You Can Keep Your Christmas Tree Up A Few More Days According To Tradition

There’s now an official reason to procrastinate even longer on taking down your Christmas tree

Listen, pretty much everyone procrastinates when it comes to taking down Christmas decorations. Those people who have a sparkling clean, decoration-free home come Dec. 26 are the weird ones, not those of us who are still shamefully harboring a Christmas tree in our living room corners on New Year’s Eve. But there’s now good news for us: According to tradition, we’re fully in the right.

Different Christian religions have slightly different rules here, but tradition offers up these general guidelines for the timeline of keeping a Christmas tree up and decorated: Put the tree up at the beginning of advent, which is the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and take it down on the Epiphany, which is 12 days after Christmas. Yes, that’s right — that means you could be looking at close to six weeks of tree time without feeling an ounce of shame about your procrastinating ways, because you’re just following tradition. You’re welcome.

According to this tradition, which dates all the way back to the 4th century, Epiphany is the day that marks when the three wise men/kings arrived in Bethlehem with gifts for the newborn baby Jesus. It’s generally celebrated on the 5th or 6th day of January, because there’s some debate among different religious groups about whether you start counting the 12 days of their journey on Christmas Day, or the day after.

Either way, that means that for at least five more days, the pressure is off. Pour that mug of cocoa. Kick back. Bask in the softly twinkling lights of your Christmas tree. You put that sucker up. You deserve to enjoy it for as long as possible.

Of course, tradition or not, the only person who should be deciding when your Christmas tree goes up and comes down is you. If you’re feeling the motivation and want to get started on your post-holiday cleaning now, then power to you — take it down. If you’d rather relax and enjoy your festive decorations for a little longer, you have every right to do that, too. Just make sure that if you have a real tree, you’re giving it plenty of water so it doesn’t dry out and become a fire hazard. Otherwise, the holiday season is your oyster. Leave the tree up all year if you want to. We’re not going to tell you no.

The post You Can Keep Your Christmas Tree Up A Few More Days According To Tradition appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Here’s When Kids Can Start Tracking Santa On NORAD And Google This Year

It’s almost time to begin tracking Santa’s route this year

If you have kids of a certain age, you know how painful it can be for them (and for parents) waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. The halls are decked, the milk and cookies are set out, and all there is to do is wait patiently for your little ones to go to bed for the tenth time so we can make the magic happen. Thanks to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Google, kids can actually see the progress Santa and his reindeer are making around the world, so they can sleep knowing he’s on his way.

The NORAD Santa Tracker is one of the Department of Defense’s largest community outreach programs and has been going strong for over 60 years; and in 2004, Google launched its own tracker, so kids have a couple of ways to make sure jolly old Saint Nick is in route to their house.

NORAD

On Christmas Eve, kids can start tracking Santa using NORAD’s technology beginning at 6 a.m. EST and watch his progress all day long until he finishes his long day at midnight at the international dateline. Canadian Army Major Andrew Hennessey of NORAD public affairs told Newsweek that though the organization’s most known for tracking Santa, they do dabble in, you know, defending the U.S. and Canada all year round. “Santa calls the shots; we just track him,” Hennessey said, noting the big man himself decided which route he’ll take every year.

There are a few ways kids can track Santa on Christmas Eve. They can call the toll-free number 1-877-HI-NORAD, send an email to noradtrackssanta@outlook.com, or follow along via the official NORAD Tracks Santa social media accounts. However they wish to do it, they can keep an eye on him all day long.

Volunteers operate the phone lines on Christmas Eve, working in two-hour shifts. “A lot of us grew up with this program when we were kids, and we can remember listening on the radio or calling in 30, 40 years ago, and being able to still be a part of it now on the other end is really enjoyable,” Hennessey said.

Google

More recently, NORAD partnered with Amazon and OnStar so kids can just ask Amazon Alexa, “Alexa, where is Santa now?” or push the blue OnStar button on their vehicles and, voila, they get an answer.

If you have kids who simply can’t wait until 6 a.m., Google has them covered. Google’s Santa tracker kicks off when the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve. His first stop this year will be in far eastern Russia. Kids can track Santa on any device by visiting their webpage for the tracker or through the Santa Tracker mobile app available for Android devices.

We are a big fan of tracking Santa. It gives the kids the added anticipation of the big day and brings the magic of the holidays to life. They are only little once, so why not? Both pages have a countdown going already, so send the kids on and watch their faces light up.

The post Here’s When Kids Can Start Tracking Santa On NORAD And Google This Year appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Ex-NASA Engineer Gets Revenge On Package Thieves With Fart-Scented Glitter Bombs

YouTuber Mark Rober got a little help from ‘Home Alone’ icon Macaulay Culkin in concocting a smelly, glittery plan to get revenge on a porch pirate

‘Tis the season for porch pirates! It’s the holidays, and that means front porch package thefts are on the rise — something YouTuber and former NASA engineer Mark Rober has no patience for. After falling victim to a porch pirate last year, he concocted his first-ever fart-infused glitter bomb to get revenge on his robber, inspired by Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. This year, he decided to make another one — even smellier and more sparkly than the first — with his childhood role model helping him design the bomb and execute the genius plan.

Fart glitter bomb 1.0 went viral last year. However, he later learned that some of the porch pirates were, unbeknownst to him, in on the plan. “That is totally on me and I will take all necessary steps to make sure it won’t happen again,” he said at the time.

So, the last six months he has been perfecting his latest technology, which includes GPS trackers, multiple smartphones, wide-angle cameras, fart spray, and glitter. This year he opted for more potent fart spray, that smells “like proper poo,” a test subject explained. (Macaulay was one of the lucky dudes who got to be in on the scent test, btw.) He even got the whole experiment sponsored by Bose, who designed his prop — a product box that supposedly hosted a pair of Bose “Buzz” headphones named after Kevin’s bullyish older brother in Home Alone.

