Tag: holidays

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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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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The last-minute Thanksgiving help: Everything you need including recipe help, drinks, decor, printables + crafts for the kids. No go forth and be thankful!

If you’re like me and Thanksgiving totally snuck up on you this year (seriously, today?), fear not! The CMP team has been hard at work for weeks now, sharing the most helpful resources and great advice to help you master the big day. From the most foolproof turkey roasting tutorials (and who to call when…uh, if they go wrong), pie recipes to live for, and the most fun printables to keep kids busy and entertained, we’ve got it all right here. And hey, if you’re desperate for just some Thanksgiving relative survival tips (for humans, not turkeys), we’ve got you covered with that in the...

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Beyond thank you and please: 7 manners all kids should learn for holiday entertaining (and that we’re not all teaching)

Please and thank you — important stuff, right? I’ve always believe that courteous kids grow into nice adults and we all need more nice in the world these day. But that’s not where etiquette begins and ends. So with the holidays here, and lots of entertaining and mingling coming up on our calendars, we’ve started talking in our home about some of the manners that we want our kids to know, so they can be fantastic guests and hosts. I’m sharing them here with the hope that maybe our ideas will help some of you too. Top: Please and Thank You poster at TanyaGDesign on Etsy I know...

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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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Color your home grateful with these cool printable Thanksgiving posters from Caravan.

If you’ve been following us this season, you know we’ve already discovered some amazing printables for Thanksgiving. And while these activities should buy you at least some free time Thanksgiving morning to conquer your cooking, we thought a larger-scale printable could be helpful too. I was excited to discover these printable posters from Caravan, which encourage kids to creatively express their gratitude and decorate the walls — all without damaging the interiors of your home. I love the GIANT Thanksgiving Coloring Poster that offers a mind-boggling amount (seriously, whoa!) of Thanksgiving-themed detail for kids to fill in with a marker or crayon. And check...

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How to make a DIY Thankful Turkey with your kids in 4 (very) easy steps.

Our favorite crafts around here are simple ones that don’t require an MFA, and it’s a big bonus when we don’t even have to head to the craft store for supplies. And if these crafts help us have conversations about the world around us, allow our kids to get in touch with nature or our community, or teach them the importance of gratitude, then even better. This cute DIY thankful turkey craft is a very easy and fun craft that fits all these categories. I’ll be making these with my kids this year while we wait for our turkey to cook, because we really do have...

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13 amazing, free Thanksgiving printables from a cute pie box to a fun I Spy game for kids.

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving and although I have been looking forward to it for weeks now, it feels like the events of the election may loom over the dinner table like 50-foot floats in the Macy’s Day Parade (except not as cute and friendly). It’s been an emotional November for many of us, but at the end of the day, Thanksgiving is all about gathering together, practicing gratitude, and remembering how important our friends and family are. So in the spirit of this special holiday, I’ve rounded up 13 free Thanksgiving printables — games, coloring pages, decor ideas, and more — to help us...

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What the world needs now… you know the rest.

So many shopping holidays are just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, you’re busy keeping a spreadsheet of all the best deals around. (And, hey, if you’re late to the task, don’t worry, we’ll be sharing all our best deals finds and holiday gift ideas with you soon!) But as you juggle the upcoming deals on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday, don’t forget about Giving Tuesday, which is exactly as it sounds — a day promoting the selfless acts of volunteering, donating, and generally showing love. With the new collaboration between Nest and QVC, you can give back and shop, thanks...

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Gorgeous pajamas by Sudara that help women in India find safe, sustainable work.

I may be the only person I know who gets excited about daylight savings time because the earlier sunset gives me an excuse to slip into something soft and forgiving for many more hours of the day. Oh yeah, and being pregnant hasn’t helped with this habit, at all. As a shameless pajama fiend, I was super excited to learn about Sudara, a company that makes gorgeous loungewear inspired by the art and culture of India. What’s more, is that these pants by Sudara are handcrafted by women in these communities who have bravely escaped sex trafficking. Sudara actively fights sex slavery in India by providing safe,...

