Tag: christmas ornaments + decorations

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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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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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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10 fun ideas for holiday traditions you can start with your family right now

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...

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14 festive and fun advent calendars to count down to Christmas.

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...

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Easy DIY ornaments for kids: 9 terrific ideas for turning those plain ornaments into something special

I have had such a great time this week looking for ideas for DIY ornaments for the kids. After all, one of my favorite parts about decorating for the holidays is seeing the Christmas tree ornaments my kids have made over the years and hey, we’re always open to new ideas. So here are 9 really easy, fun ways to turn those plain round ornaments into holiday keepsakes for anyone in your family, their favorite teachers, or even a BFF. I really like that these DIY ornament ideas make great group projects too, if you’re looking for a classroom or playdate project for a bunch of creative...

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7 unique nativity sets for families with young kids. So basically, not glass.

Now that it’s officially December, I will soon unpack and set up my childhood nativity set, even if our holidays are largely secular nowadays. However after three kids who turned my nativity into a sort of dollhouse toy each year, it’s time for me to consider something new. Which is why I have been looking around the web for a beautiful and unique nativity set for families that won’t be easily destroyed, should the kids get a little handsy with the Wise Men. In other words, no $800 porcelain figurines painted with 14k gold leaf. So I came up with seven nativity sets I really...

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15 of the coolest Advent calendars to make waiting for Christmas more fun.

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....

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20 incredible, modern custom illustrated family portraits that make the most special gift ever.

Last year, our post on amazing illustrators making modern custom family portraits was such a hit, we took another look this year. And wow, so many options! From sweet to stylized, these are the kinds of personalized holiday gifts that make a huge impact, and often for far less money than you’d expect. The one caveat: you want to get a jump on ordering now if you’re interested, which is why we’ve done our best to specify order deadlines for Christmas — but be sure to contact the artists directly just to be extra extra extra sure that they can make your...

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Awesome holiday cards from Minted: You pick them, they address them. Actually, they may pay for them, too.

If thinking about your holiday card photos already is stressing you out, take a deep breath. Because we’re about to make it easier for you in a whole lot of ways. First off, our amazing sponsor Minted (yay, Minted!) is back with a brand new indie designer-created holiday card collection for 2015 and we’re sharing some favorite holiday cards from Minted to help you pare down your choices from the zillions of gorgeous designs. Trust us, it was tough. If you’re familiar with them, you know that we’ve all been huge fans of their cards for years, because they not only support small designers from around the...

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Last minute Christmas help from gifts to apps: We’re all over it.

Need some last minute Christmas help? We are here for you, friends!   16 last minute ideas for Christmas gifts you can still get 40 creative stocking stuffer ideas, beyond bubbles The best gift card apps to make last-minute gifts easier 6 fun Santa apps for kids to help prove he’s real 7 of the best apps and websites for sending last-minute holiday ecards Handmade craft gift ideas that kids can make themselves Tons of gorgeous free printable gift tags and gift wrap 14 creative gift wrap ideas Easy holiday table setting ideas for a dinner with kids How to take better...

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Deck the halls with printable Christmas ornaments from Smallful

I’ve woken up a few times over the last couple weeks to the sound of ornaments falling from my tree and crashing to the floor. Not good. I’ve got a few gaps in my tree now, but with just a couple days until school is out and the kids are home, I don’t have time to make a run to the store for more ornaments. Our editor Liz forwarded me these cool printable Christmas ornaments from Smallful the other day, and now I don’t need to go anywhere. I love tradition and vintage and classic at Christmas, but these fresh, modern designs...

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Web coolness – Holiday help, gift wrap ideas, and Christmas humor. Lots of it.

Here are some of the things we’ve loved reading around the web this week, with special emphasis on last-minute holiday help, and humor to get you through the week. Enjoy!   The final days to enter our seriously amazing 2014 Holiday Gift Guide giveaway and our equally awesome Holiday Tech Gift Guide giveaway featuring a new iPad Air 2. Someone has to win–how about you? 15 seriously hilarious Christmas cards Christmas song playlist compiled by top parent bloggers. (Also, their least favorites. Sorry, Dominic the Donkey)   11 creative gift wrap ideas including these adorable parcels “from the North Pole.” Ideas for  gift...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins – Holiday help is here!

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us for great ideas like these from our site and beyond.   1. One of the easiest, most adorable DIY Christmas gifts from kids. 2.  Nice ideas for gift-wrapping a bottle of wine. 3. If you’re heading out of town, you might need this cool gadget for travelers. 4. Great last minute gift idea for guys. 5. Perfect New Year’s Eve jewelry....

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O LEGO tree, O LEGO tree…

If all your kids want for Christmas is more LEGO pieces to add to their never big enough collection, they’ll be thrilled to discover that you can even cover the Christmas tree with those beloved bricks in the form of LEGO ornaments. Here are three great shops to start to help them on their quest for LEGO domination of the world! Or okay, maybe just Christmas tree domination.   If your LEGO fanatics like the building part of LEGO most of all, they’ll be thrilled to receive one of LEGO building master Chris McVeigh’s LEGO ornament kits. I absolutely love the modern designs and cool...

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15 of the most gorgeous printable holiday crafts for kids and families. Better get those printers warmed up!

Each year, I love rounding up the best printable holiday crafts that so many amazing designers, artists, and all-around crafty people develop so that people like me can create beautiful things with our kids. In fact, they make it so easy for me to print out not only holiday paper crafts, but also beautiful gift tags and vibrant wrapping paper, I never have to make a night-before-Christmas run for those things anymore. (If only I could print tape.) So I’ve put together 15 of my favorite printable holiday crafts to do with the kids this season. And with three kids, you...

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The little Christmas tree that’s not a Charlie Brown tree

If you’re short on space, before you spring for any new holiday decorations this year, check out Milani’s bright and bouncy beechwood-and-steel small modern Christmas tree on a Spring which does a great job of combining contemporary and fun. It’s small, but doesn’t look kie a Charlie Brown tree. And hey, it won’t shed needles all over your floor. At 12-inches high, this tree doesn’t need a lot of space to liven up a room and, though I love it as is, it can be customized with your own small ornaments and decorations. Grab it in green, red, blue, or multicolored, or set...

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Wonderful vintage Christmas ornaments and decor on Etsy: And a very merry, mid-century Christmas to you too.

I think bringing vintage Christmas ornaments and other goodies into your celebration can bring so much personality to your holiday table setting and the rest of your decor. I really love mid-century items, so anything past the late ’60s gets a little modern kitsch for me–not that there aren’t a few goodies. So I’ve combed Etsy and put together some spectacular vintage Christmas ornaments and other finds I hope you’ll love as much as I do. Hey, sometimes one perfect, perfectly cool ornament makes the perfect little gift and it hasn’t cost you much at all.   Mid-century Christmas tree ornament...

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Modern holiday table setting tips: A huge array of ideas to keep it easy, affordable, and fun!

Let me first be totally upfront: The idea of setting a holiday table kind of terrifies me. I am not someone who can just effortlessly whip up an Elsa’s castle centerpiece made of handmade gingerbread, or pick up a calligraphy pen and go to town on place cards. I don’t even own fancy china or “holiday” dinnerware because we tend to have holiday dinners elsewhere. I quietly envy the spectacular holiday table settings and place card ideas on Pinterest, and repin them, but in my head I’m thinking, yeah, right. In other words, I’m not living the glorious home decor blogger dream. I’m...

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