Organized Christmas

Chill Chaser: Make A Winter Warmer Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper

   January 10, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

It's a cheery gift for a dreary day: a Winter Warmer Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper!

Add our free printable template to a package of Jiffy Pop® brand pop-in-pan popcorn for an inexpensive "popcorn topper" craft gift.

Paired with Snowman Soup, you'll bring warmth and fun to a wintry day!

How To Make Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Toppers

Printable Winter Warmer Popcorn Topper Template

Get Organized for the New Year: Post-Christmas Clean-Up!

   December 31, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Ready to start the New Year from a clean and clutter-free home? Try these post-Christmas clean-up tips from sister site, Organized Home.

These simple, do-it-now strategies can reduce clutter and conquer Christmas chaos. We like this one:

Sort Before You Stow

Once the New Year arrives, most families take down holiday decorations and store them for the following year--but too often, there's a sense of "sling it in there and worry about it later" when it comes to putting away Christmas ornaments, holiday linens and outdoor lighting.

This year, pay it forward: sort and declutter holiday decorations, linens and specialty cooking items as you store them. Cut the non-working, the tattered, and the tired from the herd as you put away holiday decorations. Has-been decor items can be recycled or donated; stained linens can be repurposed as cleaning cloths.

Streamline holiday decorating next year: sort before you stow!

Post-Christmas Clean-Up    Read More >>

Post-Holiday Debriefing: Get Organized for Next Christmas

   December 30, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

It's over for another year!

Wild and woolly or sane and sedate, we've passed through the holiday season and into a new year. Breath caught, it's time to debrief.

You know debriefing, right? The astronauts do it, spies do it, pilots do it: a measured after-the fact evaluation of the mission or flight.

Smart holiday planners should do it, too--because taking time now to note what worked, what didn't will be a road map to a more organized Christmas next year.    Read More >>

House & Holidays Plan Week 18: New Year's Week

   December 30, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

All good times must end; with the arrival of New Year's Eve, it's time to wrap up the House & Holidays Plan and move into an organized New Year.

In the coming week, we'll tie up the season's loose ends, make New Year's resolutions, prepare to store holiday decor, and set the stage for next year's celebration.

See you next year!    Read More >>

Seasonal Storage Tip: Holiday Stragglers Box

   December 29, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Christmas has come and gone ... or has it?

Lights are stored, the tree is down, and holiday decor rests in boxes in the storage area, waiting for next year.

Then you turn the corner and spot an overlooked Santa, shining on top of the piano.

In the refrigerator, the holiday butter dish hides the last remnants of a stick of butter. Holiday linens, napkins and kitchen towels pop up in the laundry area this week, next week and the week after.    Read More >>

Keeping New Year's Resolutions: New Year, New You!

   December 25, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

New Year's Eve ... a festive beginning to a new year. It's a good time to take stock and decide to move toward a happier, more organized life.

But too often, what looks so easy as the minute hand approaches midnight falls away in the cold light of January days.

For most of us, New Year's resolutions die a slow and quiet death. They're tossed aside, along with the party hats and noisemakers.

As January winds down, so does motivation, energy and desire for change.    Read More >>

Organized Christmas? Easy Tips to Get Ready For Next Year

   December 23, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Christmas is here ... but you're not ready? The e-mails in my inbox tell the story: "I wish I'd found this site earlier!"

During this time of year, I hear from scores of readers who came looking for holiday help at the height of the celebration-and faced with the reality of Christmas chaos.

Stumbling over our site, they see that it's possible to be organized--and joyous--during the holidays. They just wish they'd found us in time!

So say you're starting now, to think about next year. What's the secret to a stress-free season? Plan ahead!    Read More >>

House & Holidays Plan Week 17: Celebration Week

   December 23, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Time to celebrate! The height of the season is here, so draw close to family and friends in your clean and organized home.

With the holiday upon us, only minimum maintenance is needed in the house.

Holiday prep centers on those few chores needed to make a smooth move between Christmas and the New Year.

Season's greetings from the House & Holidays Plan!    Read More >>

Welcome Home ... for the Holidays!

   December 22, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

The approach of the holidays! There's nothing quite like it to turn our hearts toward home.

Literally. As the holiday nears, are you suffering from "Housing Dissatisfaction Disorder?" It's a little-known seasonal indicator of the coming of winter--and it afflicts many of us as we plan Christmas celebrations.

Look around. What do you see? Dirty carpets. Furniture that's seen better days. Mismatched china, cluttered kitchens, drab and bedraggled window coverings.    Read More >>

Puzzler Puzzle Mat: Make-It-Now Gift

   December 21, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Every parent knows the story: jigsaw puzzles are fun to work, but tough to work around. What's the solution to tying up table tops or floor space with a puzzle in progress?

