Tag: christmas

Great experience gifts for kids, because memories make for awesome presents.

When we’re asked for ideas for a great gift for the kid who has everything–or even those who don’t–the first thing that comes to mind for me are experience gifts . They don’t have to be expensive at all, or they can be super splurgey. An experience gift can be an activity you do with the kids, or something they do on their own. So broaden your mind if you’re still stumped for gifts–we’ve got some fun idea starters, along with some thoughts on how to package an experience gift so your kids have more to open under the...

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One toy in, one toy out: Used toy donations to help kids in need this holiday season

Especially with so many services that help facilitate toy donations, there is nothing more sad to me than seeing a perfectly good plastic toy sitting by the curb on garbage day. And yet, if you’re like me, you’re not quite sure who to call about the sand table gathering wet leaves in the back yard or the pile of electronic guitars and singing cars your kids accumulate over the years that you might be clearing out, especially with the new gifts coming in for Christmas. Now there’s a way to pass your formerly loved plastic toys on to children...

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Gorgeous modern holiday table settings for some festive inspiration. And uh, hold the Waterford.

When I’ve spent hours working on the perfect Christmas meal, a great holiday table setting is important to me. Serving it on plastic Santa Claus plates with paper napkins is not really my thing, since I want to show my friends and family how much love went into the meal. Still, I want it to be simple enough that kids feel welcome, and I’m not ignoring my family all day to make the table look like something out of a too-perfect magazine spread. I’ve been inspired by these beautiful holiday table settings and the creative details, and I hope...

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15 of the funniest christmas cards. Zero fruitcake jokes.

As much as I love loving, sweet, from-the-heart holiday greetings, there are those family members of mine I can always count on to send the funniest Christmas cards. Here, 15 cards that made me laugh out loud. No guarantees we have the same sense of humor — but I do promise you no fart jokes, fruitcake references, or allusions to Christmas balls of any sort.   Above: Christmastopher Walken Christmas Card ($4.25, Seas and Peas) (Just who you want coming down your chimney in the middle of the night.) I’ve Been Watching You Christmas Card ($5, Finch and Hare) Hot Cocoa Christmas...

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A DIY Christmas tree dollhouse, also known as “how to put those Amazon boxes to good use”

If your house is anything like mine, you’ve got two energetic kids trapped inside by nasty weather and a huge stack of shipping boxes waiting for the recycling truck. Put them all to good use with this DIY project that creates an adorable Christmas tree dollhouse out of supplies you already have on hand. You can even build in a jail, if your Elf on the Shelf is particularly naughty. Our pals at Mr. Printables have found a simple way to turn those plain cardboard boxes into something extraordinary — and useful. All you need are their free printable...

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10 of the best Christmas cookies from around the world

Modern city gal though I think myself, I have a total weakness for traditional Christmas cookie swaps. There’s something so cool about seeing the Christmas cookies from around the world that come from sometimes generations-old recipes from a melting pot of friends. Should you need a new idea beyond gingerbread men and sugar cookies this year–not that we can ever get enough of those–take some inspiration from these 10 amazing Christmas cookies from a variety of global traditions. Related: 5 deliciously easy cookie swap recipes, no hard work required.   DUTCH SPECULAAS SPICE COOKIES The Dutch spice trade is...

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It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas: natural, affordable holiday edition soaps that make cleaning less of a chore

One of the little things I do over the holidays is swap out the grapefruit dish soap or lavender hand pump for something a little more festive. It’s a simple way to make everything feel more holiday-ish the second we walk in the door. It used to be that only the fancy, high-end boutique brands carried incredible fragrances, but now I love that so many favorite natural brands are making them readily available. Here, just a few favorites you can find online or as close as your local market.   Method Holiday Collection Method has always done a great...

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Web coolness: Outrageous photos with Santa, a must-follow Pinterest board, and holiday gift ideas galore

Every week we scour the web for our favorite stories. Here are the ones we’ve liked reading, and we hope you do too.   Here’s a new twist on an old tradition: Visit PADI to find out where to take underwater photos with Santa. At least toddlers can’t wet his pants leg? Must-read: The What is Family? blog series on Brain, Child. Must-watch: Brene Brown on The Power of Empathy. We love her. Must-watch for a big laugh: Lord of the Crumbs. Must-listen: A nice, chill Christmas playlist. Have you visited our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide yet? More than...

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A cool modern take on the holiday wreath that’ll never wilt or shed

I had a lovely Christmas wreath once. But then the cat got to it. You can only clean up so much pine barf before your door goes naked. And that’s why I love this fabulous and unexpected take on the traditional door-hanging: it’s natural, but not too natural. Our pals at Cardboard Safari have taken their laser-cut recycled cardboard creations to the land of the holidays and emerged with a variety of holiday wreaths and tabletop Christmas trees. Each one comes in white or natural brown cardboard and can be easily assembled at home. The white ones can be...

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Deck the house with the coolest Christmas printables, lots of them free

Liven up your Christmas decor this year by printing out some great printable holiday decorations without leaving the comforts of home. The best part: you won’t need a degree in Paper Arts or a stash of obscure crafting supplies to get these pieces ready to display. The printable gingerbread house (above) may not include real candy, but it sure is sweet with lots of  individual characters to position. Or for your kids to reposition every chance they get. ($3 for download; with lots of other sets in Fantastic Toys’ Etsy shop) Tired of green-and-red everything? Check out these Scandinavian-inspired, geometric printable Christmas...

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