Quick Christmas Gifts

If you have many plans for the Christmas season one of those might very well include a White Elephant gift exchange or  gifts for family friends. It can be hard to come up with a gift that has wide-spread appeal, so here is a quick idea of one that just might work!

Here is the gift that I’ll be bringing to the big family Christmas party my hubbies family throws each year. These are the items I have:

Put them all together and you have a fun bowl full of great goodies that any gal would love–whether she cooks a lot or not!

Do you have any great gift ideas that pack a mass appeal? Share them in the comments!

Nicole Elliott

Jeremy Camp Christmas: God With Us

Christmas Gift Guide

 Who loves Christmas music? I definitely do! Christmas CDs always make great Christmas gifts-though I like to give them a little early so that they can enjoy them! I’m already enjoying Jeremy Camp’s New Christmas CD: God with Us and you can too! I’m doing a super fast giveaway-so enter right away! Be on the lookout for my review–coming soon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nicole Elliott

Christmas Gift Guide ~ Homemade Christmas Gifts

Christmas Gift Guide

When it comes to Christmas gifts sometimes the best are homemade gifts! I pulled together this adorable Pampering Gift Basket that would be a great present for anyone on your list who loves to a little Me Time (and really–who doesn’t need some of that??!!)

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Here is what you’ll need!

  • 1 Basket (here in Texas the Garage Sales are *amazing* so you can easily pick up a gorgeous basket for $1 or less)
  • 1 Loofa (around $1 at Wal*Mart)
  • 1 Wash Cloth (around $1 at Wal*Mart)
  • 2 Glass Jars w/ Locking Lids (I got mine at Freds for $1.50 each-check your local Dollar Store)
  • Ingredients for Gingerbread Sugar Scrub  (Remember I gushed about how great this is during our Spa Night In last week)
  • Ingredients for Relaxing Bubble Bath Soak (recipe below)

So basically you get a super luxe looking gift basket for under $10 – a great easy homemade Christmas gift that won’t break the bank! (it might be more if you have to purchase the bulk products for the scrubs/soak but you can use them to make multiple baskets-so it’s worth it!)

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Recipe for Relaxing Bubble Bath Soak

  • Andovia Bath Salts from Cleopatra’s Choice TIP: These are great for helping with eczema too! I add some to each bath Amber takes and they’ve really been helping!
  • Village Naturals Therapy Aches & Pains Relief Foaming Bath Oil & Body Wash (got this at Wal*Mart for under $5 it has essential oils and is the first bubble bath I’ve found that I could use on Amber)
  • A Lemon (I don’t need to explain that–right?)

Mix together 2 cups Bath Salts w/ 1 cup body oil, and add Lemon zest, as much as you want for color and fragrance. It will be a little foamy at first. Wait until it settles down and then pour into jar!

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Putting it all together! Roll up the washcloth into a roll (you could tie with a fun ribbon if you wanted) Place the jars and the washcloth inside of the basket. Using the loofa tie it around one of the handles to create a pretty “bow” for the basket. Ta Da!

There you are! A beautiful, totally luxurious, totally easy homemade Christmas gift!

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Do you have any great homemade Christmas gift ideas? Please leave me the link in the comments if you do!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Christmas Gift Guide posts:

Nicole Elliott

Christmas Gift Guide

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?? I’m actually almost all done with mine! If you haven’t yet don’t worry! I have some great quick Christmas gift ideas that I’ll be sharing with you over the next few weeks from homemade gifts to frugal Christmas gift ideas! I started off with my Unique Holiday Gift Idea post.

Christmas Gift Guide

Mommy Bag Marketing Holiday Gift Guide ~ Once again Mommy Bag Marketing is hosting a fantastic holiday gift guide! I’ve already purchased from it and would encourage you to as well! Although I’m the first to love a good deal I also am passionate about supporting small businesses. So please bless multiple families this year and shop through Mommy Bag Marketing!

 Shopping Just Got Easier at Rock The Tea!  Girls shopping on-line store.  Rock the Tea offers crafts, dress-up clothes, make-up and jewlery for young girls.

Vistaprint – 6 Free HolidayProducts ~ Great neighbor Christmas gift ideas-just pay shipping!!

Shipping Starting Price:
· Holiday Cards: starts at $5.23
· Desk/Wall Photo Calendar: $5.23
· Mug: $5.78
· T-Shirts: $5.99
· Business Cards: $5.99
· Tote Bag: $5.26
· Sticky Note: $4.77
· Stamp: $5.99

Vistaprint also has this awesome deal going on right now! Custom Christmas Stockings for just $7.99 and free shipping!

Last but not least–get 140 labels for free from Vista Print – just pay shipping!

Or if you’re a new customer you can get 30 Free Ink Garden Address Labels-just pay shipping!

Think outside the address label box-you can use these as To/From Christmas Gift Labels, a gift for a teacher or another neighbor Christmas gift idea!