Then, the magic happens. He sends all ten packages out to volunteers around the country, who bait the robbers by placing them on their front porches, giving us a glimpse into what ensured after the porch pirates got ahold of their loot.

Several of the thieves got to experience that nastiness of the messy-meets-stinky glitter bomb. Many of them expressed disgust for the stench, which was apparently really bad. One dude, who clearly had seen last year’s video, eventually realized what was going on, which was hilarious in and of itself. One pathetic guy tried to regift the stolen gift to his girlfriend. (How the hell do you explain that one?) And then there was the volunteer who opted to keep the package for himself. Rober got revenge on him by sending him a a Scientology subscription and totally creepy postcards to his neighbors.

The real winners of the experiment were the honest folk who attempted to return the packages to their owner. Rober gifted each of them with $400, “because that was the opportunity cost for them when they made the right choice,” he explained.

Hopefully this latest fart glitter bomb experiment will scare off some potential porch pirates for good. Because who knows, it could happen to them too!

The post Ex-NASA Engineer Gets Revenge On Package Thieves With Fart-Scented Glitter Bombs appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Scary Mommy Speaks: Last Christmas

How would you react if you met the Mother of Dragons? Scary Mommy Speaks host Ashley attended a screening of the new holiday film “Last Christmas” starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Goulding. A holiday movie with a George Micheal soundtrack? BRB. Buying tickets now. “Last Christmas” is in theaters everywhere.

The post Scary Mommy Speaks: Last Christmas appeared first on Scary Mommy.

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For Every Dad

Dads are superhuman, which mean they deserve super gifts. Whether you’re shopping for the father of your children who always has your back (not to mention a second set of hands for when yours are full), or the Daddy you still turn to when life gets hard and you need a comforting hero, there’s a gift for him. However, we know shopping for gifts for the dad in your life is no small feat (men are impossible to buy for), so we’ve rounded up some of the best picks on the market for 2019 he’s bound to love. And on the off chance he won’t, just make sure to check the return policy.

FOR THE BEER DRINKER

Glass With A Twist Personalized Beer Mug

What goes better with bacon than an ice-cold beer? But make it extra special with a sweet or sexy message on this classic beer mug. 

$27.90 AT AMAZON

Areaware Bottle Opener

Simple, yet amazing. Just like him ;). This unique bent nail and magnet combo is a genius conversation piece that’s both modern-looking rustic at the same time.

$17.73 AT AMAZON

Asobu Frosty Beer 2 Go Vacuum Insulated Double Walled Stainless Steel Beer Bottle and Can Cooler

This ultimate on-the-go cooler keeps bottles AND cans frosty. It’s vacuum insulated and even comes with a built-in bottle opener.

$29.99 AT AMAZON



Beer Chiller Sticks for Bottles

Super-fun gift that keeps beer at the right drinking temperature, even on a hot day!

$19.99 AT AMAZON

FOR THE MUSIC MUSIC LOVER

Upcycled Record Coasters

Made out of reclaimed records, these unique coasters are retro cool, bring back the memories of his favorite tunes, and keep those damn rings off the furniture.

$18.00 AT UNCOMMON GOODS

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable with Speakers

If he loves retro AND modern, this is perfect. A turntable for the pure sound of records, with the bluetooth ability to pump it to wireless speakers.

$42.99 AT AMAZON



Apple AirPods with Charging Case

He doesn’t really listen, anyway, amirite? Well now he can at least have an excuse, with barely-there, convenient, easy, fun, wireless headphones.

$144.00 AT AMAZON

Amazon Echo Dot with Alexa

A super-popular bluetooth speaker with a built-in robot assistant? It’s like all his dreams are coming true.

$42.99 AT AMAZON

FOR THE SPORTS LOVER

Abbott Collection Home Plate Doormat

“A doormat? You think I want a doormat as a gif…holy crap that’s the coolest doormat ever.” BAD PUN ALERT, BAD PUN ALERT: This gift is a (wait for it) home run.

$33.60 AT AMAZON



Baseball Park Map Glasses

Diamonds aren’t just a girl’s best friend. These ballpark map glasses feature his home away from home, and combine his two (other) greatest loves.

$35.00 AT UNCOMMON GOODS

Schutt MLB Desk Caddy

The perfect gift for any baseball head. A mini replica of his favorite team’s helmet that holds pens, scissors, business cards, or whatever other crap he keeps on his desk.

$26.04 AT AMAZON

NFL Shop WinCraft Deluxe Flag

If Dad is a football fanatic, he’ll be hyped to mount this flag out front (or, you know, wherever Mom will allow him to).

$37.99 AT NFL SHOP



FUNNY GUY

The Dad Book: Truths, Hacks, and Dad-isms

If he loves to laugh, this is the perfect gift. Packed with hilarious jokes, hacks and dad-isms from our friends at The Dad, yet (almost) small enough to fit in his cargo shorts.

$15.00 AT AMAZON

Objects of Dad's Desire 2020 Wall Calendar

Here’s a hysterically sexy spin on pin-up calendars, featuring the things he really lusts for: lawn mowers, remote controls, thermostats, and crisp white sneakers. Va va voom!

$16.00 AT AMAZON

RainBowl Motion Sensor Toilet Night Light

A motion sensor that lights up the toilet bowl at night is really more of a gift to YOU, since it’ll stop the spray on the seat. But he’ll love adding some swag to the throne.

$12.95 AT AMAZON



GRILLMASTER

BigMouth Inc The Grill Sergeant BBQ Apron

If he takes this grilling thing seriously — maybe a little too seriously? — this is the ultimate accessory. A military-style apron that beefs up his whole experience.

$19.99 AT AMAZON

Man Crates Grill Master Crate

This one’s so much fun. A sealed crate that’s practically impossible to open, filled with a smoker box, a tenderizer, sauces and spices. Manly!

