Archive for The Holidays – Page 2

Tuesday Tidbit – Clutter-Free Gift Ideas

Tuesday Tidbit - Clutter-Free Gift Ideas outtaspaceorganizing.comClutter-free gifts are truly appreciated by others, especially if they are on a fixed income or have been downsizing and reducing clutter. If they need a certain “thing”, then fine, but otherwise honor where they are and consider the following:

  • Tickets for a trip or tour. This doesn’t need to be an ocean cruise – bus and local trips can be great.
  • A gift certificate for “free rides”. Many people worry about asking too often for rides to the doctor or shopping. With this option they won’t feel as though they are imposing.
  • Pay for cleaning, cooking OR organizing services.
  • Stamps and stationery.
  • Pay the registration fee for a class or workshop.
  • Give tickets to the theatre, a sporting event or lecture. Two tickets allows a friend to go along.
  • Membership fees to their local fitness club, Science or Children’s Museums (in Minnesota where “cabin fever” is really experienced, having a fun, educational place to take the family can be a sanity saver!).
  • Gift cards: Restaurants, coffee houses, a spa, haircut, taxi/bus rides, gas, grocery store, pharmacy.

Give from your heart, that’s what matters.

Tuesday Tidbit – Expressing Gratitude

Tuesday Tidbit - Expressing Gratitude

As we pause this week to enjoy time with family and friends and celebrate Thanksgiving, I want to share two quotes with you.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~Melody Beattie

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
~Henry Van Dyke

Thanksgiving Blessings from our home to yours.

Tuesday Tidbit – It’s Easier If You Keep Track

It's Easier If You Keep Track

Halloween is in a few days and many stores are already shouting Christmas!

Whether you like this or not it can be a good time to pick up a few bargains. When you start to find your Holiday gifts it makes sense to keep track of them in a notebook or in your smartphone.

I keep a small notebook in my purse so as the season progresses I remember what I  bought earlier. It’s also handy during the year when little hints are dropped or you pick up on a special wish to write it down. It’s fun to give and receive the unexpected.

During the Holidays you may need to hide your gifts, but during the rest of the year having a shelf or closet or a box in an out-of-the-way spot helps you gather gifts for family and friends throughout the year. Being ahead of the game does bring a sense of peace.

Take Time to Make Memories and a Little Gift Too

We had a reel-to-reel tape deck when our kids were little, and one of our favorite tapes was filled with Christmas music. When the two older kids were on the cusp of not believing in Santa, that year we planned a surprise.

While all of them were gone one day, my husband recorded over some of the music to help extend the magic of Christmas just a little longer.

We were having dinner on Christmas Eve when all of a sudden, SLAM! The door from the garage to the family room banged shut and was unbelievably followed by Ho~Ho~Ho, Merry Christmas!

The kids’ faces showed pure shock. For a few seconds they sat in stunned silence…Was it really him? Here in our house?

Projector225Before they ran from the table and tore down the steps to the family room, the door slammed again. They’d just missed Santa who was already up and away on his sleigh.

We dodged questions and told little white lies all night as they wondered how Santa had really come to our house.

The magic lived on.

What a fun Christmas memory. Take time to make memories this year and remember those from years past.

In my family, ornaments play a role in remembering fun life events and experiences.

To make keeping track super simple all of this information is now on a spreadsheet. It is easy to add pages for new family members or friends and is easily updated each year.

Please accept my gift of a customizable ornament tracking template to record your own ornament history to help simplify your holidays. Click here to download your gift.

Many blessings to you this Christmas season.

Live Organized,


Penny Hammond

A Legacy of Ornaments

Our three children are grown and have been receiving Christmas ornaments every year since they were born. This tradition started with my mom, Grandma Marie, and Ted’s mom, Grandma Lucille, and shortly thereafter, was embraced by other family members and also added to by friends, school projects and of course me.

Three kids, multiple givers with a high potential for chaos!

The year the kids were old enough to “help” decorate the tree and fought over which color knit stocking belonged to them, I knew keeping track was a must!

It became very clear that I needed to start a new tradition. A list! On the list, I included headings for the year, the child’s name, the name of the gift giver and sometimes details about the ornament. Perhaps it was from a vacation, an interest or an event.

This started very simply as designated notebook pages for each child in a spiral notebook. As the entries grew and the pages filled, the pages were removed from the spiral notebook and put into a three-ring binder for ease of adding more pages.

At some point, it dawned on me that as adults, the kids may want their ornaments for their own trees. I panicked. Our tree would be bare! So I started buying one for my husband and a “family” ornament. These meant something special to us perhaps from a trip or a memory or received as a gift so more pages were added to the book.

Each year I buy ornaments for our two grandsons, one granddaughter, three other family members and my good friend Jeanne. Yup, more pages. This helps me keep track of the ornaments I’ve given so there is no chance for duplication.

To make keeping track super simple all of this information is now on a spreadsheet. It is easy to add pages as needed and is updated each year.

Please accept my gift of a customizable ornament template to download here to record your own ornament history.

Merry Christmas!