Good afternoon planners,
We want to thank Aubrey Eastway for a great Simplified Holiday December blog series. If you missed that series be sure to check it out below. I am so excited to announce that Createyou86 has a brand new series starting January 1, 2015 featuring @heartdreenie.lifestyle on Instagram. Be sure to check out her page each week along with Createyou86 for different perspectives in the new year. We will also be hosting a January Photochallenge. We hope you participate in our challenge. Feel free to repost the challenge photo below on social media, and ask your friends to participate in the challenge as well. If you do choose to post pictures be sure to tag @Createyou86 @heartdreenie.lifestyle and #CY86JANCOLLAB so that we can leave you a like or a comment on your post.
Merry Christmas Eve Planners,
While the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus, we all still need to be thankful for all that we receive during this joyous season. We all have something to be thankful for weather it be health, family, friends, or other special occasions that have occurred this year. Attached to this article are free printables for things you might be thankful for this simplified holiday season. A fun activity might be to print cards for everyone coming to your holiday dinner. Have pens and printables available at the door, and ask that everyone fill out their card, and come dinner time everyone at the table can read what they are thankful for out loud. This activity would make your dinner a little bit more personal.
Another way to show gratefulness is to volunteer some time this holiday season to the local library, soup kitchen, or shelter. By volunteering your time you will help make someone else's holiday who doesn't have much, much more fulfilling. Giving for the holiday season is much more important than receiving, I feel like everyone should embrace this, and simplify this holiday season. We hope you enjoyed this collaboration between Createyou86, and Aubrey Eastway. If you did be sure to leave some comments below, and again we hope you have a simplified holiday season, and a happy healthy new year!
Good Afternoon Planners,
Many times we mistake the reason for the holiday season with the hustle, bustle, endless repetitive television ads, cooking, baking, music, lights, and parties for what the real reason for the season is. Besides the birth of Jesus the holiday season is about giving, and cherishing the time we have to spend with our families. There are so many ways to make the holiday season more memorable while keeping it simple. Here are my top 5:
FOR THE KIDS:
5 Holiday Movies
A Christmas Story
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Home Alone 1 & 2
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas
5 Holiday Books
The Polar Express
Miracle on 34th Street
The Christmas Story from the Bible
The Night Before Christmas
I hope that these ideas help to simplify your holiday celebrating, and helps you to remember the reason for the season.
Good morning planners,
For the fifth part of our Simplified Holiday series I would love to talk a little bit about holiday cards.
What is one of the most dreaded parts of the holiday season? Holiday Cards! What starts off as a nice way to say happy holidays to your friends, and family can quickly turn into two hundred cards with a picture of the entire family in matching gingham because the baby threw up all over your perfect first outfit, the lighting outside isn't right, and the twins won't stop giving each other bunny ears every time the flash goes off, and you want everyone to think your family has it all together this year.
Then comes having to choose weather you want digital cards, an e-mail type card, a printed card from a card making website, or the old-school written note. Do you go with the cheapest cards so that you can send out a ton of them, or do you go with the most expensive so that you only have to send cards to a select few? How many people do you actually NEED to send cards to?
Here are a few ways to simplify holiday card giving this year:
1. If you use your phone or camera be sure that it is set to HDR mode for the best photos.
2.If you decide on digital cards, have a photographer or your phone ready, and be sure to plan your picture day so that you are not hurried or stressed due to time constraints.
3. If you decide on digital cards be sure to order before the cutoff date in December to guarantee that you will receive your cards with enough time to envelope, stamp, and send them out.
4.Matchey-matchey is NEVER cute, but planning a common theme will look great.
5. For a more traditional card choose your design wisely, and stay classy!
6. Know your audience (Names, and weather they are still alive.)
7. Be clear about what response you would like to receive - If you don't mean it don't say it (Like asking for people to visit. They might really expect to make future plans.)
8.If you choose to do an e-mail card be sure to include a current family photo.
9. You can go crazy with eccentric holiday cheer by Elfing yourself or Grinching yourself (Elfyourself.com which is on the Staples website)
10.Don't send 200 cards if you don't need to. Narrow down who will make the cut, and make your cards as personal as possible!
