Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

11 Sitcoms to Help Get You Into the Holiday Spirit

Monday, December 9th, 2019

11 Sitcoms to Get You in the Holiday Spirit from MomAdvice.com

Here’s a guide for every episode you need to stream on television get into the holiday spirit! These 11 tv shows, with hilarious holiday episodes, prove that this season really is all about family – no matter how dysfunctional. Be sure to pin this post so you can remember this list of holiday episodes for a new family Christmas tradition.

 

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, as we all know, but also the most hectic time of the year. 

From shopping to baking to figuring out what to wear to the fancy party that sounded so fun when you agreed to go, most of our lives are nonstop chaos from about October through New Year’s.

With that in mind, it might seem silly that we’re bombarded with so much holiday programming on TV. 

Who has time for that this holiday season when we have gifts to wrap and end-of-semester or end-of-quarter deadlines to meet and family dysfunction to navigate?!?

Well, nobody, I guess. 

But while we may not have time to sit back and watch fictional characters and their holiday hijinks, I believe we might just need it.

Because sometimes we need a break. 

Sometimes we need to laugh. 

Sometimes…well, sometimes we need to watch a family way crazier than our own to regain our perspective on these people driving us nuts in real life!

Fortunately, in addition to the onslaught of holiday movies (of which I am a giant fan) and Christmas specials (of which I have made an exhaustive list), our favorite tv series are HERE FOR US with their very special holiday episodes.

Now, I won’t deny that some of our most beloved dramas have given us so much at holiday time. 

From Chrismukkah (The O.C.) and winter festivals (Gilmore Girls) to the most romantic proposal in the snow (Downton Abbey) to even the most dark and twisty characters getting into the holiday spirit (Grey’s Anatomy), these shows can really do a number on our already seasonally fragile emotions. 

There’s a time and place for all that, but right now, I’m leaning more toward the fun and funny type of holiday episodes. 

That is what I think is going to help us not just get through the holidays, but actually enjoy them.

 

11 Sitcoms to Get You Into the Holiday Spirit

 

Blackish Christmas

Black-ish

What other family sitcom addresses real family life and serious societal issues with so much humor and heart? 

Making us think (and sometimes tear up) while laughing so hard is a Black-ish specialty, and that’s no different during the holiday.

Stream on Hulu.

  • Black Santa/White Christmas – season 1, episode 10
  • Stuff – season 2, episode 10
  • Just Christmas, Baby – season 3, episode 10
  • Christmas in Theater Eight – season 5, episode 8

 

Bob’s Burgers

I’m new to this show (thanks to Amy’s recommendation on my podcast!), but I can already tell I’m going to love this bizarrely lovable (or is it lovably bizarre?) family’s holiday shenanigans.

Stream on Hulu.

  • Bob Rest Ye Gentle-Mannequins – season 3, episode 9
  • Christmas in the Car – season 4, episode 8
  • Father of the Bob – season 5, episode 6
  • Nice-Capades – season 6, episode 5
  • The Last Gingerbread House on the Left – season 7, episode 7
  • The Bleakening – season 8, episodes 6-7
  • Better Off Sled – season 9, episode 10

Community Christmas

Community

Though I always enjoyed the times the Community gang simply sat around their study table in the library, the themed episodes where the whole show goes off the rails are really the best.

Two of the Christmas episodes fit that bill to a T, one being filmed in stop-motion animation and one a musical send-up of the TV show, Glee. 

If you like your holiday shows on the absurd side, Community has got you covered.

Stream on Hulu.

  • Comparative Religion – season 1, episode 12
  • Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas – season 2, episode 11
  • Regional Holiday Music – season 3, episode 10
  • Intro to Knots – season 4, episode 10

Happy Endings

This group of friends always makes me laugh so hard with their ridiculous antics focused on outsmarting each other in some competition or another, while also caring for one another with the most outrageous (and often back-firing) gestures imaginable. 

Also, as a fellow December baby, I’m all for friends who go overboard trying to make their friend’s Christmas birthday special.

Stream on Hulu.

  • Grinches Be Crazy – season 2, episode 9
  • No-Ho-Ho – season 3, episode 7

 

How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother is better known for its Thanksgiving (or, Slaps-giving, if you will) episodes, but it had some great Christmas episodes, too. 

And while this show is based on an outrageously unrealistic premise (“Kids, let me tell you every sordid detail of my exploits as a young single guy in the big city…”) and had that ending we all agree was major disappointment (*salutes* Major Disappointment), it also really did address issues many of us face as young (and not-so-young) adults. 

Navigating friendships in the fallout of a breakup, dealing with homesickness, going through life changes like pregnancy and moves: somehow How I Met Your Mother makes “adulting” hilarious, especially in these holiday episodes.

Stream on Hulu.

  • How Lily Stole Christmas – season 2, episode 11
  • Little Minnesota – season 4, episode 11
  • False Positive – season 6, episode 12
  • Symphony of Illumination – season 7, episode 12

New Girl Holiday

New Girl

Every character in this ensemble is intense — but in the super funny, strangely quirky sort of way. 

And like in real life, the holidays just amplify what’s already there, turning everything about them, good and bad, individually and collectively, up to an 11. 

But in the very best sort of way.

Stream on Netflix.

  • The 23rd – season 4, episode 9
  • Santa – season 2, episode 11
  • LAXmas – season 4, episode 11
  • Christmas Eve Eve – season 6, episode 10

Parks & Recreation Christmas

Parks and Recreation

Does anyone even come close to possessing the enormous amount of genuine (and productive) holiday spirit as Leslie Knope? 

Nope. (See what I did there?) 

She outdoes us all, and darn it! 

We love her all the more for it. 

Despite serious political distractions in these holiday episodes, Leslie and friends give us even more feels than normal, even when we’re not invited to Jerry’s Christmas party!

Stream on Netflix.

  • Christmas Scandal – season 2, episode 12
  • Citizen Knope – season 4, episode 10
  • Ron and Diane – season 5, episode 9

THE GOLDBERGS Hanukkah

The Goldbergs

Who can rock a hideous Christmas sweater while also turning Hanukkah into a competitive sport better than Beverly Goldberg? 

Nobody, that’s who.

Stream on Hulu.

  • A Christmas Story – season 3, episode 10
  • Han Ukkah Solo – season 4, episode 10
  • We Didn’t Start the Fire – season 5, episode 10
  • Yippee Ki Yay Melon Farmer – season 6, episode 10

The Mindy Project Holiday

The Mindy Project

If a wine bra and a dancing Danny Castellano aren’t enough to convince you to watch the holiday episodes of The Mindy Project, then I just don’t know what to tell you. 

The holidays might be for spending time with the ones you love, but in this show, they’re also for planning and scheming and so many silly twists and complications we can barely keep them straight. (But we totally can, because sitcom complications are rarely all that complicated, and we are smart people.)

Stream on Hulu.

