at the beach or a night out to see the circus. So, this year, consider investing in an experience gift for your kids in addition to the books and toys they’ll be getting...

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My holiday gift wish list: 5 splurge items I’d love for my baby! (Any family members listening?)

I tend to be a pragmatist when it comes to buying baby gear. I want great, smart products that won’t break the bank, so you won’t find me shopping for a diamond-encrusted baby rattle or a WiFi-enabled wipes warmer (is that even a thing?) anytime soon. But that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about some of the more luxurious baby gifts out there. High-tech, heirloom, handcrafted, and just plain awesome. So I searched through the Cool Mom holiday gift guides to share my own top holiday gifts I wish I had for my new baby. In other words, these are the things I won’t buy...

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My holiday gift wishlist: 5 great gifts on sale so I won’t feel guilty asking fo them

This year, I’m sticking to a pretty strict budget with my own Christmas shopping, because we’re heading to South Korea very soon to finalize our adoption. (Best Christmas gift ever!) (Eds: WE AGREE!)  And, as you can probably guess, flights to South Korea aren’t cheap. Even so, my kids and my husband are needling me about what I want for Christmas, and how can I deny them the pleasure of buying me a gift? So, I’ve picked out a few items from our holiday gift guides that I really wouldn’t feel that guilty asking for, considering they’re not just amazing gifts, but they’re all on...

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My holiday gift wishlist: 5 sweet indulgences to help me get my groove back.

I might be 39, but in many ways, 2016 was the year I became an actual adult. Both my father and grandmother died, my daughter got mean-girled, my son started his first real sport, I suffered some health setbacks, and I had to sell my beloved horse. I even cut my hair short for the first time since middle school…and instantly hated it. Oh, and I packed on 10 pounds of kummerspeck, which is German for “grief bacon.” Which means that heading into the holidays, my daily uniform now is pajamas and shearling boots. This is not to depress you! Only to say...

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16 seriously amazing beauty stocking stuffers, beyond nail polish and hand cream.

If you’ve got a stylish woman in your life, I’ve got some really fantastic ideas for you for beauty stocking stuffers. My checklist: They have to be practical, useful, affordable (well, relatively) and yet still totally fun to receive. Maybe things she would love but would never get for herself? In other words, sorry store-brand dental floss. You may be practical, but you’re not making the list. So here are 16 of my own favorite beauty stocking stuffers that include practical tools and special little beauty indulgences, most of which are fixtures in my own handbag and medicine cabinet. They’re guaranteed to...

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My favorite holiday gifts: 5 cool cocktail gifts I want in my stocking.

I’m not going to lie, this past year, and especially what’s going on in this country right now has been really hard on me. Really hard, and really stressful. And while I’m the queen of self-care and would love any of the self-care gift ideas in our Cool Mom Picks Holiday Gift Guide, I’m finding I’d also be okay with something a bit stronger to take the edge off. Responsibly, of course. (Hey, I’m still a parent.) So, I’ve combed through our holiday gift guides and put together my picks for 5 cocktail gifts I really want to find in...

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17 of the best subscription gifts for kids: From babies to teens, we’ve found something for everyone.

It feels like the holidays are going to be here in a minute, and I’m not ready! If you’re like me and are still scrambling for a few great gifts that will make your kids think you’re pretty awesome, then you might want to look into one of the cool subscription gifts for kids we’ve been scouting out. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen so many companies with such good ideas for subscription boxes that range from developmental toys for babies to science kits for our bigger kids. And we know from experience that our kids are thrilled to receive actual, real packages...

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10 fabulous holiday gifts under $25 for the whole family

Whether you’re finishing up your holiday shopping or just getting started (hey, no judgment here!) we always love finding cool gifts that are easy to get a hold of and won’t break the budget. Even better when they’re all at the same shop, so you can just zip around one store, or click around a single website and check off everyone on your list. This holiday season, we’re so happy to welcome back our sponsor JCPenney, especially because they’ve got everyone in your family covered with tons of fantastic brands and big sales on so many fabulous gifts, from chic fashion finds to toys for the kids to...

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This ancestry kit is a great gift for the grandparents who have everything.

Put that boring pair of slippers back on the shelf. We’ve found the perfect gift for the grandparents who already have everything. It’s cool, it’s educational, and it involves spit and bragging rights. The Geno 2.0 DNA analysis kit from National Geographic and Helix is so, so easy to use, making it perfect for anyone’s grandparents to enjoy. Gramps, Nonna, Mimi, or whomever you choose gives a swipe of saliva and mails it in. And in just a few weeks, they will receive an email with the results. You’ll get to see a breakdown of their regional ancestry dating back oh, 200,000 years or so,...

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6 DIY holiday gifts for teachers from the kids that will get an A+

When it comes to holiday gifts for teachers, as a former teacher myself I know first-hand that there is no way to really thank the fantastic teachers of the world enough for all that they do. All day long. Every day. But there are still meaningful holiday gifts for teachers that I think start to do the trick. And, take it from me, a gift with meaning doesn’t have to mean it’s pricey. Truthfully, even when I received a generous gift card to my favorite book store, I usually used it to purchase more books for the classroom. But really it was the handmade...

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Forget waxy chocolate. Gourmet gelt is here!

