Monday, July 30, 2012

Using the Tax-Free Weekend to your Christmas Advantage

As far as I know, seventeen of the United States are hosting a tax-free weekend this month, including my own state. High school and college students are preparing to return to school. There will be bargains galore to be found among necessary school items. Even stores that don't sell school supplies will be creating sales to lure shoppers inside! So, while your mind may be on getting your kids ready to go back to school, I suggest taking some time to consider holiday gift ideas that can be purchased and stored till Christmas. 

You can stock up on some fun stocking stuffers - what kid doesn't love pencils, markers, silly erasers, and activity pads? Budding artists will enjoy an activity kit that you create by filling a box with items such as crayons, colored pencils, markers, stencils, paper, scissors, glitter glue, and construction paper. Buying these things now will save you from shopping in the Christmas crowds and could save you a nice chunk of change.

Do you plan to participate in Operation Christmas Child, where you fill a shoebox with small items for needy children? Stock up now! Then you won't have to rush around trying to fill a box when the time comes.

Don’t leave your Christmas shopping for December–unless you love fighting for parking spaces and shopping in crowds. Do what you can in advance, and you'll be able to relax and enjoy the season like never before.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July: Star Stuff

Clearance sales this month feature lots of left over USA Independence Day items. Some items can easily transfer to Christmas, like the red and silver star-emblazoned paper goods, table centerpieces, and other decorations. Would you be interested in a patriotic-themed Christmas tree this year? If so, scope out the clearance sales for things you can use to decorate your tree!

If you (or your kids or grandkids) need a fun summer craft, check out this wire star craft at Wired-Star. Make sturdy new Christmas ornaments!

Or, you could make the easier, rustic, cinnamon star ornament. Directions are here: Cinnamon Christmas Star. You could even attach these to your wrapped gifts for added interest. Add a small banner with the recipient's name on it, and it becomes a gift tag!

For something intricate made of paper, see the woven star ornament tutorial located here: woven-star-from-vintage-book-pages.

Hmmm, now where did I put my wire cutters?