  • Josh & Mindy’s Christmas Party – season 1, episode 9
  • Christmas Party Sex Trap – season 2, episode 11
  • Christmas – season 3, episode 11

The Office Christmas Party

The Office

The holiday party planning committee and all its many, many problems is one of my favorite parts of The Office. 

Michael Scott going overboard in a ridiculous manner for a ridiculous reason? 

Not so much my fave. 

But somehow, these holiday episodes combine these two show ingredients into something stupid funny and great examples of what made The Office so popular.

Stream on Netflix.

  • Christmas Party – season 2, episode 10
  • A Benihana Christmas – season 3, episode 10
  • Moroccan Christmas – season 5, episode 10
  • Secret Santa – season 6, episode 13
  • Classy Christmas – season 7, episode 11
  • Christmas Wishes – season 8, episode 10
  • Dwight Christmas – season 9, episode 9

Will & Grace

If decking the halls includes donning our gay apparel, then obviously the foursome on Will & Grace are the right ones to help us do the holidays right. 

I’m hoping we get one last holiday episode this year, but even if we don’t, we have plenty of classics to choose from.

Stream on Hulu.

  • Jingle Balls – season 4, episode 12
  • All About Christmas Eve – season 5, episode 11
  • Fanilow – season 6, episode 10
  • Christmas Break – season 7, episode 12
  • A Little Christmas Queer – season 8, episode 9
  • A Gay Olde Christmas – season 9, episode 7

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What’s YOUR favorite holiday TV episode? 

 

11 Sitcoms to Get You in the Holiday Spirit from MomAdvice.com

Best Advent Calendars for Kids (FREE Printable!!)

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

Looking for advent calendar for kids. This free printable advent calendar includes fun Christmas themed trivia questions for the holiday season. Counting down to Christmas couldn’t be more fun (or more affordable!) Download our countdown to Christmas on the blog today!

I never did an advent calendar growing up so I, honestly, had to look up what the heck these were when other moms talked about them.

In honor of today’s trivia theme, do you know how the advent calendar originated?

As with many of our Christmas traditions, this one originated out of Germany. In the early 20th century, Gerhard Lang’s mother made him a calendar with 24 small candies attached to cardboard, one for each day before Christmas.

Lang grew up and opened Reichhold & Lang printing company where he printed the first Advent cardboard calendar with 24 little pictures. Then, just a few years later, the company printed the first calendar with the little doors that everyone loves to open. 

Just imagine what kind of craft celebrity Gerhard’s mom would have been on Pinterest.

That’s pretty much, an original viral project.

I am so excited to share this fun FREE printable advent calendar with you that our amazing contributor, M.J. designed for us!

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

From our graphic designer, MJ at pars caeli

Advent calendars are just the cutest, right?

That is–until you have to fill/create/arrange them!

This year we’re going simple with our countdown to Christmas, and we want to make it easier for you, too, with a printable calendar.

This Advent Calendar needs just to be cut, folded, and glued.

Fist bump.

You can even have the kids create it.

The days leading up to Christmas are both magical and hectic!

We have Christmas performances and charitable shopping, Santa’s gifting and work parties galore.

I didn’t want our Advent countdown to be another process on the list so we put together something light and fun.

How to Make a Christmas Trivia Advent Calendar for Big Kids

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

How about Christmas trivia?!

We watch Jeopardy around our house (with three kids, twelve and under), and a countdown with trivia seemed like a natural way to learn more and to laugh together as we get nearer to the 25th.

We put together twenty-five trivial (some are pretty ridiculous) questions about Christmas traditions, songs, and movies for the whole family.

In fact, this calendar would be great to put next to the coffee pot at work or as a runner across the dinner table.

My kids have been talking about these questions more than I imagined (“what’s your favorite Christmas song?” and “remember that time we saw…”).

Our holiday experiences can be easy entryways to new conversations and insights.

Let’s make an advent calendar together!


Supplies Needed

Craft paper 

Scissors

Tape

Glue stick

A straight edge or ruler

Our printable calendar 

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

Directions for Your Free Printable Advent Calendar

STEP ONE:

Print out the numbers and trivia questions.

Set the trivia questions aside for now.

To cut your numbers, slice the page first vertically and then horizontally, creating four pieces.

You’ll then cut those four piece vertically, to make equal-sized pieces of paper.

STEP TWO:

Each number paper has light gray dotted lines to show where they should be folded.

With a ruler or straight edge, fold crisply along that line as indicated in two places.

Once you’ve made the folds, bend them the opposite direction to create a folded piece with the number on the front and a flap on the top.

STEP THREE:

Take the trivia questions back out.

Cut those along the dotted edges. Glue the questions into the inside of the numbered papers.

These are not numbered so they can go in any day.

We put ours in randomly.

There’s a question for every day from December 1 through the 25.

STEP FOUR:

Refold the bottom and then the top flap of the numbered rectangle over top of the trivia question (we don’t want anyone peeking until the right day!).

You’ll want to seal the flap shut.

You can do this with glue or tape.

We opted to cut up some adhesive labels into tiny strips so that we could peel back the flaps without destroying the calendar.

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

That’s it!

Attach the questions to a ribbon and hang on the side of your fridge.

Or tape them to a pantry door in the shape of a tree!

Or (super simple) keep calendar days in a bowl on your dinner table, and pull one out every day.

You might find yourselves amazed by how many presents you’d get if you received all of them from the 12 Days of Christmas or laughing about what the word mistletoe really means!!

(Oh, I’ve said too much. You have to wait to open that day!)

Happy Christmas countdown from our family to yours!!

Wishing you a simply joyful holiday.

Xoxo,

MJ

SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN TO ACCESS THE PRINTABLES!

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

Best Advent Calendars For Kids from MomAdvice.com

 

Looking for more DIY Advent Calendar Ideas? Here are a few others that I’m loving!

Adorable Toilet Paper Roll Advent Calendar– This fun advent calendar is made from something everyone has on hand – toilet paper tubes! Fill it up with small toys, your favorite candy or cute socks! A fun way to upcycle and create fun memories at the same time!

Use What You Have Advent Calendar– Turn your muffin tins into creative advent calendars with this fun holiday bucket list idea.

Christmas Book Advent Calendar – Each book is wrapped with a number for the kids to open each night before bed. No need to purchase new books every year, only if the age out. Making reusable number gift tags to put on the books each year keeps this a great green alternative.

Christmas Tree Ornament Advent– This mini tree makes counting down super fun! Simply hang an ornament every day!

DIY Paper Advent Calendar– Create an easy DIY paper advent calendar with free printable templates for the boxes! This handmade advent calendar is a fun Christmas papercraft and lovely holiday gift idea for kids and teens.

No Time to DIY an Advent Calendar? Here are some of the Best Advent Calendars for Kids!

If you don’t have time to make an advent calendar, here are some MomAdvice Advent Calendar favorites!

Toy advent calendars can be so fun because they feature 24 fun things to look forward to as you welcome in the holiday.

So many advent calendars are featuring sets that include adorable fun trinkets, magnetic ornaments, or mini figures. Find a set with features and surprises that your kids will never expect.

