Every year I plan to send out holiday cards and every year...well, it's the thought that counts, right? I DO send out Thank You cards however. It's a start. This guest post is written by somebody who actually has ther act together. Here's an easy way to make and print your own cards (holiday or thank you!).
Holiday Cards Made Easy
This time of year always makes me think of my family, those that I see every day, and those that are unfortunately not with us anymore. Christmas is the time for bringing families together, sharing laughter, happiness and reminiscing about times when we were all together. I remember a childhood filled with festive cheer, making mince pies and gingerbread men with my Aunty and dancing around the Christmas tree to songs I could never remember the words to.
Christmas is a time for giving, but it’s also a time for creating memories. I have Christmas cards and festive ornaments stored away in my attic that I made for my parents when I was tiny, some which are beautifully made, and some which definitely lack creative edge. The point is they have been made to remember, and that’s what I love about Christmas; it is a time to use your creative side and bring out the child in you.
I love making my own Christmas cards. I've made them since I was young and have continued into my adult years. By making your own cards your loved ones know that you have put time and effort into making something special and personal. Whether they have been made with copious amounts of glitter and glue, or beautifully designed on your computer–it is a great way to say you care.
This year I designed my cards online. I have found it's a cheaper alternative to buying all of the supplies yourself. They look fantastic and I've been able to personalize them as much as if I made them by hand. I decided this year to choose a selection of my favourite family pictures taken over the past month. I chose ones of us ice skating and standing next to Santa’s grotto. I uploaded them onto my computer and easily put them onto the cover of my beautiful Christmas cards.
The holidays are about doing things as a family and what better way to get the whole family together than to spend an evening designing your own Christmas cards for your friends and relatives? It's affordable, easy, and fun for everyone!
Alice Lawson is a Marketing and Advertising graduate with a passion for anything craft related. She loves nothing more than spending free time strolling around little vintage boutiques with the aim to find something she can make her own.
Do you have a pint-sized non-believer living under your roof? Perhaps a little ankle-biter who is demanding proof that Santa is in fact real?
They're going to find out the truth one day, but the longer you can keep the charade magic going, the better.
Here are three fun ways to invite Santa into your home, thus providing digital evidence that Santa is indeed 100% real! *Crosses fingers behind back.*
1. Check out Santa's Official Reindeer Live Feed at reindercam.com. Watch as Santa feeds his reindeer three times a day. My kids thought it was the coolest thing. You can leave live comments in the Facebook feed to the right, and also request that your children's names be included in the scrolling "Nice List."
2. Create a photo of Santa in YOUR home. This is great! Upload a photo of a room in your house, choose an image of Santa, and insert it into the photo. Super cute. Make your photos at capturethemagic.com.
3. Capture Santa on video! Watch Santa Claus walk past your Christmas tree and deliver presents in your very own home! This Santa isn't quite as realistic as the one from Capture the Magic above, so it might be better suited for younger children. Older kids may not buy it, but it's fun for the little ones. You can make your video at videoofsanta.com.
I also really like The Portable North Pole, where you can create a personalized video message for your child. I do this for my kids every year, and they love it.
Happy Christmas, everybody!
I'm a giver. And if I can rally the familial troupes to go in on a gift with me, great! And, if I can do this without even having to leave my house? Even better! This guest post is written by a tech savvy girl in-the-know who has a gift for social-gifting.
Count Me In!
There are two things that plague me this time of the year–giving and receiving crappy gifts!
Sure, they mean well, and I generally have the right intentions but occasionally it happens, you my friend may receive a knock-off, tan-coloured Snuggie coupled with a box of whatever they're selling at the closest drug store, despite the fact that all you wanted was a kid-free trip to the spa. Really, it all depends on your gift organizer's mental state during this insanely busy season.
A gift like a trip to the spa can be expensive as well, and while it's a no-brainer to collaborate with a group of people, who has the time to chase down your friends like a bill collector to gather back your coin?
CountMeIn is a clever tool to have in your gifting arsenal before the holidays, or for any special occasion—it will stop crappy gifts like scratchy Christmas sweaters and Snuggies in their tracks.
This app is a social online shopping mall that solves the case of what to get your friends and family for the holidays, while letting you promote all of your favourite products too. Not only can you generate the perfect gifts for you friends (based on their "likes" and interests), you can also create badass wish lists on Pinterest from CountMeIn.
How it works: Anything you add to your Pinterest board links right to your gift registry within CountMeIn, giving friends an easy way to chip-in a few dollars towards one of your must-haves. Pinterest allows you to collect your favourite products in one place, so using CountMeIn to create wish lists is a bang-on answer to ecommerce shopping and wish lists. Whether it's from a Tweet, Facebook post or a “PIN” your friends can click on the invite link, contribute, and view a progress bar that indicates the level of contribution towards the corresponding product.
Watch CountMeIn in action...
With CountMeIn you can help to reduce everyone's individual cost on the purchase through the use of their nifty “chip-in” tool that additionally eliminates the need for you or your gift organizer to run around collecting bills.
If you're jonesing to shop while waiting at the dentist you can do that too! CountMeIn can be accessed from smartphones and tablets as well. There's over one million products to browse through from flat-rate vacations to jewellery, handbags and gift cards.
Would love to hear from you in the comments! Tell us, what's the absolute worst gift you've ever received...don't hold back.
Brodie Beta aka @iPhonegirl is a tech blogger, social media strategist and the Co-founder of Drink Social Media. She has written columns for well-known technology sites including The Next Web and a national newspaper in Canada, The Globe and Mail.