Tag Archives: Christmas

Bring the Magic of Christmas to your Child with Portable North Pole

Bring the Magic of Christmas to your Child with Portable North Pole

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please know that all opinions are honestly conveyed and are mine alone.

The best part of Christmas is seeing how magical it is through the eyes of a child.  To hear a little one gasp with excitement when they see Santa or open the smallest of gifts, yet smile so big… and another way to help bring the magic of Christmas to your child this year is with the Portable North Pole.

 

Portable North Pole gives you several options to customize a video message or a phone call for your child.  While, it is a basic script, you are able to upload pictures and the name of your child to somewhat customize the message.

It even has messages for groups of grown-ups too.  So if you want to liven up your workplace during the holidays, it could add a bit of fun!

You can create several different videos or calls and your account is active until next year… so if you need to send a call to your child in July to remind them to be good and that Santa is watching all year long…. well, this just might do the trick to keep them on the nice list all year long!

 

Make Christmas Magic with Portable North Pole Portable North Pole 2017 (PNP) lets you make Christmas even more magical by sending personalized video messages and calls from Santa from the enchanted North Pole to children young and old. Watch them be amazed as they see Santa in his home, the magical reindeer, and the hustle and bustle of the elves as they prepare for Christmas Eve. As the top free mobile Santa app with more than 160 million videos viewed, PNP is a cherished, modern holiday tradition for families worldwide. In just moments, create an adorable video from Santa that you and your child will remember forever. Simply visit the PNP website or download the mobile app on iOS or Android.

PNP offers a free video for every child with a new option to purchase a single premium video ($4.99) or upgrade to a premium package, including the Video Pass ($9.99) or Magic Pass ($13.99). Both packages provide six enchanting video storylines to choose from, with each offering five or more minutes of footage to watch, from exploring Santa’s workshop to the amazing gift-wrapping machine, as well as the Reaction Recorder (available on mobile app only). In addition, you can create an unlimited number of videos, and receive a special “Santa’s Coming” video to watch on Christmas Eve…

 

 

 

5-Minute Homemade Christmas Tree Ornaments

5-Minute Homemade Christmas Tree Ornaments

Do you ever look at all of the beautiful DIY Christmas crafts on Pinterest and think to yourself, “there’s no way that I could ever do that!”  Well, these Christmas ornaments are not only beautiful and sparkly on the tree, but they are quick and super-easy to make!  You can literally make these ornaments in less than 5 minutes!But I promise that no one will know, because they are so pretty it will look like you spent hours on them… it will just be our little secret…

And because these ornaments are so easy to make, they are perfect for your kids to help make.  Did I mention that all of the paint, glue, and glitter go inside the ornament??  So no worrying about letting the paint dry or having glitter fall off.

 

No mess, quick, easy… and last, but certainly not least, these ornaments are actually plastic (not glass!) so you don’t have to worry about your little ones or pets making them fall off the tree and break.

 

4 Ornaments in 5 Minutes:

 

Mixed Paint

  • Take the top off the ornament
  • Choose 3 colors of paint, carefully pour inside ornament
  • Put the top back on
  • Swirl paint around until inside of ornament is fully covered

Tip: Turn ornament occasionally until all the paint is dry inside to prevent paint from pooling in one area

 

Gift Wrap and Sparkle

  • Take the top off the ornament

Fill with gift basket filler, pieces of tinsel, pom-poms, etc…

  • Put the top back on

 

Glitter

  • Take the top off the ornament
  • Carefully pour clear glue inside ornament
  • Swirl around until the glue even coats the inside
  • Pour glitter in the ornament
  • Put the top back on
  • Shake around to help evenly spread out the glitter

Tip: Make sure not to pour too much glue in, just use enough to coat the inside.

 

Snowball

  • Take the top off the ornament
  • Carefully pour clear glue inside ornament
  • Swirl around until the glue even coats the inside
  • Pour iridescent snow flake sprinkles into ornament
  • Put the top back on
  • Shake around to help evenly spread out the snow flakes

 

Quick, easy and no-mess tutorial for making the ornaments:

 

 

More Christmas Crafts:

You might also enjoy learning how to make this ‘Warm Up with a Cup of Cheer’ DIY Rustic Christmas Sign.