Advent calendars are such a fun bonus surprise gift under the Christmas tree, aren’t they?

Little People Advent Calendar

Crayola Christmas Countdown

Paw Patrol Advent Calendar

LEGO Friends Advent Calendar

LEGO City Advent Calendar

Grab Your Free Advent Calendar Printables!

Click Here for Advent Numbers Printable

Click Here for Trivia Sheet Printable

Love this post? Here are some of my favorite Christmas posts on the site!

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Everyone Will Love 100 unique stocking stuffers for everyone on your list

Unique Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages unique gift ideas for kids of ALL ages

Easy Christmas Tree Cinnamon Rolls christmas tree cinnamon rolls for christmas morning

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100 Unique Stocking Stuffers for Everyone On Your List

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide from MomAdvice.com

Are you looking for the perfect small gift to tuck in your family member’s stocking? Today I’m sharing my Christmas stocking stuffers that everyone will love.

My family never did stockings, when I was growing up, and I was always so enchanted by the tradition at my boyfriend’s (now husband) house.

Each stocking was uniquely made and cut from felt with adorable details on each one. I loved watching them open their stocking and the fun things that their parents came up with to give to them.

In their house, they had scratch-off lottery tickets, car wash gift certificates, toll road gift cards, and their favorite candy.

As with ALL my holiday gift guides (shop my unique gift ideas for men and unique gift ideas for kids of all ages list) I want to give you a list of useful gifts to share with a loved one on Christmas morning.

Being the frugal gal that I am, I just can’t justify spending money on stocking stuffers that end up being useless junk in our home.

Believe me, if I wouldn’t buy it, I won’t be sharing it with you.

This is how I am, in fact, making my own gift request list.

Just as a reminder, MomAdvice participates in various affiliate marketing programs and we are paid commissions through the links to retailer sites. Items purchased through our links are always greatly appreciated.

If you are on a budget, I DO recommend that you sign up with Rakuten to do your shopping. This app gives you cash back on all your qualifying purchases.

If you want to read more about this shopping app, head here for an in-depth review of what Rakuten offers.

If you just want $25 and plan to get shopping, this should automatically deposit $25 in your account for your purchases(sorry- new customers only!).

I hope you can find some beautiful and personal gifts to give to your friends and family this year! More importantly, they will be useful, unique, AND affordable.

#winning

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers For Everyone On Your List

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide from MomAdvice.com

  1. The Book Lover’s Journal
  2. Chocolate Video Game Controller
  3. Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrushes
  4. Potter Make-Up Brush Set
  5. Lightning Cable
  6. Custom Dog Portrait
  7. Sloth Tea Infuser
  8. Tweeky
  9. Gear Tie
  10. Pro-Case Screen Cleaning Pad

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide from MomAdvice.com

  1. Key Locator
  2. Pocket Blanket
  3. Airpods Case
  4. Pokebomb
  5. Couch Drink Holder
  6. Kitsch Spiral Hair Ties
  7. Worry Doll
  8. Satin Pillowcase
  9. Smartphone Grip
  10. Cocofloss

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide from MomAdvice.com

  1. Bike U Lock
  2. Rainbow Stainless Steel Straw Set
  3. Makeup Cleansing Cloth
  4. Velvet Hair Scrunchie Set
  5. Chop Sabers (or these chopstick trainers for kids with a Cup of Noodles or Ramen)
  6. Book Light
  7. Wristband Wallet
  8. Mug Warmer
  9. Warming Ice Cream Scoop (with toppings)
  10. Money Soap

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide from MomAdvice.com

  1. Personalized Reusable Starbucks Cup
  2. Go Away Kitchen Towel
  3. Matchbooks With Funny Book Titles
  4. iPhone Cord Organizer
  5. Ballerina Slippers
  6. Blue Light Blocking Glasses (and here’s a kid’s blue light blocking version)
  7. Aloe-Infused Socks
  8. Beer Sleepingbag
  9. Library Card Socks
  10. Singing Machine Microphone

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide from MomAdvice.com

  1. Christmas Thank You Cards
  2. Rocketbook
  3. Cozy Cup Tea Tea Infuser
  4. Mini Doodle Kit
  5. Water Ornament
  6. You’re My Lobster Pint Glasses
  7. Treat Yo’Self Socks
  8. Chapstick or Lip Balm
  9. Pocket Utensil Set
  10. Magnetic Wristband

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide from MomAdvice.com

  1. Cable Bite
  2. Shave Kit
  3. Happiness Calendar
  4. Ear Warmers (here is a guy version)
  5. Rechargeable Hand Warmers
  6. Sneaker Cleaning Kit
  7. Cozy Socks
  8. Bluetooth Sleep Headphones
  9. Furlifter
  10. I Hate Everyone Too Oven Mitt

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide from MomAdvice.com

  1. Glasses Repair Kit
  2. GLEEM Electric Toothbrush
  3. Wine Aerator Pourer
  4. Smart Wifi Plug
  5. Beard Shaping Tool
  6. Straw Set with Cleaner
  7. Selfie Light Ring
  8. USB Hand Warmer Mouse Pad
  9. Corner Bookmark
  10. Smith’s Rosebud Salve

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide from MomAdvice.com

  1. Grammar Pencils
  2. Bicycle Repair Kit
  3. Wine Glass Cleaner
  4. Reusable Dryer Balls
  5. Corkcicle
  6. Power Puff Bluetooth Hat (or Beanie)
  7. Mad Libs
  8. Rub-a-Way Bar
  9. My Life Story So Far Book
  10. Go Fetch Magnetic Bottle Opener

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide from MomAdvice.com

  1. City Tote Bags
  2. Sweep & Swipe Laptop Cleaner
  3. Book of the Month Gift Certificate
  4. National Park Explorer’s Thermal Bottle
  5. Magazine Subscriptions (I always find the best prices here)
  6. Hair Chalk Set
  7. The New York Times Mini Crosswords Book
  8. Instant Pot Decal
  9. Clipa2
  10. Contoured Sleep Mask

100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide from MomAdvice.com

  1. Hair Scalp Massager
  2. Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer
  3. Survival Kit
  4. Beer Mittens
  5. Love Letters Game (our fave!)
  6. Mindfulness Cards
  7. LifeStraw
  8. Nuun Electrolytes
  9. Book Binding Kit
  10. Super Mario Bros. Power Up Card Game

Love this gift guide? Here are a few other posts we think you should check out!

Unique Gifts for the Man Who Has Everything from MomAdvice.com unique gifts for the man who has everything

Unique Gift Ideas for Kids from MomAdvice.com unique gifts for kids of any age

choose your own adventure christmas choose your own adventure christmas gift

How to Save on Hamilton Tickets how to save on hamilton tickets for the holidays

I hope that this inspires your gift-giving this year! Let me know if you got anything and what you thought!

Honest truth: I am always thankful to be a part of ANYONE’S holiday!

