Spreading Christmas Cheer

All week the kids and I have been baking up a storm. Cookies, cupcakes and candy have been tempting us with their yummy goodness.

Today we’ve delivered some of these sweet treats, but tomorrow morning will find us playing a bit of ding dong ditch on unsuspecting (and often grumpy) neighbors!

Spreading Christmas cheer is so much fun!

The Perfect Stocking(s) for Under $25!

Walmart is dedicated to helping families save money so we can bring home more for less this Christmas. To prove this, they sent me out with another challenge this week. My mission was to put together the perfect stocking with just $25. So, off I went with a gift card in hand to see what I could find.

I’ll admit that I was surprised to find that Walmart truly does offer all of the ingredients any family needs for fab filled stockings this holiday– from $1 candies and holiday activities to $5 DVDs.

Believe it or not, I put together a stocking for all six of my older kiddos for just under $25, TOTAL (pre-tax)! With all of the multi-pack items I was able to purchase this was quite easy to do, actually.

If you have yet to purchase your stocking “stuffing,” I invite you to take “The Perfect Stocking for Under $25”
challenge on your own and share with me how you created your stockings for your loved ones. I’m sure you’ll find that it’s certainly doable for anyone on your list!

Other great ideas for stocking stuffers::

Baby Bottle Pops and Juicy Drop Pops are a favorite treat around here! I think it’s kinda funny, really… even the twins can be seen sucking on that little bottle pop every now and again. They have no shame when it comes to their favorite candy!

Animal Planet Activity Kits are great for the kiddos whose mom isn’t exactly the best at organizing and creating fun activities. Ahem.

The 3D puzzle that is the Rubik’s Cube is a classic game that any one can enjoy. Okay, maybe not anyone… these little cubes frustrate me to no end. BUT, my kiddos love them!

Walmart’s Top Toys :: Our Favorites

Are you looking for the perfect gift for some of those kiddos in your life? Well, I have some great ideas! Whether you need to find that one item for your nieces, nephews or your own little one still left on your shopping list, check out some of our favorites.

Paper Jamz have been a big hit here in the Young house. These paper-thin instruments are available in the form of guitars, drums and amplifiers and are easy enough for even my littlest guys to rock out!

The Leapster Explorer is, by far, our favorite LeapFrog product, thus far. With endless ways to play, the Explorer offers games and activities, as well as the option to download apps, videos and ebooks. I’m looking forward to adding the camera accessory so my kiddos can use the Explorer to capture pictures and video without stealing my phone or Flip!

Loopz is a fabulously fun memory game that challenges the reflexes of every member of the family. With seven ways to play, Loopz provides hours of entertainment.

Although I would highly recommend each of the items in this post, I have been compensated for my time and efforts to tell you about some of hottest toys this Christmas. Be sure you check out the rest of Walmart’s Top Toys!

Build-a-Box with Operation Christmas Child

Did you and your kiddos pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child? Well, Collection Week was last week and if you’re as distracted as I am these days, you probably missed the deadline, even though you knew it was coming. (Don’t judge!) There is good news for you and me! We can virtually pack boxes through Operation Christmas Child’s Build-a-Box.

Now through December 25th you can go to www.samaritanspurse.org to Build A Box, customizing it by selecting special items for the child you choose by gender and age. Each shoe box will have 12 – 14 “Foundation Items” that are automatically included in the box. These items include hygiene items, school supplies, and candy. You can then choose 1 “Anchor Item” (such as a doll, stuffed animal, or ball), 2 other “Toy Items,” and 2 “Miscellaneous Items,” which vary by age and gender, for their box. Don’t forget to upload a photo you and your family and write a letter for your shoebox recipient. The best part? You can also use “Follow Your Box” feature and track the country where your shoebox gift will go.

I am planning to bring our shoeboxes with me to Orange County this next weekend, but Build-a-Box is a great option for the rest of us who missed out on National Collection Week… It’s convenient and easy for even the busiest donor.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Operation Christmas Child blogger panel and write about the ministry on a volunteer basis. All posts are my own thoughts and do not necessarily reflect the views of Samaritan’s Purse. As part of the blogger panel, I will travel with Operation Christmas Child to the California Processing Center to prepare shoe box gifts for overseas shipment. I am not an employee, agent, or contractor of Samaritan’s Purse.