So you Haven’t Ordered Christmas Cards

Your super organized friend had their Christmas cards addressed and stamped the weekend after Thanksgiving, huh?  Well, I’m pretty organized but that was certainly not me this year.  I usually like to take the boy’s Christmas pictures in October, which gives me plenty of time to choose the cards and have them mailed to me, but this year it was the first week of November and no pictures had been taken.  So I went to a local pumpkin patch and the day that they were hauling away the pumpkins, I had the boys stand in front of an old tractor and snapped away.  I was careful to avoid the orange landscape a foot away!  The boys kept telling me through their smiles “let’s get out of here, mom!”  So I got my shots AND embarrassed the boys – double fun!

christmas cards

I decided to order my cards from Tiny Prints, like I did last year and the year before that and so on…  I have never had a problem with that company and every year they have even cuter cards!  What do you think of this barnyard-style card?  Perfect for the tractor picture, right?

christmas cards

But what if you didn’t make it to the pumpkin patch and turkey day went by and still no holiday photo?  Well, you can always choose a design that does not involve a photo, or you can choose to send out a Happy New Years cards, instead.  Of course you don’t have to send out cards at all but I absolutely love sending and receiving cards during this season.  I am happy to say that this year I have received more cards than ever before!

Totally unrelated to cards but totally related to saving time, check out this wrapping paper that is already personalized with your family name!  So stinkin’ cute!  I also picked it up at Tiny Prints.  I only ordered one roll because I wanted to check out the quality and because I like to use all kinds of prints for Christmas, but it was a winner!

gift wrap

Lastly, I ordered a few notebooks for the boy’s teachers, which I will pair with a nice box of chocolates.  There is something so special about personalized items.

notebook christmas

Whether you send out cards or not, have no fear and have no guilt.  I just wanted to send you a little reminder that it’s not too late if you choose to do it and you can send out New Years wishes, instead.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and don’t forget to enjoy your family.  Christmas goes by so fast that you have to be intentional about being “present”.

Hugs!

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5 Tips for a Worry Free Holiday Season

5 Tips for a Worry Free Holiday Season

I love sharing little tips that have made a big impact in my life as far as enjoying the most joyous (and hectic) time of the year…Christmas!  The Holidays do not stress me out at all – as a matter a fact, I love every aspect of Christmas as long as I am not rushed.  I love sitting down and addressing my holiday cards by hand, baking cookies, wrapping gifts…  I enjoy everything unless I feel like I am forced to do it in a rush.  So here is what I do to keep my Christmas merry:

1- Order my holiday cards ahead of time

I usually order my Christmas cards before November ends.  This way I can sit down in peace with some Christmas music (yes, I am that cheesy) and handwrite my envelopes.  I can no longer hand write the actual cards because we send out so many, so I appreciate these pre-printed cards with beautiful messages.  This year I ordered these beautiful foil cards from Tiny Prints.  I love them!

Minted Christmas Cards

They are wonderful!

Minted Christmas Card

I usually set up a little holiday card station and get to work.

Card Station Christmas

I do the same for my Holiday Business Cards, that I also picked up from Tiny Prints.

Christmas Business Cards

2 – Simplify shopping

Shopping can be one the most stressful part of the holidays.  If I can buy it online, I do.  There is no need to make those long lines unless you are absolutely convinced that you are getting a superior deal.  I love the convenience of online shopping!

3 – Stock up on baking supplies

Isn’t it annoying when you are ready to start baking and you think you have all your ingredients ready to go, only to find out there are little bugs in your flour?!  Always buy fresh flour and essentials right before the holidays.  I also like to start baking and freezing scones and cookie rolls.  I will individually wrap my scones in parchment paper and then place them inside a Ziplock bag. I also wrote on the outside the temperature that I am supposed to cook them and for how long.  I do the same with logs of cookies that I can later slice and bake.

Chirstmas scones

4 – Wrap gifts as you go

I wrap all the gifts that are inside boxes as soon as I purchase them.  I skip placing the bow on them so that they can easily stack on top of the other.  I do write the name in a little corner of the gift so that I can later add a bow and a tag.  I really enjoy wrapping gifts when it’s not a marathon.  Although, when it comes to wrapping the boys gifts it’s always a mini-marathon!

Stress Free Christmas

5- Focus on the awesomeness of Christmas

It is so easy to get distracted or stressed out with all of the holiday hustle.  Stop and remind yourself that Christmas only comes around once a year and it’s a really special time with a special meaning – and stress shouldn’t be part of such a beautiful time!