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100 Unique Stocking Stuffers Everyone Will Love

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

Bring the holidays to your mantle with these simple DIY Christmas trees! This holiday craft is so easy and inexpensive that you can make a few and display them together or give them as gorgeous hostess gifts. Make the DIY holiday yarn trees in Christmas colors or your favorites to add a festive touch to your Christmas decor!

 

What could be more fun than decorating for the holiday season?

For this month’s holiday decor project, I wanted to share with you a fun DIY project for creating festive yarn trees that you can create to decorate a ledge, table, or mantle in your home. 

You will only need a few affordable supplies from your craft shop to create this craft.

Don’t think of these as only a decoration for Christmas.

These are beautiful to display all holiday season long, especially in a nice warm neutral yarn!

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

Supplies List

2-    3-7/8 x 8-7/8  inch  Styrofoam floral cones

2- 3-7/8 x 11-7/8 inch  Styrofoam floral cones

4 glass candlestick holders (optional)

2 skeins of inexpensive yarn (in your favorite yarn color)

Small & Large Clover Pom-Pom Makers (unless making pom-poms by hand)

Hot glue gun

Glue Sticks

Straight Pins

Scissors

3.75 mm straight yarn needles

2-4.00 mm double-pointed needles

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

 

Instructions for Making Your Yarn Trees

1. For each of the smaller trees, you will need approximately 73-75 small pom poms. I am in love with my pom-pom maker for making these and have provided a picture tutorial above, if you would like to use these too.  Make sure to give your pom-poms a nice trim, to even up any uneven spots.

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

 

2. Once you have made all of your pom-poms, it is time to assemble them to your tree-form. Grab your hot glue gun and apply a dab of glue in the center of the pom-pom (where you have tied the string to gather everything.  Apply the pom-poms to the tree, starting at the bottom of the cone and working your way around the tree. Try not to line these up all evenly, but stagger them in each row to make it look more like a real tree!

 

3. Continue adding pom-poms until you get to the top of the tree, making sure all of the tree-form is completely covered.

 

4. Make a large pom-pom in a contrasting color and secure it with hot glue, in the center again, and add it to the top of the tree as your star.

 

5. Finish by giving your tree a trim, especially at the top, to trim all of the yarn down to make it look more like a tree.

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

 

6. For an easy yarn-wrapped tree, begin by adding a dab of hot glue to the top of your taller tree-forms. Begin by applying your yarn in a swirled motion at the top. Add one more dab of glue at the top and start wrapping your tree-form all the way around it until you are about a half-inch from the bottom.

 

7. Add one more dab of glue and then finish adding the yarn until you reach the bottom of the form. Clip the yarn and secure the end with a little hot glue.

 

8. Decorate this tree-form any way that you would like. If you are not a knitter, there are many varieties of ways you can decorate these yarn trees. You can top with a pom-pom in an alternating color, create a multi-colored pom-pom for topping, braid yarn to create a garland, or create some garland out of a contrasting color.

 

9. If you are a knitter, knit a 3-stitch i-cord using two 4.0 mm double-pointed needles  for a total of 32.5 inches. Using straight pins, secure the i-cord to the top of the tree and then wrap around and around, securing occasionally with pins, until the tree is completely wrapped in garland.

 

10. Top your tree with a simple knitted bow, if knitting an adornment. Using your 3.75 mm straight needles, cast on ten stitches. Knit the first row, then purl the next row. Repeat this pattern until it measures 6.5 inches in length. Cast the stitches off and then seam them in the center. Using more yarn, simply wrap the center of the bow and then knot the yarn behind. Secure the bow at the top with hot glue.

 

11. Attach all of the trees to inexpensive dollar-store candlestick holders. If you desire, you can spray paint these in your favorite color or just leave them plain, as I have shown.

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

 

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

 

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

 

I hope you love these little yarn trees as much as I do! It is definitely an inexpensive and fun way to dress up a corner of your home for the holidays!

 

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As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend what I love!

 

DIY yarn holiday trees MomAdvice.com

 

Don’t miss these other great Holiday ideas from MomAdvice:

 

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com

How to Make Pom Pom Wreath 

 

 

The Easiest Burlap Wreath You Will Ever Make from MomAdvice.com

Easy Burlap Wreath

 

 

how to make a pom-pom and ornament garland MomAdvice

Ornament & Pom Pom Garland

 

 

Christmas at Mom Advice-Traditions Decor and Food

Christmas at MomAdvice

 

 

 

20 Easy DIY Stocking Stuffers - MomAdvice.com

DIY Stocking Stuffers

 

 

 

54 Handmade Gifts from MomAdvice

Homemade Gift Ideas

 

 

DIY Holiday yarn trees MomAdvice.com

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Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix

Monday, November 18th, 2019

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix Header

Not a baker? You can still make this sugar & spice candied nut mix for gift-giving. Tossed in sugar and spices, this holiday nut recipe is a great gift to give or to share at your holiday dessert table.

Not everyone is a baker and that is why I wanted to share with you an easy sugar & spice candied nut mix that you can pull together for your holiday giving that is as impressive as any holiday cookie.

Making your own flavored nut mixes might not be something you have considered for the holidays, but once you try this delicious nut mix, you will have a hard time giving these sugared and spiced nut mixes away.

Tossing Sugar & Spice Candied Nuts With Egg Whites

For many years, I was embarrassed about my lack of baking skills. Despite taking courses on baking and cake decorating, I never could master the art making baked treats.

What changed though was my perception of my cooking skills after watching those early episodes of Rachael Ray.

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix Poured On Cookie Sheet

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix Sugared on Baking Sheet

While Rachael Ray could make an incredible breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, brinner, etc.., she ALWAYS defaulted to store-bought dessert hacks and prepared doughs for making her desserts.

It helped ME to realize that just because you don’t bake doesn’t mean you aren’t an incredible cook.

Baking requires exact ingredients, weighing, and doing thoughtful baking practices (like sifting flour).

Cooking though is measured with my heart. I can test flavors, and taste-test as I go, adding and taking away as I cook.

I think the biggest challenge, for me, has been translating those recipes for you.

I mean, how do you say, add the salt until it tastes right on your tongue?

Hahaha!

Let’s move on to this delicious recipe that you ABSOLUTELY can taste test until you get the perfect balance of sweet, salty, or even spicy.

Here are a few questions that get asked often on this recipe.

Sugar & Spice Candied Nuts After Baking

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix Adding Kosher Salt

Where is The Best Place to Buy Nuts for Gifts?

Let’s be honest, nuts aren’t the cheapest gift to give so I recommend shopping around for the best prices.

If you have a membership to Costco or Sam’s Club, you can buy these ingredients in bulk to save on your cost per pound.

I also found this Reddit thread on where to buy the cheapest nuts and thought it had some incredible suggestions that I wouldn’t have thought of.

What Are the Best Nuts for a Holiday Nut Mix?

You can choose any combination of mixed nuts that you might love or just keep things simple and roast only your absolute favorite. In this recipe, I’m just using three of my favorites- pecans, almonds, and walnuts.

