Christmas Decoration Essentials And How To Pick Them

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Christmas is a special time of year that everyone loves, and why wouldn’t they? It is a time when they can celebrate with their family and spend quality time with one another. Plus, there is always plenty of beer and good food!

Making Christmas special is reliant on the atmosphere. When people get the atmosphere of their homes wrong, it never feels the same, and it can take the edge of the festive period. It is all down to the decorations. There are certain decorations that every home needs for the perfect effect, but there also a few things that the homeowner must keep in mind, too.

#1: The Tree

The Christmas tree is the most important decoration in the arsenal. Without a tree, Christmas would not be the same. The key to a great Christmas tree is two-fold. Firstly, the tree should be real. Fake trees don’t have the same smell that adds to the experience. Plus, they look tacky. Secondly, the decorations should be simple bordering on basic. The more that goes on the tree, the less glamorous it looks. The saying that less is more is very true when it comes to Christmas trees.

#2: Wreaths

Wreaths are firm favorite among homeowners. They look the part because of their evergreen leaves that hold an amazingly deep green color. And, they can go all around the house without looking like the decorator is trying too hard. All in all, they are essential. To get the right effect, the buyer needs to look for fresh Christmas wreaths. A good tip to remember is the fresher the wreath, the deeper the color.

#3: Ornaments

The snow globe or the Christmas carousel are two incredibly Christmassy ornaments that look amazing on the mantelpiece or sat in the window. It is the contrast of the darkness outside and the gleam of the lights that make them popular. It is as if they are a beacon of light in an otherwise dark house. The key to ornaments is personality. There is no secret formula to buying Christmas ornaments because it is down to the person. Ornaments vary in shape and size, so the style and tone vary from piece to piece. Whatever the buyer feels look nice is the perfect ornament for the house this Christmas. Of course, it needs have a festive element!

5213071451_36cd84d194_zpicture via Cliff on flickr

#4: Lights

Lights add to the contrast of the gloom outside and the light inside, a lot like ornaments. In fact, both work very well in tandem. For Christmas, fairy lights are the best choice. They are lightweight, and they don’t pulsate light that blinds the eyes. That means the designer can put them anywhere around the house, and they will look amazing. The stairs, the tree, and the fireplace are three good spots for fairly lights at Christmas.

#5: Advent Calendar

Advent calendars signal that Christmas is imminent. They act as a clock as the person counts down the days by crossing off the date and eating the treat inside. There is no better way to build anticipation than an advent calendar. Any advent calendar will do, to be honest, but a homemade one is a nice alternative.

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My Family’s Holiday Gift Giving Traditions

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Disclosure- This sponsored post was written by me on behalf of Sverve and Walmart but all opinions are my own.

Opening Chanukah present6

This is a throwback picture of my daughter opening some of her first Chanukah presents- BOOKS!  Both of my girls have always loved books.  My daughter will be 11 years old tomorrow.  Where does the time go?

We celebrate Chanukah in our family.  When my girls were younger we would get them 8 presents (which were usually toys) for Chanukah, one for each night.  Now that they are older we don’t get them 8 big toy gifts any more.  They both have December birthdays so that is when they usually get a bigger gift from us.  For Chanukah we get them smaller gifts each night.  I started a tradition a few years ago of having a theme for each night’s presents and I am going to do that again this year.

The tentative themes for the 8 nights of Chanukah this year will be:

1st Night- Toys

My girls love Barbies and other dolls, figures, etc. so they will probably each get one special doll.  I haven’t totally figured this one out.

2nd Night- Art Supplies

Walmart has a great selection of arts and craft supplies so I will either buy them each a kit to make something or I’ll buy a bunch of art supplies for them to come up with projects on their own.

3rd Night- Movies (DVDs/Blu-rays)

I score some great DVD deals at Walmart on Black Friday.

4th Night- Clothes

I got them really cute pajamas with their favorite characters on them at Walmart on Black Friday plus I will be getting them some other cute outfits.  They love dresses so they will each probably get a new dress, too.

5th Night- Books

My girls are both bookworms, thankfully, so they LOVE getting books.  There are a few books that I knew they are both hoping for so they’ll be getting those.

