Halloween DIY Crafts You Have to Try!

Who doesn’t love a huge list of fun holiday crafts? Halloween offers some of the most entertaining DIY projects, from costumes to decor. Nothing is more rewarding than creating a unique decoration that everyone asks about. When you get to say, “oh, I made that” it kind of feels like winning the world. The internet is filled with tutorials and videos to help you create attention-grabbing items. We looked around and compiled a list of the coolest ones for you. Most of these projects are great for kids too! Check out the projects below, and be sure to send us photos of your completed projects. We’ll post the best ones!

Tin Can or Mason Jar Luminaries

Decorate mason jars or large tin cans (think large tomato sauce cans). For the mason jars, you can use cotton and gauze to make mummies, or glow in the dark paint to make ghosts. For the tin cans, punch holes into them, spelling out Halloween phrases like “Boo” or “Trick-or-Treat”. Add traditional LED flameless candles, or colored LED lights to illuminate them.

diy halloween luminary

Rainbow Pumpkins

Purchase a white pumpkin for this project. Unwrap a variety of crayons and place on the top of the pumpkin. Use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt the crayons down the pumpkin. These serve as functional art and everyone will adore them.

Candy Corn Centerpieces

Make candy corn centerpieces in two ways: paint bottles or fill vases with candy corn and candy pumpkins. For the bottles, unused wine bottles look the best, but any glass bottle will work. Paint the entire bottle white, then paint the bottom 2/3 of the bottle yellow. Once that dries, paint the bottom 1/3 of the bottle a bright orange. Whichever candy corn centerpiece you choose will look great. The best part is that these can stay up all the way through Thanksgiving.

Halloween Wreath

Using sticks, faux spider webs, corn husks, and miniature pumpkins, construct a Halloween wreath for your door. This is easy to make, but it requires some imagination. You can also make one from fabric, like in this DIY Halloween Wreath Video from HeyKayli.

Glowing Balloon Faces

These are as easy as they are adorable, however they’re temporary. You may want to make these the day of Halloween. Pick up a few white balloons and some glow sticks. Break the glow stick and place it inside the balloon before you blow it up. Inflate the balloon and draw ghost faces on it. This turns out amazing, but eventually the glow stick will fade and the balloon will deflate.

Customized Candy Bar Wrappers

This blogger has a great tutorial on creating custom wrappers for your candy bars. You can order customized labels from chickabug.com, or you can print the premade labels from iheartnaptime.net for free.

DIY Paper Pumpkin Tutorial

If you’d like a fun challenge, this paper pumpkin makes a great centerpiece for the entire harvest season. Use this infographic below to make your own paper pumpkin.

Paper Pumpkin - Halloween Craft

From Visually.

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Tips for Perfect Holiday Family Portraits

christmas family photosIn a recent post, we mentioned the benefits of getting your holiday portraits done in October. From better appointment times to ensuring a timely delivery, it relieves a wealth of holiday stress. While your photograph results are primarily dependent on your photographer’s skills and experience, you can help in a few ways. With our list of helpful tips, you can count on quality photographs your friends and family will adore.

Thoroughly Research Photographers

We live in a time where we have access to unbiased reviews of services. Search through sites like Angie’s List and Yelp for only five-star reviews. If you’ve seen a friend’s photo shoot and enjoyed the results, ask for the photographer’s contact information. Some people will choose based on price, convenient locations or available appointment times. While those three factors are good to consider, they should not be your focus. You need a photographer with the experience and skills to meet your needs.

Know Exactly What You Want

Preparing a clear list of goals and expectations is the best way to ensure that your photographer can deliver. He or she will inform you of the realities involved. Sometimes we dream too big and sometimes we don’t dream big enough for fear of limitations. The ideal photographer will work through your ideas to help deliver phenomenal images you love.

Coordinate Outfits

You want to look like one cohesive unit, you know… a family. However, if you’re all in the exact same outfit you can wash one another out of the photo. Plan outfits that blend well… but aren’t identical. You can find some great examples here.

