Keeping the Kids’ School Activities Organized this Holiday Season

If you have one or more children at school, the holidays can get a little out of hand. Keep yourself (and your kids!) organized this year with these quick ideas:

School Activities:

Use a calendar. This is the most important thing you can do to keep yourself organized. Keep a large, wipe-off calendar in the kitchen. Have your children write their parties or other holiday activities on the calendar. This way, everyone will be able to see who has an event scheduled. This will help to prevent over-scheduling or double-booking any day of the month.

Keep a running list. Your kids will be asked to bring refreshments to contribute to their class party. Keep a running list on the refrigerator so that you can do your shopping all at once. Having this list will prevent you from making several trips to the grocery store.

Gift Giving:

Create a budget for your kids. If you will be providing money for your kids to buy Christmas gifts with, then make a budget. If they will use their own money for shopping, you should still help them make a budget so they don’t overspend.

Make a shopping list. Again, create a list with each child of who they need to shop for. If they know what kind of gift they will buy for their friends, then let them go ahead and make that list. Don’t take them shopping without a plan or it may end in disaster, with you spending a lot more than you’d intended to in the beginning or worst shopping for hours without finding the right gifts.

P.S. Remember to pre-order The Printable Planner for Moms at 50% off before January 1st! Click Here!

Christmas Travel Checklist

The holidays are busy for travelers. Families everywhere take trips to visit relatives that they haven’t seen in a while.

It is advisable to be prepared if you must travel. There’s nothing worse than getting on the road, or arriving at your final destination, and realizing that you forgot something important. If your family is going on a trip during this holiday season, use this checklist to help you keep track of what to take:

1. Medications.

Even if your children are healthy, be sure to bring along any and all medication that they could possibly need. You never know when a situation will arise that will require those medications for your kids.

2. Toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Mom and Dad find it easy to remember to pack their own dental hygiene items. Younger kids may need reminding, though. Be sure everyone packs a toothbrush and toothpaste.

3. Sewing kit.

Mishaps always happen. A button pops off. A skirt hem falls out. Pack a mini sewing kit in your suitcase to have on hand, just in case you need it.

4. Proper clothing.

Call ahead of time and find out what the weather will be like where you are headed. Get specific temperatures if possible so that you will know what type of clothing to bring.

5. Bring extra clothes.

Don’t forget to pack extra clothes as well, for everyone. Kids will need more clothing than adults, but it won’t hurt to throw in an extra outfit or two for you as well.

6. Shoes.

Be sure you have matching shoes to wear with your outfits and don’t forget to bring the right shoes for the right weather.

7. Hair accessories.

If you have daughters and they wear hair accessories, be sure to pack plenty to go along with their outfits.

8. Games for the kids.

Kids get bored on road trips, especially if the trips are more than an hour or two. To save your sanity, be sure to bring along several fun games that they can play in the car. Puzzle books, ipod, and printable games online are just a few ideas you can use.

9. Don’t forget the camera.

You’ll definitely want to record all your family Christmas memories so don’t forget the camera and make sure it has batteries and film too.

10. And lastly don’t forget the presents!

It’s a much too common scenario, you pack up the car, start your road trip to visit relatives for a relaxing family Christmas only to realize you’ve left the presents behind. Make a list of everything you’ve decided to take and check things off one by one.

P.S. Remember to pre-order The Printable Planner for Moms at 50% off before January 1st! Click Here!

Nice but Inexpensive Gift Ideas for your Neighbors

Do you need nice, but inexpensive gifts for your neighbors, but don’t have a clue what to give them? This Christmas, don’t stress yourself out by shopping for hours on end. Instead, make your own homemade holiday gifts. Try these ideas that your neighbors are sure to love.

Gift Idea #1: Layered Cookie and Drink Mixes

Buy a box of Mason jar and lids at your local grocery store. These are usually available year-round. Purchase a small amount of fabric, to decorate the lids with. Using your favorite cookie and drink recipes, layer the dry ingredients inside the jar. Print your recipe on a small card, punch a hole in the top corner, and tie it around the lid.

Gift Idea #2: Homemade Jams and Jellies

If you grow your own fruit or veggies, jams and jellies (or pickled veggies) are wonderful gifts to give your neighbors. Make sure to can/jar extras during the summer months when you harvest. Then you’ll have ready-made gifts on hand at the end of the year! You can “pretty” the jars with your own decorations, if you wish.

Gift Idea #3: Inspiration Jar

This is a nice gift for neighborhood kids, as well. Write special, inspiring or motivational messages on small slips of paper. Fold them in half and drop them into a small, clear jar or bowl. Then write a special message on a card to go outside the jar, telling your friend or neighbor that the next time she’s feeling down or sad, take a message out of her “Inspiration jar” to help cheer her up.

Gift Idea #4: Homemade Goodies

Who doesn’t love homemade cookies, candy or bread? Plan a special day just for baking. Create all your favorite treats, including your famous homemade bread. Prepare trays of treats for everyone in your neighborhood. (You can find inexpensive plastic trays at most dollar or department stores.)

P.S. Remember to pre-order The Printable Planner for Moms at 50% off before January 1st! Click Here!