 

Merry Christmas!

Northeast Ohio Christmas Lights Display: Magic of Lights

Northeast Ohio Christmas Lights Display: Magic of Lights

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content.  Please know that all opinions are honestly conveyed and are mine alone.

Every year, we try to fit in fun Christmas activities and events leading up to Christmas.  It is easy to get busy with all of the things that have to get done, that actually relaxing and enjoying the holiday can get overlooked.  So just taking a family night to go and look at Christmas lights is a lot of fun!  This year, we chose Magic of Lights at Victory Park in North Ridgeville for our night out.

Magic of Lights features a variety of festive scenes celebrating the holiday season.  This light display is drive-through– which is great, because it was cold and snowy the night we went!  To add to the Christmas mood, it is suggested that guests tune into Cleveland’s Star 102.1 FM and enjoy Christmas music on the drive through the lights.

Magic of Lights  offers a winding 1-2 mile course through the park to view sparkling LED displays depicting the favorite characters of the season, including animated snowmen, elves, poinsettias, candy canes, and more!

It was pretty cool to find out that the light displays were actually created by local STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) students!  That had to be a fun learning activity!

The lights display even ends with a drive through tunnel!

You can pay at the gate, but you get a bit of a discount if you purchase your ticket ahead of time online at MagicOfLights.com.

 

Merry Christmas!

Package from Santa: a review

Package from Santa: a review

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content.  Please know that all opinions are honestly conveyed and are mine alone.

My youngest son is six years old… and has two older brothers, so keeping Christmas magical for him can be a bit of a challenge.  His older brothers are really good, though, about keeping the secret and helping to make things fun for him while he is still little.  So, this year, I thought it would be fun to surprise my little guy with a Package from Santa.

At packagefromsanta.com You can get personalized LETTERS, PACKAGES, CALLS and VIDEOS from SANTA!

As a parent, it is truly a joy to see your children’s face light up with excitement.  And it seems like Derek really thought his package from Santa was pretty cool!

One of the things that I liked the best is that there were several themes to choose from:

This way, no matter what your current situation is, there is a letter that would be just perfect!  Once you choose a theme, you are still able to fully customize the letter to make the specific wording just the way you want.

Every package also comes with a FREE personalized CALL and VIDEO FROM SANTA that can be scheduled any time– so we chose to get a call from Santa on Christmas Eve!  I think he’s going to love hearing from Santa and knowing that he needs to get in bed so Santa can bring his gifts…

Review:
  1. Quick Service–Once ordered, our Package From Santa arrived within a few days.  Emails were sent confirming the order and letting me know when the package had been sent.
  2. Affordable pricing options– there are different packages to choose from, so it is easy to find one to fit your budget.
  3. Easily Customizable– I really liked all of the themes to choose from, and that each theme was fully customizable.  Having the ability to make the edits that I wanted to make it personal for my son truly made it more meaningful!

 

Get one for your child:

Click here to see a video to learn more about this very special Santa memory service that will be a part of my family for years to come!

The Silver Package ($24.95) comes in a red box & includes:

  • Personalized Letter from Santa
  • BONUS! Personalized Video from Santa (retail $9.99)
  • BONUS! Personalized Phone Call from Santa to a cell phone OR land line! (retail $9.99)
  • Personalized Nice List Certificate
  • Autographed Santa Claus Photo
  • Autographed Rudolph Photo
  • Genuine North Pole Stamp
  • …and so much more!

It also comes with a 60-Day money-back guarantee because they are THAT confident your child will LOVE it!

There are 3 different packages offered, so you can choose a price point that works with your budget. I will be reviewed the Silver package ($29.95).

 

How to order:

Order this holiday must-have for your child at PackageFromSanta.com and save 25% OFF your order when you use code: FAMS17 at checkout.

 

Make Christmas Magical for Your Child with a Package from Santa

Make Christmas Magical for Your Child with a Package from Santa

This post may contain affiliate links or sponsored content.  Please know that all opinions are honestly conveyed and are mine alone.

Start a new and memorable tradition this Christmas with a Package from Santa.  You can get personalized LETTERS, PACKAGES, CALLS and VIDEOS from SANTA!