Trust Your Photographer

You’re used to telling your kids what to do and to smile for photographs. However, this is not your area of expertise. After all you researched and hired the best, right? It may feel difficult, but forsake a little bit of control for the photo session. When the kids are taking instructions from the photographer, they’re likely to have more fun because it won’t feel like a reprimand. This is your chance to be one of the kids instead of an authority figure, so go with it. The more fun you have, the more fun everyone else will have. Everyone following instructions while in a good mood will result in the best possible images.

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Keeping Pets Safe & Comfortable on Halloween

Pets on HalloweenMost of us pet owners like to include our furry friends in on all family activities and holidays. After all, they are a part of the family, so why would exclude them? While there are ways to include our pets, we have to make sure that above all else, they remain happy and comfortable during the events. Holidays are sometimes as stressful for our pets as they are for us, and it’s our job to help them relax. If you plan to include your cat or dog in on your Halloween festivities this year, please make sure to keep these following points in mind. Your pet will thank you for considering every detail in keeping him or her comfortable and safe.

Decorations, Pumpkin Candles, and Choking Hazards

Dogs and cats are often curious about new items appearing in the home or yard. When you decorate for the season, make sure they’re out of your pet’s reach. Sure, you can have a few decorations on the ground or floor, just make sure they’re durable and have no choking hazards. Moreover, when you place the candles in your pumpkins, it’s a good idea to use LED flameless candles. Even the most behaved pets can get excited and knock over a pumpkin. As most people rest their pumpkins on hay bales, an accident involving an open flame would not end well.

Pet Costumes

While dressing your animals is extraordinarily adorable and fun, it’s only enjoyable for some pets. If your pet doesn’t mind the costume, go for it. Just keep in mind that you want to keep his or her ears and eyes free of any distractions. If your cat or dog fights you or runs when you come walking in with a costume, don’t for him or her. It’s not fair to your pet and it can end up making your cat or dog extremely unhappy and uncomfortable. When animals feel like this, they tend to act out and not behave like their normal, friendly selves.

Snacks and Candy

We all know that dogs and cats shouldn’t eat chocolate or candy, but we might not think about the treat bowl placement or jumping abilities of a curious animal. Not only should the treats remain out of reach, but they should remain under close supervision at all times.

Parties and Strangers

Halloween party guests and trick-or-treaters can freak out even social animals. During peak times when traffic is high, keep your pets in a quiet, comfortable room. Brown Noise is great for calming down stressed animals, so consider playing this video while the door keeps opening and closing. Once things calm down you can release your pet into the congregation area to meet your guests. If you want your dog or cat to be with you when answering the door for the kids, be sure to get him or her used to strangers in the next few weeks. This may help, but if your pet is stressing out, you may have to call it quits and wait for next year. Cats may be better about this, but even social dogs don’t like a large number of strangers coming into their territory. It may take some time.

ID Tags

Make sure your ID tags are visible through all costumes. Even if you’re remaining home, be sure your pets have ID tags. High traffic means a frequently opening door, and your cat or dog is more likely to make an escape at this time. While we hope you never need them, ID tags are necessary for finding lost pets. Nothing ruins a holiday quite like a missing cat or dog.

Sherrie Carter

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5 Tips for Wearing Halloween Costumes at Work

halloween headband for saleIf you’re fortunate enough to have an employer that allows costumes, don’t be that one person who ruins it for everyone.  Your goal is to have fun, not to make a real-life nightmare for HR. There are a few things to keep in mind when planning your workday Halloween costume. Before committing to anything, browse our tips below. We could save you, your coworkers, and HR a huge awkward headache. You’re welcome.

Reconsider Any Offensive Ideas

Okay, so your idea of going as a nerd is hilarious and totally innocent, right? Well, if you stop to think about it, you could be dressing up for Halloween in the way that some people dress daily. A nerd is fine for a Halloween party, but in the office, it could hurt feelings. The same goes for costumes that highlight sensitive news topics. For example, “Cecil the Lion’s Killer” is a big one this year… don’t do it. You’ll upset someone, guaranteed. Offensive costumes are popular, but save those for the weekend.

Ensure You Can Still Perform

This is important. Don’t let your costume hinder your ability to complete tasks as per usual. Keep your arms and head free, and consider the temperature. You don’t want to spend eight hours being too cold or hot. For best results, try to stick to costumes that require regular clothing with minor tweaks.

