Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Working on the House

Ok so I only was able to post 22 out of the 25 promised Christmas ideas.  Perhaps I will post 3 LATE Christmas ideas later this week just to say I was able to complete my goal! :)  As it turned out, our family had a wonderful Christmas and I am enjoying being at home in my PJ's all week with no work.  We had family come to visit and parties to attend, but the BEST news of all was that our 3 year project of finishing our basement was completed!!  Life has been busy trying to get everything put away and in the proper place. So even though there is no work for me this week, there is still plenty of work to do around the house! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

DIY Wooden Christmas Presents

Christmas Idea #22 - DIY Wooden Christmas Presents

I am really liking these presents made from blocks of wood and scrapbook paper.  All you would need to do is Modge Podge scrapbook paper cut to size (edges inked if you you like that look...I do!) and tie some ribbon or tulle into a bow on top.  Simple decoration for your home or to give to someone as a gift.
Source:  Spotted Canary
Speaking of crafts, I saw this JUMBO JOY sign on Pinterest (without a link) and love the way it looks.  Simple and cute.  I'm not sure I would want to store something as big as that for the other 11 months of the year.  Maybe a small version would work instead.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Polar Express Party

Christmas Idea # 21 - Polar Express Party
Can't you imagine a Polar Express party with eveyryone nice and comfy in their pajamas!  her This idea could work for either a classroom party or family party.  Obviously you could include the book (read by Santa would be neat) or watch the movie, but here are a few more suggestions:
Of course, you would have to provide hot chocolate at this party and what better way than in a crock pot!?!  Mrs. Happy Homemaker has just that!
 If this is an idea for school, how about using this invitation from Erica Bohrer's First Grade
or make this candy train treat:
She also has a Venn Diagram where your students can compare and contrast the book from the movie.  All this for FREE.  Love it!!
The Dowell Family posted about their Polar Express party at school.  Including frosting sugar cookies, a visit from Santa, musical chairs and a trip inside of a train (made by the teacher) to listen to the story and drink hot chocolate.  Incredible!
You could make a cake train (or gingerbread, cookie, whatever works for you) like Alpine Berry did.
Oopsey Daisy shows you how to make a more simple train using graham crackers and frosting
or even this little candy train that might work as a craft or party favor.
Mrs. Johnson's First Grade has a FREE build a train download on her blog.  Hop on over to grab it!
I like the train ornament that Bishop's Blackboard did for her students.
First Grade is Fantabulous did a recent post on what they did at her school and she has included some great links to other resources.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last Minute Teacher/Neighbor Gift Ideas

Christmas Idea # 20 - Last Minute Teacher/Neighbor Gift Ideas
Have a Holly JOLLY Christmas from Pioneer Party

I have seen Twizzlers given with a tag attached saying "TWIZ the season!", but here is another saying you could use:  "Twiz the night before Christmas, and all through the house, they were munching on Twizzlers with very happy mouths!"
Source:  Brassy Apple
May your days be merry and "SPRITE!"

From One of A Kind Gift Ideas:
Oven mitt filled with spaghetti and sauce:
We know how hectic the Holidays can be with all the Christmas rush and fuss,
So relax a bit—Open this MITT, and have some Spaghetti on us!!

I'm totally diggin' this snowman Jiffy pop gift card holder from The Stamp Doc.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Treats To Make For A School Party

Last night I went to bed late and didn't have time to post anything, so I am combining post 18 & 19 today.  On top of everything else crazy that happens in December, our family is trying to finish our basement before Christmas.  Crazy? Yes, but it's going to be totally worth it!

Christmas Idea # 18 - Decorate Snowman Sugar Cookies like Betty Crocker!
 When I saw these snowman sugar cookies I thought of how fun they would be to make for a classroom Christmas party.  Items needed:  sugar cookies, frosting (white), red string licorice and an assortment of candy.  A few ideas might include life savers, mini M&Ms, candy corn (nose), runts, etc.

Christmas Idea # 19 -  Christmas Tree From An Icecream Cone
Source:  The Frugal Girls
This activity is one that I have used many times.  I have used this for a family Christmas party, classroom party and this year we used it in our class when we studied Germany for Christmas Around the World.  Take a sugar cone turned upside down and spread green frosting around.  Cover your tree with "ornaments" by using mini M&M's, string licorice, sprinkles and anything else you think might be fun!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fun with Santa!

