Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Life Savers

Today I thought I'd pass on a few things that have been great "savings" for our family...time saving, money saving, sanity saving ideas.

1. Put a red pen in your purse. This may sound nuts, but it really comes in handy for a last minute gift tag, a color other than black for kids to use to color during their sisters choir/band/theatre/orchestra performance! Christmas cards are prettier written in red.

2. Pick up some Adventures in Odyssey radio theatre CD's at your local Christian bookstore. If your kids are a little older, we particularly enjoyed the mystery series. These are GREAT for road trips. Sure we can watch movies, and we do, but listening allows us to look out the window and not miss the Christmas lights as we make our yearly trek to see family in another state.

3. Pick up the leftover greenery at your local Home Depot or Lowe's Building store. When they sell a Christmas tree, they cut off the bottom branches. Unless someone comes by to take these beautiful, pine smelling limbs, they are dumped in the trash. We have it all over our house. (See pic) When we are finished with them, they make great fire starters for our fireplace. (Just make sure you keep them away from the fireplace until you're ready for them to burn!)

4. Instead of trying to read all the Christmas letters when you get them, keep them in a basket. After Christmas, put the basket on your table and pray for one family each day. You can enjoy the letter more when the chaos dies down.

What are your quick, time/life/money/sanity saving tips?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"How Many Days Til Christmas, Mommy?!"

Every mom hears that question again and again! When my kids were little (and bugging me 15 times a day with "how long til Christmas" questions,) we came up with a project that has turned into a tradition.

Cut strips of paper (red and green is great, but white printer paper works), then link them together. If it's 24 days til Christmas, you need 24 strips. Number the strips, then make them into a chain. Each day have one of your kids take one link off.

Without asking, even the youngest kids have an idea of how long it is til the big day.

Here's to a calmer Christmas!