Here on my blog, I strive to share simple, everyday tips and tricks that can help make life a little bit easier. But sometimes, the tips that I want to share aren’t something I can write a whole blog post about. And since I simply cannot waste a good idea, I tuck them away to use at a later date. I decided to share some of my Christmas-themed tips & tricks today, in in a special holiday edition of my ongoing series, “Why Didn’t I Think of That?”
Note: Many of the tips I share on the blog come straight from your comments. If you have a great idea you’d like to share, leave it in the comments, and your idea could be featured in the next “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” post!
1. Paper Plate Treat Box
Cookies and other baked treats make great gifts for neighbors. Instead of covering a paper plate of goodies with plastic wrap, turn that paper plate into a disposable cookie gift basket!
2. Gift Wrap Organization
It’s a pain to have to track down all of your gift wrapping supplies every time you want to wrap a gift. Avoid the hassle by creating a gift wrap station on the back of a door! You’ll always know where your supplies are, and they won’t be taking up any of your storage space.
3. Ornament Storage
After several years of unearthing crushed ornaments, I finally decided I needed a more sturdy storage solution for my Christmas decorations. I used a plastic storage tote, some cardboard, and a few plastic cups to make a simple storage box for my ornaments, and I’ve been using it ever since! No more crushed ornaments.
4. Hot Chocolate Spoons
Make your own “chocolate spoons” for a quick cup of hot chocolate! Just dip a plastic spoon into melted chocolate, and sprinkle it with your favorite hot chocolate additions, if you like. Let the chocolate solidify, then you’re ready for hot chocolate any time!
To use your chocolate spoon, just stir it into a cup of warm milk. Delicious! And it would be easy to make several at once for gifts. :-)
5. Candy Cane Stand
Use a bit of hot glue and a few candy canes to make a cute and festive stand! Use it to prop up place cards, or food-identifying label cards for a potluck-style meal.
6. Easy Melted Chocolate
If you need a lot of melted chocolate (either for gifts or just for snacking!), look no further than your slow cooker. Fill the crock of your slow cooker with a few inches of water. Then pour a handful of chocolate chips in a mason jar, then place it in in the water inside your slow cooker. (You can do multiple jars at a time if your slow cooker is big enough.)
Turn your slow cooker on low and wait for the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. DON’T put the lid on! Once it melts, it will stay good and melty for about 3 hours. Perfect for a marathon of chocolate dipping! (Chocolate spoons, anyone?)
7. Festive Pancakes
Make Christmas-themed pancakes using a cookie cutter! Whip up a batch of your favorite pancake batter, using a little less liquid than you normally would. (A thicker batter makes the process much easier!)
Spray your pan or griddle, as well as the cookie cutter itself. Place the cookie cutter on the pan, and carefully pour a thin later of pancake batter into the cookie cutter. Easy shaped pancakes that your kids will love!
8. Tangle-Free Christmas Lights
When you put your Christmas lights away after the holidays are over, wrap each strand individually around a piece of cardboard. You can write on the cardboard to make it easy to identify where each strand goes in or on the house. Plus, the lights will stay tangle-free until the holidays come back around!
9. Santa “Tracks”
Make Christmas morning extra special by creating a set of sparkly footprints showing Santa’s journey to your tree! (And don’t worry, the “tracks” will be easy to vacuum up later!)
Mix a handful of baking soda with a handful of glitter, and lay it out on a cookie sheet. Spray the bottom of a pair of shoes with a bit of water, then press each shoe into the mixture. Press the shoes onto the ground to create a sparkly footprint! Repeat as desired to create a trail of footsteps.
10. Hot Glue Snowflakes
You only need your trusty hot glue gun to make some festive wintertime window clings. Lay out a piece of parchment paper, then use your glue gun to “draw” snowflake shapes. Let the snowflakes dry, then peel them away from the paper.
Stick them to your windows, mirrors, or nearly any other surface! They’ll peel right off when you want to remove them.