6th Night- Games

This year I want to have more family game nights in our house so I am going to get them some games that we don’t have.

7th Night- Building Toys

I’ll be check out the K’NEX® Amusement Parks at Walmart’s Toyland event on Friday.  My girls love Disney World so I think my girls would like to build their own amusement park ride with K’NEX® .

8th Night- Jewelry

I bought them each a special necklace that says “You are my Sunshine, My only Sunshine” because I always sing that to them.
You Are My Sunshine Necklace

Growing up my mother used to give my sister and me our main gifts but the first night of Chanukah we always received a gift bag filled with small goodies like nail polish, stickers, lip gloss, and other small things my mother knew we would like.  It was her version of giving us stocking stuffers.  Now I do the same for my girls.  It is one tradition that I have always loved.  I hope my girls do the same when they have children.

What are your family’s holiday gift giving traditions?

chosen by kidsDo you have toys on your holiday shopping list?  Select Walmart stores around the country are having special Toyland events during the month of December.  Find a Walmart’s Holiday Toyland event near you where you can interact with this year’s hottest toys #ChosenByKids.  While you are there you can also utilize Walmart’s Free Layaway and Walmart’s Credit Card on your purchases this holiday season.  Make sure to follow #ChosenByKids on Twitter to follow along.  You can also check out Walmart’s list of 20 top toys #ChosenByKids for 2014.

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How to Choose Jewelry for Your Special Lady This Christmas

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Christmas is a magical time where we spend time choosing the perfect gifts for our loved ones. A gift that women love to receive at Christmas time is beautiful jewelry. However, men don’t always know what to buy for them as there’s so much choice. It’s true that women can be fussy when accessories are involved. Use these tips to help you:

15447141556_a7eb3f23b2_zPhoto credit

Take Note of What She Wears

Pay attention to what she usually wears so you have an idea of what to buy for her. Does she love a good pair of earrings? Does she only wear a watch? You need to use your better judgement here, as you can do one of two things. You could either get her a piece to add to her collection of similar pieces, or buy her something that she hasn’t already got. It’s up to you! Think about whether she usually likes to step outside of her comfort zone or not and you should have your answer.

Get an Idea of Her Style

Knowing what item to buy is one thing, but having an idea of a woman’s style is a whole different ball game. She might like modern jewelry, vintage pieces, or quirky pieces. Take a look at what she likes to wear and see if you can come up with any prominent themes.

Show a Picture

One idea is to gather the information above, and then head to a jewelry shop and show a picture of your lady. A female employee might be able to select something nice for her from looking at the picture and getting an idea of her personality. If you plan on buying body jewelry such as earrings, make sure she actually has her ears pierced first. If she doesn’t, you can always go for clip on earrings. If you buy her earrings when her ears aren’t pierced, the gift won’t come across as very thoughtful.

Listen to Her

She might already be dropping a ton of hints to you, and you don’t know because you aren’t listening to her. These hints can be extremely subtle, and she might not even know she’s doing it. Either way, make sure you dissect what she says to get an idea of what she might like. Pay special attention when she’s reading a magazine, browsing the web, or watching the TV. These are all times she could be looking at jewelry and saying helpful things, but you wouldn’t know because you aren’t listening.

Ask Her Friends/Family

Her friends and family, especially the female members, might already know her jewelry style. They may even be able to help you pick something! If you’re seriously stuck on what to buy, her best friend or mother might have a better idea. Make sure they know not to give the game away though.

Use these tips and you should end up with a piece of jewelry that your lady loves. Even if it’s something that she wouldn’t have chosen herself, she’ll love it because you put some thought into it!

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Inspiring Christmas Decoration Ideas

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Everyone has their favorite thing about Christmas. For some, it’s gifts (giving or receiving), for others it’s the food, and some people just love the decorations. If you’re a creative person, decorating for Christmas is a chance to get your creative juices flowing and go all out. You can redesign the inside and outside of your house for the Christmas season. And because you only have it all up for part of the year, it’s that bit more special because you know it will eventually have to be put away. It can be difficult to keep the ideas flowing every year though, especially if you want to keep things fresh. If you’re stuck for ideas this year, take a look at some of these to see if anything inspires you.