Bring a Change of Clothes

Make sure you have professional clothing handy in case someone important comes by. You probably don’t want to enter a serious meeting dressed like Minnie Mouse.

Don’t Show Too Much

Even if the character you’re dressing as is scantily clad, find a way to cover up. Make sure you still adhere to normal dress code policies to keep the atmosphere professional.

Avoid Dangerous Props

So if you’re a princess, maybe leave the giant star wand at home. Not only will props be distracting and annoying, but also they’re potentially dangerous. All it takes is one accident to ruin the day.


Looking for some examples? Popsugar.com has a great list of Appropriate Halloween Costumes for the Workplace.

Sherrie Carter

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Spooky Movies to Watch with Kids in October

Halloween MoviesThe next few weeks are going to have the kids excited for Halloween. You can help them in their anticipation by cuddling up on the couch with a blanket, popcorn, and a scary movie. Watching movies is a great bonding experience for parents and children, especially if they’re scary. Even as adults, we want our parents when we’re frightened. To help you choose, we’ve compiled a list of great scary movies for kids and teens. Since most families use Netflix, we also included whether or not it’s available and where to find the movie. Happy Movie Watching!


Summary: A friendly young ghost haunts a mansion in Maine. When a specialist James Harvey begins to communicate with Casper, he befriends the ghost. Casper falls in love with Kat, the daughter of James Harvey. His mischievous uncles don’t make things easy, however.

Why Watch It:  This adorable story is comical and slightly scary. Casper is a classic Halloween movie with a love story and humor that kids enjoy.

On Netflix: No, but you can find it at your local Redbox rental center.

Hocus Pocus

Summary: Moving to Salem, MA, a teenager messes around in an abandoned house. This house allegedly was the home of three evil witches. Max Dennison, the teenager, accidentally revives the witches and must stop them from becoming immortal.

Why Watch It: This is a Halloween must-watch movie! There’s a reason ABC Family airs it several times each season. It’s scary, but not too scary!

On Netflix: Yes, but it’s DVD rental only. Here’s a list of times it will air on ABC Family.

DreamWorks’ Spooky Stories

Summary: This Halloween compilation consists of three movies, including Scared Shrekless, Shrek’s Thrilling Tales, and Monsters Vs. Alien’s mutant pumpkins.

Why Watch It: This triple feature movie consists of a collection of characters the kids already know and love!

On Netflix: Yes.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Summary: Pumpkin king Jack Skellington becomes bored with the consistent Halloween life and goes off to explore Christmas land. He decides he wants to be Santa instead and attempts to steal Christmas.

Why Watch It: This movie has a huge subculture for a reason. Some people even have weddings based around this movie. There’s been debate about whether it’s a Christmas or Halloween movie. We say it’s both!

On Netflix: Yesssssssssssssss.


Summary: A married couple is involved in a tragic car accident. They end up haunting their residence and enlist the help of Beetlejuice to help get the new homeowners out of “their” house.

Why Watch It: It’s a little dark and possibly too scary for the younger kids. However, you most likely loved this movie as a child. If your child is brave enough or old enough, you can share memories while bonding.

On Netflix: Yes, but it’s DVD rental only. That makes us want to call Beetlejuice!


Summary: A young girl named Coraline discovers a secret door in her new home. Through this door is an alternate universe that is much like reality, but much better.  She loves visiting until her alternate family and friends try to keep her there forever.

Why Watch It: This movie has its creepy parts, but it’s not too bad. It has a great moral to it, teaching the kids that the grass is NOT always greener on the other side.

On Netflix: Yes, but it’s DVD rental only.


Summary: A man is looking for a unique gift for his child, and finds an adorable pet. The salesperson advises that this pet should never eat after midnight. He goes on to warn against getting the pet wet or exposing it to light after midnight as well. Naturally, all of this happens and trouble ensues.

Why Watch It: This is another movie you probably loved as a child. Share your experience with your son or daughter and watch for the same reactions you once had.

On Netflix: Yes, but its DVD rental only.

Corpse Bride

Summary: Victor and Victoria have an arranged marriage. They like each other, but Victor is still unsure. He walks into the woods to get some fresh air, and finds himself in the land of the dead. Emily, a corpse in a wedding dress wants to marry Victor. He must make it back to Victoria before she finds a replacement.