$109.99 AT MAN CRATES

Grace Kitchenwares 3 n 1 BBQ Accessories Dream Set

Grilling gets a whole lot more badass when you’re wearing “bear claws.” Heads up: there’s a 100% chance he references Wolverine. Every. Single. Time.

$18.95 AT AMAZON



Kovot Dad Spatula

Dads and BBQ go hand-in-hand, so this grilling tool is a must-have. Equipped with a bonus beer bottle opener, it’s a game-changer for Dads who like to grill their meats to perfection while sipping a cold one. Throw in this spice kit, and he is going to want to grill up a storm.

$14.95 AT AMAZON

FOR THE WELL-GROOMED

Braun Series 7 790cc Cordless Electric Razor

The closest shave of his life (good for you!) and a razor with the technology, gadgetry, and looks of a futuristic spaceship (good for him!)

$174.94 AT AMAZON

BEARD KING - The Official Beard Bib

You like the beard, right? What you don’t like is beard clippings all over everything and the clogged drains. This genius invention solves the problem.

$22.99 AT AMAZON



Proraso Travel Shave Kit

Perfect for a guy who travels a lot, this kit lets him take the perfect shave on the road with him..

$15.00 AT AMAZON

Nodpod Microbead Weighted Sleep Mask

Weighted blankets are great if he’s anxious and needs to feel supported through the night, but if he isn’t getting enough shut-eye, that’s a different story. In that case, weighted blankets aren’t soothing, they’re hot and feel suffocating. What dad needs to get a good night’s rest is  the Nodpod Microbead Weighted Sleep Mask that he can place over his eyes and, with the science of Deep Touch Pressure, be out like a light in minutes. 

$32.00 AT AMAZON

GADGETS

Oculus Go Standalone Virtual Reality Headset

Virtual Reality is the next big thing. And since he already lives in one where he thinks he’s hot, funny, and helpful, it should be a smooth transition.

$199.00 AT AMAZON



Anker Wireless Phone Charger

With high-speed wireless charging that works with the latest iPhone and Samsung models, this baby helps him cut some of the cords

$29.99 AT AMAZON

Ring Video Doorbell with HD Video

This doorbell alerts you when there’s motion, lets you see, hear, and speak to visitors from your phone, and has infared night vision. He’s gonna be feeling so futuristic.

$99.99 AT AMAZON

NETGEAR Orbi Tri-Band Whole Home Mesh WIFI System with 2.2Gbps Speed

No more Wi-Fi dead zones. This mesh system gives you 6,000 square feet of coverage that supports up to 20 devices.

$267.98 AT AMAZON



Google Nest Learning Thermostat

This smart thermostat can be set, programmed, and adjusted from your phone, and sends electric shocks if anyone but dad touches it. (The last part is a lie, but tell him that. He’ll love it.)

$227.00 AT AMAZON

LBLA FPV Drone with WiFi Camera Live Video

“It’s not a toy! It’s an advanced aerial photography device.” Suuuuuuure it is. Then why is he making sound effects when it takes off and lands?

$39.99 AT AMAZON

RUNMUS Gaming Headset

Dads love video games. It’s in our DNA. You can’t fight it. At least this way you don’t have to listen to it.

$25.95 AT AMAZON



FOR THE OUTDOORSY

YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler

Whether he loves the beach, tailgating, or just hanging out in the yard, this waterproof, leakproof, insulated mega-cooler makes everything a lot more chill.

$199.99 AT AMAZON

OneLogFire 6 Pack

Sure, he thinks he can light a fire, but let’s be honest. There’s usually more cursing and coughing than sparks. This baby lets him just strike up one match and get two hours of flames.

$67.95 AT AMAZON

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

If he’s a hiker or camper, this is a must. A personal water filter that lets him safely drink from rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes, with no worries.

$17.47 AT AMAZON



FOR THE KITCHEN KING

The Good Fuego- A Hot Sauce Gift Set

Does he think he’s hot and spicy? Give him a hot sauce gift set with enough flavors to complement any food.

$32.99 AT AMAZON

Progressive International Microwave S'mores Maker

Sure, s’mores are amazing, but what if you could skip the smoky fire part and just get right to the good stuff? This lets him microwave ‘em in 30 seconds and dig in.

$10.81 AT AMAZON

Star Wars Millennium Falcon Waffle Maker

Holy crap, this is an amazing gift for Star Wars fans. In less than 12 parsecs, your stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerfherder will be whipping up his favorite waffles ever. (Trust us. He’ll get the reference.)

$39.95 AT AMAZON



Just Crunch Anti-Soggy Cereal Bowl

If he’s cuckoo for crunchy cereal, this is a game-changer. A divider in the bowl lets him skip the soggy spoonfuls, and enjoy what he really wants.

$8.99 AT AMAZON

NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves

Perfect for slicing, carving, shucking, or any of the other things that seem like they could leave your handy guy a little less hand-y.

$11.49 AT AMAZON

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

Is your guy an early riser? Or maybe he’s the type to skip cooking whatever’s in the house and pick up breakfast at the nearest drive through instead. Hamilton’s Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker will completely transform his mornings (and your bank account) for the better. 

$24.99 AT AMAZON



Man Crates Bacon JerkyGram

Bacon jerky? Yes, please. You may just want to order two of these though. Once you taste the delicious jerky from Man Crates, you might be sneaking this for yourself.

$49.99 AT MAN CRATES

FUN AND GAMES

Punderdome- A Card Game for Pun Lovers

There is nothing — and we mean NOTHING — dads love more than puns. This game lets him unleash a lifetime of preparation like the groan man that he is.

$15.47 AT AMAZON

Desktop Skee-Ball

There’s only one thing that’s more fun than Skee-Ball, and that’s playing Skee-Ball at your desk.

$9.95 AT AMAZON



USAOPOLY Risk Game of Thrones Strategy Board Game

Game of Thrones made it cool to be a nerd again. And Risk was the original nerd game. It’s a match made in heaven.