You can definitely use your own favorite combination for your sugar and spice nuts.

My favorite variety of nuts include pecans, almonds, and walnuts.

These nuts are then tossed with an egg white, water, sugar and some of my favorite holiday spices- cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and allspice.

Once you pull them hot out of the oven, I sprinkle liberally with kosher salt to add that sweet and salty combination

I love so much in everything from my salted caramel mochas to my dark chocolate & sea salt brownies. The salt really adds to the flavors and helps make these even more addictive.

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix After Baking

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix After Salting

How Do I Package Nuts for Gift-Giving?

This time of year, the craft stores are loaded with food packaging for your gifts. I love to check the seasonal aisles in Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and Jo-Ann Fabrics.

The important thing is that they are airtight, especially if you are giving a large amount as a gift. While these paper boxes make a cute display, an inexpensive tin or even recycling nut tins will keep your treat fresher longer.

To make the most of your recycled container, consider wrapping it with festive gift wrap or scrapbooking paper to make it more unique.

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix Packaged

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix Close-Up

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix Packaging Idea

Don’t have a lot of money in the budget? No worries at all!

Did you know that you can order items IN BULK from the Dollar Store?

This shop usually has a TON of great packaging solutions for just one dollar.

Target’s Dollar Spot might also be a great option, if you have on a budget.

Can I also remind you how IMPORTANT it is to have this app on your phone when visiting your craft stores? It costs nothing and it gives you cash back on all your purchases. Here’s $10 to get you started ASAP.

Not only does this make a good amount for sharing, you can easily double the recipe.


Package these nut mixes up in a pretty box tied with ribbon.

I actually found these little Wilton boxes at our local grocery store, but I am sure they have something similar at your favorite craft store.

I lined the interior of them with a little tissue paper and finished them with satin ribbon.

 

Sugar & Spice Nut Mix
 
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: MomAdvice.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
An easy nut mixture to create from spices in your pantry and perfect for your holiday snacking or giving.
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup sugar (you can use white or brown sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling
  • 2 cups pecans, halves
  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • Optional: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to make these into sweet & spicy nuts.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the beaten egg white, sugar, and all of your spices (except the salt).
  3. Add the nuts and toss until evenly coated. Make sure to stir to coat each individual piece well.
  4. Spread nuts in a single layer, evenly, onto a greased or lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Spread out on parchment paper and sprinkle, while still hot, liberally with coarse salt.
  7. Package for your gift-giving needs.
 

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This post contains affiliate links.

Looking for more great holiday treats? Here are a few of our favorite recipes!

No-Bake Peppermint Cheesecake Jars from MomAdvice.com no-bake peppermint cheesecakes in jars

the hidden secrets to the perfect cut-out sugar cookies

Gluten-Free Cake Mix Sugar Cookies Recipe from MomAdvice.com gluten-free cake mix sugar cookie recipe

Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe Step-By-Step gingerbread biscotti recipe

What are some of your favorite treats to share around the holidays?

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix from MomAdvice.com

Sugar & Spice Candied Nut Mix from MomAdvice.com

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Gingerbread Biscotti Step-By-Step Tutorial

Monday, November 18th, 2019

Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe Step By Step Header

Did you know how easy it is to make biscotti? This great recipe shows you how to make this gingerbread biscotti treat that is perfect for dunking in a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Get the step-by-step tutorial and printable recipe on the blog today!

One of my favorite gifts to give is homemade biscotti.

This gingerbread biscotti is the perfect gift to give for the holidays or to share in this year’s cookie exchange.

Biscotti seems like a really difficult treat to make, but it is just as easy as making a regular batch of cookies.

The biggest difference is that you bake these treats twice to get a cookie with crunch.

Gingerbread Biscotti with a Cup of Coffee

What Are Biscotti?

Biscotti are an Italian twice-baked cookie.

You begin by baking these tasty treats in a loaf, then slicing with a serrated knife, and finish them with a second round of baking.

This yields a dry, crunchy oblong cookie that is perfect for dunking!

Are Biscotti Gluten-Free?

Many of our readers need to eat gluten-free so this is one of our most commonly asked questions. Biscotti are made with flour (this recipe is made with all-purpose and wheat flour) so biscotti are NOT gluten-free.

How Can I Make Biscotti Gluten- Free?

Substitutions for all-purpose flour in this recipe can be made by using oat flour instead. Here is a recipe for gluten-free gingerbread biscotti that may cater to your dietary needs more.

where to find molasses for gingerbread biscotti

Where Do I Find Molasses In My Grocery Store?

I can admit, the first time I started making gingerbread-flavored items, I had NO CLUE where to find molasses in my grocery store.

Is molasses in the cereal aisle with the pancake mixes or is it in the baking supplies aisle?

If you are lost too, I would suggest you check both aisles. While I have found it in my baking supplies aisle, some stores do carry it in their breakfast aisle.

Don’t think of it as only being stocked near the sugar either. This can be found randomly down by spices or even near the puddings.

Don’t want to hit your grocery store? Check here and order online instead.

How to Make Gingerbread Biscotti



This Gingerbread Biscotti is filled with all of the gingerbread flavors you love.

To achieve this flavor, we mix molasses, brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon into our batter.

patting the gingerbread biscotti dough

Splitting Gingerbread Biscotti Dough for a Second Bake

split gingerbread dough patted down

Gingerbread Biscotti Dough After First Bake

Cutting Biscotti for a Second Bake

The most important thing with this biscotti, I have found, it to keep an eye on it because it will go from done to burnt rather quickly!

Start checking these after twenty minutes (on your first bake time) and don’t leave them neglected after that point or you may have some burnt biscotti on your hands!

After baking these, for the first time, you will slice them with a sharp knife (serrated is a great option).

You should note that you start with a higher temperature, on the first baking, and then you reduce the oven temperature for the second round of baking.

Gingerbread Biscotti Baked a Second Time

Once they are sliced, you will spread them out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 

Bake them again.

Gingerbread Biscotti Glaze

Drizzling Glaze on Gingerbread Biscotti

After finishing the second round of baking, allow these to cool completely on a wire rack before drizzling with glaze.

Packaged Gingerbread Biscotti

Close Up of Homemade Gingerbread Biscotti With Glaze

These can be packaged in festive treat bags with a little ribbon and would make a cute accompaniment to a favorite homemade drink mix, coffee, or the makings of a coffee gift basket with my homemade peppermint syrup or gingerbread syrup for easy homemade lattes.

However you package it, solo or in a basket, I guarantee that this recipe will be a hit for your holiday giving and baking!

