Christmas trees: Safety, health, cost of real Christmas trees

 When my husband and I first married, we were diehard holiday traditionalists and DIY-ers. We vowed to have a real Christmas tree each holiday. The whole family would select a tree and bring it home. But the kids have grown and finally reality hit me like the felling of a tree. I realized that I was doing all holiday decorating alone and it wasn't so much fun anymore. And I've become that Scrooge mom who uses an artificial tree. Here's a discussion on real Christmas tree vs. artificial tree, including safety, cost and health considerations. Here's the conclusion: a real Christmas tree is more fun for families of young kids but an artificial tree is the more practical choice. Christmas trees: Safety, health, cost of real Christmas tree vs artificial tree |

Christmas lights in home decor: Decorate with repurposed holiday lighting |

Holiday lights are a favorite Christmas decoration. I grieve every season when taking the Christmas lights down. Then I decided to keep the Christmas lights in home decor year-round. Holiday lighting is wonderfully versatile! Here's how to decorate with repurposed holiday lighting.

* String Christmas lights around bedroom ceilings. When our oldest daughter decided to do a Lord of the Rings theme in her room, she strung lavender holiday lights around her ceiling. Christmas lights gave her bedroom a soft warm Middle Earth glow.  Christmas lights in home decor: Decorate with repurposed holiday lighting |

Homemade Christmas presents: Recycled greeting cards, wrapping paper gift crafts

Parents, are you burned out this holiday season? It's hard to keep up with kids home on winter vacation, Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, baking, cooking, decorating--oh and your job (can't forget that!) Well, how about a holiday parenting first aid kit that puts children to work in productive ways making holiday gifts? Here are homemade Christmas presents and gift crafts kids can make from recycled greeting cards, valentines and Christmas wrapping paper. Make these gifts free or super cheap with reused materials. These gift crafts are perfect for grandma and grandpa, godparents, teachers, coaches and parents!   Homemade Christmas presents: Recycled greeting cards, wrapping paper gift crafts |

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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