Why Watch It: This is just another great Tim Burton flick! If the kids enjoy The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline, they’re sure to love this movie!

On Netflix: Yes

scary movies

Do you think we missed a great flick? Share your favorite scary movies in the comments section below!

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Parent & Child Halloween Costume Ideas

Children are the main marketing target of Halloween, so most of us tend to think of it as a kid’s holiday. However, most adults haven’t given up on the holiday just yet. It’s just as much for adults and new parents as it is for children. Parents of toddlers and babies can get creative and make some hilarious costumes with their kids. Your son or daughter might not remember it, but you will. Plus, the photos will be priceless. Check out some of our ideas for great parent-child costume ideas. Use one of these costume ideas or let them inspire you. Whatever you come up with, we’d love to see it. Share photos of your costumes in our comments section below and we’ll highlight the best ones after Halloween.


What you wear:  Tattered old clothing and fake blood.

What your child wears:  Something comfortable with fake blood.


zombie baby costume



Harry Potter and Hedwig

What you wear:  A store-purchased or DIY Harry Potter costume.

What your child wears:  An owl costume with a letter prop.

Example: Click Here


Popeye and Sweet Pea

What you wear:  A black shirt with yellow buttons, blue pants, and a sailor hat. Carry around a can of spinach for a prop.

What your child wears:  A red onesie and a white boating hat.

Example: Click Here


Alan from the Hangover

What you wear:  A grey shirt, khakis and aviators. If you don’t have heavy facial hair, go with a fake beard. You’ll need a front-facing baby carrier as well.

What your child wears: A light blue onesie and a white cap. If your child is a good sport, you can have him or her wear the sunglasses for a little while.

Example: Click Here


Alice and the Cheshire Cat

What you wear: A DIY or store-purchased Alice in Wonderland Costume

What your child wears:  A purple and pink onesie or you can make the DIY costume linked below.

Example: DIY Cheshire Cat Costume


Cruella De Vil and Dalmatian

What you wear: A black and white wig and a red coat.

What your child wears: a black and white polka dot shirt or a Dalmatian costume.

Example: Click Here


Chef and Lobster

What you wear: A white chef’s coat and hat, and a nametag.

What your child wears: An adorable lobster costume and a terrified expression on his or her face.

Example: Click Here


Santa and Elf

What you wear: A Santa costume or a red shirt and Santa hat.

What your child wears: an elf costume or a green outfit with a red Santa hat.


elf and santa costume










Sherrie Carter

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5 Recipes for All The Apples You Picked

fall apple pickingApple picking is almost mandatory during autumn. It’s a great time for families and it makes a great date night for couples. Almost everyone is bound to have a hundred apples by mid-October. Most people eat them as-is or make apple pie, but there are thousands of things you can do will all of those apples. Spice things up this year with a few new recipes made from your apple mountain. Read our compilation below and send us photos of your creations! We’ll post the tastiest looking ones. From breakfast to dessert, you won’t get sick of apples with these ideas.

Apple and Carrot Slaw

This recipe is perfect for impressing others at holiday parties slaw with apples, cabbage, carrots, and mayo. It only takes about half an hour to prepare and is a huge crowd pleaser. Click here for a recipe from tasteofhome.com

Cinnamon Spice Applesauce

This applesauce recipe from epicurious.com received 4/4 forks (stars) from 40 reviewers. 100% of these reviewers said they’d definitely make it again. This homemade applesauce will replace store purchased jars for sure.

Apple Cheese Danish

An apple cheese Danish is a popular option at local bakeries and coffee shops. However, it’s even better when it’s homemade and fresh out of the oven. Made with apples, pastry, sugar, cheese, and eggs, this dish takes about an hour to prepare and cook. Countryliving.com has a great recipe for this.

Apple French Toast

Apple French toast will be an easy task for anyone who normally makes cinnamon French toast. Simply add the apples and a few extra ingredients to make this tasty masterpiece. View a recipe from countryliving.com here.