$64.99 AT AMAZON

FOR THE BEST DRESSED DAD

Leather Gloves for Mens With Full-Hand Touchscreen

Leather touchscreen-enabled gloves keep him stylish and warm, while still able to answer all your calls.

$21.99 AT AMAZON

New Balance Men's 608v5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer Shoe

The ultimate dad accessory. I mean, if he’s not wearing crisp white New Balances, is he even a dad? 

$57.01 AT AMAZON



Parachute Classic Bathrobe 

Not all men will own up to loving the soothing feel of a soft, warm robe after a warm shower — but that doesn’t mean they don’t. If he thinks he’s low-key stealing yours (but you’ve definitely caught him on occasion), treat him to this spa-like number from Parachute. Snug at the waist and plush all-over, he won’t be shy to sport this loungewear essential around the house. 

$99.00 AT PARACHUTE HOME

Outdoor Voices CloudKnit Hoodie

We’re convinced throwing on a hoodie the second he gets home is the male equivalent to women yanking off their bra after a long day at the office. When he’s looking for something snug to lounge in, he’ll gravitate toward this hoodie from Outdoor Voices every time. Part polyester, part spandex, they should have coined this comfy pull over the Cloud Nine hoodie, because that’s exactly how he’ll feel once he slips it on. 

$85.00 AT OUTDOOR VOICES

Texas Tees Papa Bear T-Shirt

We love wearing our special mama quotes on out T-shirts, and dads do too! This 100% cotton number is perfect for snuggling on Sundays.

$12.99 AT AMAZON



FOR THE CURIOUS DAD

Wisdom Panel Canine DNA Test

Remember when he “didn’t want the dog?” Well, now they’re best buds, and this kit gives you info on the ol’ doggo’s ancestry and health history.

$149.99 AT AMAZON

AncestryDNA- Genetic Ethnicity + Traits Test

Can’t get enough of this ancestry thing. This one pinpoints his 26 most interesting traits. Which, coincidentally, is 26 more than you thought he had. ZING!

$119.00 AT AMAZON

23andMe Ancestry+Trait Kit

You know when you ask him “What planet are you from?” Well, now you can both find out.

$79.00 AT AMAZON



BOOKS & ENTERTAINMENT

D Is For Dad: An ABC Book For Kids...And Dads

THIS is the ABC he wants to read to the kids. C is for Cargo Shorts, F is for Finger Pulling, and O is for Oil Changes. He’ll like it even more than they do.

$18.00 AT AMAZON

Knock Knock What I Love About Dad Book

Dads love sentimental gifts too. What better way to express your love for the father of your children than to have them present him with this book. It’s kind of like a sweet version of Mad Libs — your kids fill in the blanks about special qualities they see if their father or memories they’ve shared with him.

$12.90 AT AMAZON

YouTube TV Subscription

Cable bills keep getting pricier and pricier, but you can cut his in half (or more) with a subscription to YouTube TV (it’s his favorite app anyway, right?). The streaming service includes over 70 networks, including ABC, CBS, FOX, etc., plus unlimited recording space so he never has to miss his favorite shows. 

$50.00 /mo AT YOUTUBE



HOME DECOR

Custom Map Maker

Super-cool customizable maps that double as stylish art and a reminder of a place that’s really special to him. (Yes, you can even zoom in on whatever the name of that stadium is.)

$49.00 GRAFO MAPS

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.
SHOP THE STORY
stroke red
Parachute Classic Bathrobe 
$99.00
Outdoor Voices CloudKnit Hoodie
$85.00
Nodpod Microbead Weighted Sleep Mask
$32.00
Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker
$24.99
YouTube TV Subscription
$50.00
NFL Shop WinCraft Deluxe Flag
$37.99
Amazon Echo Dot
$39.99
Man Crates Bacon JerkyGram
$49.99
Glass With A Twist Personalized Beer Mug
$27.90
Texas Tees Papa Bear T-Shirt
$12.99
365 Printing Inc. Dad I Love You Coffee ...
$14.99
SYMA X5C Camera Drone
$41.98
SanDisk iXpand Base
$40.00
RAK Magnetic Wristband
$15.99
Kovot Dad Spatula
$14.95
BLACK + DECKER Project Pak
$79.00
Knock Knock What I Love About Dad Book
$12.90
Wisdom Panel Canine DNA Test
$149.99
23andMe Ancestry+Trait Kit
$79.00
AncestryDNA- Genetic Ethnicity + Traits ...
$119.00
D Is For Dad: An ABC Book For Kids...And...
$18.00
Custom Map Maker
$49.00
Areaware Bottle Opener
$17.73
Asobu Frosty Beer 2 Go Vacuum Insulated ...
$29.99
Beer Chiller Sticks for Bottles
$19.99
Upcycled Record Coasters
$18.00
Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitc...
$42.99
Apple AirPods with Charging Case
$144.00
Amazon Echo Dot with Alexa
$42.99
Abbott Collection Home Plate Doormat
$33.60
Baseball Park Map Glasses
$35.00
Schutt MLB Desk Caddy
$26.04
The Dad Book: Truths, Hacks, and Dad-ism...
$15.00
Objects of Dad's Desire 2020 Wall Calend...
$16.00
RainBowl Motion Sensor Toilet Night Ligh...
$12.95
BigMouth Inc The Grill Sergeant BBQ Apro...
$19.99
Man Crates Grill Master Crate
$109.99
Grace Kitchenwares 3 n 1 BBQ Accessories...
$18.95
Braun Series 7 790cc Cordless Electric R...
$174.94
BEARD KING - The Official Beard Bib
$22.99
Proraso Travel Shave Kit
$15.00
Oculus Go Standalone Virtual Reality Hea...
$199.00
Anker Wireless Phone Charger
$29.99
Ring Video Doorbell with HD Video
$99.99
NETGEAR Orbi Tri-Band Whole Home Mesh WI...
$267.98
Google Nest Learning Thermostat
$227.00
LBLA FPV Drone with WiFi Camera Live Vid...
$39.99
RUNMUS Gaming Headset
$25.95
YETI Hopper Flip Portable Cooler
$199.99
OneLogFire 6 Pack
$67.95
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
$17.47
The Good Fuego- A Hot Sauce Gift Set
$32.99
Progressive International Microwave S'mo...
$10.81
Star Wars Millennium Falcon Waffle Maker
$39.95
Just Crunch Anti-Soggy Cereal Bowl
$8.99
NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves
$11.49
Punderdome- A Card Game for Pun Lovers
$15.47
Desktop Skee-Ball
$9.95
USAOPOLY Risk Game of Thrones Strategy B...
$64.99
Leather Gloves for Mens With Full-Hand T...
$21.99
New Balance Men's 608v5 Casual Comfort C...
$57.01
Old Factory Man Cave Scented Candles
$28.97