2158292263_53b5dd0d7c_zChristian Guthier

Start From the Outside

You might have been hesitant in the past to make too much of a big deal about decorating the outside of your house. It’s easy to accidentally go overboard and end up with something that looks like it’s straight out of Whoville. But you can create a beautiful display that enhances your house and neighborhood, instead of being overwhelming and overpowering. If you’re planning to install lots of lights, use a professional service, such as Christmas light installation by ProActive Landscaping. Especially if you need someone to go up on the roof! If you want to stay classy and understated, stick with white and yellow lights, or pick a single color. But if jolly and bright is for you, go for a multi-colored extravaganza.

Experiment With Your Front Door

The traditional adornment for your front door during the holidays is a lovely holiday wreath. But nothing says that you can’t mix it up a bit and use something else. If you want to stick with a green theme, why not try a hanging box or basket with winter plants or flowers instead? Or if you don’t want to deal with any greenery, you could choose something different. A large wooden decoration that resembles a wreath but isn’t one, perhaps in the shape of a star, would look great. Or how about an advent calendar or a beautiful light guiding people to your door?

Christmas Trees

Everyone does their tree differently, often depending on how much space and money they have. You might have a box (or several) of decorations you’ve collected throughout the years that absolutely must go on your tree. Or you might like to experiment every year. If you like a more traditional tree, you could try a safer version of the candles people would once have used. Get some electric “candles” that you can clip on. There’s no need to worry about wax or flames! If you’re not a traditionalist, you could try something more modern. You can find wooden or metal trees in all sorts of colors, including glittery ones. Or you could move away from the pine tree altogether and choose a tall cherry-tree-shaped sculpture with LED lights.

Get Crafting

Finally, one of the best ways to get your inspiration back if you’ve run out of ideas is to get creating. Make your decorations instead of buying them to give yourself a great project in the run up to Christmas.

 

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ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas Schedule!

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25 Days of Christmas Schedule 2014I am so excited for this AMAZING list of all of ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas Movies schedule including links to purchase all of your favorites!  Make sure to pin this so you can check back often to catch all your favorites!  Thanks, Raining Hot Coupons!

Monday, December 1

(4:00–5:00 PM ET/PT) JACK FROST (1979)
(5:00–6:00 PM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(6:00–8:00 PM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(8:00–10:00 PM ET/PT) ELF
(10:00 PM–12:00 AM ET/PT) The Santa Clause
(12:00–1:00 AM ET/PT)Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(1:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) JACK FROST (1979)

Tuesday, December 2

(4:00–6:00 PM ET/PT) Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
(6:00–8:00 PM ET/PT) ELF
(8:00–10:00 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause
(10:00 PM–12:00 AM ET/PT) The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Prancer

Wednesday, December 3

(5:00–7:00 PM ET/PT) Prancer
(7:00–9:00 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
(9:00–11:00 PM ET/PT) The Polar Express
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) A Very Brady Christmas

Thursday, December 4

(5:00–6:00 PM ET/PT) Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
(6:00–7:00 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(7:00–9:00 PM ET/PT) The Polar Express
(9:00–11:00 PM ET/PT) Disney’s A Christmas Carol
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Snow

Friday, December 5

(5:00–6:00 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(6:00–8:00 PM ET/PT) Disney’s A Christmas Carol
(8:00–10:30 PM ET/PT) Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(10:30–11:30 PM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(11:30 PM–2:00 AM ET/PT) – FRED CLAUS

Saturday, December 6

(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) All I Want for Christmas
(9:00–11:00 AM ET/PT) A Dennis the Menace Christmas
(11:00 AM–1:30 PM ET/PT) FRED CLAUS
(1:30-2:00 PM ET/PT) Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
(2:00-4:00 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
(4:00-6:30 PM ET/PT) Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(6:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) TOY STORY 3
(9:00-11:00 PM ET/PT) ARTHUR CHRISTMAS – Network Television Premiere!
(11:00 PM–1:00 AM ET/PT)The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
(1:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) JACK FROST (1979)