As a parent, it is truly a joy to see your children’s face light up in amazement.  And this is sure to happen when they get a personalized letter from Santa Claus!

This not just a letter from Santa. It’s an amazing experience – it’s joy, memories, wonder and happiness in a box! You can choose a specific letter theme and then customize it yourself to include details that only Santa would know!

Every package also comes with a FREE personalized CALL and VIDEO FROM SANTA that can be scheduled any time. I have a feeling me little guy is going to be absolutely amazed to receive a call and video from Santa!

Here are the details:

Package From Santa has an A+ Rating with the BBB due to their unmatched, high-touch customer service so you can be confident that you are making a wise purchase. They have real people on the phone ready to help answer questions.

Click here to see a video to learn more about this very special Santa memory service that will be a part of my family for years to come!

The Silver Package ($24.95) comes in a red box & includes:

  • Personalized Letter from Santa
  • BONUS! Personalized Video from Santa (retail $9.99)
  • BONUS! Personalized Phone Call from Santa to a cell phone OR land line! (retail $9.99)
  • Personalized Nice List Certificate
  • Autographed Santa Claus Photo
  • Autographed Rudolph Photo
  • Genuine North Pole Stamp
  • …and so much more!

It also comes with a 60-Day money-back guarantee because they are THAT confident your child will LOVE it!

There are 3 different packages offered, so you can choose a price point that works with your budget. I will be reviewing the Silver package ($29.95).

Order this holiday must-have for your child at PackageFromSanta.com and save 25% OFF your order when you use code: FAMS17 at checkout.

‘Warm Up with a Cup of Cheer’ DIY Rustic Christmas Sign

‘Warm Up with a Cup of Cheer’ DIY Rustic Christmas Sign Tutorial + FREE Printable

The weather is getting colder, the days are shorter, snowflakes are starting to fly… it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!  And there is absolutely nothing better to do on these cold, overcast days than to warm up with a cup of cheer (aka coffee!), turn on some holiday music, and decorate for Christmas!

I love decorating for Christmas… and I love getting new items that I can add into my holiday décor.  But sometimes it can be pretty costly to buy new decorations or home décor, especially at the beginning of the season.  Of course, you can probably load up on everything Christmas on December 26 when everything goes on sale… that is, if you can find the items you wanted because things are pretty well picked over by the time the after-Christmas sale rolls around.

So, if you don’t want to pay full-price before Christmas, and you don’t want to wait until the after-Christmas sale, what should you do?  Well, you can make your own beautiful Christmas décor and it costs a lot less than paying before-Christmas prices to buy something already made!

Watch the video tutorial here:

Here’s what you will need:
  • Canvas
  • Paint Markers
  • Tracing Paper
  • My FREE Printable Design

I chose a burlap canvas with the middle painted white this was the rustic, farmhouse look that I was going for.  But you can use the canvas of your choice…  You will also need tracing paper.  It doesn’t matter if you choose a light or dark canvas, just make sure that you get the right kind of tracing paper.  I bought the dark tracing paper because I was working with a light canvas.  Obviously, if you are working with a dark surface, make sure you get the light tracing paper…  If you have paint markers in the right colors, you are ready to go!  (Just in case you are wondering, I used a chisel point paint marker for the lettering and a medium point paint marker for the wreath).

Here’s my FREE, printable design.

If you have a color printer, you can just print it out and use it as is (or crop it to the size that you need):

Email my {free} printable!



 

Make a Sign using the Color Printable:

Print out the sign in color (using cardstock), cut it down to the size needed, mount on some red cardstock, and hang it up using twine and small clothes pins… super easy!

Beautiful… and interchangeable.  Which is nice too because now I can just print out another design and keep the same sign as part of my décor even after Christmas.

Are you ready to Warm up with a cup of Cheer?

Love this design? Why not get your own mug and warm up with your own cup of cheer?! Great for gifting too!

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Don’t Waste Money on Christmas Gifts that No One Wants

Don’t Waste Money on Christmas Gifts that No One Wants

Have you ever opened a gift and had to try to grin and say thank you when you have no idea what it is?  Or it was so atrocious—like the pink bunny pajamas that Ralphie got from Aunt Clara in A Christmas Story—that you know you will never wear it or use it.