Gingerbread Biscotti  
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Adapted from AlRecipes.com
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 4 dozen
A sweet and simple gingerbread biscotti recipe that is perfect for your holiday gift-giving!
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • For Glaze: 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons milk or light cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and molasses. In another bowl, combine flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg; mix into egg mixture to form a stiff dough (depending on your humidity, the dough may be sticky).
  3. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a roll the length of the cookie.
  4. Place rolls on lined cookie sheet, and pat down to flatten the dough to ½ inch wide thickness.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. KEEP A VERY CLOSE EYE ON IT as it will go from done to burnt quickly.
  6. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.
  7. When cool enough to touch, move over to a cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices.
  8. Place sliced biscotti on cookie sheet, and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until toasted and crispy. If the biscotti already looks a little “too” crispy, you can decrease your oven temperature to 275 degrees and bake for 7-10 minutes instead.
  9. Let cool.
  10. In a small bowl mix together the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract and milk until it is incorporated. Using a small spoon, drizzle back and forth your glaze over the biscotti. Allow the icing to harden before packaging.

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Looking for more great holiday hostess gift? Here are 3 other projects to check out!

Chocolate Coffee Spoons from MomAdvice.com make some chocolate coffee spoons to pair with the biscotti

No-Bake Peppermint Cheesecake Jars from MomAdvice.com

no bake peppermint cheesecakes in a jar

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles slow cooker pumpkin spice candles (SO fun and easy!)

What fun treats are you baking this holiday season? Any great big batch recipes you might like to share?

Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe Step By Step Header

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Last Minute Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas

Saturday, November 16th, 2019

Last Minute Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas from MomAdvice.com I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is upon us!

This year I get to host both sides of my family at my home for the Thanksgiving holiday so I have been in full planning mode over the last couple of weeks.
 
As a hostess, I know that often our time is more focused on the food than the decorations, but you need not spend oodles of your time crafting or purchasing a lot to make your table beautiful.
 
In fact, this post shows you that that by shopping your very own home and adding a few inexpensive items from Goodwill, you are just minutes away from the perfect Thanksgiving table.
 
Here are six great last minute Thanksgiving ideas to pull together a beautiful time for your holiday feast.
 
Thanksgiving tablescape
 

Add Thoughtful Layering

I am seeing so many beautiful layers this year for Thanksgiving decor.

 

Holly Mathis Interiors shows you a beautiful table that you can achieve easily by layering items from around your house or from Goodwill.

A couple of items to note in this shot, you can add backyard leaf branches in glass jars to add a rustic element, flannel throws add warmth to the table without a more formal tablecloth, pumpkins add another natural element, and you can mix and match your chairs or mix in chairs found from the store to create that homey detail that I love.

 
How pretty is that?
 
Thanksgiving tablescape
 

Add Unexpected Textures

Once again, I am seeing that people are pulling away from the traditional tablecloth and going for the unexpected texture on table.

 
In Home Stories A to Z, she has used a beautiful cabled throw to add warmth and texture to the table.
 

White linens can be stamped with gold (I love my friend Michael’s easy gold foil napkins tutorial for this!)

Check your favorite thrift store for pretty knit blanket throws or white linens for stamping.

 

You never know what treasures you can find in housewares until you go browse!

Additional details like pretty ribbon, personalized tags, and a few well-placed feathers never hurt either, do they?

 
Thanksgiving tablescape
 

Make Your Guests Feel Cozy

 

If I was going to design my perfect Thanksgiving table, it would look just like this.
 
 
Gatherings of friends in the crisp fall air with cozy blankets are such a beautiful and lovely way to celebrate the season.
 
 
Once again, we see how cozy the mismatched look can be.
 
 
From mismatched pillows to blankets to chairs, it all comes together beautifully when placed around a table.
 
 
A glass vase can hold a rustic bouquet from the backyard and pumpkins offer a beautiful detail leading up to the barn.
 
 
This is definitely my dream tablescape and can be achieved just by bringing a few of the items you have from inside your house to the great outdoors. (image source: Lexington Company)
 
 

Thanksgiving Monogram plates

 

Personalize It

When something has my name on it, it immediately feels special to me.
 
I love this idea for taking a simple Plexiglas circle and adding a little calligraphy to it to personalize each table setting for your guests.
 
Is your handwriting as terrible as mine?
 
I sure hope not!
 
If it is though, Almost Makes Perfect provides the template you need to create your names and simply trace them, making this a beautiful and painless craft for the table.

 

Thanksgiving tablescape

 

Add a 5-Minute Detail

Centerpieces can be pricey and feel tricky to pull together especially if you lack that designer instinct.
 
I have found that the simpler the centerpiece though, the easier it is to see and chat with my dinner guests.
 
My sweet friend, Julie Blanner, is the queen of beautiful and simple decor and she shares her easy 5-minute centerpiece for the holidays on her blog.
 
With a quick trip to the grocery store and a platter, you can add a little natural beauty in no time flat!
 
I also love these give thanks printables to tuck in your cutlery from Craftaholics Anonymous.
 
That is another 5-minute detail I feel confident that I could execute!
 
 
 
Thanksgiving utensils
 
 

Dress up your Utensils

 
Julie over at The Craft Patch has these adorable utensil pouches that will make any table a little more fun!
 
Wrap around the napkin with the knives and forks and your table is set and beautiful!
 
 
 
Herb centerpiece
 

Put the Leftover Herbs to Work

 
My kitchen is filled with sage for our favorite stuffing and herbed turkey that I have loved to serve over the years.
 
If you have any leftover, it can add a beautiful detail to your table.
 
Simply place the herbs in a glass jar and tie with a simple satin ribbon to finish.
 
Not only is this pretty to look at, but it also smells so good too! (image source: Buzzfeed)
 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and I hope these easy last minute ideas inspire you for your holiday meal!

 

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Last Minute Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas MomAdvice.com

 

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links.

 

Here are some more great Thanksgiving ideas from MomAdvice.com:

The Best of Fall, Halloween & Thanksgiving-49 Ideas for Decor, Crafts, Recipes, Costumes & More

Best of Fall, Halloween & Thanksgiving

 

 

Make Ahead & Freeze Thanksgiving Dinner MomAdvice.com

Make-Ahead & Freeze Your Thanksgiving Meal

 

 

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece MomAdvice.com

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece

 

 

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins MomAdvice.com

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins

 

 

DIY Tablerunner for all seasons MomAdvice.com

DIY Table Runner for All Seasons

 

 

Last minute Thanksgiving tablescape ideas from MomAdvice.com

6 Sitcoms That Make Us Give Thanks

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

6 Sitcoms That Make Us Give Thanks from MomAdvice.com

Here’s a list of everything you need to stream on television for Thanksgiving! These 6 tv shows, with hilarious and heartwarming Thanksgiving episodes, prove that this season really is all about family. Be sure to pin this post so you can remember this list of Thanksgiving episodes, for your family, every year.

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

Apparently this is the year the internet decided we should get all up in arms about “skipping Thanksgiving.”

Because if I had a nickel for every meme, GIF, and comment I’ve seen about how we are just starting Christmas too soon and Hallmark and Hobby Lobby need to slow their roll and take time for Thanksgiving, I’d have a whole lot more money for Christmas shopping. 

Okay, look.

Nobody is skipping Thanksgiving.

