A Christmas to Remember: How to Make it Magical for the Kids

How to keep the magic in christmas for your kids #christmas #christmasmagic #christmastips #holidaytips #Christmaskids

 

Christmas is not just about showering your kids with presents and buying ornaments and lights – it’s so much more than that.

Christmas is about values that every parent should teach its children – kindness, gratitude, and generosity.

That might be the reason why it’s celebrated worldwide, regardless of religious beliefs.

However, it’s not always easy to show the true magic of the holiday season to the kids, especially with the omnipresent influence of technology and the hectic lifestyle we have.

But, there are ways to make it magical for your kids and help them create lovely Christmas memories.

 

How to Make Christmas Magical for the Kids

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How to keep the magic in christmas for your kids #christmas #christmasmagic #christmastips #holidaytips #Christmaskids

 

 

Make them believe

 

 

If your kids are still young and believe that Santa Claus is real, let them be. Even better, encourage it.

Psychologists claim it’s perfectly healthy because, although Santa Claus is not real, the values he represents are, and that’s why it makes a good lesson for the kids.

Help them hang Christmas stockings around the house and fill them with candy while they’re asleep.

Don’t forget about some cookies and milk for Santa and some carrots for his reindeer. You can even bake the cookies together, serve it on a plate et voilà – you’ve got yourself the perfect excuse to eat cookies in the middle of the night – it’s all part of the Christmas magic.

 

 

christmas craft

 

 

Get crafty

 

 

From ornaments to gift wrapping – all of it can be done yourself and what’s even better – you can include the kids in the process and have multiple benefits. Not only will the kids feel the true Christmas spirit, but they’ll also know the value of work and effort put into making all of that.

Furthermore, you’ll surely save some money as well – paper, scissors, sparkling washi tape, colorful knitting bowls, etc. are way cheaper than the ornaments, cards, and decorations you can buy at the store. Browse Pinterest for ideas and get crafty – it’s the best way to spend some quality time with your kids.

 

 

Little girl with Christmas tree in background

 

 

Put some Christmas colors on

 

 

There’s no fear of going overboard with glitter and shades of red and green.

After all, it’s the holiday season, so give yourself a break and decorate your house accordingly. Stunning Christmas tree and lights are mandatory but you can take it to another level and try giving your girls Christmas hairstyles or baking seasonal treats shaped like Christmas ornaments.

Also, consider decorating the kids’ room as well – a mini tree and some lights will do just fine to make their mornings festive. Play some Christmas tunes and watch the spirit of the holiday season fill your house floor-to-ceiling.

 

christmas gift

 

Less is more

 

When it comes to presents, less is really more.

Make sure you give your kids something they’ll know how to appreciate. Respect their wishes but make sure it’s practical as well – buy them something they’ll wear, read, and actually use.

If they get too many presents from the rest of the family, tell them about the less fortunate and propose donating their toys, clothes, school supplies, etc.

They can assemble the gifts themselves, wrap them, and write something on the card – it’s a great way to teach your kids to be generous and aware of the outside world.

 

How to keep the magic in christmas for your kids #christmas #christmasmagic #christmastips #holidaytips #Christmaskids

 

Make a scrapbook

 

Scrapbooks are a great way to preserve memories so you can make a Christmas-themed one for your kids.

Take photos of the Christmas activities and encourage the kids to collect tickets from Christmas shows and concerts.

They can rewrite Christmas stories and quotes they like, or even write their own. Use the craft supplies leftovers from making the ornaments and cards and assemble a family scrapbook. All you’ll need is cardboard paper and some twine and the fun may begin.

Once they grow up, kids won’t remember the gifts you bought them but the feeling of closeness and all the fun will stay in their memories forever. Don’t hesitate – make a plan and get ready to give your children the most magical Christmas ever.

About the author: Tracey Clayton is a full-time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in her parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

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Earn 4X gas points when you buy gift cards at Kroger + Giveaway! #KrogerCards

This is a sponsored post. The sponsor is Tatu Digital Media and NOT The retailer.

Can you believe it is almost Christmas? The days have crept closer and there isn’t much prep time left. Last minute gift shopping, wrapping the gifts and getting everything ready for holiday travel needs to happen now, or it may not happen at all! 