Christmas Idea # 17 - Santa fun with your kids!
Earlier this week I had my 2 younger kids e-mail their Christmas wish lists to Santa.  Imagine how excited they were to not only get an email back, but to also watch a video of what Santa was doing!  They were both told they are on the nice list, but that he would be checking in to see if that stayed true.  Good...that means I still have some leverage.  If you want to have your children e-mail Santa and even view some pictures of his house, the reindeer barn and more, check it out!  Oh and by the way, this site is also so fun to check on Christmas Eve when  you can view the Santa tracker to see where's he's been and how long until he reaches your house!!
 Seeing is believing right?!?  How about a picture that captures Santa leaving gifts at YOUR house?  My kids would flip if they saw this!!  Want to know how to create your own?  Check out Capture the Magic to learn how.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reindeer Ideas (part 1)

Christmas Idea #15 - Reindeer Ideas (part 1)

I posted about a game that could be used for holiday parties called Don't Eat Pete!  Well here's the same game called Don't Eat the Reindeer by Prepared Not Scared.
Count on Martha to turn gingerbread cookies upside down to create reindeer!
From The Idea Room, think of how fun it would be to make, eat and give away these cute reindeer cookies.  For a younger grade, I'm thinking these would be fun to make for your Christmas party!  Oh and chocolate and peanut butter...have I mentioned my obsession before?!?
Reindeer cupcakes from Hoosier Homemade:
OR these reindeer cupcakes from With Sprinkles On Top.
There's a few to get you started.  Don't want to overload you all in one day, so more to follow tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Simple and Cute Christmas Gifts

Christmas Idea #14 - Simple and cute Christmas gifts
 Right now I am feeling a little like this:
 Anyone else struggling to keep kids learning?  I swear, my brain and theirs are already checked out for Christmas break!  I * WILL* MAKE* IT!
Anyway....here are a few simple gifts that could be given to friends, students, teachers, or neighbors.

Elf Kisses from Kim's Kandy Kreations (follow the link to get the poem ready to print!)
The poem reads:  Elf Kisses
With little elf eyes watching you,
There's not a lot that Santa misses.
So to help you be good today,
Here's a bunch of sweet elf kisses.

The following came from Stampin' Red.
How about Elf pillows?
 "Snowman Poop" (mini marshmallows) with a poem that reads:  "You've been naughty this year so here's the scoop, all you get for Christmas is this snowman poop!
"Reindeer Noses" with a poem that reads:  "I wanted the perfect gift for you, but couldn't decide just what to do!  I almost sent you a dozen roses-instead here's a bag of reindeer noses!"
OR Reindeer Poop (Whoppers or Raisinets)
Magic Reindeer Food (sprinkle on your yard on Christmas eve...my kids would love it!)
Source:  Creations By Miriam

Magic Reindeer Food (oats with glitter)

Just sprinkle on the lawn at night.
The moon  will make it sparkle bright.
As Santa's reindeer fly and roam,
This treat will guide them to your home.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Christmas Games for Your Party!

Christmas Idea #13 - More Christmas Games For Your Party!

White Elephant Gift Exchange.  If you have ever been part of one you know just how much fun these can be!  We recently had a white elephant gift exchange at our work Christmas party.  The invitation said "G" rated, and yet somehow I ended up taking home one of the only gag gifts...a 50DDD bra!  You'd have to know, but that is so like me to end up with the gift like that!  Before sending out the invitations for you party, you may want to include if there is a price limit (ours was $5 or less) and decide if it matters if the items being gifted should be funny, re-gift items, useful items, etc.  (Just a suggestion!)  Also, choose how you want to gifts to be passed out....Christmas With the Right Family might be just what you need to get things moving!

A new game I haven't heard of before, but sounds like a complete blast is this paper plate game.
Have everyone get a {sturdy} paper plate and place it on their head. Using a marker or pen each person is to draw what they are instructed to without looking.  Remember *NO peeking!*  Once everything has been drawn, you can reveal your masterpiece to everyone around you.  I am sure this is sure to cause a few laughs!  Add up your points based on the rubric below to determine the winner.  You may want to give the winner some kind of prize too!

Here is what to draw:
1. Draw a line for a floor.
2. Draw a Christmas Tree.  Add decorations if you feel so inclined.
3. Draw a star on top of your tree.
4. Draw a fireplace with a mantel next to the tree.
5. Draw a stocking hanging from the mantel of your fireplace.
6. Draw a present below the tree.

Rubric for the Plate Game:
1. 2 points if the tree touches the floor.
2. 2 points if your stocking is touching your mantel.
3. 1 point if your star touches your tree.
4. 1 point if your star is above your tree.
5. 1 point for every Christmas ornament ball that is ON your tree, etc.
6. 1 point if your fireplace doesn’t touch the tree (it’s a fire hazard!). :-)
7. 1 point if you actually drew something decorative on your stocking (or something cute, like a tiny kitten peeking out).
8. 2 points if your present is under your tree.

The paper plate game and Christmas with the Right Family are from Happy Home Fairy.  Thanks for sharing!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Salty and Sweet Christmas Treat

Christmas Idea #12 - Salty and Sweet Christmas Treat
Source:  House on Hilltop
Need something yummy and fast for a Christmas treat?  Maybe you need to take something to a party, work, or neighbors.  Whoever or whatever, there is A LOT of baking that goes on in December and here is one quick recipe to help you out. 