Nicole Elliott

Operation Christmas Child #OCCGiving

Here in America we are so very blessed. This becomes clear to me around the holidays more than any other time. It might be easy to become jaded in a sea of pre-Halloween Christmas trees and blaring ad consumerism.
I, however, still love the holidays-especially Christmas! I love the time with family, the food, the traditions, and yes-the presents!
I want the kids to learn that Christmas is so much more than ads and fun, however. I want them to grow up thinking of it as a time to reach a hand to help and give as much as it is to stretch a hand out to receive.
A wonderful way to do this is by participating in Operation Christmas Child. This is an absolutely amazing organization and we’ve taken part in it over the past several years. This year I had a blast putting together shoe boxes for children in need all over the world with my Moms Inc. Group!

My table chose to pack a box for a little girl age 5-9. We all chose one category of suggested gifts and then brought them in to pack all together! We chose to bring in the toys!
Amber and I had so much fun picking up little treasure we were sure a girl a little older than her would love. She was so proud about it that she even informed the cashier and everyone in front of us and behind us in line that “These are presents for a little girl who lives far, far away across a sea. Because she doesn’t have any presents so I want to give them to her.” They were all super impressed, and I went on to talk a little bit about Operation Christmas Child to them.

Apparently everyone else had as much fun collecting things as we did because we all brought waaay too much to fit into one box!
That was just fine though-we decided to build 2 boxes instead!

Doing it as a group helped us really cut down the costs-but you don’t have to spend a fortune even if you do it by yourself! For more great shoe box ideas be sure to check out OCC on Pinterest and don’t forget to check and see where your nearest drop of locations are!
I hope that you will join in and send a little box of joy out this Christmastime!

This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.

Operation Christmas Child and influencer marketing platform BlogFrog have teamed up with 200 bloggers like me to spread the word about this great cause.

BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.

Nicole Elliott

10 Holiday Planning Tips

As much as I was still pretending it was summer, the snow in the air today convinced me that it is time to put away the flip flops, tank tops, and shorts and start focusing on the fun aspects of Fall and Winter–the holidays of course! Here are my top ten holiday tips to ensure a happy, festive, stress free time!

1. Come Up With a Game Plan
One of the best things you can do to ensure holiday success and not stress is to sit down and make a plan. Give yourself deadlines for each item on your list–when do you want all the gifts ordered by? When should you have them all shipped to make sure they get to everyone on time? When in your schedule works best for family pictures? By having dates planned out and then entered in your calendar (whether paper or digital) you can approach everything in orderly manner.

2. Make a Spreadsheet

Something I’m doing this year that is a great idea is to make a spreadsheet for everyone’s gifts. I created an easy spreadsheet in Google docs that has the name of the person, the idea of the Christmas gift, a column for if it’s purchased, one for if it’s wrapped, one for if it’s shipped, and a column for price. This helps me right now as I browse and brainstorm for gifts, and then helps me keep track of what I need to do next with each persons gift. This will also be great for keeping us in budget! If you’re the kind of person who buys gift throughout the year this would be invaluable as it would help you keep straight what you’ve actually purchased! If you’d like to see how this works out step by step and how to create your own check out this post: Budget Guide for Holiday Shopping

3. Schedule Pictures
Unless you want to be scrambling on Facebook last minute to see which one of your pictures you could possibly use for a Christmas Card I highly suggest getting your family pictures taken in October!

4. Order around discounts
If you start early enough you should be able to purchase most your gifts and most definitely your Christmas Cards at a discounted rate! Many of the businesses already have all their Christmas cards available and offer up to 50% off in months like October. I especially LOVE this design from Storkie.com!

5. Use a Menu Planner
I have been using the FlyLady holiday menu guide since I got married and it is AMAZING! It helps me know when to buy groceries, what to do in the days leading up to Thanksgiving/Christmas for the meal, and walks me step by step on cooking the huge feast the day of. I have been able to cook delicious feasts for my family thanks to it!

6. Ship Early
To avoid the crazy not fun Post Office lines in December ship your gifts early! One thing that I love to do is to ship my gift directly to the person it is for if I order it online. I usually ask someone else if they will wrap and give it to them, and allow them to do the same with gifts for my family. Shipping is so expensive it just seems silly to pay it twice!

7. Get Creative
Many of my friends have expressed not knowing what to do with all the photo cards people send them. I always make a collage of them either on our fridge or on a wall, then afterwords I have a photo album (one of the ones with the sticky back pages) that I put them all in. It’s great to have hard copy photos of all our friends!

8. Start traditions
In order to make putting out decorations fun and not a hassle make a tradition out of it. Pick a day every year to get them out and make an event of it, make h0t chocolate, put on festive music, bake some goodies, and have the whole family help!

9. Sit back and relax!
In the week leading up to Christmas if you’ve done all of the above you should be able to just sit back and do fun things like watching favorite movies, playing in the snow, and baking!

10. Hit the sales
Once Christmas is over hit up the after Christmas sales. You can find Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, gift tags, and gift sets like perfume extremely discounted. Take advantage of this and stock up for the following year, it’ll be one less thing to deal with 12 months later!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Storkie holiday blogging program. I received compensation for my participation. All opinions are 100% mine.