Its a Puzzler! This one-seam easy-sew puzzle mat allows puzzles to be worked at will, then rolled up and stowed away between play sessions. It's crafted from a short length of craft felt and a recycled gift wrap roller.

Make them in multiples for the holidays. The Puzzler puzzle mat is perfect for teacher gifts. Paired with a new jigsaw puzzle, the Puzzler Puzzle Mat makes a special family gift.    Read More >>

Tips for Holiday Season Travel

   December 20, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Will you visit family or take a Christmas holiday?

Between tight security, cramped airports and busy highways, holiday-season travel can be a big source of Christmas stress.

Whether you're flying or driving, being prepared means you'll be better able to roll with the inevitable punches.

Try these tips to keep the “happy” in holiday travel:    Read More >>

Candy Cane Reindeer

   December 18, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

He's sweet, sassy, and easy enough for children to make: a Candy Cane Reindeer!

Our little Candy Cane Reindeer makes a great craft project for school, scouts, church groups or Secret Santa gifts.

Using candy canes, chenille stems and google eyes from the craft store, Candy Cane Reindeer make great stocking stuffers--or add them to holiday gift wrap for a sweet touch!    Read More >>

Tiny Christmas Craft: Graham Cracker Gingerbread House

   December 17, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Simple, no-bake Graham Cracker Mini-Houses are a sweet holiday treat. Use them as place cards for holiday meals, or hang them as ornaments on the Christmas tree.

Decorations are applied while pieces are flat, then pieces are assembled with melted bark coating in a plastic squeeze bottle.

While an adult should trim the graham cracker sections, decorating and assembling is easy enough for kids.

Makes 10 - 20 houses, depending on breakage and number of crackers.    Read More >>

Mason Jar Recipes: Holiday Ideas for Gifts In A Jar

   December 17, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Gifts in a jar! These frugal consumable gifts feature bath salts, cookie ingredients, holiday beverage mixes, baking mixes or bean soup fixings layered in a glass canning jar, or Mason jar.

Mason jar recipes make easy homemade Christmas gifts. Topped with a colorful fabric circle and a free printable gift tag, they're a welcome holiday treat.

We've got all you need to know to make gifts in a jar. Get started with our instructions, tips and mason jar recipes for holiday giving. Printable gift tags make it easy to craft a special holiday gift!    Read More >>

House & Holidays Plan Week 16: Nearly There Week

   December 16, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

We're nearly there: it's Nearly There Week at the House & Holidays Plan! Christmas parties, cooking and a growing sense of excitement mark these days before Christmas.

Around the house, only minimum maintenance is needed this week.

The week's holiday prep checklist includes the last few chores to get ready for the big day.

Are you ready? Welcome to a clean and organized home for the holiday season!    Read More >>

Child's Journal in a Jar: Printable Journaling Prompts

   December 12, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Spark young writers with a clever non-food gift in a jar: a Child's Journal in a Jar!

This set of colorful journaling prompts asks simple, kid-friendly questions. Cut, folded and tucked into a mason jar, you'll create a Journal in a Jar to turn journaling sessions into fun!

We've made it easy to craft your Child's Journal Jar. These free printable prompts include colorful legends and graphics to make a pretty gift.

Add a free printable gift tag to your Journal in a Jar for a professional touch. Perfect for teacher gifts, stocking stuffers or Secret Santa!    Read More >>

Rhonda's Cranberry Bread

   December 11, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Tangy cranberries spark up this buttery Cranberry Nut Bread recipe, from Christmas Notebook blogger, Rhonda Coulter.

With the sparkling flavors of cranberries, walnuts and orange, these moist loaves freeze well and can be made in quantity.

Add them to your holiday gift baskets for a welcome taste of Christmas! Paired with Chocolate Coffee Spoons, this recipe makes a perfect, personal Christmas gift.

Make and freeze these quick breads up to 8 weeks before Christmas for holiday giving.

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Sew Simple Gift: Make a Hanging Potholder Dishtowel

   December 11, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Craft a pretty kitchen towel for all seasons with this sew simple craft: a hanging potholder dishtowel. Designed to button around an oven handle or towel bar, it's a useful, festive gift.

Using coordinated kitchen linens for this project, you'll need only a potholder, a kitchen towel, a button and some basic sewing skills to create this colorful holiday gift.

With materials for each towel priced at just over $1.50 at the dollar store, you'll bless your budget. Better, each towel takes 15 minutes or less to craft, so it's perfect for busy schedules.    Read More >>

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