If you are anything like me, there is a good chance you have looked over your list and realized you are short a gift, or maybe you have learned you will have an extra guest at Christmas dinner. Now is the time to get the last minute gifts, but who wants to add a trip to the mall during the Christmas rush?! Definitely not me! 

If you still have preparations to make and gifts to acquire, I have a solution for you! This tip can help you find a gift anyone would love to receive and a chance to rack up huge gas points for impressive savings at the pump. You only need to make one stop to accomplish it all too; at your neighborhood Kroger. While grabbing the ingredients for dinner, or a cookie baking session, you can cross all those last minute gifts off your list. Oh, and you can earn some rewards for your own use too! 

With so little shopping time left, gift cards are the way to go. Starting 12/21/18 to 12/23/18 smart shoppers earn 4X Fuel Points when they purchase gift cards at Kroger for big savings at the pump. Savvy shoppers can double dip into even sweeter savings with their rewards card. I know there are often digital coupons for extra savings on gift cards by simply loading them to your card and then swiping your Kroger card at the register during checkout.

I love the timing of this offer because we have a lot of driving to do this Christmas to visit the family, the in-laws and several special friends along the way. That makes it the perfect time of year to save at the pump while finishing up my holiday shopping. Talk about a win/win situation for anyone the week of Christmas! With gas prices lower than they have been in a long time, and a chance to lower them even more, with fuel points and a rewards card, we will be laughing all the way to grandma’s house this year!

To find a participating Kroger store to earn extra fuel points visit http://j.mp/2y8uZRC. Don’t forget to check for digital coupons to stack onto this sweet deal with your reward card!

Did you buy gift cards to simplify your shopping this holiday season? I bought gift cards for Target, Domino’s Pizza and Cabela’s to name a few. I would love to hear who you gifted a gift card this year!

This offer won’t last forever! It will end before Santa’s Sleigh lands! But, luckily, taking advantage of it as easy as dropping by Kroger to get your groceries, gas, and prescriptions and grabbing a few gift cards to make the holidays happier for someone special this year!

It’s time for the Giveaway!

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Disclosure: This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Teaching Kids to Give Back This Holiday Season

One of the most important values that a parent must foster in the home is the value of generosity. It’s more than just the act of giving and receiving. If anything, it’s the willful act of sharing that serves to build the character of your children and, consequently, the society where they belong.

While parents can implement their own creative ways to achieve this purpose any day, one of the best times of the year to give them the chance to really feel the impact of a generous deed is during the holiday season.

Why?

Because it’s a time when kindness is seen everywhere. People give one another gifts and kids are excellent observers. They just need to be guided on the ‘why’. If you want your kids to experience giving back this holiday season, here are some great ideas that will really create a mark in your kids’ personal character milestones.

Donate Toys to Kids in Need

It’s hard to appreciate something when you have it in excess, and this is something that kids need to understand firsthand. If your kids have a roomful of toys, having a toy drive is a great idea.

Organize a toy drive with other moms from school or in the neighborhood. Then have your kids pick up the toys from their collection and allow them to personally distribute the toys to the kids. If possible, you can also buy brand-new toys from the toy store.

Shopping for the toys, knowing that they will be giving them to others and handing over these most coveted joys of childhood, will teach your kids that ownership is not the only way to enjoy them. Sometimes, they need sharing.

Send Holiday Cards to People Serving in the Military

Military servicemen who defend the freedom of the country are the modern heroes of the nation. Their work is tough, and they can always use a little cheering up. Kids have a way of doing just that.

Through the Holidays for Heroes program, the American Red Cross invites the American people to “give something that means something.” A little holiday card from your little one can light up the hearts of these brave servicemen who are far from home. Parents may also send specialized holiday cards in bulk with personal messages from each child.

The Holiday Mail for Heroes Post Office Box is no longer available, but your local Red Cross chapter provides community-based events for card making and card signing. Contact the Red Cross to inquire about how you can participate.

Participate in the Local Food Drive

Your kids are probably used to having food at home anytime. But having three decent meals a day is a luxury to some people, especially the homeless. Teach your kids the true value of this often taken for granted blessing by volunteering with them in a food drive.

