Christmas Traditions | 5 Christmas Party Ideas!

christmas party ideas

We’ve got some great posts to share with you this week on Christmas Traditions & I’d like to get the ball rolling with this fun post shared by Barbie over at CouponingMadeSimple! I sure am getting in the mood for Christmas Parties!

We love Traditions around here and one that makes the holiday season even more fun are the parties.  Here are a few of my favorite Party Ideas:

Cookie Exchange

There are many variations, but the one that I like best is when everyone selects their favorite cookie recipe.  They will need to prepare one dozen cookies for each person attending.  So if you have invited 5 guests each will need to bring 6 dozen cookies.  One dozen for you.  One for them.  And one dozen for each of the remaining 4 guests.
The day before the party have your guests e-mail you their cookie recipes so you can have them printed and ready to distribute.  Be sure to have enough copies of each recipe so that everyone takes home each of the recipes.  While you are at it, make labels for the cookies as well.
Have cute take home containers ready.  Anything from paper plates to Chinese take-out containers work.  Just be sure it is something your guests won’t have to hassle with returning to you.
Be sure to have plenty of goodies and drinks for your guests.  I like serve fruits, veggies, crackers and cheeses so that my guests have something less sweet .  Then just sit back, relax and enjoy your party.

 

Death By Chocolate

Again, this is for those of us with a sweet tooth.  Ask each of your guests to bring something sinfully delicious with chocolate as the star.  This is a huge favorite with my friends who love chocolate as much as I do.  We like to make this a ladies night only.  Leave the hubbies and kid-o’s home, go to your favorite restaurant for dinner and then have a death by chocolate dessert.  WOW!  Don’t forget to bring copies of your recipe along, as I’m sure everyone will want a copy.

 

white-elephant-gifts-under-20

White Elephant or Yankee Swap

 

The rules for White Elephant Gift Exchange are so varied.  I have played many versions and the one I like best involve a little more competition than the ones where you read a story passing the gifts left and right around a circle.  (Here is a great story if you would like to give it a try:  Left, Right, The Night Before Christmas Game.)

In my family the rules are simple.  We sit in a circle with the gifts in a pile in the middle.  Someone (usually the youngest goes first) picks a present.  They open the gift.  Then it’s the next persons turn.  They may either steal an opened gift or select a present from the pile.  If a gift is stolen, the person who just lost their gift then takes a turn to select a present from the pile or steal a gift from someone else.  We set a limit that a gift can only be stolen 3 times after the initial unwrapping.  That way the game ends, eventually.
The definition of a White Elephant Gift is something that costs more to maintain than is worth.  Keep that in mind while shopping/savaging for your White Elephant Gift, but anything useless is always fun.  A few of the items we “won” last year included:  a large McDonald’s bag of individual servings of ketchup, a Styrofoam head, and a collection of cords to various electronics that had gone the way of the dump.

My mom always hides a treat in her gifts and my grandma usually adds some money somewhere.  So if you know someone who is notorious for adding a little something extra, pay close attention when they add their gifts to the pile and work on your poker face when you open the gift and keep the goodie hidden.  You don’t want to let on you actually got something good.
A word to the wise…don’t pick the “pretty” gift.  In my experience that is always a sign that you are getting something really awful.

 

Ugly Sweater Party

 

Ugly Sweater Parties are a fashion show and a party all in one.  What could be better!
First things first…you need an ugly sweater.  HERE is my favorite place to buy them.  Also, check your local thrift and second hand stores.  They usually have some this time of year.
Second:  Plan a few fun games to keep your guests entertained.  Maybe have a White Elephant Exchange.
Third:  Food!  (May I suggest a pot luck) Be sure to have lots and Lots of good things to eat and drink as your guests will be hungry since they will be to embarrassed to go out before the party.  Last year my husband and I, after sitting in the parking lot at the grocery store saying “I’m not going in”  “Well, I’m not going in”, ended up at the McDonald’s drive through and got a bunch of hamburgers and apple pies to take as our pot luck item.  When we got to the party we learned we where not the only ones with the same problem.
Prizes:  Don’t forget you will need prizes for the ugliest, ugly sweater.  My husband who won first place in the Ugly Sweater Contest last year took home a gallon of milk.  The point is, it’s an ugly sweater party…just make it fun.

Caroling Party

All you need to pull a Caroling Party off is:  A group of friends and/or family who enjoy singing, song books, and something hot cocoa or cider and cookies for after the caroling.  You can go door to do or just stay in and gather round the tree and sing.  What a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays.

Mothers Day Quotes (For Cards & DIY Gifts)

Mother's Day Quotes

Mother’s Day is a time to tell mom how much she is loved, cherished and appreciated.  It’s time to pause and think back over all the sacrifices she’s made and the ways she’s made your life better.  But sometimes, it’s hard to come up with the right words to adequately express just how much mom is loved.