Wishing you a simplified holiday
Every year each person vies for the best gifts from the most popular stores, and the pile under the tree grows higher and higher each year. At least in our family that is what happened until a few years back when my dad lost his job. This caused my parents to curb their holiday spending in a big way. We always had tons of presents under our tree, and frankly it tended to be quantity over quality. That year the family decided that we were all going to get each other one present each. That way we ended up with four quality presents over tons of presents, most of which would be returned for gift-cards later. This took a lot of stress off of my parents, and made Christmas shopping, or creating more personal.
When our parents purchased too much we would end up returning presents for gift-cards to use later in the year when we found something that we truly wanted. The conclusion that the family has come to is that during the holiday season: Less is definitely more! Some great handmade or homemade gifts can really hit the spot. Below is a free printable for gift tags.
Some great places to find original gifts are Etsy, and Pinterest. Etsy features mostly original handmade goods, and Pinterest has infinite handmade ideas for people of all ages, and you can also find products that are for sale. Something that shoppers might not realize about Pinterest is that when you pin a product that has a price associated with it through another website, you will receive an email telling you if your chosen product reduces in price. This can be a great use during the holidays. Etsy can be a bit pricey unless you know exactly what you are looking for. However, there are coupon codes all the time during the holidays (Check Instagram stores). If you are looking for handmade ideas Pinterest has tons of free printables, and DIY's, and the Michael's App has new coupons every week which can go to great use for handmade goods. Another great affordable place to purchase gifts is through Instagram. There are many shops, most of who take Paypal, and have sales several times throughout the season. There are also tons of giveaways to win (you might be able to win a great gift, and spend nothing!) Instagram has anything from baby shoes, to adult clothing, to books, and stationary supplies. Instagram may also be an affordable route to check out.
The year that we all decided less was more was a great Christmas. We all got quality gifts, and didn't have to spend a fortune. I can't recall any returned gifts that year either.
Small Business Saturday (The Saturday after Thanksgiving) is a great way to help local businesses build their clientele, and there are guaranteed to be some great sales. There are many shops featured on Instagram, and throughout your community. Good Luck finding your simplified gifts this year, and be sure to let us know where you find some great deals this years holiday season. #CY86HOLIDAY
Wishing you a simplified holiday season,
Check out Aubrey's Blog for her version of Gift Giving 101 this holiday season.
Good morning planners,
The holiday season all starts with a list doesn't it? Food lists, guest lists, gift lists, and more. Now is the time to make your lists. BELOW IS A FREE PRINTABLE that i created to simplify your holiday season this year.
I would like to reiterate from my previous post that if the dollars don't add up, you cannot buy it. Please don't care about anyone else s budget, but your own. Going over your budget will only put you in the hole come January. Remember that for the holiday season small, and simple can be better than huge, and expensive gifts. In the end it is the thought that counts If you are looking for some non-toy alternatives check out my post below for some great ideas!
For the first couple of years my fiance, and i will buy a combined present. Something for the both of us so that we can keep saving money. This present will have to be affordable, and sensible. I keep a running wishlist throughout the year so that we have a few ideas to pick from. Don't stress if you find that everyone you wanted to buy for this holiday season just doesn't make the cut (Your mothers, sisters, best friends, daughters DOG!?) Keeping to your budget is the most important thing. Another reason to not feel bad is that everyone has a birthday which can be celebrated with just as much verve as Christmas, so be sure to save your money for those very special gifts this holiday season.
You may be a giver, and that is a great quality to possess, but giving yourself a gift giving limit will simplify your holiday season. Take some time to consider each person on your list, and what each person would really like or need. It is a good idea to keep a running wishlist for friends, and family throughout the year as well. When you go to the store and see something someone else might enjoy receiving you can add it to the list so that come the holiday season you aren't stressing out over finding a present for everyone. Sometime in the next 24 hours look at your list, and decide who you will shop for, what you will buy for each person, and the exact price. (Amazon is a great place to see is you are getting the best price. Amazon will always price match the lowest possible price, and if the price goes down on a product that is still being advertised at a higher price you will know that the price that it should be is on Amazon.) Next, pick a day or two that you can get most if not all of your shopping done without feeling hurried. Not being hurried will majorly relieve some holiday stress. Again, don't feel guilty for cutting down your list if need be. The most important thing is staying within your budget.