The post The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For Every Dad appeared first on Scary Mommy.

The Scary Mommy Home And Holiday Decor Guide Of 2019

Are you more festive than Buddy the Elf himself? Do you love decorating your home for the holidays more than Santa himself? Then you need the ultimate Scary Mommy Home and Holiday Decor Guide of 2019. Grab your faux-snow spray, the string lights, and the most real-looking pine garland you can find. We’re about to go in.

From faux Christmas trees to ornaments and stockings, let us help you turn your home into a literal winter wonderland. We’re talking flocked pine, candles that smell like Christmas morning cookies, cable-knit stockings, and the warmest, plaidest throw pillows of all time.

Keep reading to check out the Scary Mommy Home and Holiday Decor Guide of 2019.

BH Fraser Fir Narrow

NARROW, BUT STILL FULL

BH fraser fir narrow balsam hill best artificial christmas trees

$299 AT BALSAM HILL

Listen, we don’t all have the square footage the Kardashian homes do, so if you have to go for the smaller, narrower version, then don’t sweat it. The BH Fraser Fir Narrow is still full as can be; it just fits better into tighter spaces. It’s slender, sure, but just as festive and real-looking thanks to Easy Plug setup and True Needle technology. Guests will be doing double-takes for sure trying to figure out if this tree is real.

Frost and Fir Tree Pillar Candles, Set of 3

FIRE IT UP

frost and fir tree pillar anthropologie best christmas candles

$24 AT ANTHROPOLOGIE

This set of three tree-shaped pillar candles are made of soy-wax blends and topped off with a cotton paper wick. They don’t just smell festive; they look festive, too. Perfect for adding some minimalistic Christmas flair to a tablescape or mantle, these candles smell so deliciously woodsy, you’ll forget you’re not actually living in a cabin in the middle of the woods somewhere in Minnesota (incidentally, where these candles are made by Illume).

Bath and Body Works 3-Wick Scented Candle Fresh Sparkling Snow

WHAT SNOW SMELLS LIKE

fresh sparkling snow bath and body works best christmas candles

$22.95 AT AMAZON

Made with grapefruit and orange essential oils, Fresh Sparkling Snow by Bath & Body Works also features subtle notes of icy melon and winter pine. This BABW candle features three wicks and is made with the highest concentration of fragrance oils, so you’re getting the most saturated scent possible. It’s also made with an exclusive blend of vegetable wax so the candle melts consistently and evenly. There’s nothing more annoying than a wasted candle that burned straight down, leaving half the wax on the sides. Did we mention it literally smells like the first snowfall of winter? It’ll make you want to grab your ice skates and head down to Rockefeller Center.

St. Jude Ornament Collection

FESTIVE FRIENDS

st jude holiday ornament collection best christmas decorations

$10.50 AT POTTERY BARN

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s 2019 ornament collection features handstitched ornaments that every member of the family will love. Inspired by artworks from St. Jude patients, Pottery Barn Kids donates 50% of the purchase price directly to the Research Hospital, helping support research and treatment for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Not only do these adorable ornaments support a good cause, but they also look adorable, fun, and festive while hanging on your tree.

Slay My Name Slay My Name Christmas Ornament

CHRISTMAS BEY, I MEAN, DAY

slay my name best christmas ornaments

$9.99 AT AMAZON

Made by hand with sustainable materials and practices, you may never find a more perfect Christmas ornament if you’re a Beyonce stan. This “Formation” ornament, made on birch wood, turns any Christmas tree from festive to woke.

Senjie Artificial Christmas Tree Flocked Snow Trees with Pine Cones

JUST A FLURRY OF SNOW

senjie flocked snow best artificial christmas trees

$69.99 AT AMAZON

Guests will send a flurry of compliments your way as they try to figure out if this artificial tree is real. After a few glasses of peppermint Schnapps, it’s gonna start looking really real, believe us. With realistic snow-flocking, this Senjie tree can be used either indoors or outdoors, but the company doesn’t recommend leaving it outside on rainy days. It takes maybe about 4 minutes to set up, so by the end of “Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays” by NSYNC*, you’ll have your tree up and ready for decorating. #Win.

St. Jude Felt Reindeer Ornament

RUDOLPH AND CLARICE, IS THAT YOU?

st jude reindeer ornament best christmas decorations

$12.50 AT POTTERY BARN

The Felt Reindeer Ornament from Pottery Barn and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a beautiful and authentic addition to any tree. Made of sustainable wool, these Rudolph and Clarice lookalikes hang from 4″ jute twine hanger and 25% of the purchase price goes directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. You can feel good about purchasing this ornament and it brings a fun and natural vibe to your holiday decor.