Sunday, December 7

(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) A Dennis the Menace Christmas
(9:00-9:30 AM ET/PT) The Little Drummer Boy
(9:30 AM–11:30 AM ET/PT) Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
(11:30 AM–1:30 PM ET/PT) ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
(1:30-3:30PM ET/PT) JACK FROST (1998)
(3:30–5:30 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
(5:30–8:00 PM ET/PT) TOY STORY 3
(8:00–8:30 PM ET/PT) TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT – ABC FAMILY PREMIERE
(8:30–10:30 PM ET/PT) ELF
(10:30–11:00 PM ET/PT) TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT
(11:00 PM–12:00 AM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus

Monday, December 8

(5:00–6:00 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(6:00–8:00 PM ET/PT) ELF
(8:00–9:00 PM ET/PT) THE FOSTERS – NEW HOLIDAY EPISODE!
(9:00–10:00 PM ET/PT) SWITCHED AT BIRTH – NEW HOLIDAY EPISODE!
(10:00–11:00 PM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(12:00–1:00 AM ET/PT) THE FOSTERS
(1:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) SWITCHED AT BIRTH

Tuesday, December 9

(5:00–5:30 PM ET/PT)Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
(5:30–6:00 PM ET/PT) Mickey’s Christmas Carol
(6:00–8:00 PM ET/PT) THE LITTLE MERMAID
(8:00–9:00 PM ET/PT) PRETTY LITTLE LIARS – NEW HOLIDAY EPISODE!
(9:00–10:00 PM ET/PT) CHASING LIFE – NEW HOLIDAY EPISODE!
(10:00-11:00 PM ET/PT) Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
(12:00–1:00 AM ET/PT) PRETTY LITTLE LIARS
(1:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) CHASING LIFE

Wednesday, December 10

(4:00–6:00 PM ET/PT) THE LITTLE MERMAID
(6:00–7:00 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(7:00-7:30 PM ET/PT) Baby Daddy
(7:30–8:00 PM ET/PT)Melissa & Joey
(8:00–8:30 PM ET/PT) Melissa & Joey – NEW HOLIDAY EPISODE!
(8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) Baby Daddy – NEW HOLIDAY EPISODE!
(9:00–11:00 PM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(12:00–12:30 AM ET/PT) Melissa & Joey
(12:30–1:00 AM ET/PT) Baby Daddy

Thursday, December 11

(5:00–7:00 PM ET/PT) JACK FROST (1998)
(7:00–9:00 PM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(9:00–11:00 PM ET/PT) Scrooged
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) The Mistle-tones

Friday, December 12

(4:30–5:30 PM ET/PT) JACK FROST (1979)
(5:30–7:30 PM ET/PT) Scrooged
(7:30–9:30 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause
(9:30 PM–12:00 AM ET/PT) MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994)
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Holiday in Handcuffs

Saturday, December 13

(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) Unlikely Angel
(9:00–11:00 AM ET/PT) The Mistle-tones
(11:00 AM–1:00 PM ET/PT) HOME ALONE 3
(1:00–3:00 PM ET/PT) Prancer
(3:00–5:30 PM ET/PT) MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET(1994)
(5:30–6:00 PM ET/PT) Mickey’s Christmas Carol
(6:00–8:00 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause
(8:00–10:00 PM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(10:00–11:00 PM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(11:00–11:30 PM ET/PT)Mickey’s Christmas Carol
(11:30 PM–2:00 AM ET/PT)

Sunday, December 14

(7:00–9:30 AM ET/PT) MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994)
(9:30–11:30 AM ET/PT) Disney’s A Christmas Carol
(11:30 AM–1:30 PM ET/PT) JACK FROST (1998)
(1:30–4:00 PM ET/PT) FRED CLAUS
(4:00–6:00 PM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(6:00–9:00 PM ET/PT) Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(9:00 PM–12:00 AM ET/PT) Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Monday, December 15

(4:30–7:00 PM ET/PT) WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
(7:00-7:30 PM ET/PT) Disney’s Prep & Landing
(7:30–8:00 PM ET/PT) Disney’s Prep & Landing: NAUGHTY VS. NICE
(8:00–9:00 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(9:00–11:00 PM ET/PT) The Polar Express
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Santa Baby