Food drives are especially helpful in the holiday season when the weather can be harsher and warm, fresh meals are hard to come by.

First, talk to your kids about why you’re doing what you’re doing, and take them out to shop for the items. Then have them help with sorting out the supplies at the food bank and personally give them to the recipients of the charity. Leading action by example and surrounding your kids with the spirit of giving helps cultivate a lesson for gratitude and benevolence.
Volunteering in your local soup kitchen is also another great option.

Spend Time at Care Homes

Many senior-care facilities and nursing homes provide many volunteers the opportunity to visit and interact with their senior residents. Most of these seniors are alone and have no loved ones to visit them. Thus, volunteers, especially children, are highly appreciated.

Children volunteers help bring the holiday cheer to these facilities. The radiant youth and vitality of young people remind seniors of their old good old days, perhaps of their own young families as well who are now far from them.

If there’s a care home in your area, it would be a great idea to volunteer your time to these institutions along with your kids. Talk to other parents as well. The more, the merrier. You may also bring goodies when you visit.

Bake Goodies for Emergency Personnel

And speaking of goodies, teach your kids to give back to the everyday heroes of your local community by doing some baking for your local fire stations, hospital emergency rooms, police stations, and ambulance bays.

The country’s first responders, police officers, nurses, and firefighters work tirelessly to ensure that your local community is safe. The holiday is a great time to say “We appreciate you.”

By involving your kids in these little yet meaningful gestures, you’re raising children who value hard work and gratitude and, eventually, adults who recognize the important roles that each individual plays in a thriving community.

Conclusion

The holidays are an excellent opportunity to teach your kids the value of generosity. Aside from the colorful decorations and the heap of gifts unwrapped during cheerful Christmas dinners, they need to be taught that the essence of Christmas is not in material things but in giving and being grateful for one’s blessings.


Christmas Wreath Cupcakes

Wreath

Are you looking for something special and awesome to add to your holiday table this year? I love these Christmas Wreath Cupcakes! They are so much fun to make and to set out on the Christmas table. In my opinion, they are almost too pretty to eat, but they are too good to not eat. If you’re looking for something to WOW your guests this year, I’m pretty sure these Christmas Wreath Cupcakes will do the trick.

What You’ll Need

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 C flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 TBSP unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C whole milk

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 C unsalted butter, room temp
  • 4 + C powder sugar
  • 4 TBSP heavy whipping cream

Icing Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 C powder sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • Green & red  gel food coloring

Cupcake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and salt. Whisk these together. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a large bowl.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time,  beating after each addition.
  5. Add in the vanilla.
  6. Alternate by adding the flour mixture with the milk; beating after each addition.
  7. Fill the lined cupcake tins 3/4 full.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  9. Allow cooling in cupcake pan for 10 minutes.
  10. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting Directions:

  1. Cream the butter and powder sugar until it is light and creamy.
    If it doesn’t cream add several drops of the heavy whipping cream until it creams.
  2. Test to see if the frosting can form and hold a stiff peak by taking a spoonful of frosting and turning the spoon upside down. If the frosting stays on the spoon it is ready if not then.
  3. Add more powder sugar 1/2 C at a time. Mix well.
  4. If ready scoop the frosting into a pastry bag with a large tip.
  5. Twist the open end of the pastry bag to push the frosting to the tip.
  6. Start by frosting on the outside edge of the cupcake working to the center of the cupcake.

Icing Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes. (except your food coloring)
    If icing is not stiff enough add 1/4 C powder sugar.
  2. Spoon the icing into a bowl.
  3. Take out 1/4 of the icing and put in a separate bowl.  Add several drops of red gel food coloring.  Stir well to mix the color.
  4. Add several drops of the green gel food coloring to the remaining icing. Stir well to mix the color.
  5. Spoon the green icing into a piping bag with a star tip.  Holding the piping bag with the star tip straight down begin to squeeze the open end of the bag to force the icing to the tip.
  6. Circle the frosting on top of the cupcake making in the shape of a wreath.  Allow this to dry for about 1 minute.
  7. Spoon the red icing into a piping bag with a small round tip.
  8. Following the example from the picture of the cupcakes begin making small red dots on top of the green wreath.
  9. Then make a bow also in the red icing.
  10. Allow the icing to dry completely.