For one thing, Friends is such a big deal this year that in the last week of November, you can go to the theater and watch all 8 Friends Thanksgiving episodes.

Calm down, Karen! Fathom Events and Friends is going to make sure we don’t skip Thanksgiving! (All those details are here.)

But also, news flash!, we can be extra grateful even while preparing for Christmas.

We can eat turkey while watching Lifetime Christmas movies.

We can hang leaves on our gratitude trees and play touch football that turns into fighting football and go around the table and talk about what we’re most thankful for even if the lights are already on the house.

It’s going to be okay.

And, if we take a little time to enjoy Thanksgiving with our favorite TV episodes devoted to the supposedly overlooked but not really holiday, it will be way better than okay.

Because something about forcing people together for a meal on which we place sky-high expectations brings out the most outrageous, laughable situations — at least on TV!

While those ingredients might make for tension and drama in real life, something about watching fictional holiday dysfunction played for laughs alleviates our actual stress.

After all, Uncle Larry might be making the rounds again with awkward hugs and offensive jokes, but at least nobody is going to end up with a turkey on her head.

Perspective, people.

Several of our favorite shows will air brand-new Thanksgiving episodes this year.

But in case you want to start celebrating early (gasp! can you imagine?!), here’s a list of shows with rich and ridiculous Thanksgiving traditions.

6 Sitcoms That Make Us Give Thanks

6 Sitcoms That Make Us Give Thanks from MomAdvice.com

 

Modern Family

One of the things I love most about this family is their insane competitive nature.

And for some reason, that comes out most brilliantly at Thanksgiving.

Tired of hearing humble brags about kids who play more sports and getter better grades than yours?

Join the Pritchetts as they try to prove who’s best. Stream on Hulu.

  • Punkin Chunkin – season 3, episode 9
  • Three Turkeys – season 6, episode 8
  • Thanksgiving Jamboree – season 8, episode 7
  • Winner Winner Turkey Dinner – season 9, episode 7 

6 Sitcoms That Make Us Give Thanks from MomAdvice.com

How I Met Your Mother

What do I love more than a bit that lasts multiple seasons?

NOTHING.

Not a thing.

So Slapsgiving is right up my alley, and my husband and I quote it to this day! Stream on Hulu.

  • Belly Full of Turkey – season 1, episode 9
  • Slapsgiving – season 3, episode 9
  • Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap – season 5, episode 2
  • Blitzgiving – season 6, episode 10
  • The Rebound Girl – season 7, episode 11

6 Sitcoms That Make Us Give Thanks from MomAdvice.com

Will & Grace

The Thanksgiving episodes for Will & Grace are so epic, they require more than one episode per season!

Secrets (and so much more) come out, and it makes me laugh every time! Stream on Hulu.

  • Homo for the Holidays – season 2, episode 7
  • Lows in the Mid-Eighties – season 3, episodes 8-9
  • Moveable Feast – season 4, episodes 9-10
  • Queens for a Day – season 7, episodes 10-11

6 Sitcoms That Make Us Give Thanks from MomAdvice.com

New Girl

Anyone who attempts to defrost a turkey in the dryer is clearly a Thanksgiving pro.

If by “Thanksgiving pro,” I mean someone who will make me laugh so hard I cry and also make me feel better about my own domestic abilities.

Thank you, New Girl. Stream on Netflix.

  • Thanksgiving – season 1, episode 6
  • Parents – season 2, episode 8
  • Thanksgiving III – season 3, episode 10
  • Thanksgiving IV – season 4, episode 9
  • Last Thanksgiving – season 6, episode 7

6 Sitcoms That Make Us Give Thanks from MomAdvice.com

The Goldbergs

I have been slowly watching this show over the past year.

Slowly because I love it SO MUCH and I don’t ever want it to end.

And what do I consistently love most of all?

The Thanksgiving episodes.

Because who loses her mind more at the holidays than a smother mother?

Nobody, that’s who. Stream on Hulu.

  • Stop Arguing & Start Thanking – season 1, episode 9
  • A Goldberg Thanksgiving – season 2, episode 7
  • In Conclusion, Thanksgiving – season 3, episode 8
  • Ho-ly K.I.T.T. – season 4, episode 7
  • A Wall Street Thanksgiving – season 5, episode 7

6 Sitcoms That Make Us Give Thanks from MomAdvice.com

Friends


Back in the early days of blogging, I wrote about Friends Thanksgiving episodes multiple times.

I’m not even the biggest Friends fan in the world, but could its holiday episodes BE any more iconic? Stream on Netflix.

  • The One Where the Underdog Gets Away – season 1, episode 9
  • The One with the List – season 2, episode 8
  • The One with the Football – season 3, episode 9
  • The One with All the Thanksgivings – season 5, episode 8
  • The One Where Ross Got High – season 6, episode 9
  • The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs – season 7, episode 8
  • The One with Rachel’s Other Sister – season 9, episode 8
  • The One with the Late Thanksgiving – season 10, episode 8

Lots of other TV shows have fantastic Thanksgiving episodes (Fresh Off the Boat, Master of None, West Wing, This is Us, Parenthood, and Gilmore Girls to name just a few.) I’d love to hear about which ones are your favorites!

For a helpful guide for surviving Thanksgiving like the Gilmore Girls, click here.

Mary Carver is a writer, speaker, and recovering perfectionist. She lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons, but she lives because of God’s grace. Mary writes with humor and honesty about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places on her blog,MaryCarver.com. She is the author of Fast Talk & Faith: A 22-Day Devotional Inspired by Gilmore Girls and co-author of Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts. She is also a regular contributor to incourage.me and MothersofDaughters.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes?

This post contains affiliate links.

Love this post? Here are some other Thanksgiving posts you might enjoy!

How to Organize Board Games from MomAdvice.com planning a few rounds of board games for Thanksgiving? Check out this post on getting them all organized for family time

How to Make Homeless Care Packages from MomAdvice.com looking for an activity to do together? These homeless care packages would be a great family activity.

Printable Travel Games from MomAdvice.com hitting the road for the holiday? print out these free travel games to keep the kids busy!

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Meal Ideas from MomAdvice.com make and freeze this year’s thanksgiving meal, ahead of time, with this fun menu plan

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Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age

Friday, November 8th, 2019

Unique Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages

You don’t need a lot of cash to snag these unique gifts for kids. This gift guide shares fun gift ideas for the baby, preschooler, tween, or teen in your life. Many gift ideas are priced under $25!

I loved hearing how much you guys appreciated the Unique Gifts for the Man Who Has Everything gift guide that I created. I hope you found something that they TRULY love.

Today’s gift guide is for the kids (of any age)!

Whether you have a toddler or a teen, I have selected a few great gift ideas for each of them.

Just as a reminder, if you are on a budget, I DO recommend that you sign up with Rakuten to do your shopping. This service will give you cash back on all your qualifying purchases.

If you want to read more about this shopping app, head here for an in-depth review of what Rakuten offers.

