November 17th—38 days until Christmas—Christmas Card Bowl

We’re under forty days to the big day and that means soon cards will start to arrive.  I hope you already have yours.  I hope you’ve even started to address them.  Remember we’re trying to do everything in advance so December will be stress-free and love-filled.

Since you’ll be receiving cards, you’ll be needing a place to keep them.  I decoupaged a painted wooden bowl with old cut-out Christmas cards.

DSCN0389

The elves love to carry it away to a quiet place to look at the pictures and read all the greetings.  Decoupage is easy and takes no artistic talent at all–just cut and paste.  Here are the instructions for a box I made last year.

In my next post I’ll take a break from crafts and share some of my dear husband’s favorites for the holidays.  Hope some might be yours, too.

October 27th—59 days until Christmas—My Favorite Advent Calendar

Our countdown is into the fifties! Time is moving on. That’s why it’s not too early to be thinking about Advent Calendars.

My Advent Calendar today doesn’t hold gifts. This one is full of activities the family can do together. The easiest part is making the container—I use an old vase, wide enough at the top so that small elf hands can fit inside and tie a bright read bow to make it seasonal.

DSCN0411

Then fill your vase with twenty-five sheets of paper.

What’s written on each paper?

A different activity that you can do together. By the time December comes around, if you’ve been following this blog, you will have completed your shopping so you can relax and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Need some activity suggestions? How about these as possibilities?

1.  Make a card for someone special

2.  Go through your toys and belongings to find those still in good condition to donate to others less fortunate. This has the added advantage of brightening someone else’s holiday and gives you space to put the gifts received this Christmas.

3.  Bake cookies—What about these yummy white chocolate oatmeal cookies?

DSCN0370 (2)

4.  Shut down your computer, no video games. Everyone in the family gather around the table and play an old-fashioned board game. SCRABBLE anyone? MONOPOLY?

5.  Do an outside activity together, walk, jog, ice skate, build a snow man.

6, Start a jigsaw Christmas puzzle. Serious Puzzles on the internet has jigsaw puzzles from 13 pieces up to 6,000! Check them out here.

7.  Read a Christmas book aloud.  Perhaps this lovely collection of poems (My alter-ego Ann Whitford Paul has a poem there.)

manger  Or, better yet, this book about ME!

Christmas_cover - Copy

My next few blogs will be devoted to further suggestions for your Activity Advent Calendar. What fun you and your family will have together!

August 29–118 days until Christmas–Last Card

Here’s the final card created from ‘TWAS THE LATE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS.

hugs 001 (2)

And the message inside reads

hugs 001 (3)

It, too, can be ordered here.

Hope you’ve liked at least one of my cards. Anything I can do to help ease your stress for this holiday gives me pleasure.

If, however, none of these cards suits your fancy, don’t wait to buy your cards. Shop now. Anything you can do before December will give you a more relaxed holiday.

Check out my next post when we’ll talk about school bells and Christmas bells, too.

August 28–119 days until Christmas–Check out this Tree Card

By the end of the holiday needles are dry and dropping, decorations have fallen and the tree will be tired of standing straight, just like this card.
christmas tree scan 001 (2)

with this message inside
christmas tree scan 001 (3)

You can order the card here.

The last card created from ‘TWAS THE LATE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS is about the best gift for your loved ones. It’s the cheapest, too, so don’t miss my next post.

August 26–121 Days until Christmas–At Last, the Card Surprise

If you’re like me, you’ve probably tired of the usual sappy, holiday
greetings. Then I have a treat for you—cards that are honest about the holidays like this one.

keep calm 001 (2)
Haven’t we all felt like this at Christmas?
Here’s the message inside.
keep calm 001 (3)

This card was created with an illustration by the talented Nancy Hayashi from that charming book about me.
‘TWAS THE LATE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS.
Christmas_cover - Copy

Don’t like this card?
Tomorrow I’ll share another. We have four designs in all. Each folded card is 5 by 7. Set of ten is $16.99 which includes handling and postage.

Order here now and get them in plenty of time for the holidays.

August 25—122 days until Christmas—Unique Christmas Cards

I know I promised you a surprise about cards today, but alas, even my best laid plans have to be delayed. I’d like to blame it on the elves, or better yet, Mr. Claus, but alas it’s my fault and the surprise will have to wait for my next post.

In the meantime we can still talk about cards.

What about this year making your own?
Use a family picture
card pictures 001 (3)
or a favorite drawing by your children
card pictures 001 (4) or maybe an acrostic poem you’ve written yourself In case you’ve forgotten how, click here.
or a poem with repetition To refresh your memory, click here.

Then go online for companies that help you create your card. In the past my husband and I have used Shutterfly and Costco and been pleased with the results.

Does creating your own cards overwhelm you?

Then be sure to read my next post for the card surprise.

Anyone want to share a story about creating your own card?

126 days until Christmas—Rethinking Cards

Do you really need to send Christmas Cards?

If your answer is yes, is there a way you can lessen the burden?
What about sending e-cards? Type in ecards in your search engine and you’ll be amazed at the number of websites that can help you.

What about shortening your list by only sending cards to people who don’t live near you?

What about sending your holiday cards at Halloween or better yet, after Christmas? Your recipient will have much more time to enjoy your greeting.

But maybe you love sending cards. I do. After all, the holidays are about stopping the hectic pace of life to remember who and what matters.

To ease your stress, make your list of who will get cards now. Makeing your address labels now, too? Want to add a small picture to them? I used this picture last year on my labels.

It’s a tiny illustration from ‘TWAS THE LATE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS and is my early holiday gift to you. Just click on it and use with my blessing.

Next post, I have a surprise for you about cards.
Doesn’t it feel great to be planning ahead for the holidays? You are really going to relax this December and enjoy a stress-free, love-filled Christmas.