A Merry Little Video

On this holiday eve I want to wish a very Merry Christmas to all of you and hope that you feel the warmth and peace of this season wherever you may be.  As we celebrate the birth of our Savior I want to take a moment to say how thankful I am for this wonderful time of year and the focus we place on Christ.  As I’ve reflected on His birth and His life, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my Savior.  I hope you feel this Christmas spirit in your life as well.

I put together a little video, think of it as a virtual greeting card. :)  From my family to yours, Merry Christmas.


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(If you are reading this in an email you may need to click through to see this video.)

Giving the Gift of Service #2

I shared this post last year around Christmas time, but I wanted to post it again and add some NEW service gift tags too!  Gifts and goodies are fun, but let’s not forget that the meaningful ways we serve one another are what really count.  And these tags give you a few small ideas of some really simple ways you can brighten someone’s day.

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Today I want to share with you some printable gift tags that are not for your typical gift in a box with a bow.  These ideas are all about reaching out to others and spreading some Christmas cheer.

Service Act #1:

If you have the means then this is such a fun thing to do!  The next time you and your family are out enjoying dinner pick another table in the restaurant and anonymously pay their bill for them.  Ask the server to present them with this card instead of their check and watch their faces light up.  It is great!

Service Act #2:

This one is similar to the dinner idea but it is more budget friendly.  Believe me I know how tight money can be so if you don’t have the resources to pay for an entire meal then think about just sending over a yummy dessert instead.   This is one my husband and I do fairly often.  And the last time we did it the waitress started crying.  She was touched perhaps even more than the family we sent the dessert too.  You never know who needs you to cross their paths.

Service Act #3:

This is one that I have experienced myself so I know how happy it can make the recipient.  Here’s what you do:  Go into the gas station and ask them to put $10 of gas on pump __. (whatever pump you are by.)  Then tape this tag onto the pump and drive away leaving it loaded with $10 for the next person to pull in.  It will make their day!

Service Act #4:

Put a few quarters into a Ziploc bag and tape the bag and this tag to a vending machine.  Easy and quick.  I think little kids would have fun running around and helping out with this one.

Service Acts #5:

These last two tags are a little more generic so you can use them in many different ways.

-Print one off and have it be the “family service tag.”  One member of the family starts with it and does an act of service for another family member leaving this tag behind.  That person then does an act of service for someone else and passes the tag on again.

-Print off several for each person and encourage them to find one thing to do each day leading up to Christmas and leave the little note behind.

-Or just be creative and find your own ways to use them!  There are plenty of acts of service just waiting to be done.

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And here are the new tags!

Christmas Service Gift Tags- free printable tags for doing random acts of kindness this Christmas

In this set you’ll find:

Service Act #1:

Christmas Service Tags 6

The next time you find yourself at the drive-thru why not pay for the meal of the person behind you?  Imagine their pleasant surprise when they pull up to the window!

Service Act #2 & #3:

Christmas Service Tags 8

These are tags you can leave behind if you shovel off the snow from someone’s car or walkway.  I LOVE the snow, but I’m pretty sure my husband would love if someone did this for us more than anything else.  And bonus…it doesn’t cost a thing!

Service Act #4:

Christmas Service Tags 7And finally here is an act of kindness that many of us already do during the holidays.  Baking a tasty treat and delivering it to our friends, neighbors, or family.  So here is a tag that you can use to go right along with your yummy gift.

Download the PDF- Set 1

Download the PDF- Set 2

I hope you enjoy these tags and enjoy the experience of using them even more!

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Christmas Scavenger Hunt Cards

Last spring I made some scavenger hunt cards for Easter Baskets and talked about the memories I had of searching for my own basket when I was little.  And a couple of weeks ago a reader sent me an email asking if I had a Christmas themed version of the scavenger hunt cards.  And I told her no I didn’t, but duh!  What a great idea!  The thought had never even crossed my mind.  Now obviously most of the Christmas presents will be underneath your tree, but there are some other things you can do as well!  I know that a lot of people do a Christmas Eve gift, and we do that too.  It’s a great tradition started by my husband’s family that everyone gets a new pair of pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve.  That is the perfect kind of gift that would be so much fun to find with a little scavenger hunt.  If you do something similar I’ve made some cards that you can print and use!

Christmas Gift Scavenger Hunt CardsDownload the PDF

You can use all the clues or just pick the ones that fit your home the best.  Mix and match!  And keep those suggestions and questions coming readers, I love to hear your ideas!

 

Chocolate Spoons+Hot Chocolate+Mugs= Great Gift!

If you missed Tuesday’s Giveaway Post then you’ll want to make sure you head over and check it out!  You have the chance to win some of the most adorable and affordable little girl accessories and outfits.  Seriously, this is one of my favorite sponsors yet!  And look how cute their items look on my little girl!