Sally Pom-Pom Stocking

SHAKE YA POM-POMS

sally pom pom best christmas stockings

$38 AT ANTHROPOLOGIE

If you’re not afraid to decorate with color, then go for this vibrant pom-pom look that’s as appealing to the adults in the room as it is the kids. They’re playful, fun, and most importantly, mama, there’s plenty of room for your S/O to cram in all those stocking stuffers you wanted from Sephora.

Bstaofy Traditional Christmas Stockings White Silver Set of 4

SILVER BELLS

bstaofy traditional silver best christmas stockings

$29.99 AT AMAZON

Keep it simple with some of the most recognizable wintertime characters: a snowman, penguin, reindeer, and of course, Old Nick himself. Sleek and shiny, this mostly white-and-silver design is made with embroidery, so the images really pop and appear three-dimensional. The cloth is durable and safe, so you don’t have to panic about turning the fireplace on while these are hanging above.

Clarence Monogram Stocking

MONOGRAMMED TO PERFECTION

clarence monogram anthropologie best christmas stockings

$38 AT ANTHROPOLOGIE

Mom, we promise you if you snag these monogrammed stockings from Anthropologie, you might end up wearing them on your feet instead of hanging them along the banister. Don’t they look so comfortable?! With a subtle pom-pom detail and a fuzzy AF finish, these stockings are hand-washable, made from acrylic, and will help you deck your halls with color.

30-Inch Artificial Christmas Wreath – Rustic White Berry Collection

AU NATURALE

rustic white berry collection best artificial christmas wreaths

$119.99 AT AMAZON

This 30-inch artificial Christmas wreath is from Village Lighting Company’s Rustic White Berry collection and features subtle moments of white berries, blue and green eucalyptus, and of course, tiny brown pinecones. Ideal for Christmastime, it’s totally OK if you forget to take this wreath down after December 25; it’s versatile enough to still look cute (and holiday appropriate) come January and February. It comes prelit with 40 warm, clear-colored LED mini lights and also includes a remote controlled battery pack with a timer.

Wild Berry Forest Wreath

SOMETHING OUT OF A FAIRYTALE

wild berry forest wreath best artificial christmas wreaths

$139 AT BALSAM HILL

Is it just us or is it if woodland nymphs flew off into the forest to collect every one of the materials for this wreath by Balsam Hill? It may be all artificial, but it sure as heck looks like something straight out of a fairytale.

Flocked Christmas Tree

FLOCKED AF

anthropologie flocked christmas tree best holiday decorations

$38.00 AT ANTHROPOLOGIE

Got an entryway table or fireplace mantel that needs some holiday decor loving? These mini trees feature snow-dusted branches with pinecones that create an indoor winter wonderland that both kids and adults will love.

D-FantiX 4-Piece Snowman Santa Toilet Seat Cover and Rug Set

SANTA’S FAVORITE

snowman santa toilet seat cover best holiday decorations

$14.99 AT AMAZON

Surprise your guests with holiday decor in your bathroom! No one will see this snowman’s face coming but once they get in the washroom, they’ll be pleasantly surprised when greeted by this cutie’s face. Flip the toilet seat up and the snowman gets embarrassed (but still peeks anyway). Kids will think this is hilarious, especially if they love potty humor.

Sherpa Reindeer Santa Bag

COZY AND CUTE

sherpa reindeer santa bag best holiday decorations

$59 AT POTTERY BARN

This holiday decoration is both decorative and functional. Cozy and cute (made of fleece, Sherpa, and felt), your kids may mistake this Santa Bag for a pillow and curl up with it to take a nap. But really, this Santa Bag is perfect for filling up with gifts come the big day.

National Tree 9 Foot by 10 Inch Crestwood Spruce Garland

SANTA’S FAVORITE

national tree crestwood spruce garland best artificial christmas garlands

$34.99 AT AMAZON

With silver bristles, cones, red berries, and 50 clear lights, this 9 foot by 10-inch garland has that classic Christmas look that many decorating mamas know and love. Pinecones, gold lights, and berries? What more could a garland need?

OLYPHAN Christmas Garland Red Berry

A BERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU

olyphan christmas garland red berry best artificial christmas garlands

$14.99 AT AMAZON

Add some color to your Christmas mantle or staircase with a red berry garland that’s vibrant, authentic-looking, and most importantly, cheap. This rustic-looking evergreen garland is six feet long and can be draped across anything: a railing, bar, table centerpiece, pews, chairs, mantles, fireplaces, and so much more. It has cascading vine stems and a spray of large green branches, making it look so real, the local wildlife might actually break into your house to try and forage some berries!

Gemmy 16145 Airblown Polar Bears on Slide Christmas Inflatable

POLAR BEAR ROLLERCOASTER

polar bears best christmas inflatables

$94.01 AT AMAZON

Those silly polar bears are at it again! This time they’re causing havoc creating a cute winter wonderland scene as they slide down the side of an icicle-clad mountain. Kids will love the polar bears’ different ways of sliding — on their bellies, with their hands up, and gearing up for the ride down!

Gemmy Airblown Inflatable Bumble With Star

ABOMINABLE… IN A GOOD WAY

gemmy airblown inflatable bumble with star best christmas inflatables

$34.99 AT AMAZON

This guy may have been the monster in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but if you can look past his moody attitude and see the silver (and gold) lining, he’s pretty freakin’ cute. Wearing a Santa hat and holding a gold star, Bumble self-inflates in mere seconds and deflates easily for no-hassle, year-round storage.

Rifle Paper Co. for Anthropologie Holiday Cheer Pillows

A MODERN TAKE ON THE NUTCRACKER

rifle paper co for anthropologie holiday cheer pillows best holiday decorations

$58 AT ANTHROPOLOGIE

Switching out throw pillows is such an easy way to elevate your holiday decor. This vibrant, merry design is from Rifle Paper Co.’s collaboration with Anthropologie and it brings holiday cheer to literally any chair, couch, or bed. While The Nutcracker can sometimes feel dated, this pillow art puts a modern spin on the classic holiday tale, and not gonna lie, we kind of love it.