It’s almost Christmas – stay committed to being “present” and aware of all your blessings!

xo, Maria

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Holiday Card Station

Holiday Card Station

No pressure but have you already sent out your holiday cards?  When I send out my cards, I set up a holiday card station.  It sounds silly but it will make getting the cards in the mail faster and more fun.  If you set up a station you will work faster and everything you need will be at hand.

I love receiving and sending out Christmas cards!  If they are the ones with the picture I save them to later scrapbook them in my Christmas album (which hasn’t been updated in 4 years but in my mind I am an avid scrapbooker).

Holiday Card Station

These are the items that you need to create a holiday card station:

  1. Holiday Cards (Obvious, I know).

  2. Return Address labels

  3.  Address book

  4.  Stickers / washi tape / embelishments

  5.  Stamps

  6.  Pen

Holiday Cards

Tips before sending holiday cards:

  1.  Make sure that your stamp is sufficient for the card that you purchased.

  2.  Make Christmas address labels for all of your friends and family and that way you just print out the labels every year.  Holiday Card Lists are more extensive than birthday invitation lists, and it is worth it to type all the addresses and save the document for yearly use.  This is especially a good idea for those that send out lots of cards.

 

The good thing about setting up a tray is that if you don’t finish in one sitting, you can put everything away and bring it back out when you are ready.

I hope you all have an awesome Holiday season!

Maria

Other Recent posts:

Christmas Home Tour

Stress-Free Holidays

 

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Stress Free Holiday Tips

Stress Free Holiday Tips

Are we talking about Christmas in October?  Yes, indeed we are.  We know it’s around the corner.  The holidays, a time for joy, family, food, togetherness and a sprinkle of stress.  Is that ok to admit?  The holidays can be a little hectic.  We really want to savor the moments but it’s hard to enjoy gift wrapping, baking, and parties when everything is last minute.  I want to share with you some stress free holiday tips that will help you be in the moment, when the moment comes.

  • My first suggestion, is to order Christmas cards early!  Pictured below are my cards for this year, they are from Tiny Prints.  I normally order my cards in October, which leaves me plenty of time to address and send them out.  Maybe even with a glass of chardonnay and a little music…now were talkin’!

Photo christmas cards are my favorite to send and to receive.  I can never bring myself to throw them out after the season is over, so I just file them away with a post-it marking the year.  I also prefer the message to be printed onto the card, this way the only thing I have to do is write the address on the envelope.  This year, I even had our return address pre-printed on the envelope.  I only wrote the recipient address and it was actually fun to write these out, in peace, no rush.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • Another tip is to order gift tag stickers.  What a time saver!  I have so many gift tag stickers, with different themes to use year round.  It already has our name on the sticker and I only have to write the recipient’s name.  This year I will be using the ones with the antlers (how cute are they?) which are also from Tiny Prints.   Erin Condren also makes beautiful ones that I use for holidays or birthday gifts (the ones with the “Enjoy” message).  You never have to worry about the tag falling off because they are stickers.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • Wrap presents ahead of time and create a stash.  I only place the gift tag sticker on the gift and I skip the bow.  This allows me to stack the boxes without the bow getting in the way. When I am ready to bring the gift out, I place a pretty bow on it.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • Have a Christmas Gift List.  Do this in order to avoid last minute shopping because someone just slipped your mind.  Also, keep track of what you are spending.

Here is a FREE CHRISTMAS GIFT LIST PRINTABLE (the one pictured) that can help you track your gifts and spending.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • Stock up on baking items that you will need.  Holiday baking and cooking can be so much fun, so be sure to have the essentials at hand.  Butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and then more butter. :-)

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • If you have kids, this is a good time to sort through their toys and donate items that they no longer need.  My little one plays with most of his toys so I just have to ask myself if he really needs 5 firetrucks.  I make space for the new toys that he will receive.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

  • Choose recipes that are tried and true for any holiday party that you will be having.  It’s already a hectic season and you don’t need to add unnecessary stress over whether a soufflé will rise and hold.  Read here about how I plan for Christmas morning.

Stress Free Holiday Tips

The biggest and most important tip is to go easy on yourself.  Do what you can, order items ahead of time, cook ahead of time but if the soufflé deflates, don’t deflate along with it.  Enjoy your families and friends, enjoy this beautiful time!

Maria 

 

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