Wreath2

I’m actually amazed at how easy the design is to do for these cupcakes. Back when I started baking, this surely wasn’t my strong point and now I’m getting better at it. I love how festive holly can be, especially when added to a cupcake. I know my boys were all over these when I was baking them in the kitchen for Y’all. I look forward to seeing how yours turns out, let me know how you did and how your guests love them!

 

You May Also Like:

No-Bake Christmas Treats to Try

11 Breakfast Casseroles to Bake for Christmas

75 Christmas Cookies Even Santa Will Love

 

No-Bake Christmas Treats to Try

christmas treats tro try no bake
Everyone is super busy doing last minute errands, cleaning and shopping that sometimes the dessert can easily be forgotten because we are worried about getting everything else ready. I wanted to share a few No-Bake treats that are easy to make, with little time in the kitchen and everyone will enjoy!

  1. White Chocolate Peppermint Bark
  2. Christmas Cookies
  3. Snowflake Cookies
  4. Mini Gingerbread House
  5. Caramel Apple Cheesecake
  6. Christmas Tree Dessert
  7. Rice Krispie Tree
  8. Snowstorm Cheesecake
  9. Reindeer Cookies
  10. Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mini Cheesecake
  11. Peppermint Pudding Pie
  12. Oreo Cookie Balls Christmas Tree
  13. Mini Christmas Puddings
  14. Santa’s Sweet and Salty Christmas Snack
  15. Snowman Oreo Pops
  16. Rocky Road Cookie Bars

What is your favorite No-Bake treat?

Our Holiday Traditions with Coke #CocaColaHoliday

Family Traditions with Coke-Cola

This post is being sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The countdown to the holidays has begun! There are cards to order and send, meals to plan and shop for, and of course, gifts to wrap! I get a mix of emotions just thinking about it! I can’t wait to see the look on my boys’ faces when they step back to look at the tree after we decorate it. I love the time we spend together baking cookies to share and don’t even get me started on the fun of our holiday movie traditions!

Every evening from Thanksgiving night to New Year’s Eve we will settle down together for a few moments, armed with a bowl of popcorn and a few cans of Coca-Cola®, to recreate a movie-going experience from our sofa, as we take in the wonder of classic cartoons and heartfelt family films! We usually let the boys each pick their favorite movie if we have it on DVD, or we choose from what is listed on the TV. I love some of their picks because they were also my favorite growing up.

Now is the perfect time to stock up on Coca-Cola® for your family holiday traditions! Sam’s Club members are going to love the convenience of the Coca-Cola® 35 pack at Sam’s. It offers enough Coca-Cola® to share with all of your favorite people in one easy to manage 35 pack! If the great taste of Coca-Cola® isn’t reason enough to dash to Sam’s, then sharing with your family members during the holidays should be enough!

For my family, Coca-Cola® is a vital part of our holiday experience. We usually host our family together at our home and having the convenience of the 35 pack is great because everyone can just grab one can and mingle. When we see the first Coca-Cola® commercial or spy the first peek at the holiday cans, we can’t wait to get the party started with our traditions! From driving around to look at the beautiful display of lights, to curling up on the couch to watch our favorite holiday films, to shopping for the gifts that will warm their hearts; Coca-Cola® fits into the festivities like a hand into a glove.

coke cola

When you are at Sam’s be sure to pick up a 35 pack of Coca-Cola® to share a holiday smile with the people you hold dear! From my family to yours Happy Holidays!

I would love to hear more about how you celebrate the holidays and some of your favorite traditions! How do you make the holiday season extra special for your family?

This holiday season, include Coca-Cola® as part of your tradition. Pick up Sprite® 4 pack 2 Liter, Diet Coke® 4 Pack 2 Liter, Coca-Cola® 35 pack cans, or Coca-Cola® 30 pack Mini Cans beverages from Sam’s Club, then upload your receipt for a chance to WIN a trip for two to Los Angeles featuring:

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  • · Full on-site assistance from a personal winner manager throughout the trip Don’t miss
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