Upside Down Apple Cake

This tasty cake consists of apple slices, which you’ll assemble in a flower pattern. This works best with large apples that keep their shape. Made with simple ingredients like butter, sugar, flower, and vanilla extract, this recipe is moderately easy and delicious. Make it now with a recipe from finecooking.com
Sherrie Carter

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Free Halloween Printable Downloads to Make Life Easier

halloween printable downloadsIf you’re prepping for a big Halloween party, or just looking to decorate in fun ways for the kids, you have a few easy options! Thanks to the internet, you have a variety of free printable options that will simplify unique decor projects. From activities to decorations, we’ve found some of the best printable downloads for you to use.

Browse through the list below and print your favorites. We’d love to see how they turn out, so post photos of your decor on our Facebook page! We’ll share the best ones.

Halloween Decorations

At freebiefindingmom.com you’ll find the best printable items for any season. This particular post on Halloween decorations offers printable masks, signs, mobiles, wall decor, candle wraps, streamers, and party kits! Almost everything you need for a great party is right here. Thank the “Freebie Finding” Mom!

Halloween Bingo

Whether you’re hosting a party or getting the kids excited for Halloween, Scary bingo is great. This entertaining activity works like regular bingo, except you use the word “scary”. Choose images or numbers like the traditional card with this bingo card generator.

Custom Treat Bags

Use custom treat bags for party favors or trick-or-treaters. Either way, the kids will love the exciting and unique bags. This is an easy way to designate how much candy each person receives, and the bags are adorable! Find printable treat bags online or click here for the ones we found.

Book Covers

Cover cookbooks or the kid’s schoolbooks with this eerie potions book cover!

Countdown Calendars

This one is especially fun for young kids. Print this chalkboard countdown calendar and its corresponding pumpkin pieces. As we creep closer to Halloween, have the kids cover each day with a different pumpkin! They will LOVE this.

Pumpkin Spice Signs

These festive pumpkin spice signs are great all the way through Thanksgiving. Print and frame autumn signs that say “Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice”

Sherrie Carter

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Popular Games to Include or Avoid for Kids Halloween Parties

halloween party costumesThe trick to any great Halloween party is having a variety of games, delicious foods, and entertaining activities. Some games are safe and extraordinarily fun for the kids. However, you should avoid a few popular games, and we’ll tell you why later. First, we’ll inspire you with a few fun games that the kids will love. They’ll leave raving about what a great time they had. Then, we’ll get into the darker side of things.

Great Halloween Games to Include 

Spooky Piñata

You can purchase one from a Halloween store, or you can make one from scratch. It follows the same rules as a traditional game, except the piñata is creepy. Make it an eyeball, a monster, or a ghost; the options are almost endless!

No Carve Pumpkin Decorating

This activity doesn’t have to have a winner. Give the kids a small pumpkin and set up a table of supplies. Include paint, glitter, googly eyes, felt, fake hair, and other art supplies. Set a time limit so that the little artists don’t spend all night on the pumpkin. Make sure to get a photo of the kids with their pumpkins for the parents!

Halloween Bingo

Print bingo boards with the word “Scary” replacing the word “Bingo”. The kids will each have a card with either numbers or photos, which you will call until a player yells “Scary!” Make sure to have plenty of options (think 75 numbers in bingo), so that the game doesn’t end too quickly.

DIY Photo Booth

Using a large window, a fireplace, or another picturesque area of your home, you can create a designated place for individual photos. Kids will love the attention, and their parents will appreciate the photos you send home. Make sure to decorate the area and include a selection of Halloween props!

Mummy Wrap

This fun game is very similar to the popular wedding shower game, where you use toilet paper to make a wedding dress. Separate the kids into teams of two, and give each team one roll of toilet paper. The team that creates the best mummy with one roll in under one minute wins!

Skeleton Relay Race

Find a spacious area of your home and create teams of three or four, depending on the party size. Each team gets all the required pieces to make a skeleton. One player races to a wall and adds a part of the skeleton. The next kid cannot head towards the wall until the previous player returns to the starting line. The team that finishes their skeleton correctly first wins!


Dangerous Games to Avoid

Now, let’s discuss the games you do NOT want to play. While they seem fun and some have been around for years, these games are just too risky. Read on to learn more.