Sleigh Advent Calendar

COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS

sleigh advent calendar best holiday decorations

$118 AT ANTHROPOLOGIE

If the advent calendar was the best part of your December as a child, then keep the tradition going. This wooden advent calendar is crafted in the shape of Santa’s sleigh and features an intricate winter village scene on top. You’ll reuse this advent calendar for years to come and your kids will love, love, love sticking their hands in the boxes to retrieve the day’s prize every morning.

4-Pack Farmhouse Christmas Red Black Buffalo Plaids Throw Pillow Case

GIVE ME BUFFALO PLAID

farmhouse christmas red black buffalo plaid pillows best holiday decorations

$17.99 AT AMAZON

Love a good Buffalo plaid look? Us, too. This 4-pack set of pillows comes with farmhouse-style throw pillowcases in the iconic Buffalo plaid that you know and love. They’re warm, cozy, and let’s face it, Instagram-worthy.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

evergreen flag christmas tree truck doormat best holiday decorations

$24.99 AT AMAZON

If you’re hosting the holidays this year, then start your welcoming holiday right at the door. Before your guests even take their shoes off. It’s a small gesture, but this adorable doormat, available on Amazon, is a cheerful and festive way to make your guests feel welcome.

50 Warm White LED Flameless Christmas Candle Indoor String Lights With Tree Clips

FLAMELESS AND CLASSIC

warm white LED flameless christmas candle best christmas lights

$42.99 AT AMAZON

Give an old-school feel to your Christmas tree with these clip-on tree lights that look like candles. With a static light effect and 50 warm white LEDs, you’ll be feeling Tiny Tim/Ebenezer Scrooge vibes whenever you light up the tree.

Christmas String Lights 108ft 300 LED Certificated Outdoor

DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS

christmas certificated outdoor connectable christmas lights best christmas lights

$26.98 AT AMAZON

White lights are one of the most popular sets come Christmas time. They’re sleek, they’re timeless, and you never really get bored of them. Right? This set is certified for outdoor use, as it’s UL approved and doesn’t get overheated. Lights can be programmed to do combination, waves, sequential, slogs, chasing/flash, slow fade, steady on, or twinkle/flash lighting. Basically, anything you want. Oh, and did we mention that they are rain and snow-proof?

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

The post The Scary Mommy Home And Holiday Decor Guide Of 2019 appeared first on Scary Mommy.

19 Best Gifts & Toys For 11-Year Old Boys & Girls, According To Experts

At 11, kids are right in the thick of their tween years — and there’s a lot that goes along with that. They’re starting to focus more on their social identity. Their friends (and the world outside of the home) are a much larger part of their lives. They’re growing up! But with that comes its own unique set of challenges: the rigors of middle school, hormonal changes, an increased need for independence… you get the picture. “In the tween years, kids begin to set their own goals, so it is important to make them part of the decision-making process regarding their extracurricular activities,” explained Dr. Chaye Lamm Warburg, DPS, OTR, and founder of Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services, LLC.

It’s a lot to consider when you’re choosing a gift for your 11-year-old. And that’s precisely why we went to the pros. In addition to Dr. Warburg, we asked child educators and development experts to weigh in on gifts ideally suited for this developmental stage. Here’s what they had to say on the subject.

For more gift inspo, check out our gift guides for 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds,  7-year-olds, 8 year olds, 9 year olds, and 10 year olds

Social Toys

“This is a time where we also see a huge uptick in screen time and spending more time indoors rather than outside,” shared Dr. Syeda Amna Husain, M.D., FAAP, of Pure Direct Pediatrics. “To combat that, I recommend thinking outside the box for toys. I like activities where children get some more face-to-face time with their friends rather than staying glued to a screen. So, instead of video games, maybe a ping pong table or a basketball hoop. Card games are a great and affordable option too!”

Joola Regulation Height Ping Pong Table

From an Olympic table tennis brand trusted for 60+ years, this regulation quality multi-purpose table also perfect for crafts, playing poker, boardgames or any other casino table game. Easy set-up and compact storage.

$135.00 AT AMAZON

Lifetime Youth Portable Basketball Hoop

Get them moving with this 32″ portable basketball hoop that’s fully adjustable to grow with them through all their growth spurts.

$90.00 AT AMAZON

Trendy Board Games

“Board games provide a screen-free social outlet and facilitate problem-solving, executive functions, and visual perception. For example, Caracassan, Blokus, chess, Labyrinth, Scrabble, and Ticket to Ride. Brain-teasers, such as Rubic’s Cube, also tap into executive functions,” said Dr. Warburg.

Carcassonne Board Game

Inspired by the medieval fortress in southern France of the same name, Carcassonne is a tile-laying game in which players fill in the countryside around the fortified city.

$27.75 AT AMAZON

Blokus Game

It’s like Tetris, but IRL. Win by fitting as many of your pieces on the board as possible while strategically blocking your opponents!

$14.50 AT AMAZON

Ravenburger's Labyrinth Board Game

Find the shortest route through the labyrinth to win! What this Labyrinth lacks in David Bowie appearances, it makes up for in fun play for the whole family.

$19.98 AT AMAZON

Days of Wonder Ticket To Ride

This award-winning board game lets players connect iconic North American cities and build train routes to earn points.

$39.58 AT AMAZON

Hasbro Rubik's Cube

Yes Virginia, Rubik’s Cube IS still cool. Challenge your kids’ minds as well as their perspective on how great the 1980’s were.

$3.44 AT AMAZON

Journal

According to Kimberly Friedmutter, author of Subconscious Power: Use Your Inner Mind to Create the Life You’ve Always Wanted and member at large of UCLA Health System Board, one of the best things a child this age can do is be allowed “quiet time to zone out, daydream, literally lose themselves in thought.” Since today’s 11 year olds are growing up with more technology than ever before, it can be difficult for them to create this time and space — making a journal a great gift to encourage a period of daily “zoning out.”

