Holiday

Simple Steps to Host a Holiday Cookie Exchange Party

Holiday cookies

Whether you love to bake or dread it more than the mall parking lot on Christmas Eve, homemade cookies are a central part of the holidays. From traditional frosted sugar cookies and peanut butter blossoms, to ethnic treats like krumkake and biscochitos, everyone expects their favorites to be on hand throughout the season.

This year, rather than spend hours in the kitchen making an endless variety, try hosting a cookie swap. Not only will the exchange cut your cooking time in half — without sacrificing quality or quantity — the gathering of friends may likely become a sweet new holiday tradition. Here’s everything you need to know about hosting a successful cookie party.

Read Story

Healthy Spending Habits to Avoid Holiday Stress

Woman doing Christmas shopping

Whether you feel obligated to buy for every distant family member, or you can’t resist the pull of once-a-year-only sales, overspending is not uncommon during the holidays. The sights, smells, and overall jolliness come together in a chorus of, “Tis the season to splurge!” According to results from a 2017 poll by American Consumer Credit Counseling, 63 percent of people reported feeling “a lot” or “some” financial strain over holiday shopping.

This year, follow these tips to help curb the urge to overspend and instead enjoy the season without the stress. 

Read Story

How to Be a Holiday Hero

Mom being a holiday hero

As your family’s holiday hero, it can be easy to get caught up in — and overwhelmed by — your holiday to-do list. Take a few moments to rediscover with the spirit of the season by doing a few simple things to make life easier for others.

Your “kindness list” doesn’t have to cost a penny, and it will spread holiday cheer faster than Santa’s sleigh. Not only will you delight those you help, but you’ll also feel less stressed knowing you’ve brightened someone’s day.

Read Story

3 Instagram-Worthy DIY Holiday Decorations for Under $10

Centerpiece lead

Stylish holiday decorations often come with hefty price tags. But you don’t need to spend your holiday money on décor. Instead try one or all of these DIY ideas so you can put those dollars elsewhere during the holidays.

Each one takes under an hour and costs less than $10 to make. These holiday pieces will look beautiful on your dining room table, but they also work anywhere else in your home. Read Story

4 Adorable DIY Holiday Card Ideas

Holiday cards

Holiday cards can be expensive, and they usually fall on just one family member to handle. From choosing the design to selecting the photo and adding the greeting, often it adds stress to an already busy time of year. Instead of going with something typical this time around, try making your own with these ideas for fun, hand-painted holiday cards.

Most of the materials can be found around your house. Best of all, every member of the family can help make the cards — turning what’s typically a holiday chore for the adults into a fun activity for everyone.

Read Story

9 New Ways to Give This Holiday Season

Holiday giving, charity, mittens with a heart

Following the infamous shopping frenzies of Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday, a global day of charity fueled by the power of social media to kick off the season of giving. Many of us focus on end-of-year donations during the holidays, with gifts that support education, healthcare, kids, hunger initiatives, disaster relief, animals, churches, and more.

Here, we’ve compiled some new ideas to inspire your giving based on your passions, during the holidays or any time. Because philanthropy is a year-round endeavor.

Read Story