Perhaps you received a gift, like a $30 canister of gourmet popcorn and thought, “I would have rather had the money that was spent on that instead.”  You know, the nice gift that you really didn’t need or want.  The one that may never be used… I think that we’ve all received them, and probably even given them.  So this year, if you aren’t sure about what to buy, give something that is more meaningful… and here are a few ideas:

For new parents or parents of toddlers

Offer babysitting as your gift.  Seriously, any new parent or parent of a toddler knows that free babysitting is pure GOLD.  I guarantee they will love this gift!

For grandparents

Make a keepsake ornament from the kids.  Grandparents love anything that is made by their grandchildren, so whether it’s a handprint ornament, craft, or special card, it will be way more meaningful than a sweatshirt that says “World’s Best Grandpa.”

I’ll let you in on a secret… No one really wants to wear these shirts.  Ever.

For mom and dad

Dad doesn’t need another tie.  Mom doesn’t want kitchen utensils.

They probably just want some extra time with you.

So, instead of spending money on something that they don’t really need, invite your mom out to lunch just because, and make time to go on that hunting trip with dad that you have been too busy to take… they will appreciate this much more…

For your kids

As parents we want to make sure that our kids have a HUGE pile of gifts to open.  Because what is better than the joy on their faces and they run downstairs on Christmas morning to see all the wonderful packages that Santa left?!  But, we all know that joy only lasts as long as there are more gifts to tear open and when the dust settles (or, in this case, the wrapping paper and bows), the kids play with their new loot for about 5 minutes and then life goes back to normal—and all those big bucks you spent to fulfil every Christmas list wish are seemingly wasted.  Talk to your kids about the true meaning of Christmas and find a way to have them learn the joy of giving… that will last for them a lot longer than getting the hottest, most expensive toy of the season…

Make Christmas memories for them.  How do you make a memory?  Give them experiences to remember:

  • Bake Christmas Cut-Out Cookies with them
  • Make Christmas Ornaments
  • Go on a Christmas outing with Grandparents, cousins, or friends— go see a Christmas light display, visit a LIVE nativity, go Christmas caroling, take a train ride with Santa…

Your kids may not remember what they got for Christmas two years ago, but they probably will remember that time that they got to walk through a million twinkling Christmas lights with their cousins…

Buying the Perfect Gift is Not an Excuse to Overspend | Money Savvy Living

You probably noticed that these gifts don’t actually cost you any money either.  They only cost a little time and thoughtfulness.

So before you go into debt trying to splurge and buy the perfect Christmas gift, think about what your family and friends would truly want…

Check out one of my posts, 10 Ways to Avoid Overspending This Year for Christmas and find out even more ways to get the perfect gift without overspending and going into debt.

10 Ways to Avoid Overspending this Christmas | Money Savvy Living

Cash for Christmas Giveaway

Cash for Christmas Giveaway | Money Savvy Living

Are you getting geared up for the shopping season? Do you need extra cash for Christmas?? Don’t we all!

We are so excited to be giving away $330 in cash prizes for you to use starting Thanksgiving weekend. Here are the prizes:

1 – $100 Amazon Gift Card
1 – $75 Target Gift Card
2 – $25 Walmart Gift Card
1 – $25 Kohls Gift Card
3- $10 Starbucks Gift Card

There will be 8 winners in this giveaway. Each winner will receive a gift card code to use on the online store or in the actual store.

Now its time to meet our wonderful co-hosts who have made this giveaway possible.

Cash for Christmas

Starting at the top row we have:

Terri – Christmas Tree Lane, Melissa – The Farm Girl Gabs, Christine – Your Strong Tower, Audrey – That Recipe & Munofore, Dana – Goods Giving Back, Tammy – Creative K Kids, Trish – Creative Simplicity by Trish Sutton, Kim – Shopping Kim and Enter Online Sweeps, Ali – Home Crafts by Ali and Ali’s Book Nook, Kelly – Typically Simple, Kim – The Resourceful Mom, Katie – The Ramblings of an Overtired Mama, Angie – God’s Growing Garden, Sarah – Devastate Boredom, Karen – Raising Little Superheroes, Gina – Money Savvy Living, Beverly – Eclectic Red Barn, Melissa – Deliciously Savvy, Beth – Our Pretty Little Girls, Meredith – The Mom of the Year, Laura – Michigan Saving and More, Debbie – Heartbeats ~Soul Stains, Carol – The Red Painted Cottage, Tiffany – A Wandering Vine, Monica – Mommy & Love, Holly – Keeping Life Sane, Sinea – Ducks ‘n a Row, Cindy – Simple Steps for Living Life, Tammy – My Life Abundant, Kari – Keep It Simple DIY, Danielle – Dancing with My Daughter