Tuesday, December 16

(2:00–4:30 PM ET/PT) WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
(4:30-6:30 PM ET/PT) Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July
(6:30–8:30 PM ET/PT) The Polar Express
(8:30–11:00 PM ET/PT) HOME ALONE
(12:00-2:00 AM ET/PT) Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe

Wednesday, December 17

(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) Holidaze
(9:00–11:00 AM ET/PT) Santa Baby
(11:00 AM–1:00 PM ET/PT) Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe
(1:00–3:00 PM ET/PT) Disney’s A Christmas Carol
(3:00–4:30 PM ET/PT) Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas
(4:30–5:30 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(5:30–6:30 PM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(6:30–9:00 PM ET/PT) HOME ALONE
(9:00–11:00 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Christmas Cupid

Thursday, December 18

(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) Christmas Cupid
(9:00–11:00 AM ET/PT) Unlikely Angel
(11:00 AM–1:00 PM ET/PT) 12 Dates of Christmas
(1:00–3:00 PM ET/PT) Holiday in Handcuffs
(3:00–5:00 PM ET/PT) Prancer
(5:00–6:30 PM ET/PT) MICKEY’S ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS
(6:30–8:30 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause
(8:30–11:00 PM ET/PT) FRED CLAUS
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Holiday in Handcuffs

Friday, December 19

(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) DESPERATELY SEEKING SANTA
(9:00–11:00 AM ET/PT) Unaccompanied Minors
(11:00–11:30 AM ET/PT) Mickey’s Christmas Carol
(11:30 AM–1:30 PM ET/PT) Prancer
(1:30–3:30 PM ET/PT) JACK FROST (1998)
(3:30–6:00 PM ET/PT) FRED CLAUS
(6:00–8:00 PM ET/PT) HOME ALONE
(8:00–10:00 PM ET/PT) ELF
(10:00 PM–12:00 AM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Scrooged

Saturday, December 20

(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) THE DOG WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS VACATION
(9:00–11:00 AM ET/PT) Santa Buddies: THE LEGEND OF SANTA PAWS
(11:00 AM–12:00 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(12:00–2:00 PM ET/PT) Arthur Christmas
(2:00–4:00 PM ET/PT) HOME ALONE
(4:00–6:00 PM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(6:00–8:00 PM ET/PT) ELF
(8:00–10:30 PM ET/PT) Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(10:30 PM–1:00 AM ET/PT) HOME ALONE
(1:00-2:00 AM ET/PT) A MISER BROTHERS’ CHRISTMAS

Sunday, December 21

(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) Santa Buddies: THE LEGEND OF SANTA PAWS
(9:00–11:00 AM ET/PT) Arthur Christmas
(11:00 AM–1:00 PM ET/PT) RICHIE RICH’S CHRISTMAS WISH
(1:00-1:30 PM ET/PT) The Little Drummer Boy
(1:30-2:00 PM ET/PT) NESTOR, THE LONG EARED CHRISTMAS DONKEY
(2:00-3:00 PM ET/PT) Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
(3:00–4:00 PM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(4:00–5:00 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(5:00–7:30 PM ET/PT) Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
(7:30–10:00 PM ET/PT) HOME ALONE
(10:00 PM–12:00 AM ET/PT) The Polar Express

Monday, December 22

(7:00–9:00 AM ET/PT) RICHIE RICH’S CHRISTMAS WISH
(9:00–11:00 AM ET/PT) A Dennis the Menace Christmas
(11:00 AM–1:00 PM ET/PT) Unlikely Angel
(1:00–3:00 PM ET/PT) Snowglobe
(3:00–5:00 PM ET/PT) The Mistle-tones
(5:00–5:30 PM ET/PT) Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
(5:30-6:30 PM ET/PT) Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
(6:30–7:30 PM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
(7:30–8:30 PM ET/PT) The Year Without a Santa Claus
(8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT
(9:00–11:00 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause
(12:00-2:00 AM ET/PT) Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July

