Today is shipping day! Grab your packages, grab yourself a Starbucks, and brave the post office (the lines won’t be nearly as long this early in the game).
To make this day painless, take some time earlier in the week to familiarize yourself with USPS.com, print out labels, and pack everything up so it is ready to go for pick up (you can still enjoy a Starbucks if you like)! If you have never used USPS.com before, this may just be the most magical part of your Christmas this year.
Assignment: Ship Your Boxes.
Learn how to ship using USPS.com
Use Priority Mail Boxes
Priority mail can be picked up at your house the next day.
Check out Kathi’s Quick Tips in the book for ideas for packaging and sending.
If you realize after the fact you missed someone, check out the gifts over at Evite. They can be ordered and shipped directly to someone.
Today is another freebie day and we are more than half way there! Use this day to catch up on any projects you have been meaning to finish and cross them off of the list! Nothing feels better than to put a checkmark on your list.
If you are already all caught up on all of your projects use today to bless someone. Maybe you could pay it forward to someone at the restaurant. Maybe you could bless the gas attendant with a Random Act of Kindness card with $10.00 inside. You could also go visit a local nursing home with your children and have them sing a few of their favorite Christmas carols.
Don’t forget to share with us what you did today! Did you catch up on that lingering project or did you have the opportunity to BLESS someone? How did it go? How did you feel afterward?
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For most of America, the day after Thanksgiving will be spent trying to get the most for the least amount of money. The winner will be the person who can grab the most toys, clothes, gadgets and doo-dads for the people on their list. Whether they need them or not.
Now, hear me well: there is nothing wrong with being a wise shopper and looking for the best deal on something that you know you want or something that someone you love wants, and you want to give it to them.
But what if you want to start building different values into your family taking back Black Friday is a great way – and day – to start.
As someone who has been in the position of being an unemployed single mom, I remember all too well having to rely on other people to make the holidays happen for my kids. I remember desperately wanting to get my kids certain toys, or a shirt that I knew my daughter would love, and not being able to because of my lack of funds.
The highlight of my Christmas that year (besides seeing how other people stepped in to love on my kids, and myself) was the absolute thrill of finding some gently used items for my kiddos at Goodwill. I was able to get a little creative with a couple of finds at the local thrift store; there was the like-new art kit for my daughter, and an un-opened pack of Yu-gi-oh cards for my son (at the time, that was the score of all scores.) I found a couple of books from the series they were reading, and even a really cute top that I was able to wear to some Christmas parties.
As much as I want to make Jesus the center of everything I do during the holidays, I long in my mommy heart to bless my kids in a way that will demonstrate that I care about the unique, wonderful people they are. And sometimes, that means Legos or a tube of lip gloss.
Sadly, a lot of the time, donation centers are used instead of a recycling can – they receive so much unusable clothing (which, I do understand, that some centers can sell by the pound to recover some of the money for processing those items. Check with your donation center to see if they welcome this type of donation before making it.) Some of us wait until an item is unusable, undesirable, unfashionable and just plain unworthy until we are willing to get rid of it.
But what about donating those new red kitten heels that you wore once and never wore again because they pinched your feet. Instead of holding onto them for years, (because they cost so much money!) how about donating them and letting a mom with a limited budget feel pretty in those shoes.
Or how about the Barbie that your daughter had-to-have, but then lost interest in about twelve days after her birthday. If she no longer loves it, ask her to donate it so that some other little girl will have the chance to love it.
Or that second (or third) garlic press? Give another woman the chance to create Christmas dinner she wants by making her mom’s homemade marinara sauce (complete with freshly crushed garlic.)
What if we spent the day clearing out our homes in preparation of the abundance that’s about to hit in the next month instead of fighting crowds to get the best barging to fill up our home.
What if we taught our kids that there is even more joy in passing on things that others will love than owning everything and enjoying nothing?
What if winning was giving everything away until everything in your home was something you use, love, or would buy again.
What if the highlight of your Black Friday was donating clothes, tools, toys and books that others could love (and even wrap up for their own kids and families to put under the tree?)
What if Black Friday was marked, not by how much we buy, but how much we give?
Black Friday is November 27th this year. Would you consider joining me in figuring out how you can bless other families that will struggle to get something under the tree this year?
I can’t tell you how much this idea excites me: the thought of some of you, leading your families in the charge not only to declutter, but to give instead of focusing on all you can get? It just gives me shivers.
Here’s what you can do:
Grab some extra boxes (or for clothes and toys, garbage bags). If you don’t have extra boxes piled up, just waiting for disposal, find a friend who shops with Amazon Pantry. I promise, they will have all the boxes you need.
With the others you live with, come up with a goal. Let me be so bold as to challenge you: could you come up with 100 items to donate? 100 is doable, but will still challenge you and your loved ones to stretch. Set your goal and then work towards it together.
Come up with a plan of action. When decluttering, it’s always great to pair a kid with an adult. When the adult is decluttering their area, the child can be the runner – putting things away, putting items into the donation box, etc. When decluttering the child’s area, the parent can be there to encourage the child to get rid of things they no longer love and use, but also can help with some wise decisions when a child is becoming a little too good at decluttering (like wanting to give away Aunt Edna’s antique quilt…)
Some things to consider giving away. No longer loved:
So, are you in? Tell me what you think about the challenge and invite others to join in. Remember to let let me know what you did and how it blessed you and your family at email@example.com or at my Facebook page.
It’s a busy time of year with end of school, end of clubs, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and sports coming to an end. Most moms are just getting through one day at a time. But low and behold, one of these nights, after all the kids are in bed, and she is folding another load of laundry, she is going to remember that all of these teachers, volunteers, coaches and grandparents are going to need gifts… and the panic sets in.
This month we are going to share some gift ideas that are easy to create or purchase with all of those photos of your family and the artwork your children create. Visit us on Wednesdays in May for new ideas!
Idea #1- Photo Coasters
Photo coasters are a great gift idea for:
– Dad (for his office)
– Teachers (think class gift)
How to pick your photos:
Pick the photos or artwork that will bring your gift recipient the best memories or put a smile on their face every time they see it. Candid shots are usually best.
If you are using digital photos, it’s best to print your artwork to size (square, just a tad smaller than your tiles) and print them on photo paper. Let them dry for at least one day before proceeding with the rest of the project. For photos you alre
What you’ll need:
4- 4×4 tiles (you can get these for cheap at any hardware store)
A foam brush
Stick on felt circles (4 per coaster)
Clear spray sealant (optional)
Twine or ribbon
What you do:
Cut your photos so that they are just a tad smaller than your tile.
Brush a thin layer of modpodge on your tile, center your photo and push it down on the tile. Make sure to push it down firmly without rubbing the photo. Rubbing it could make the ink run. Let it dry for 20 minutes.
Brush on a thin layer of modpodge over your picture making sure to cover the edges of your picture to ensure that it sticks to the tile. Let it dry for 20 minutes then apply a final coat.
Once they are dry, spray the clear sealant over the tile. (Do this step outside!) This will ensure that your coasters are water proof. However, this step isn’t necessary. Modpodge is a sealant and will do the trick. Some DIYers advise it, some don’t.
After your coasters are dry, place a felt circle on the bottom near each corner.
Once they are all completely dry, stack them and tie them together with some twine or cute ribbon.