Here are 23 Mothers Day Quotes to help inspire you.  Many of these are great to add to DIY gifts as well!  (Like these DIY Themed Gift Baskets)

A mother’s heart is a patchwork of love. ~ Author Unknown

“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.” ~ Cardinal Mermillod

God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers. ~ Jewish Proverb

Mother’s love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible ~ Marion C. Garretty

Mothers are like glue. Even when you can’t see them, they’re still holding the family together ~ Susan Gale

“[A] mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.” ~ Emily Dickinson

Mother, the ribbons of your love are woven around my heart. ~ Author Unknown

Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever. ~ Author Unknown

“Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.” ~ Ambrose Bierce (I think this one is so cute)

“Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.” ~ William Makepeace Thackeray

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. ~ Honore de Balzac

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” —Mitch Albom

A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” ~ Dorothy Canfield Fisher

“The best place to cry is on a mother’s arms.” ~ Jodi Picoult, House Rules

“It is never easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.” ~ Anon

“Mother’s love is bliss, is peace, it need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. If it is there, it is like a blessing; if it is not there it is as if all the beauty had gone out of life.” ~ Erich Fromm

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~ Tenneva Jordan

“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.” ~ Victor Hugo

A man’s work is from sun to sun, but a mother’s work is never done. ~ Author Unknown

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~ Sophia Loren
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Your arms were always open when I needed a hug.
Your heart understood when I needed a friend.
Your gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson.
Your strength and love has guided me and gave me wings to fly.
~ Sarah Malin

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. ~Washington Irving

 

 

April Fools Pranks: 25 Fun Practical Jokes

april-fools-pranks

25 April Fools Pranks

Jamie here! I’ve always loved playing April Fools Pranks on my family – and if you do too, here’s a roundup of 25 of the BEST April Fools Day Pranks we’ve heard!

Plus, check out my all-time favorite April Fool’s Day prank – the Cat Facts prank!

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Around the House Pranks:
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  1. Rubberband the Spray Nozzle|  Rubberband the sink sprayer handle so that it immediately sprays out as soon as someone turns on the water.

  2. Glue Money to the Ground|  Hot glue or superglue a quarter, dime, etc… to the sidewalk or porch and watch everyone who comes in try to get it up!

  3. Water Cups| Fill two cups with water and ask if someone wants to see a magic trick.  Tell them to put out both hands flat on the table palms down and then quickly set both full water cups on top of their hands.  They’ll be stuck that way for awhile :)

  4. Car Accident|  Leave a note on someone’s car (someone who would FREAK OUT if their car were scratched) and apologize profusely for scratching/denting their car.  They’ll be looking for the scratch forever.

  5. Zoo Prank|  Get a family member or friend to “return a call” to someone named Harry Lyon, or Mr. Fox, etc…

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Easter Egg Dye Ideas

 

 

Getting ready for Easter by dying eggs?  Here are a few helpful Easter Egg dye ideas that will make this family activity a little more fun and a little less mess!  Of course – you could skip the dye altogether and get artistic with these Sharpie Easter Eggs

But if the traditional colored eggs are calling your name – here are our top tips:

1. Lay down paper bags or newspaper

One thing I always do is save my paper shopping bags from Aldi to lay out in front of each kid – like an egg dying placemat.  It controls the drips and drops that are bound to happen.

2. Dry off eggs before dying – it will help the color stick

For tips on hard boiling, check out how to make perfectly hard boiled eggs every time

3. Have a place ready for the dyed eggs

For drying the eggs – use empty ice cube trays!  Once the eggs are completely dry, store them back in their carton until you want to display/eat them.

Easter Egg Decorating Ideas

For some fun twists on the tradition dye kit – see this post on 25 Easter Egg Dying Ideas

 

You might also like our post on 14 Easter Dessert Ideas!

 

Bunny Biscuits Recipe for Easter Morning!

 

bunny-biscuits

Jamie here, if you’re looking for a cute (and simple) Easter breakfast idea – you’ve got to try these Bunny Biscuits!  I know Easter is still a ways’ off, but it’s never too early to start pinning!

All you need is a regular can of biscuits to make a cutie-pie Easter morning treat for the kids.  Serve these bunny biscuits for dinner too – alongside your ham and all the other Easter fixings!

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14 Easter Dessert Ideas

Easter Dessert Ideas
Need some new Easter Dessert Ideas?  This roundup of Easter dessert recipes has a little something for everyone – from the cutesy to the classic.
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The kids will love the Oreo Cheesecake bites and Easter Basket cupckaes – while the grown ups might prefer a Derby or Buttermilk Pie, or a classic Coconut Cake.
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 I’m particularly fond of the cakes, pies, cobblers and lemon bars that I remember from my own childhood and have been passed along through generations.
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derbypie
buttermilkpie2

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