It seems like the very second we slam down the last piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, everyone is busting out the jingle bells and switching gears to Christmas.  I saw my neighborhood literally light up over the weekend with Christmas lights, and I LOVE IT.  I also feel like the closer it gets to Christmas, the more fun ideas I see around the blogosphere, and I always wish I would have thought of them earlier so I could have enjoyed them this season instead of pinning them for next year.  So on that note, I thought it would be fun to share some of our holiday faves well before December hits so you can mentally, or literally pin them away to actually enjoy!  Please note that all of these things are linked to their respective posts, so if you are Pinning to Pinterest, do us a favor and click through to the actually post you want to save and pin from there.  That just saves people a step who re-pin, so they actually get sent to the right place.  Thanks!

First up are some fun activities, especially for the kiddos:

Advent Calendar: Last year I mentioned the advent calendar I do with my family each Christmas and there were a lot of questions about it, so I wrote up a little post which you can find here.  This is one of my favorite holiday traditions; my kids love waking up and seeing what’s hidden away in the little pockets each day.  We do a fun mix of small gifts, craft projects, family activities, and community service.  It’s a fun way to force myself to plan ahead and remember all of the wonderful

How to Make a Snow Globe: The little slip of paper you see in the advent calendar in that last photo went with this fun activity.  Click here to see how to trap your loved ones in a winter wonderland!  My kids LOVE this fun craft and it’s super easy!

Edible Snowflakes:  This is the perfect rainy (or snowy!) day activity.  It takes minimal ingredients and you probably already have everything you need right in your kitchen.  Make sparkly sugared snowflakes that bake up crispy and are actually crazy-delicious to eat.

Easy Reindeer Cookies:  Enough said.  Easy-peasy and yummy-yummy.  Great for little fingers and cute for parties!

Next up are some gift ideas.  Nothing makes things easier than a free printable, so here’s a few of our most popular!

Cozy Toes: My spur-of-the-moment idea inspired by a trip to Target last year ended up being one of our most popular holiday gift ideas.  These are adorably perfect for girlfriends, teachers, sisters, babysitters, and more.  The cute tag says it all!  Click here for the printable and the how-to.

Tin Can Treats:  Ever since we first posted our tin can treats for Teacher Appreciation, we’ve had requests for just about every other holiday- but especially Christmas!  Here’s a darling printable, in 2 sizes and color combos that you can use to fill every day tin cans from the grocery store with one of a kind gifts.  Click here!

Candy Bar Wrappers: Sometimes you just need something REALLY easy and REALLY cheap and REALLY fast.  This is your answer!  This darling wrapper has the cutest poem on it and can be wrapped around any chocolate bar.  These are great to keep on hand during the holidays when you need something quick!

Peppermint-Fudge Cupcake Jars:  Cute little printable labels adorn these jars for gifting.  The contents will literally make the recipient weak in the knees.  Gift responsibly, people.

Reindeer Food:  My kids love to make these and pass them out to friends on Christmas Eve.  They make great favors for Christmas parties too!  A cute little tag explains how sprinkling the contents outside on Christmas Eve helps Santa’s reindeer find your home!  Click here to read all about it.

Last up:  Treats.  December is undoubtedly our favorite time for baking and sharing goods from the kitchen.  And since we have like, a gazillion and one desserts on this site, I’m going to share my favorite Peppermint-Chocolate ones today.

Gourmet Hot Chocolate:  I’m a sucker for a good cup of chocolate, and these are my super easy knock-offs that beat out any coffee shop specials!  Fun flavor combos with ingredients you can easily find at the grocery store.  Great idea for a fun winter party.

Peppermint Sandwich Cookies:  These cutie-patooties are perfect for gifting.  Better make a double batch, they go fast!  Click here for the recipe.

Candycane Kiss Cookies:  One of our most popular holiday cookies.  You can tell just by looking at them that they’re good and it’s true.  Dark fudgy chocolate, and a cool peppermint kiss; perfection.  Click here for the recipe!

Peppermint Bark Popcorn:  I would say this is our most popular holiday treat recipe.  Try it once and you’ll be hooked.  Bonus:  It makes a ton and packs well; perfect for gifting!

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats:  We love the festive holiday marshmallows that come out at different times during the year.  These easy treats are made from the peppermint ones and drizzled in sweet chocolate.

Candy Cane Brownies:  This is one of the few posts on our blog that has rather archaic photos, and every year I think about re-shooting them and then I always space it in the craziness of the holidays.  But it’s my go-to Christmas recipe for sharing, for parties, for winning people over, and for eating by myself hidden in a closet.  They are so so so so good.  Recipe here!

Last of all, we have a super fun extra special post coming up TOMORROW!  So check back to see what it’s all about.  It’s a good one people!!


  1. 1
    Shanna says:

    your cozy toes links take me to the reindeer cookies. :/

  2. 2
    Rebecca says:

    I can’t wait to try some of these this year! I made Kate’s fudge last year for gift giving (I think it was my very first OBB recipe ever and now I’m totally hooked!) and it was a huge hit!

  3. 3
    Jackie says:

    You are right about switching gears! Yesterday at church, the opening hymn was for Thanksgving and the closing hymn was a Christmas carol! Thanks for posting Christmas now.

  4. 4
    Anonymous says:

    Two words egg nog come on its the holidays

  5. 5
    Julye says:

    I am planning to win some people over this year with your candy cane brownies…..they sound divine!

  6. 6
    garysgirl says:

    Great post! 🙂

  7. 7
    Holly says:

    Peppermint Bark popcorn looks awesome BUT I have a question. Where can you find almond bark? I do know the difference with that & white chocolate.. I promise! I’m a baker’s daughter so I could probably scientifically tell you why you should use almond bark as opposed to white chocolate and why the oil is going to hold up way better than the extract but anywho… I buy this stuff every year for that traditional chex vanilla chunks stuff (that I can never seem to stop munching on) and I can’t find it. Anywhere. I’ve tried 3 Meijers, Kroger, Walmart, kitchen supply stores (even the biggest retail one for baking supplies in NW Ohio!). Did they stop making it? Is anyone else experiencing this? Walmart even says they’re sold out online… and one person tried to tell me how to melt down white chocolate and add almonds to make my own. Ouch. Guess they don’t know what it is.

    • 7.1
      sara says:

      That’s so weird! I wonder if it’s a regional thing? I just bought a whole bunch at Walmart, and all of my local grocery stores have it too. That’s strange!

  8. 8

    Love the Reindeer food

  9. 9
    Holly says:

    It is! Kroger said they stopped carrying it.. I guess I will keep looking or eventually buy it offline.

  10. 10
    Heather says:

    I love all of these ideas! Thanks for sharing! Awesome.

  11. 11
    Layla says:

    Hey Sara, I really want to try to make your candy cane brownies!! I have a random question though. I buy all of my spices from “Savorx” and I thought I would try using vanilla powder instead of vanilla extract for all of my Christmas treats this year.. Do you ever? I love holiday goodies but I am fairly new to baking!

  12. 12
    sandy says:

    Your peppermint bark is ADDICTIVE! Our friends loved it so much last year that they are getting it again this year! Lucky them! Our local stores don’t carry almond bark either, I had to order it online. 🙂

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