Gold coins are a must for Hanukkah, but you don’t have to settle for the waxy ones at the store that make your teeth itch. Check out these six amazing kinds of gourmet gelt and revel in quality ingredients, fair trade cocoa, and posh packaging. There’s even one just for grown-ups. Really. It says so on the packaging. But, we think you can share. A little. Tis the season after all. Related: Modern Hanukkah gifts for kids that make 8 days of giving easier | Cool Mom Picks holiday gift guide 2016   Gelt Pail ($32, Freds at Barneys New York)...

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Modern Christmas tree alternatives for small spaces. And, no pesky needles.

Full disclosure: I was at Home Depot the day after Thanksgiving, picking out the perfect tree that I’ll probably keep until it’s brown and desiccated on Valentine’s Day. I’ve got plenty of space for a gigantic Douglas fir, no family members with allergies, and a dog who can usually be persuaded not to eat ornaments. But, if you’re looking for a modern Christmas tree alternative that by-Christma-passes the needles, the sap, and the enormity of it all, we’ve found some fantastic and beautiful alternatives, many of which will last for years and help create new traditions all your own. Related:...

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Cool, modern Christmas tree skirts that go with your own home decor, not Grandma’s.

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...

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The great holiday cookie gift guide: Something for every sweet tooth on your list.

We’ve recently become Cheryl’s Cookies converts around here, after having received a generous gift basket delivery of their buttercream cookies. (Now that’s a friend.) And now…they’re our newest sponsor! Which makes us very happy. If, very hungry, because we’ve spent an inordinate number of hours browsing their site this past week. It’s amazing how many incredible, affordable treats they offer that make thoughtful and convenient holiday gifts. (ZOMG, cookie cards!) From their famous buttercream frosted cookies in the cutest shapes and designs, to make-your-own kits for kids, holiday tins and giant towers…well, just saying, be careful browsing on an empty stomach....

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6 unexpected nativity sets your kids can actually play with

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...

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Bitsbox: The fantastic STEM gift idea that taught my 4 kids to code their own apps.

It’s no secret that parents love finding tech gifts for kids that we can justify as being both fun and educational, but the true test isn’t whether we think they’re cool — but rather, whether our own kids play with them. Over and over again. That’s why we we’re so thrilled to have partnered with our newest sponsor Bitsbox. (And you dedicated Spawned podcast listeners already know just how thrilled!) This clever subscription box gift masterfully and clearly teaches kids how to code their own apps that actually work on smartphones and tablets. Like my 9-year-old son’s Burping Obama app. (Not coming to an app store near you,...

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17 irreverent stocking stuffers for adults both naughty and nice

You can only put so much candy coal into an adult’s stocking, so here are 17 fabulous but irreverent stocking stuffers for adults who’ve been mostly nice…but a little naughty. Or for those who just need a good laugh this holiday season. Or a little extra nope. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 60+ holiday gift ideas for adults all under $15   Bah Humbug Candle ($18, Frostbeard Studio) Oh, what a beautiful candle…that will force your favorite Scrooge to inhale the scent of the holidays. Scented with blue spruce, fig, orange and pepper, and just a hint of coal,...

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12 of the coolest menorahs for kids, from rainbows to dinosaurs to emoji.

While I think using an heirloom Hanukkah menorah that has been passed down from previous generations is a lovely idea, it’s also nice to have a menorah just for kids, to help get them as excited about lighting the candles as they are about eight days of gifts. And there are so many fabulous, kid-friendly menorahs out there this year, we could barely narrow it down. From cute menorahs for younger kids, to edgier options that will appeal to tweens and teens, take a look at these 12 cool options that Liz and I found, and see if one makes it...

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The papercraft book that makes Christmas crafting so, so easy.

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,...

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Free printables + activities that help grow kids’ hearts 3 sizes this Grinch-mas

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. We read that line in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas every year, but it can sometimes be difficult to drive home the message with kids who are a bit more focused on their shiny, wrapped presents. (Not that we blame them entirely.) Related: Deck the house with the coolest Christmas printables, lots of them free If you want to find the strength of 10 Grinches plus two this holiday season — and mobilize your kids to do good in the community...

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The best Cyber Monday deals from 150+ of our favorite shops big and small. Yay for savings!

If you’re looking for some of the best Cyber Monday shopping deals and discounts around the web today, we’ve we’ve put together only the biggest and best (sorry, get $1 off purchases of $100 — no room for you here) all from our favorite shops! We’ll continue to update the post with new deals all day long, so be sure to check back, and follow us on Twitter where we’ll be tweeting ones you don’t see here. And don’t forget to check out our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for even more gift ideas featuring indie designers and small businesses. There are some great discounts in...

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The best Small Business Saturday deals: 75+ ways to save big while you shop small.

We love supporting our favorite small businesses every day of course, but to encourage you to make the most of Small Business Saturday, so many of them have offered up the best shopping deals and discounts today. We’ve rounded up more than 75 of them for you right here and we’ll even keep updating the post as more roll in — and be sure to follow us on Twitter where we’ll be tweeting them all day. What’s more, be sure to shop our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide for even more gift ideas from indie designers and small businesses, lots of which include their own discount codes too....

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