Please stop by and say hi to these wonderful ladies and their blogs.

The giveaway will end midnight on Wednesday, November 24th, the night before Thanksgiving. You will have 48 hours to respond to the email claiming the prize. If you respond right away, we will get you the gift card code promptly so that you can shop with it on Black Friday! If we don’t hear in 48 hours, we will choose another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Christmas Ornaments that Your Kids Can Make that You Will Actually Want on Your Tree

Christmas Ornaments that Your Kids Can Make that You Will Actually Want on Your Tree

Okay, let’s just start off by admitting it: some of the ornaments that your kids make at school are not exactly what you want on your Christmas tree. Of course, they are from your child, so you love them and every single gift that they make for you; however, they don’t always match your Christmas décor.

For example, last year, my oldest son brought home, wrapped as a Christmas present, a square of orange paper with his school picture on it, framed with orange and green crayons. Now, I’m not exactly sure what green and orange crayons have to do with Christmas, but of course, we hugged him and thanked him for the gift. Maybe all the other kids got the red and green, who knows. But I didn’t want to question him too much and make him feel like I didn’t like it, so I said that this would be a great ornament for the “kid tree.” This is a tree that my husband set up on our basement that has colorful, blinking lights and all sorts of colorful ornaments—the ones that don’t match my traditional tree in the living room. Orange and green fit right in on the kid tree.

Now, I know that some of you are starting to think that I am a horrible mom for not proudly displaying every ornament on the main Christmas tree. But, I know that you probably have a place for these ornaments too: maybe the back of the tree, perhaps you gifted it to Grandma and Grandpa last year because you know they will put it on their tree and it gets you off the hook… but you know what I am talking about.

Christmas Ornaments Collage |Money Savvy Living

If the stuff that your kids bring home isn’t always the most festive of Christmas ornaments, you can make some that are easy, inexpensive, and ones that you will want to put on the Christmas tree.

 

Applesauce & Cinnamon Ornament

Some of my favorite ornaments on the tree are the cinnamon and applesauce ornaments.  You can find the recipe for these ornaments here.  Not only can you make any shape that you want, but you can decorate them in any way that you would like as well… and the cinnamon makes your house smell wonderful!

Cinnamon Glitter Ornament

 

Cardboard Ornament

I love this ornament because it looks nice but it is simply cardboard with photo copied background (in this case, the Bible verse from Luke 2 about the birth of Jesus) with a simple nativity being cut out and glued on top. The entire ornament is coated with Mod Podge.
Cardboard ornament

 

Paper Plate Angel

This paper plate angel is so cute with a picture of my son for the angel’s face. A doily is cut in half and glued on the back for wings, a pipe cleaner halo, and glitter and sequins to decorate.
Paperplate angel

 

Painted Wooden Ornament

These wooden ornaments can be bought at your local craft store (very inexpensively!). Your child can paint them any way they’d like and can also be decorated with glitter to add a bit of sparkle.
paint and glitter wooden ornament | Money Savvy Living

 

Pipe Cleaner Candy Cane

So quick and easy! Your child will have fun putting beads on a pipe cleaner to make a candy cane. Just turn the ends of the pipe cleaner up at each end and you have a cute, homemade ornament!
pipe cleaner and bead candy cane

 

Paper Angel Ornament

This angel ornament is made, much like cutting out a snowflake. Fold the paper in half and create your (half) outline of the angel and allow your child to cut the different patterns on the angel. Open up and run a pip cleaner through some of the holes in the design. Of course, these angels could be painted with silver, gold, or decorated with glitter if you’d like.
Paper Angel and pipe cleaner Ornament