******On this free printable i have included many rows to list POTENTIAL gift giving this holiday season. However, on my budgeting printable from my previous post which i will also include at the bottom of this post i have LIMITED the rows to help cut down your giving list. I hope this helps this holiday season.
Be sure to check out Aubrey Eastway's take on Making Lists here. This is a 3 week collaboration so be sure to keep checking back for more great printables, and planning info.
Have a planned day,
11 Creative, Non-Toy Christmas Gifts for Kids, and 21 Non-Toy Stocking Stuffers
Each and every holiday season the hottest new toys hit the shelves, and there is a mad dash to check off children's Christmas lists. How many new toys do children really need. Chances are you go to the dollar store, and your child asks for a toy, and you say "Sure it's only a dollar". These purchases can add up to overflowing toy boxes with toys that are rarely played with. If you are one of those parents that are tired of spending hard earned money on toys that are used seldom, and forgotten easily, keep in mind that toys are only the tip of the iceburg when it comes to gift giving during the holidays. This year try thinking outside of the toy box. There are so many creative, non-toy gifts that will be sure to shock, and amaze children of all ages this holiday season. Here are my top eleven:
1. A membership
2. An Experience
3. A Subscription
6. A Coupon Book
7. A Homemade Gift Basket
8. A Shopping Spree
9. A Bedroom Makeover
10. A Pet
11. A Gift That Gives Back
Here are some great ideas for non-toy stocking stuffers. All products may not be age appropriate so please use parental discretion when purchasing!
Card games like UNO or Go Fish
Gift cards, or certificates
Candy, and gum
Packets of flavored hot chocolate
A plastic snow globe
Puzzle books (The Dollar Tree has a great assortment of these types of books)
Small articles of clothing giftwrapped (Underwear, T-Shirts, socks)
Travel size products (shampoo, etc: Target, The Dollar store, and most grocery stores have these sections, and are very affordable)
A new toothbrush
Band Aids featuring a favorite character (for younger children)
CD of childrens songs, or a mixtape CD for older children
Check out our brand new Fauxdori Store on our "Sales" page, or click the link in this post.
FAUXDORI STORE. There is a great holiday discount code for the month of December enter 40HOLIDAY at checkout. We would love to know what you think! FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $15.00
Good Morning Planners,
I don't mean to spoil the season with the dreaded "B" word. Yup, you guessed it BUDGET! For the holidays it is imperative to have a budget so that come the new year you are not drowning in debt. To begin i would:
Now i say withdraw IN CASH, because using cash instead of credit will prevent you from impulse buying when you go to the mall or other physical stores. However, it does make online shopping a little bit more difficult. When you run out of cash your holiday spending is done!
When shopping for gifts online look for coupon codes, and be sure to deduct the price of your online purchase from your cash, and redeposit it into your bank account. Now we all know how crazy Black Friday is, but regardless you can find some amazing deals. Here are a list of great days to save on your holiday budget.
Be sure to watch out for shipping, because on bigger items shipping can cost more than the item itself, and that can seriously drain your holiday budget quickly. Ground shipping may take a few more days, but for many purchases it is either free or the least expensive method. If you order early there should be no doubt that your gift will arrive before Christmas. In addition, most shipping during the holidays is guaranteed before a certain cut off date. Ordering early is your best bet.
AND NOW FOR THE GOOD PART............ I have included A FREE PRINTABLE BELOW to begin simplifying your holiday season. This printable contains only the bare bones of budgeting, to keep your list clean, and concise. Be sure to check out Aubrey Eastway's take on budgeting on her blog 528squarefeet. Be sure to leave some comments, and let me know how you like this printable, and this blog post!
Also check out our December Fauxdori Instagram Sale, and our Holiday Photochallenge!
We would love to see how you are using your printable be sure to tag us #cy86holiday @Createyou86
Wishing you a simplified holiday season,
What is your stores name?