Checking off the List

Christmas and the holiday time is crazy! I know I am not the only person that feel this way. With demands on your time being totally heightened and financial strain increased, here are a few tips that I use to help me through.


Here are the tips:


I use as many short-cuts as I can. I do not make each and every cookie from scratch. You know what? No one notices! Yes, I know that baking from scratch is preferred, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time.


  • Orange Creamcicle Cookies – Use sugar Cookie mix and make as the recipe states but add orange zest, orange extract, and white chocolate chips.
  • Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies – Oatmeal cookie mix and make as the recipe states then add dried cranberries. Bake as directed and then dip halfway in melted white chocolate.
  • Lemon Crinkle Cookies – use lemon cake mix, 8oz of cool whip, and 1 egg. Mix together and roll in powdered sugar. Bake for 8 minutes @ 350
  • Andes Mint Cookies – use chocolate chocolate chip cookie mix and add mint extract. Bake as directed and then put an Andes Mint on the top while cookie is still warm.
  • Classic Peanut Butter Blossoms – use peanut butter cookie mix, roll into balls, coat in sugar, and bake as directed. Place a chocolate kiss in the middle of cookie just after baking and cool.



There are so many sales and deals out there for Christmas but I hate to get people things that they don’t actually want or need.

  • Ask ahead of time for lists.
  • Don’t feel bad when you can’t afford things. It is the thought that counts!
  • Get all the women/girls you are buying for the same thing. There is nothing wrong with repeating gifts but think about color or add a personal embroidery to make it unique. Ideas include: Scarves, Hats, Coffee Mugs, Water Bottles, Thermal Cups, and/ or hair towels.
  • Get all the men/boys that are on your list the same thing. Guys do not care if it’s personalized, if it’s a cool gadget they’ll love it. Ideas for the guys: Hats, wireless headphones, Thermal Cups, and Shaving Kit/ Beard Balm.
  • Pictures are precious! I have never met someone that doesn’t want a wonderful photo memory.
  • Nothing wrong with a little liquor. A bottle of wine or a growler from a local brewery is a great gift!
  • If you cannot afford it, do not spend money you don’t have! Your friends and family would way rather you not put yourself out.




Think of how beautiful even the simplest decorations can be. Why overspend or look for matching colors. Hand make things for your home and tree; this will save money and make memories!

  • Remember the popcorn and cranberry garlands from your childhood, why not make them to adorn your tree?
  • Simple paper chains with colored paper or Christmas print.
  • Cut a bunch of paper snowflakes. They can look beautiful taped to your windows, placed on your tree, or hung from the ceiling.
  • Ribbon makes a gorgeous garland on your tree or accent in your home.
  • Handmade tree decorations build memories for years to come!
  • Let your tree be your centerpiece! You don’t need decorations in every nook and cranny, make your tree be the show stopper!
  • Wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, and tags are expensive! A package can look beautiful wrapped in simple bench paper with a ribbon. A plus, you can write the tos and froms right on the package!


I hope these tips help make your holidays a little less chaotic! If you have any tips or tricks that help you get through this busy time of year, please share them!





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