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...Read More
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...Read More
13 of the cutest printable coloring pages for Christmas, to keep kids away from those presents just a little longer.
I know that the days before Christmas can seem unusually long, especially when kids are out of school and the presents are taunting them (my nieces’ word, not mine). So if you’ve got a household of over-excited kids, we’ve got just the thing to help you keep them occupied and away from those presents under the tree. All you need is a printer and some freshly sharpened colored pencils. Or crayons, or markers too. From your basic coloring pages, to wall art, cards, foldable villages, and even placements, these coloring pages — most of them for free! — are just the...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
So apparently giving out holiday classroom gifts are a real thing. How I’ve managed to get my kids from preschool through middle school not knowing about this, is a mystery to me. But this year, I was tasked with searching for ways to make cute DIY holiday classroom gifts that are festive and fun, and I found so many great ideas to pull off this really sweet gesture just in time. Related: 6 DIY holiday gifts for teachers from the kids that will get an A+ While there are tons and tons of ideas for easy and inexpensive DIY gifts out there on some...Read More
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...Read More
It should be obvious by now that here at Cool Mom Picks, we love presents. (We have 350 of them in this year’s holiday gift guide, which we think you should check out, if you haven’t already.) But even more, we love when our gifts give back in big ways. And what better way to get in the spirit of giving this holiday season than with toys for kids who need it most? So, here, I’ve rounded up some of the best ways for families to donate toys to children this month. Add them to your list, and get your own...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
Those of you who are also fans of Cool Mom Eats (and hey, thank you!) know that I’m all about coming up with smart solutions to help busy parents with home cooked meals that still feed our families quickly and easily. Especially this time of year, when presumably most of us would rather spend our time hanging with the family, not stuck in the kitchen. Well, depending on the family of course. (Heh.) So we’re here to help with some smart kitchen shortcuts and easy holiday recipes that keep meals simple, speedy, healthy, and above all, totally delicious — thanks in part to our...Read More
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:...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
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....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
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...Read More
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
It’s time for me to start thinking about sending out our Christmas cards again. Yikes! I haven’t even scheduled a family photo session and I still need to update my address book. School and work and sports — not to mention the major distraction of the election — has left me way behind schedule. But the thing is, this year more than ever, I’m wanting to send out the good vibes of love, warmth, and peace to my friends and family. Because we need it, right? These beautiful modern, uplifting holiday cards we found at some of our favorite shops go beyond the traditional Merry Christmas...Read More
The great Santa debate: The magic of childhood or the end of trust with your children as you know it?
Each year around this time, we sit back (sometimes with popcorn) and we watch the passions ignite and the tempers flare and the tears flow as parents, psychologists, and armchair experts of all kinds debate the merits of Santa. It’s amazing how many strongly held perspectives there are (and they’re all right in their own way, of course) and what incredible emotion this topic inspires. So, we’re jumping on in, as we tend to do, and offering our own perspectives on this week’s episode of Spawned with Kristen + Liz while sharing some other perspectives that you might not had considered....Read More
DIY and printable gift card holder ideas: 10 absolutely lovely options that make that piece of plastic something special.
Though I spend an awful lot of time picking out the perfect gifts for the people on my Christmas list, there are many times when a gift card really is the perfect gift, which is why I’ve rounded up ten DIY gift card holder ideas to dress that little card-sized piece of plastic nicely for the holidays. Because I know my teenage daughter would love a gift card to a local clothing store or iTunes card; our many dance teachers and coaches could use a few free skim Ventis; and I like the idea of cards that support a local lunch joint...Read More