Holiday Series

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Hip2Save This Holiday: Family Activity for Making New Year’s Resolutions

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post Submitted By Reader Jodi…

I wanted to share with you a New Year’s Eve tradition that my family has been doing for 9 years. We have 4 boys, and wanted to make New Year’s Eve a special time for them, so I came up with this idea. And the best part… it requires buying NOTHING!

Items needed:

*An Empty Plastic Jar (you will need just one for the whole family)
*Stickers/Ribbon to Decorate the Jar
*A Good Imagination
*Pieces of Paper Cut into Strips to Write Resolutions On
*Various Items from Around the House – 1 of each item for each person (pennies, pieces of tinsel from the tree, birthday candles, Christmas napkins, Legos, small toys, pipe cleaners, small pencils, toothpicks, paper clips, rubber bands, hard candies, etc.)

What to do:

1. Decorate the jar with stickers, ribbon and label it with the year. As you can see from the picture, that wasn’t my real focus.

2. As you’re gathering the items, think about how you can make each item “symbolize” something desirable for the upcoming new year.

3. Write down the items and their meaning, so when you start the “New Years Ceremony,” (details to come) it feels very official. For example, Pennies= prosperity, Tinsel=Christmas, Legos= “building” a solid year, Toys= remind us to have fun, Rubber Bands= “stretch and challenge ourselves”, Candies= “to be sweet and kind to others”, Small Pencils= “to try your best to get good grades in school”, etc.

4. Sit the kids down at the table, and have each person write down their New Year’s resolutions (usually 2). Fold them and have each person keep them in front of them. Then give each person their own pile of items you’ve collected. Then, hold up each item and start your speech.

“This penny symbolizes prosperity and wealth that I wish for all of us in the upcoming year.” Then, we pass the jar around the table and everyone drops in their penny, one at a time.”

“This Christmas tinsel is to remind us of the joy we feel during Christmas time, bright and glistening.” Then, we pass the jar around the table again, each dropping in their small piece of tinsel.”

“This birthday candle is to celebrate each of our birthdays and how grateful I am each of you were born.” Then, we pass the jar around, dropping in their candle, one person at a time.”

With each item, this is repeated, until we’ve finished. Everyone can share or choose to keep their resolutions private, those go into the jar, then  we seal it up.  We toast the New Year with apple cider and we’re done.

It’s so fun to do this, and to look back at the previous year’s resolutions and items. We always laugh at the resolutions (“hey, when I was 3, I wanted to learn to blow bubbles with gum!”), and reflect on the items and how the year went. It’s a family tradition that I really love!

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Hip2Save This Holiday: Homemade Card Ornaments

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post Submitted By Reader Kalie…

I have made Christmas Card Ornaments for people I work with and family members for several years. To make it more personal, you can even make themed ornaments using cards from a wedding or baby shower! They really are pretty easy to create and always are a huge hit with the people I give them to. If you use old Christmas cards, the main material is free!

Materials Needed:

*Christmas cards (or any cards/sturdy paper material you like)
*Scissors or circle cutter
*Glue
*Tube of glitter paint (I use the Tulip brand in silver or gold)
*Small round beads
*Ribbon

Instructions:


1. Cut circles out of the cards. You need 20 circles of the same size for one ornament.
2. Fold the edges of the circle up to make a triangle shape.


3. Glue the edges of 5 triangles together in a circle shape. Make 2 of these –1 for the top and 1 for the bottom of the ornament.
4. Glue the remaining 10 triangles in a chain by alternating one triangle pointing up and the next one pointing down. Connect the 2 ends to make a circle.

5. Thread your ribbon through all 3 pieces making a globe shape and tie the ends to make a loop to hang the ornament. Glue the top, middle, and bottom together along the folded edges.
6. Paint all of the edges with the glitter and put a bead at each intersection. I think gold is the best. It really makes the ornament pop!
7. Finish the ornament by tying a couple of different ribbons at the top of the ornament in a bow.