If you just want $25 and plan to get shopping, this should automatically deposit $25 in your account for your purchases(sorry- new customers only!).

MomAdvice participates in various affiliate marketing programs and anything purchased through our links (to retailer sites), will give us a small commision. This money is used to offset our site expenses and we are very grateful!

Are you ready to find some adorable gift ideas for the kid who has everything?

Here are my suggestions for this year!

NOTE: You can click on the images to head directly to the source! Happy shopping!

Unique Gifts for Kids Under $25

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age computer gaming glasses (GREAT stocking stuffer)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age

child-sized apron (great to pair with cooking classes!)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age neck book light (in lots of colors)
Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age the unofficial harry potter cookbook

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age jumbo box of magic set

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age nerf basketball set

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age board game eating trays (several styles)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age

tablecloth playhouse

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age white unicorn purse

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age make your own movie activity kit

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age  bear robe

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age my little farm giant coloring poster

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age ed emberley’s big green drawing book (these were my hubby’s fave when he was young)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age custom crayons (cute stocking stuffer)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age kids create absurdity game

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age sparkle waterproof rain boots

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age

minecraft transforming pickaxe/sword

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age super mario tee

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age minnie mouse bike helmet…feeling generous? there is a cute matching bike!

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age imagination cubes (great stocking stuffer)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age lite brite

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age elsa princess dress

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age have your kids leave toys for santa- this is genius!

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age christmas eve bag (how fun would this be every year?)

Unique Gifts For Teens & Tweens Under $25

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age library card tote (it has a pocket for their library card)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age votes for women puzzle

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age ticket stub diary

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age zodiac trinket dish

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age beanie with built-in bluetooth speakers

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age hot iron holster

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age one question a day book

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age sloth mug

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age go glam nail stamper

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age rocketbook reusable notebook (my boys loved this!)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age color your own map pillowcase

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age absorbent hair towel (would be cute paired with some spa day products)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age women in art book

Unique Gifts for Kids Under $50

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age custom book print

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age trailblazers tee

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age the puffin in bloom collection

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age faux fur pullover

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age elsa’s styling head (so fun to practice those youtube tutorials!)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age flippy book or tablet stand

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age hermione granger’s illuminating wand

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age wooden dinosaur playset

Unique Gifts for Tweens & Teens Under $50

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age caboodles throwback ’87

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age wooden weaving loom

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age letter board

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age video rocker gaming chair (can’t believe how cheap these are!!)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age spalding ball

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age pressed floral instax case

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age literary insults chart

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age herschel mini backpack

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age complete nail station

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age pocket projector (for streaming their movies and shows)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age star wars 12 days of socks

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age never soggy cereal bowl (with their favorite junk food cereals)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age sideways initial necklace

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age fujifilm instax (so many cute colors)

Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age laptop sleeve

Looking for a big family gift instead? Here are two things we have done!

one year we took the kids to hamilton & I shared how we did that

we have also done a “choose your own adventure,” experience with our kiddos- such a blast!

I hope that this inspires your gift-giving this year! Let me know if you got anything and what you thought!

Honest truth: I am always thankful to be a part of ANYONE’S holiday!

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Unique Gift Ideas for Kids from MomAdvice.com

Unique Gift Ideas for Kids from MomAdvice.com

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Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy (With VIDEO)

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

 

Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Did you know that is possible to make your gravy recipe early and freeze it for the holidays. This gravy hack can be done by using turkey (or chicken) wings for your base. You won’t believe how delicious this recipe!

I’m back with another make-ahead recipe for Thanksgiving Day today.

This week I am sharing a fantastic Make-Ahead Gravy recipe that you can have waiting in your freezer for the big day.

I am excited about this recipe because it provides, yet again, one more dish that you can create to make your day as stress-free as possible.

Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe from MomAdvice.com Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe from MomAdvice.com

 

 

To begin this recipe and create the base, without the turkey, you can use chicken or turkey wings and add onions that you roast in your oven to make those magical drippings that you need to create the base of this gravy recipe.

I was not able to locate turkey wings at our market so I substituted with the always available chicken wings.

Don’t be surprised if your kitchen already smells like Thanksgiving with just the base of this recipe!

 

Be sure to scrap those delicious pan drippings up from your dutch oven or roasting pan. These stuck on bits are what make your dressing so rich and flavorful. They also add a rich golden brown hue to your gravy.

Add chopped carrots, celery, fresh herbs, turkey or chicken stock, and a little poultry seasoning, salt, and ground pepper. All these additions really help to round out the flavorings in this make-ahead dish.

Allow this to simmer, stirring occasionally, for one-and-a-half hours. Add the flour mixture to the gravy to thicken. After straining, you can whisk in the flour and cook whisking constantly.

When reheating, simply warm in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until warmed. I like to put mine in saucepan over medium high heat.

There you have it, an easy make-ahead gravy that makes eight cups of delicious gravy for the big day!

Note: This should yield approximately five cups of gravy!

Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe from MomAdvice.com

 

 

Make-Ahead Gravy
 
Recipe Type: Side
Author: Adapted Slightly from AllRecipes
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 15-20
Don’t panic about the gravy this year! Try this easy make-ahead gravy recipe that makes eight cups of gravy for your Thanksgiving feast.
Ingredients
  • 6 turkey or chicken wings
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespooons olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 quarts chicken broth, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1-2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (leave on the stem and add to the pot)
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange a single layer of turkey or chicken wings in a large roasting pan. Scatter the onions over the top of the wings. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven for 1-1/4 hours or until wings are browned.
  2. Place browned wings and onions in a 5 quart stockpot. Add water to roasting pan and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the the water from the pan into the stockpot. Stir in 6 cups broth, carrot, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper (to taste). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 1-1/2 hours.
  3. Remove wings from the pot and place on a cutting board. When the wings are cool, pull off the skin and meat. Discard the skin and save the meat for another use. Strain contents of stockpot through a large strainer into a 3 quart saucepan. Press on the vegetables to extract any remaining liquid. Discard the vegetables and skim the fat off the liquid. Bring the contents of the pot to a gentle boil.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk flour into the remaining 2 cups chicken broth until smooth. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the simmering turkey broth; simmer 3-4 minutes or until the gravy has thickened. Stir in the butter and pepper. Serve immediately or pour into containers and refrigerate or freeze.
 

 

 

Looking for more Thanksgiving Make-Ahead Dishes? Here are a few of my favorites!

Make-Ahead Cranberry Sauce from MomAdvice.com make ahead cranberry sauce

Make-Ahead Green Bean Casserole make-ahead green bean casserole make-ahead mashed potatoes make-ahead mashed potatoes

 

make-ahead apple, sausage, and sage sourdough stuffing

Bacon, Apple, and Cornbread Stuffing from MomAdvice.com make-ahead bacon, apple, and cornbread gluten-free stuffing

How to Decorate Store-Bought Pies from MomAdvice.com how to decorate store-bought pies for the big day

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This post contains affiliate links.

Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe from MomAdvice.com

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