The winter months are chilly, but especially frigid for folks who don’t have the luxury of a cozy coat. One Warm Coat® has been collecting coats since 1992 and giving them to people in need. The organization has grown over the years and has given away nearly 4 million coats to date!
While that sounds like a lot of coats, there is indeed still a great need for more. The economic climate, unemployment, and natural disasters have contributed to the hardships that many people are facing. Did you know that 1 in 5 children live in poverty? That is a staggering number of children—not to mention families—that are experiencing hard times.
The good news is that there are several ways for you to get involved and help! If you have an extra coat or two in your closet, you can give it to someone who needs it. In addition to coats, One Warm Coat encourages donors to give any type of outerwear, such as sweaters, sweatshirts, hats, scarves, or mittens. And, for any crafters out there, you can donate a handmade scarf, mittens, or hat.
You can drop off your coats at any The Container Store location or go One Warm Coat’s website to locate a coat drive near you.
Want to do more to help?
Another way to get involved is to volunteer your time. One Warm Coat provides you with many resources to start your own coat drive and help you find an agency who will distribute the coats you collect. One Warm Coat provides you with a toolkit if you want to organize your own coat drive. Together, we can make a difference and spread the warmth of Christmas through the act of giving.
I’m loving this tote bag! The simple heart pays homage to the jolly bearded man we all love—Santa. Yule spread cheer wherever you go with this cute bag. Here’s an idea for you—double up on your gift-giving prowess when you use this tote as a gift bag. If you still need to get some Christmas cards, check out this Santa card that matches the tote.
With there now only being 11 days left until Christmas, I imagine that most of you have your Christmas trees up and decorated. If you’re anything like me, then you might even have more than one Christmas tree at your home! What can I say—as an elf, I love Christmas decorations
Did you know that the first written record of a decorated Christmas tree dates back more than 500 years? To learn where this Christmas tree was located and other interesting fir facts, check out the infographic below!
Click on the image for an even closer look! Infographic via UberSignal
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”
I love this quote from Buddy in Elf, which is one of my favorite Christmas movies. This image is an instant digital download, not a physical print, so you can print it from home or enlarge and print it at a photo processing center. Since you’ll get this instantly, you won’t have to worry about delivery fees or transit time!
Christmas is just 12 days away! In the days leading up to Christmas, most of us still have many things to do, such as cookie decorating, holiday shopping, planning Christmas dinner, making trips to the grocery store, and more. With so much to do in a limited amount of time, it is easy to get swept away in the business of it all, neglecting the true meaning of Christmas.
Hopefully you’ll find these 12 ideas practical to implement into your daily routine in these 12 days before Christmas. If you like, you can choose one idea a day. To help you remember your “daily duty,” add a reminder to your calendar, phone, or write the task out on a sticky note.
1. Pay It Forward
Photo Credit: Christopher Cornelius. License: CC BY 2.0
Pay for someone’s drink at a coffee shop, meal at a restaurant, or drive-thru order. Do it anonymously and ask the server to give a message to the recipient. You could say something like “Merry Christmas!” or “Enjoy the coffee!”
2. Be Cheery When Waiting in Line
No doubt you’ll be standing in line somewhere: the grocery store, the mall, the gas station, or even the post office. Instead of anxiously standing in line, wondering why the cashier isn’t moving faster, take a moment to notice the people around you. Ask a simple question to the person in front of you, such as “I’m so excited about the holidays. What’s your favorite part about Christmas?” Even a smile can help brighten someone’s day.
3. Give Cookies to Local Law Enforcement
Take a box of cookies or a gift basket to your local fire station or police station along with a note thanking them for their service to the community. If you’re health conscious, give them a fruit basket instead.
4. Let Others Go First
Hold the door and allow someone to go ahead of you when you are boarding an elevator or entering a store. When entering or standing in a checkout line, allow someone with fewer items to go ahead of you. These simple gestures may mean a lot to someone. All you need is a bit of patience and a smile.
5. Sing Christmas Carols
Buddy the elf says it best: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Spread Christmas joy by singing to your kids—or if you have the courage, grab a few friends and start singing in the middle of a shopping mall. Maybe you’ll get the crowd to join in!
6. Give an Extra Tip
If you are dining out anytime soon, give your server an extra tip. Write a quick, kind note on the receipt like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.”