 

Fingerprint Snowmen

Using white paint on your child’s fingers, these snowmen will show up perfectly on any red, blue, or green ornament. Just let the pain dry and then decorate the snowmen by drawing on faces, scarves, hats, etc.
Fingerprint Snowmen | Money Savvy Living

 

Handprint Ornament

Of course, you can make the plaster, or by a handprint kit, like this Child to Cherish Handprint Ornament.  This is a wonderful keepsake that you will cherish for years
Handprint Plaster ornament

 

Iridescent Cellophane Ornament

Again, just a simple wooden ornament, but instead of painting, this one is decorated with iridescent cellophane. Just add glue and then sprinkle the iridescent shreds on top.

Iridescent Cellophane Glitter Flakes on Wooden Ornament | Money Savvy Living

 

Porcelain Painted Ornament

You can make a Christmas tradition of going to a local pottery kiln or simply paint and bake your own ornaments at home, with a kit like this by MindWare.

Porcelain Painted Ornament | Money Savvy Living

 

*This article does contain affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase through here, I will make a commission, although it does not increase the cost to you, the consumer. However, I highly recommend that you get an activity tracker whether you purchase through here or elsewhere.

The True Meaning Behind the Plain Red Starbuck’s Cups

Plain Red Starbuck's Cup | Money Savvy Living

 

It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting colder. Warm winter coats come out, snow starts to fall. Every child is on their very best behavior because they know that Santa is taking note… Christmas is almost here.

And this year, Starbucks has caused controversy with their plain, red cup to celebrate the holiday season. Or as the controversy goes, lack of celebration of Christmas.

It is truly unclear where this “controversy” actually started. It really doesn’t seem that Christians are actually upset about the plain red cups that Starbucks is using this year for their holiday cup. In fact, if we look at the Starbuck’s Christmas cups that were used over the last few years, a strong Christmas theme isn’t really prevalent… the cups typically feature more winter themes…

 

Starbucks Cups | Money Savvy Living

 

So once and for all, let’s put the controversy to rest. The true meaning behind the Starbucks plain, red cup this year is to celebrate the beauty of Christmas in a simple way. A very basic, yet profound, message.

It is not necessary to have decorations, expensive presents, fancy clothes, or attend every holiday party. Rushing out on Thanksgiving night to be first in line for the most popular toys, video games, or TVs that are on sale isn’t important either. Don’t be sidetracked by the beautiful “things” of the season or get caught up in the hustle-and-bustle of buying the perfect present. Don’t spend so much time focusing on everything about the season that we forget the true reason why we celebrate Christmas.

The first Christmas night was not celebrated with a big party, fancy clothes, or decorations.

The first Christmas took place in the stillness of a manger, surrounded by the subtle sounds of the animals. A young mother had just given birth to a baby boy. She and her husband were undoubtedly tired from their travels and stressed by their lack of accommodations. The birth of the savior was not accompanied by fanfare and pageantry.

I don’t know the motives behind Starbuck’s plain red cup this year. I don’t really know if there was a reason that Starbuck’s chose to use a plain cup this year rather than one with snowflakes, evergreen trees, carolers, or even ornaments. And while I don’t really think there is a controversy over this—in fact, I don’t know anyone who actually cares—instead of choosing to be offended by the lack of acknowledgement of Christmas, or even letting this story prevail, let’s instead choose to look at a potential good explanation of the plain red cup.

After all, red is a traditional Christmas color and has significant meaning associated with Christmas: “From Santa’s cozy suit to Rudolph’s glowing nose to ribbon-framed wreaths, red is the most visible color of the season. The vibrant shade has strong cultural associations with love, health and power. Winter greenery that sprouts red berries, such as holly, is especially popular at Christmas. Santa’s red suit originated with St. Nicholas of Myrna, a red-robed Greek bishop who gave presents to children during the fourth century, notes the encyclopedia “Religions of the World.” Red is also a powerful religious symbol used to represent the death of Jesus and the passion of the Holy Spirit.”

Perhaps, we can all learn a lot about Christmas from a plain, red cup. Focus on simplifying your Christmas this year and taking time to remember that Jesus is the true reason for the season.

 

 

1 2