To make these, here's what you'll need:
Hersey Kisses
Pretzels (round kind)
{red & green} M&M's

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Spread the round pretzels on a cookie sheet so that they lie flat. Fill the center of each pretzel with a Hershey Kiss.  Now, place the cookie sheet into your oven. Allow the kisses to melt. Don’t leave the room. This really takes only 3 or 4 minutes. Maybe less, depending on your oven. Take them out as soon as the kisses are melted, but still hold their shape. If you leave them in too long, they will dry out and become hard.  Now, press one M&M into each kiss. Push them around a little so that chocolate touches all of the edges of the pretzels.  Allow the chocolate to set up and enjoy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

So You're On the Naughty List?!?

Christmas Idea #11 - Coal for the Naughty

Are you finding yourself on the naughty or nice list this year?  If you or someone you know is on the naughty list, or if you just like a good gag gift here is some coal that would go nicely in someone's stocking.
Big Red Kitchen made these "coal" rice krispie balls using black icing coloring.  To see her recipe and directions, visit her blog.
Eighteen 25 saw the same idea (above) and created coal with cute packing made from plastic paint cans from a craft store or packaged in a gift bag.  If you visit their blog, they have also included the lump of coal tag you see in the picture.  Maybe being on the naughty list isn't so bad after all!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas

Christmas Idea #10 - The 12 Days of Christmas...start on December 13th!

I am heading shopping...one last time {hopefully} to buy 12 items that would work for the 12 days of Christmas.  Don't worry, you still have a few days left to pull this together!  This idea would be great to give as a close neighbor/friend gift or to use with your own family, like I am planning to do.   Head on over to The Craft Patch to print out your Christmas stories and to see what items you will need.

Friday, December 9, 2011

FuN Christmas Breakfast Ideas

Christmas Idea #9 - FuN Christmas Breakfast Ideas
Mini Cinnamon Buns on a stick from Icecream Before Dinner.  Not only do these look delicious, but think of how much fun the kids would have eating these off a stick!!
How about a Santa pancake from Blue Skies Ahead!?!  Add some chocolate chips for the eyes, whipped cream for the beard and hat and strawberries.
 More of a waffle fan?  Rutherford Family Happenings made a Christmas tree using bacon for the trunk, berries for ornaments and cut up pineapple for the star on top.  Don't forget to use green food coloring to turn your waffles more tree like! :)
Want to try your luck at a reindeer?  Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons created this pancake masterpiece:

Happy Eating!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Santa's Magic Key

Christmas Idea #8 - Santa's Magic Key
This idea comes from The Picadilly Post, and even though I have seen the idea before, the poem to go with the key, I hadn't. 
Dear Santa, This magic key works just for you, Please open the door and come on through. Thank you for coming to our house tonight. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Thank you Santa for the gifts you bring. Thank you Lord for everything.
This would make a cute neighbor gift or to hang on the tree for your own family!  Michelle mentioned in her post that she found the key at Michael's for $1.50 (in the dollar bins), in case you're wondering where to find a key like the one shown.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stocking Holders

Christmas Idea #7 - Stocking Hangers
Want to find out how to make these cute and totally easy stocking hangers?  Head over to Crap I've Made to find out how.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Easy Christmas Tree Display

Christmas Idea #6 - Easy Christmas Tree Display
Need a simple way to decorate the front yard this Christmas season, without the hastle of climbing on the roof in the freezing cold to hang some light icicles!?!  That's right, I am sure I am saving a few marriages with this idea.  Ta-Da!
Looks great right?  Well here's the secret.  Head to Home Depot/Lowes and pick up a tomato cage.  You know...one of these...turned the other way around...
Wrap it in white lights, and you'll have yourself a Christmas tree. 
(Idea from NE Design Build)

If you need something similar to display by the front door or on the porch, why not make your own Christmas topiary?  Using the same tomato cage from above, wrap it in garland and lights to create this expensive look for a lot less!
Source:  Lucy Designs
Honestly, these ideas just may be my favorite finds this year!  Totally loving them both!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Creative Ways to Give Money at Christmas

Christmas Idea #5 - It's All About the Money...
Money is always a hit, no matter the age!  That's why Christmas Idea #5 involves creative ways to give money as a Christmas gift.  This is the perfect gift for a picky teenager or person who already has everything!
How about a money tree from Then She Made.
or this money tree from Artsy Chaos:
How about this bag of money with poem?  Talk about cute!!
Gingerbread men with yummy icing,
are oh so good and extremely enticing.
I set out to make you a dozen or two,
but time ran out, so now what to do?
So instead of the cookies, I tied with a bow,
your own personal serving of holiday dough.
A box of chocolate?  Oh wait...more money!  This would make a great Valentine's or Christmas gift!
Source:  Life As Mom
Martha Stewart does it right by wrapping this quarter rolls to look like candy.  A perfect stocking stuffer!