Girl's Crochet Headbands Christmas******************************************************

Okay, now onto today’s post.

Here is another cute and easy gift idea that will be perfect for lots of people on your list!  Or it may be a fun family night activity with some yummy treats that you can all enjoy together.  Either way, this is a must do for the holiday season!

Chocolate Spoons and Hot Chocolate Mugs

These cute little mugs are filled with a bag of hot chocolate and if you need a delicious hot chocolate recipe then may I recommend my very favorite hot chocolate drink?  Since it makes so much it is perfect to make it to give away and keep some for yourself.

The little spoons inside the cups are the fun activity and make great stirring sticks when you’re drinking your cocoa.  They look fancy but couldn’t be easier!  To make them you’ll need some chocolate chips, plastic spoons, small cellophane bags, a wax paper lined tray, and toppings of your choice- marshmallows, toffee bits, sprinkles, peppermint pieces, Andes candy bits, mini chocolate chips, etc.

Chocolate Spoons and Hot Chocolate MugsYou’ll need to melt your chocolate first and here is a great tip on the easiest way to melt your chocolate when baking.  Melt it in your crock pot!  Put your chocolate chips into jars and place the jars into the crock pot.  Fill your crock pot up with warm water until it reaches half way up the jars.  *make sure you don’t spill any of the water into the jars.  It will seize up the chocolate, harden it, and make it melt.  keep the inside of the jars dry!*  Turn the crock pot onto high and in about 30 minutes it will be completely melted.  Stir occasionally while it is melting.

Melting Chocolate in a crock-pot...genius!

That may seem like a long time to wait for the chocolate to melt, but since the crock pot is continually keeping the jars warm the chocolate will stay nice and melted through the entire time.  No pulling it in and out of the microwave or accidentally burning the chocolate.  No re-heating, no clumping chocolate, etc.  Once it is all melted you can turn the crock pot to low or warm.

Melting Chocolate in a crock-pot...genius!

Once your chocolate is ready dip your plastic spoon in until it is nicely coated and allow the excess to drip off.

Melting Chocolate in a crock-pot...genius!Lay the spoons down on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and sprinkle the top of the spoon with your toppings.  In the baking aisle they have so many “bits” that work great for this project, or you can take almost any candy and crush it into bits yourself.

Chocolate Spoons and Hot Chocolate Mugs Chocolate Spoons and Hot Chocolate MugsAfter you’ve finished all your spoons place the tray into the freezer so the chocolate will completely cool.  Once it has hardened you can place the spoons into individual cellophane candy bags and tie them with some ribbon or bakers twine.

Chocolate Spoons and Hot Chocolate MugsIf you’re making these just for yourself as a yummy treat to enjoy with your hot chocolate then store them in a cool, dry place until you use them.   If you make some to give away then pair with a cute mug and even add in some hot chocolate and you’ll have one happy recipient!

Chocolate Spoons and Hot Chocolate Mugs Chocolate Spoons and Hot Chocolate Mugs

 

Jolly Gingerbread Man Banner

My mother always decorates her kitchen with gingerbread men.  It is adorable.  And now whenever I see gingerbread men I’m reminded a little bit of home.   Well my mom asked me to make her a gingerbread man banner and I thought that I’d also share it with you!  It’s fun, cheery, and can be used anywhere in your decorating, not just the kitchen.  :)

Free Printable Jolly Gingerbread Man BannerDownload the PDF

My mom had her banner printed at Staples and then she cut it out, hung it from some twine, and strung it across her china hutch.  I think it looks adorable with her pretty Christmas dishes in the hutch.

Jolly Gingerbread Banner- Free Printable 3A cute touch was tying some ribbon in between each pennant, good job Mom!

Jolly Gingerbread Banner- Free Printable

Vintage Holiday Gift Tags

The other day I made some of this delicious pumpkin bread and decided to take a loaf or two over to our neighbors.   I’m trying to be better at being neighborly, because I’m honestly ashamed at how little I know our neighbors.  Oh sure, we exchange pleasantries whenever our paths cross, but I know I can do more.  And nothing is more friendly then taking over some fresh baked goodness!

Brown Sugar and Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

I didn’t have any gift tags on hand so I decided to make one and then that one turned into six.  I don’t know how that happens.  I get in front of the computer sometimes and I zone out!  And after emerging from my designing bubble I ended up with six vintage gift tags- three of which are holiday themed and three that are neutral and can be used for every day.

Printable Vintage Gift Tags

Download the PDF

I wrapped some brown paper and twine around the bread and tied the little tag on before taking it over to my neighbors.  And we ended up having a nice little chat, the longest we’ve ever talked.  I think the pumpkin bread was a success!

Printable Vintage Gift Tags- set of 6 Printable Vintage Gift Tags- set of 6

So print off the tags, cut them out, and then you’ll have some on hand for whenever you need to add a little something to one of your gifts!