7. Be Considerate When Driving
Show kindness to other drivers on the road. If you have tendency to speed, slow down and be considerate, letting other cars ahead of you instead of speeding ahead of them. Likewise, don’t get grumpy when other people cut in front of you. Your negativity affects you, not the other driver. Choose to let it go and enjoy the rest of your day.
8. Pack a Lunchbox Surprise
If you have kiddos, put a note in their lunchbox or even their backpack. You can write a riddle, joke, encouraging words, or a simple “Have a nice day!” (You can do this for spouses, too!)
9. Pause Under the Mistletoe
Take a moment every day to let your loved one know you care. A simple smooch when leaving for work or when you get home is a good way to stay connected.
10. Write a Love Note on the Mirror
Use a dry erase marker to write an encouraging note for your family members on the bathroom mirror. If you’re artistically inclined, draw a festive scene to brighten their morning!
11. Send Hugs & Kisses
Pack your spouse’s or your kid’s lunch with a hug and a kiss—a Hershey’s Hug and Hershey’s Kiss, that is! You could also tuck the sweet treats inside a coat pocket, briefcase, or backpack. Place the chocolates inside a small Ziploc bag if you’re concerned about them melting before they are discovered.
12. Give Unexpected Gifts
Give gifts to miscellaneous people, such as your hairdresser, vet, or pharmacist. Something as simple as a ribbon-wrapped chocolate bar can brighten someone’s day.
Covered in charming hearts, these Christmas crackers will be a fun addition to your holiday celebration. Not only is the recycled paper screen printed by hand, but the crackers themselves are handmade as well. Each Christmas cracker contains a festive badge, a candy cane, a joke, and a Christmas party hat. Also available are multi-coloured chevron, gold & white chevron, and metallic chevron Christmas crackers.
During our elfy downtime this year, Raymond and I have enjoyed our travels together. So far we’ve told you about our adventures in New York City and the Blue Ridge Mountains, but we also journeyed to other spots in the world outside of the United States. Any guesses? Here’s a hint: We went back to a place we visited in 2012 during the Olympics…
London is one of my absolute favourite cities, and Raymond had a blast when we went there a couple years ago, so we decided to go back so that Raymond could explore some more.
One evening we headed over to Knightsbridge to pick up some biscuits and chocolates at the Food Halls at Harrods. What can I say—Raymond and I both have a sweet tooth.
Hey, double-decker bus, you’re in the way!
Excited to visit the amazing Food Halls at Harrods
The next day we went for a walk along the River Thames so that Raymond could take in even more sights, both historical and fun.
Scoping out the London Eye
Pausing on Westminster Bridge for a quick photo
Checking the time on Big Ben
Raymond liked riding on the subway in NYC so much that I knew he would really love riding the Tube, which we took to get all over London.
Raymond heeding the warning
London Underground train approaching on the Circle line
Hopping on the Tube
After traipsing around the city, Raymond and I were parched, so we popped into a shop for a cold drink. Raymond was so excited to see his friends’ names on the Coke bottles!
But where’s the ‘Raymond’ bottle!?
I think Raymond might love London almost as much as I do, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the two of us visit there again! In the meantime, where else do you think Raymond went this year? Stay tuned to find out!
Oh my goodness, does Claire Lordon Design ever have the cutest Christmas cards. Not only do Claire’s cards feature adorable original illustrations, they also include festive puns. The Mistle-Toad is my favourite, but Santa Jaws is a close second!
Ice skating is a fun winter activity that has been enjoyed for many, many years. In fact, ice skating has been traced back to Finland more than 3,000 years ago! People of all ages continue to love ice skating during the holiday season.
Perhaps it’s the brisk air rushing across your face or maybe the sensation of effortlessly gliding across the ice that makes ice skating a delightful experience. Whatever inspires you to throw on a pair of skates and hit the ice, you’ll enjoy it even more when you can save money.
That’s why we are happy to share some great deals on Groupon ice skating discounts in your area. With most of these deals, you will save around 50%! You can purchase an ice skating package for yourself or for a loved one—it’s perfect for a romantic date night or a fun family outing. Remember that all of these deals are available for a limited time only, so grab them while they are hot!
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
If your city isn’t listed above, please search for deals in your city on Groupon. We just didn’t have space to list every city here. Happy skating!
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This Etsy shop sells art blocks with lots of vintage and retro Christmas art, such as this poinsettia art block. These wooden tiles would look great when grouped together on the wall, a mantle, or a bookshelf. Mix and match the different designs to suit your taste and to complement your home decor.