Tuesday, December 23

(7:00–8:30 AM ET/PT) MICKEY’S ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS
(8:30–10:30 AM ET/PT) Christmas Cupid
(10:30 AM–12:30 PM ET/PT) Santa Baby
(12:30–2:30 PM ET/PT) Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe
(2:30–4:30 PM ET/PT) Holiday in Handcuffs
(4:30–6:30 PM ET/PT) The Santa Clause
(6:30-7:00 PM ET/PT) TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT
(7:00–9:00 PM ET/PT) HOME ALONE
(9:00–11:00 PM ET/PT)The Polar Express
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Arthur Christmas

Wednesday, December 24

(7:00-7:30 AM ET/PT) Mickey’s Christmas Carol
(7:30–9:30 AM ET/PT) Arthur Christmas
(11:00 AM-1:00 PM) Snow
(1:00 PM-3:00 PM ET/PT) JACK FROST
(3:00–5:00 PM ET/PT) The Polar Express
(5:00–7:00 PM ET/PT) HOME ALONE
(7:00–9:00 PM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(9:00–11:00 PM ET/PT) ELF
(12:00–2:00 AM ET/PT) Scrooged

Thursday, December 25

(7:00–7:30 AM ET/PT) Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
(7:30–8:00 AM ET/PT) The Little Drummer Boy
(8:00–8:30 AM ET/PT) NESTOR, THE LONG EARED CHRISTMAS DONKEY
(8:30–9:00 AM ET/PT) Twas the night before Christmas
(9:00–9:30 AM ET/PT) Mickey’s Christmas Carol
(11:00 AM–1:00 PM ET/PT) HOME ALONE
(1:00-2:00 PM ET/PT) Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
(2:00–3:00 PM ET/PT) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

(3:00–4:00 PM ET/PT) THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS
(4:00–4:30 PM ET/PT) Disney’s Prep & Landing
(4:30–5:00 PM ET/PT) Disney’s Prep & Landing: NAUGHTY VS. NICE
(5:00–7:00 PM ET/PT) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(7:00–9:00 PM ET/PT) ELF
(9:00–11:00 PM ET/PT) HOME ALONE
(12:00 AM–2:00 AM ET/PT) HOME ALONE 3

25 Days of Christmas  Schedule 2014

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Create Beautiful Gift Baskets to Give This Christmas

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It’s not long until Christmas – at least, not in terms of preparing for Christmas – and you’re starting to think about gifts. There are always people you struggle to buy for, from close family members to people you don’t know very well. It’s especially hard to buy for people you’re closely related to, but not close to (in a relationship sense). But even the people you know well can cause a problem, especially when you’ve been buying them presents for years. Sometimes it feels like you’ve run out of steam, and you’ve already bought them everything they would enjoy. When you’re stuck for ideas for big gifts, the next best thing is lots of little gifts. A gift basket or hamper makes a delightful gift for Christmas, as well as other occasions. You can buy them ready-made, but where would be the fun in that? Here’s your guide on how to start putting one together.

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Choose Your Basket and Theme

To start you off, you can choose a theme to create your basket around. You don’t have to do this, but if you want to get creative, it can help you to make your basket more cohesive. Otherwise, it could end up just being a collection of random gifts that don’t have anything to do with each other. When you choose your basket or hamper, think about how much you’re going to put in it to make sure it’s big enough. It doesn’t have to be a woven basket if you don’t want it to be. You could use a large vase, a big decorative bowl or even a colorful bucket.

Buy Wrapping and Lining

Before you start filling your basket, choose fabric, paper or cellophane to wrap and line it. You might decide just to wrap everything in clear cellophane, so you can see everything in the hamper from the outside. If you use paper, make sure it’s durable; normal wrapping paper is too thin to wrap or line your basket without breaking. You can use colored cellophane too, and line your basket to make the inside prettier. Follow your theme, if you picked one, to come up with a color scheme.

