Don’t forget to call (or text) your mom.
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.
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.
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.
#Santa upgraded to a jet pack in Flying Santa Gifts in today's #NORAD Tracks #Santa Countdown Calendar Game #22, at https://t.co/pdLergThH4 #NoradSanta #NoradTracksSanta #Games #CountdownCalendar #Fun #Christmas #Holidays pic.twitter.com/XIV2Fev5k1
— NORAD Tracks Santa (@NoradSanta) December 22, 2019
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 email@example.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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
This ultimate on-the-go cooler keeps bottles AND cans frosty. It’s vacuum insulated and even comes with a built-in bottle opener.
Super-fun gift that keeps beer at the right drinking temperature, even on a hot day!
FOR THE MUSIC MUSIC LOVER
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.
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.
He doesn’t really listen, anyway, amirite? Well now he can at least have an excuse, with barely-there, convenient, easy, fun, wireless headphones.
A super-popular bluetooth speaker with a built-in robot assistant? It’s like all his dreams are coming true.
FOR THE SPORTS LOVER
“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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
FOR THE WELL-GROOMED
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!)
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.
Perfect for a guy who travels a lot, this kit lets him take the perfect shave on the road with him..
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.
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.
With high-speed wireless charging that works with the latest iPhone and Samsung models, this baby helps him cut some of the cords
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.
No more Wi-Fi dead zones. This mesh system gives you 6,000 square feet of coverage that supports up to 20 devices.
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.)
“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?
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.
FOR THE OUTDOORSY
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.
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.
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.
FOR THE KITCHEN KING
Does he think he’s hot and spicy? Give him a hot sauce gift set with enough flavors to complement any food.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
FUN AND GAMES
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.
There’s only one thing that’s more fun than Skee-Ball, and that’s playing Skee-Ball at your desk.
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.
FOR THE BEST DRESSED DAD
Leather touchscreen-enabled gloves keep him stylish and warm, while still able to answer all your calls.
The ultimate dad accessory. I mean, if he’s not wearing crisp white New Balances, is he even a dad?
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.
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.
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.
FOR THE CURIOUS DAD
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.
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!
You know when you ask him “What planet are you from?” Well, now you can both find out.
BOOKS & ENTERTAINMENT
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.
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.
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.
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.)
SHOP THE STORY
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.
NARROW, BUT STILL FULL
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.
FIRE IT UP
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).
WHAT SNOW SMELLS LIKE
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 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.
CHRISTMAS BEY, I MEAN, DAY
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.
JUST A FLURRY OF SNOW
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.
RUDOLPH AND CLARICE, IS THAT YOU?
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.
SHAKE YA POM-POMS
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.
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.
MONOGRAMMED TO PERFECTION
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.
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.
SOMETHING OUT OF A FAIRYTALE
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.
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.
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.
COZY AND CUTE
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.
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?
A BERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU
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!
POLAR BEAR ROLLERCOASTER
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!
ABOMINABLE… IN A GOOD WAY
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.
A MODERN TAKE ON THE NUTCRACKER
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.
COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS
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.
GIVE ME BUFFALO PLAID
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
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.
FLAMELESS AND CLASSIC
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.
DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS
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?
The post The Scary Mommy Home And Holiday Decor Guide Of 2019 appeared first on Scary Mommy.
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.
“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!”
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.
Get them moving with this 32″ portable basketball hoop that’s fully adjustable to grow with them through all their growth spurts.
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.
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.
It’s like Tetris, but IRL. Win by fitting as many of your pieces on the board as possible while strategically blocking your opponents!
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.
This award-winning board game lets players connect iconic North American cities and build train routes to earn points.
Yes Virginia, Rubik’s Cube IS still cool. Challenge your kids’ minds as well as their perspective on how great the 1980’s were.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Give your budding gardeners a fun and educational gift that lets them learn about plant growth and decorate their own planter.
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.”
The game is afoot! This award-winning learning game uses both virtual and physical components to let kids solve mysteries across the world.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Feeling plucky? This high-quality all-wood guitar comes with shoulder strap, carrying case spare strings, and guitar picks.
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.”
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.
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