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Hip2Save This Holiday: Gift Card Challenge

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post submitted by reader Susie

I am a saver. My family knows this. I thought I would challenge my mom and my sibling’s families to see how long they could each last with a $5 CVS gift card. Figuring if they don’t want to challenge themselves, they just scored a $5 gift card. Hopefully, we will each have some fun with this and those that really enjoy a challenge will be creative and make the gift card (or their EB’s) last the entire year.

Happy shopping to us all.

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Hip2Save This Holiday: Flower Pot Christmas Tree

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post Submitted By Reader Amanda…

This Flower Pot Christmas Tree is a super easy craft that you can make by recycling flower pots or planters into a festive decoration for the holidays! My favorite part is that my 3 year old daughter was able to help me!

What you will need:

*3 flower pots that are different sizes (you can use recycled ones or use a coupon from Michaels and score some new ones on the cheap).
*Hot Glue Gun
*Green Paint
*Plastic jewels or any other decorations you want to put on your tree
*A star, or any other tree topper you want

To make your tree:

First, paint the pots green and wait for the paint to dry. Next, attach your decorations using the hot glue gun. Then, go around the edges of the pots with the hot glue gun and stick them on top of each other. Last, add your tree topper.

One great thing about this craft is it’s versatility. This tree would look super cute with polka dots, stripes, etc. Or, you could make it Halloween or Easter themed, or any other holiday!

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Hip2Save This Holiday: Customized & Unique Photo Thank You Cards

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post submitted by reader Holly

There are a ton of free photo card deals every holiday season, so several years ago I started using them to make customized photo Thank You cards. Then I have adorable thank you cards ready to send after the holidays or for any other occasion throughout the year!

We also take pictures of the kids opening/playing with each gift they receive from family and friends and get them printed right after Christmas. Walgreen’s usually does a great photo printing deal around Dec. 26th. Then we pick up boxed photo cards on clearance (the ones that are blank inside work best) and place a picture of the kids enjoying a specific gift in the card and write the thank you note to the person who sent it. It’s a great way to share Christmas morning with family and friends that live far away. They’ve been a huge hit!

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Hip2Save This Holiday: Personalized Holiday Plates

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post Submitted By Reader Kristen…

Items Needed:

*Clear glass plate from Dollar Tree
*Patterned tissue paper (preferably thick tissue paper)
*Foam paint brush
*Mod podge

I love baking and giving away my baked goods to my friends and family. I decided to make something to make the gift even more special. I now decorate plates, so after the recipient finishes the cookies they have a nice plate they can use for years to come. It does not have to be a Christmas plate, it can be plain paper, or other patterned paper. Also you can have your child draw on the paper and make a special personalized plate!

1) First you need to cut the paper into a circle, slightly bigger than the back of the plate.

2) Brush on a layer of mod podge to the back of the plate and place the paper on the plate, smoothing any wrinkles out the best you can.

3) Next, brush a layer of mod podge on top of the paper.

4) When that drys, cut the paper to the edge of the plate then apply another coat. Apply a third coat if wanted.

NOTE – This plate should be hand-washed only.

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Hip2Save This Holiday: Holiday Care Packages Filled With Free or Super Cheap Items

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post submitted by reader Mara

This year, we are sending care packages as gifts to family and friends filled with things we have purchased with coupons that were either free or really cheap! We went to our local craft store and bought cute boxes with Christmas designs to fill up.

What You’ll Need:

*Purchase (or ask friends and family) gift boxes that are fairly large.
*Get tissue paper, scissors, tape, ribbon, and gift wrap.
*Gather all the items that you plan on putting in the boxes.

What to Do:

1. Place tissue paper in the bottom of the gift box to make the box look more full.
2. Start by putting bigger items in the back (full size shampoo, trash bags, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.)
3. Then fill in the second row with items that are of medium height (medicine, playing cards, etc.)
4. Display the smallest things on the front row (chapstick, trial/travel size items, etc.)
5. After you have everything inside, put gift wrap around the whole box.
6. Bunch it at the top and tape it. To add color, tie ribbon around the bunch.
7. Add a holiday card (optional)

*This is a great way to make use of all the free samples that we hear about from Hip2Save!