Q&A A Day For Kids-A Three Year Journal

Journaling with your kids is a great way to share emotions and memories. This one poses a question each day with only a few lines provided for a response, making it the ultimate no-fuss record keeper.

$11.99 AT AMAZON

Kid Made Modern Journal Craft Kit

Create a scrapbook/journal that satisfies the inner creativity of your writer/artist. Includes: 250 page notebook, markers, pen, glitter tape, paper rolls, sticker sheets and a storage box.

$19.99 AT AMAZON

Action & Accomplishment Gifts

“Tweens are developing greater independence and self-reliance, can set goals they want to achieve and are eager to master new skills that they deem important. Encourage your tween to think about skills he would like to achieve and make a plan to develop them,” said Dr. Warburg, recommending that you look to your tween’s strengths and interests here. If your child loves to cook, try a recipe kit. Do they love flowers? Gardening supplies could be good. These sorts of action and accomplishment gifts “develop autonomy, teach self-reliance, and develop executive functions,” per Dr. Warburg.

Cooking Class 57 Fun Recipes Kid Will Love To Make

This cookbook features 50 recipes designed for the cooking abilities and tastes of children ages 6 to 12. And, it’s about time your kids started pulling their weight in the kitchen.

$10.23 AT AMAZON

Jovitec 8 Piece Kid Plastic Kitchen Knife Set

This colorful nylon knife set contains safe but effective tools for your budding chef to use in the kitchen. They’re non-toxic, can be soaked in boiling water without damage, are comfortable to use, and safe for non-stick cookware.

$10.99 AT AMAZON

Root-Vue Farm

Take them back to their roots with this planting box that features an acrylic window for students to observe plants and roots develop as they grow.

$18.71 AT AMAZON

Dan & Darci Paint & Plant Flower Growing Kit

Give your budding gardeners a fun and educational gift that lets them learn about plant growth and decorate their own planter.

$19.99 AT AMAZON

Tech & Tech Accessories

Middle-school English teacher Erica Jabali (who also has an advanced degree in cross-cultural education) says there’s a trick to finding a great gift for kids this age. “Consider leveraging what they are already interested in. For example, most of them are obsessed with technology,” said Jabali. “This generation has been born and raised with technology, so leverage it to find activities that will challenge and engage them, rather than turn them into tablet zombies. Games by Play Osmo incorporate art, coding, math, and critical thinking skills, while using the tablet you probably already have at home.”

Osmo Detective Agency Game

The game is afoot! This award-winning learning game uses both virtual and physical components to let kids solve mysteries across the world.

$33.99 AT AMAZON

Bloxels Build Your Own Video Game

Have your kiddos build their own video games with a combination of physical and digital tools.  Includes designs to help get them get started creating their first game.

$24.88 AT AMAZON

Anki Cozmo Educational Toy Robot

Made of 300+ parts that create one super smart, super entertaining robot, Cozmo is your kid’s new best robot friend. He can express emotions, remember your name, and recognize you – which is better than your tween can sometimes do.

$139.00 AT AMAZON

Music-Related Gifts

“My advice is one word: music. And, in particular, playing the piano. For families who want to get a head start on preparing their children for college, it has been established that playing piano not only increases child intelligence but the actual size and shape of the brain! And, on a personal level, piano can develop character, confidence, cultural understanding and pure joy,” shared Elizabeth Venturini, a recognized expert in college admissions.

RockJam Portable Electronic Keyboard

Get them rocking with this keyboard piano that features 54 full size keys. Includes record and playback functionality, 8 demo songs, 100 sound effects, and 100 rhythms. 

$59.99 AT AMAZON

Natural Wood Guitar With Case

Feeling plucky? This high-quality all-wood guitar comes with shoulder strap, carrying case spare strings, and guitar picks.

$52.99 AT AMAZON

Active Play Encouragers

According to health and fitness expert Michelle Miller of MM Fitness, this age — where a child’s body is changing and adolescent may cause insecurity — is ideal for reinforcing healthy habits. Bonus? You can do so through gifts that encourage active play. “This one simple activity greatly influences a child academically, physically, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, relationally, financially, and behaviorally,” said Miller. Middle-school English teacher Erica Jabali agrees, saying, “Team sports are another way to encourage pre-teens to be active, interact with other kids their age and work together towards a common goal.”

Spikeball Kit

What is Spikeball? It’s a fun, active, and competitive (if you want it to be) 2 on 2 outdoor indoor sports game you can play almost anywhere with rules kind of like volleyball.

$59.99 AT AMAZON

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.

Although we only recommend picks we really love, we may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site.
SHOP THE STORY
stroke red
Joola Regulation Height Ping Pong Table
$135.00
Lifetime Youth Portable Basketball Hoop
$90.00
Carcassonne Board Game
$27.75
Blokus Game
$14.50
Ravenburger's Labyrinth Board Game
$19.98
Days of Wonder Ticket To Ride
$39.58
Hasbro Rubik's Cube
$3.44
Q&A A Day For Kids-A Three Year Journal
$11.99
Kid Made Modern Journal Craft Kit
$19.99
Cooking Class 57 Fun Recipes Kid Will Lo...
$10.23
Jovitec 8 Piece Kid Plastic Kitchen Knif...
$10.99
Root-Vue Farm
$18.71
Dan & Darci Paint & Plant Flower Growing...
$19.99
Osmo Detective Agency Game
$33.99
Bloxels Build Your Own Video Game
$24.88
Anki Cozmo Educational Toy Robot
$139.00
RockJam Portable Electronic Keyboard
$59.99
Natural Wood Guitar With Case
$52.99
Spikeball Kit
$59.99

The post 19 Best Gifts & Toys For 11-Year Old Boys & Girls, According To Experts appeared first on Scary Mommy.