Decide What to Put Inside

Now it’s time to start filling your basket. If you picked a theme, concentrate your items along the theme, as you did with your lining and wrapping. Some things you might put in your basket include wine, homemade cookies, chocolate, jewelry or baby items. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on everything you put in the basket, which is one of the bonuses of filling a gift hamper. Everything should be good quality though, especially if you’re filling a food basket. Wine and chocolate in particular should be good quality – try Venchi dark chocolate for indulgent Italian chocolate.

Decorate

When you’ve tied your wrapping around your basket, add a few finishing touches to decorate. You can tie on some ribbon curls, add some stickers or stick on a bow. Don’t forget the gift tag!

 

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Make This Year Easier With This FREE Printable Christmas Planner

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Printable Christmas PlannerWant to make your Christmas planning a little easier?
Print this FREE Printable Christmas Planner!
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A New Kind of Christmas Movie to Check Out! 3 Fun Christmas Movies to Watch With Your Family!

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Nothing gets me more in the mood for Christmas like a great Christmas movie! This year we added a few more classics to the collection. Let me tell you about 3 of my favorites this year. They are kind of non-traditional, so maybe that’s why they seem so exciting.

First is “Chilly Christmas

Super cute movie about a boy and his best friend, his dog Chilly Christmas. He received him as a gift from his dad, but little did they know they were up for some major challenges to stay together. Apartment training, mischievous puppy, and dognapping just to name a couple. A great movie that shows you with a little bit of team work, and a lot of love in your heart you can accomplish anything! Much different from the usual snowy Christmas, as this movie takes place on the beach in sunny California.

Next on my list of favorites is “The Dog Who Saved The Holidays

Perfect family movie and all animal lovers! Super cute movie about family, Christmas and THIEVES… Nothing like talking dogs to warm your heart and save the day! This movie is jammed packed full of action and surprise to keep you on your toes, while wondering what is going to happen next. In the end; a family that works together always comes out on top. “The Dog That Saved The Holidays” has all of my favorite things. Family, traditions, and holiday spirit.

And last on my list is “Elf Man

This movie is all about a new kind of hero, and just like the title says it’s Elf Man! With a kidnapped dad, 2 kids are left to figure out how to save him from trouble. With a little help from Santa and one elf who never really knew his full potential they work out a plan to save the day. This is a super cute, never a dull moment kind of movie. Full of twist and turns you really never know what could happen. This is why it is now a must watch on my Christmas movie list.

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SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!

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Now out on DVD and Blu-ray is SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!  This fun holiday movie features all of your favorite Bikini Bottom characters- SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, and more!  What is unique about this movie is that instead of it being a cartoon like the regular SpongeBob shows are, this movie is stop-motion animation, which brings a fun new dimension.  Full of lots of fun songs such as  “Don’t Be a Jerk, It’s Christmas”, this 22 minute movie is sure to delight both adults and children.

Jingle the bells, put up some mistletoe and make a cup of cocoa because the Christmas season starts early with the DVD debut of Nickelodeon’s first-ever full-length stop-animation special, SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s A SpongeBob Christmas! Inspired by the classic Rankin/Bass specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, this new holiday classic for the entire family arrives on store shelves on Nov. 6.  This perfect holiday gift includes two MP3 compatible downloadable songs from the episode (“Santa’s Eyes” and “Hot Fruitcake”) and the exclusive Behind the Scenes Featurette.  So there’s plenty to rejoice for both new and old SpongeBob fans this holiday season!

In SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!, Plankton vows to get his Christmas wish – the Krabby Patty formula – by turning everyone in Bikini Bottom bad by feeding them his special jerktonium-laced fruitcake. John Goodman guest stars as Santa Claus.  Don’t miss the popular SpongeBob SquarePants song, “Don’t Be a Jerk, It’s Christmas,” written by Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob) and Andy Paley.

What we thought-
We are big SpongeBob fans in our house so it was no surprise that we all enjoyed SpongeBob SquarePants: It’s A SpongeBob Christmas!  It is filled with fun songs and typical SpongeBob humor.  We all enjoyed experiencing our favorite characters in a new format.  After meeting Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob, a few months ago, this movie was even more special to me.  I don’t know if I will ever watch another SpongeBob movie without picturing Tom Kenny!  Grab this movie!  It’s a great holiday gift or stocking stuffer.

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