The Cinnamon Challenge

This has been around forever, in fact I fell victim to it about fifteen years ago. From personal experience, I can tell you there’s nothing fun about this game. However, it became popular on YouTube last year and kids think it’s hilarious. It’s not, I assure you. The challenge is to swallow and entire tablespoon of cinnamon without drinking water or spitting any out. Your body won’t produce enough saliva to do this and you will end up coughing it all out. It burns the throat, it comes out your nose, and it hurts. It hurts for days. Forbid this game from your party.

Chubby Bunny

This game seems innocent and adorable, but it’s a major choking hazard. The idea is to put as many marshmallows in your mouth as you can, while saying chubby bunny. The player who can still say it with the most marshmallows in their mouth wins. Forbid this game from your party.

Bobbing for Apples

This game isn’t as risky as the others are; however, it’s still a bad idea. The traditional game requires you obtain an apple from a bucket of water without using any hands. Kids come with germs, especially in autumn. Several children putting their mouths in the same water and potentially on the same apple could get everyone at the party sick. There’s just no clean way to go about this game. Forbid this game from your party.

Planking Contests

This is probably the most dangerous of all the game listed. Unfortunately, thanks to the internet, it’s the most popular. Planking is a huge internet trend in which participants will “plank” on top of varying structures. Kids will challenge one another and raise the stakes. They usually choose things that are high off the ground. You don’t need a bunch of kids balancing on nothing but their stomachs at your house. Forbid this game from your party.

Sherrie Carter

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Thanksgiving & Christmas Tasks to Complete in October

fall-447751_1280People often wonder why some of us start thinking about Christmas before it’s even Halloween. The answer is simple. Holidays sneak up on us much quicker than we realize. How many people do you know spend most of December in a rush-induced stress? Are you one of them? It’s completely normal. However, Halloween requires significantly less preparation than Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sure, you have to decorate and possibly host a party, but you probably won’t be cooking for hours, stringing holiday lights, and entertaining in-laws. Halloween is fun, but it’s also much easier. This means that October is the ideal month to get some of your holiday tasks completed. Moreover, you can plan your Halloween decor so that most items will streamline into Thanksgiving seamlessly.

Browse through our list below and try to get as many of these tasks done before November 1, 2015. You’ll thank us come holiday season when you realize how much more time you have to perfect, finalize, and relax.

Set Expectations & Create a Timeline

Be realistic with your schedule. Determine your free time and select which task(s) you can complete each free day you have. This will help you stay in line with your goals and avoid overwhelming yourself.

Grocery Shop for Some Items

Purchase non-perishable essentials for holiday parties, Thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas meals. This will minimize your time in the grocery store, especially on the busy days. Purchase the perishable items about one or two days before your event, and you’ll have more free time for finishing touches.

Complete at Least 50% of Gift Shopping

We covered the benefits of early Christmas shopping last month. If you haven’t read it, be sure to check it out before hitting up the stores. If you’re not prepared to complete your shopping in October, try to get at least half of it done. When you have fewer places to go during the busy season, it relieves stress and saves time for more important tasks.

Deep Clean the House

If you’re having guests over, you’ll want the house to look its best. You’ll still need to clean and dust before your guests arrive, but if you deep clean each room at the beginning of October and again in early November, it will help a lot. When it comes time to decorate and clean for holiday parties, you’ll be surprised and how quick and easy it is.

Purchase Craft Supplies for Upcoming DIY projects

Do you plan to make any decorations this season? Purchase your craft supplies now and avoid headaches later. Create a list of things you’d like to make. Then, narrow it down to what you’re actually going to make and create a shopping list.

Launder All Linens

Wash all napkins, curtains, tablecloths and other linens. This will minimize the loads you have to do before the big dinner. Store them in a location where they will not collect dust or debris. Trust us, when you don’t have to worry about laundry before cooking a Thanksgiving meal, it feels like Christmas morning.

Prep and Organize Christmas Decorations

Most people decorate on or after Thanksgiving Day. Determine your decor scheme and check all products for damage. It’s better to run to the store today to replace Christmas lights than it will be on Black Friday.

Take Family Photos

It’s much easier to book an appointment with a family portrait photographer now than the holidays. This also ensures you’ll have your photos with enough time to send out wonderful Christmas cards.


Sherrie Carter

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