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Hip2Save This Holiday: Baby Food Jar Snowmen

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post Submitted By Reader Kaylynn…

Ever since my one-year-old son started eating baby food, I’ve been saving the glass baby food jars… I just knew I could use them for something eventually! I saw an idea on Pinterest, and decided to give it a try. After a few weeks of working on this project a little at a time, I finally finished! I’m not generally a very crafty person, so I did have to purchase some of the supplies (glue gun, glue sticks, fabric), but I figured that I spent about $20 total and a few hours to make 25 super cute, homemade gifts. And if you already have some of these things on hand, it would be even cheaper!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Glass baby food jars and lids
Goo gone
Laundry detergent
Black duct tape
Black construction paper
Fabric for scarves
Black and orange sharpies
Hot glue gun
Glue sticks
Tape
Hot chocolate mix
Mini marshmallows
Mints

The longest part of this process (by far) was cleaning the labels off the baby food jars. I ended up using Goo Gone, and then laundry detergent to remove the Goo Gone residue. But there may be an easier way! After they were all clean, we filled them with hot chocolate, marshmallows (which I bought on sale with coupons!), and mints.

Then I drew on the faces and buttons and hot glued the jars together. I covered the edge of the lid with black duct tape and cut a bunch of circles out of black construction paper. I cut out the centers to tape on top of the lid and slipped the ring over the lid. (I’m sure you could do the hats many other ways though.) Then I cut strips out of the fabric and tied them around the neck for scarves. I’ve given away a few already and they absolutely LOVE them. And hot chocolate is the perfect gift for a cold, winter day!

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Hip2Save This Holiday: Homemade Snow Globes

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post Submitted By Reader Sarah…

This year we’ve got a crawler in the house for Christmas, which means our older boys had to box up lots of tiny toys so baby brother doesn’t choke. Instead of just getting rid of them, we glued them into the lids of baby food jars, then filled the jars with water, white glitter and a touch of glycerin (don’t tell my kids…it’s K-Y ;-) ) and screwed the tops back on. The snow globes are super cute and much more durable than most you can buy.


1.) Wash and de-label your jars – for stubborn adhesive, I use goo-gone


2.) Choose small toys or holiday ornaments that will fit inside the jars. Choose things with nice sturdy bases for gluing.


3.) If it’s an ornament, just unscrew the hook and apply super glue to the base

4.) Adhere to the inside of the jar lid and set aside to dry

5.) Fill your jar with water, leaving about 1/4 inch for displacement


6.) Add about 1/4 tsp of glitter- more if you want a blizzard – and 1/4 tsp of K-Y ( the glycerin is optional, it just allows the glitter to stay suspended longer)

7.) When your glue is dry, simply turn your lid over and screw it back on – no need to glue unless you’re sure your kiddos will unscrew it.


8.) Attach a simple band of ribbon will cover any text on the lid and add a festive touch. Happy Holidays!

Years have passed by, but we still continue this family tradition. Every year my children look forward to going to the nursing home to sing and perform for these precious people. I think through this small act of service, my children have learned that it is definitely more blessed to give than to receive, and to me….this is what Christmas is truly all about.

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Hip2Save This Holiday: Gerber Puffs Container Snowman

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post submitted by reader Amy

When my kids were toddlers, I ended up with a lot of left-over Gerber Graduates Puffs containers. I mean, A LOT. Ever the pack-rat, once they were empty, I began to wash and save them, vowing, “I’ll use these someday!”

Then one morning, as I looked at one perched on the countertop, an idea hit me. The container looked like a naked snowman! So I decided to dress him up. I raided my craft drawer for ribbon, pom-poms, chenille stems, wiggly eyes, and a glue gun. And I borrowed a sock from my daughter. In no time at all, I had made a snowman, without ever leaving the warmth of my home!

At first, I used my decorated snowmen for storing things that are easily misplaced around the holidays—extra light bulbs for the Christmas tree, ornament hangers, and those tiny batteries that nearly require a microscope to see. They also made a great “Snowman Dough-can,” a sort of holiday piggy bank, especially fun for encouraging kids to save money for gift-giving or charity donations. And I quickly realized that bite-size fudge, peanut butter balls, and chocolate-covered pretzel sticks fit inside, making the snowmen containers a perfect holiday gift to share with family and friends!

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