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8 fun and easy Thanksgiving crafts for preschool kids beyond tracing a hand to look like a turkey.

I truly love spending autumn weekends doing fall crafts with my nieces, and now that we’re done with pumpkins and ghosts, I’m looking into cool craft projects for Thanksgiving. I searched around and found some favorites — corn on the cob, the Mayflower, and of course, turkeys (so many turkeys!) — that are perfect for even the youngest preschool kids. Here are 8 of my favorites — all super fun and easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids. And all fridge-worthy.  Related: 6 adorable pinecone crafts that go way beyond wreaths. Hello, fall! Love that this Fork-Painted Turkey Craft at I Hear Arts n Crafts, doesn’t even require a...

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15 of the best free Halloween printables for kids. Even better than candy.

Every October, we round up our favorite free Halloween printables from around the web, because we know so many parents who are trying to distract kids from the troves of candy that keep showing up at grandparents’ houses and doctor office waiting rooms, even before the big day arrives. Or in my case, these Halloween games and crafts help me distract my nieces from wanting to pay a small fortune to attend something called a “zombie paintball hayride.” Which is apparently a thing that happens in Nashville. So here they are: some of the best free Halloween printables — games, lunch box notes, masks, and...

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15 amazing strong girl costume ideas for Halloween that go beyond the expected.

I have no problems with princesses and more traditional Halloween costumes for my daughter, but I admit I do have a bit of a bias toward strong girl Halloween costumes. So when my daughter told me she wants to dress up as a Greek goddess this year, I definitely felt a twinge of pride. Not only because she loves the classics, but because she recognizes that women can be strong and powerful, something I am more than happy to help her celebrate this Halloween — or any other day of the year. And hey, maybe next year she’ll be a kitty cat. And that will...

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The 2016 Coretta Scott King book award winners: Great reads for MLK Day and beyond

I don’t want to let holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day slip by with my kids thinking it’s just an extra day off of school. So if you’re like me and are looking for some ways to honor the spirit of MLK while you’re home today, we highly recommend you check out last week’s winners and honorees of the 2016 Coretta Scott King book awards which we briefly mentioned in our roundup of all the best book lists and award-winners of the past year. This is a list of winners we share each year because it’s important for us to seek out diverse stories from diverse authors, that aren’t always...

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Web coolness: December happiness edition

There’s a lot of tough things in the news lately and you know, sometimes we just need a break. So here are our favorite happy, inspiring, and upbeat stories we’ve been reading around the web this week, in case you want to keep the merriness going. Hope you like them too.    Can you find the panda? Oops, wrong number. Long distance charges may apply. Why Philly is awesome. Ja Rule reads How the Grinch Stole Christmas The Electric Mayhem Band sings Kodachrome and it’s a walk down Muppets memory lane. On McSweeney’s: Excerpts from my mother’s editorial notes on my letters to...

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Super last minute Christmas help: Printables, crafts, recipes, apps and more

Printable gift tags via Creative Index Need a little last minute Christmas help? Don’t panic! We’ve got lots of help just for you.     DIY and printable Christmas gift tags, gift wrap and decorations Festive table setting ideas for your holiday table Printable gift card holders  Free printable gift tags and gift wrap Even more printable gift tags and gift wrap 10 ways to package Christmas cookies  Lots of creative gift wrap ideas  Gorgeous modern table settings for Christmas   Christmas crafts and apps to keep the kids busy 20 cool pop culture snowflake patterns  Easy DIY ornaments the kids...

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Dozens of last-minute gift ideas for Christmas, hold the $49 overnight shipping charges

Are you still looking for a few awesome last-minute gift ideas for Christmas? We know you’re out there, and we’re here to help. So if you’re like us, and you’re still finishing up your Christmas shopping, do not panic. Heck, do not panic if you’re just getting started. Well, okay, you might want to hustle a bit. But panic? Nope, not yet. Check out lots of our favorite last-minute holiday gift ideas  in every price range, all of which you can still purchase or make yourself before Christmas morning for pretty much anyone still on your list. And hey, silver lining: what we love about last-minute gifts...

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