The 12 Days of Christmas

Day #4On the Fourth Day of Christmas,

My true love took me to the mall.

We’d bought a few presents already,

But we hadn’t found them all.

As exciting as Christmas is, it can be stressful trying to find just the right gift for everyone on your list. If you have children, that list gets even longer when you include multiple teachers, daycare workers, Sunday School teachers, and bus drivers. So, how can you cover all the bases without the added stress of spending lots of money? And what can you really buy for just five or ten dollars these days?

Well, if you’re willing to put a little elbow grease with your dollar bills, you can stay within a reasonable budget.

Gifts Under $10

Go to the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, Walmart, or Target, and buy several mugs. They don’t have to be Christmas mugs unless that’s what you want. They can simply be trendy or oversized.  Go to the clearance section and see what’s there. Or look for mug ‘sets’ that you can open and give individually. Then, buy clear plastic bags with Christmas designs. The ones that are 10-12” tall with twist ties.  Fill the mug with Christmas miniature chocolates, candy canes, some of those large mint balls, or a solid chocolate Santa (you can usually find them somewhere for $.99). Once filled, slide it down into the sack. Pick up some curling ribbon – cut three or four 8” strips. Tie them around the sack to close it and curl the ends.

Alternatives:  You can also fill the mugs with hot chocolate packets. Most grocery stores sell gourmet singles for $.75-$.99. If yours doesn’t, Swiss Miss with marshmallows is always a good choice.. Flavored hot tea bags are also great. If you have time to spend in the kitchen, make some chocolate chip or no-bake cookies. Find a recipe for easy fudge. Make it a family project.

Don’t forget that it’s the thought that counts. The recipient will know you spent time creating the gift and that will mean more than the price tag.

Now, help me welcome Christi Barth, author of Tinsel My Heart.

Christi Barth   Tinsel My Heart    Book CoverBecca Huntley’s produced the Lyndale Park Player’s over-the-top Christmas pageant for ten years. The beloved Minneapolis tradition is the theatre’s main fundraiser. But this year’s production is almost canceled when their director disappears into rehab at the last minute. Good thing his directing partner steps in to save the day. Except for the minor fact that he hates everything about Christmas.

Jack Whittaker wiped the Twin Cities off his shoe with his graduation tassel and never looked back. But duty compels him to fulfill Tyler’s promise to direct the show. Even though it means working side-by-side with Becca, the girl he always wanted, lost to Ty, but never forgot.

It’ll take more than a few handfuls of tinsel to soften Jack’s heart toward Becca’s favorite holiday. Steamy kisses that melt the snow right off his boots are a step in the right direction. They’ll both discover that Christmas is about making each other’s dreams come true. But will doing so destroy their chance at a happily-ever-after together?

Buy Links:  Amazon  |  B&N  |  Carina Press  iTunes  |  Kobo

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop Button with Frame

As part of The 12 Days of Christmas celebration, Christi donated a complete ebook set of her Aisle Bound series to the prize list. Click HERE for this and many more random drawings. To follow the celebration, find a new recipe, pick up a holiday decorating or shopping tip, click HERE.

About the Author

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning.  Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband.

Website | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page |Facebook

Fantastic Friday

CHARMING CHARLIE – A Girl’s Best Friend

I’m a believer! Good things come to those who make sacrifices. The proof? I found Charming Charlie – only because I went to exercise at the YMCA that’s farthest from my home (at my best friend’s request) instead of the close one.

It was 6:50am on a Saturday morning (the real sacrifice). The store wasn’t open yet, so we stuck our noses to the glass and peered in.

Come to find out – Angie had been holding out on me.  She knew all about the store.  But I forgave her, because the pain of betrayal evaporated the instant I walked into the store (after my workout and cleanup) and found myself surrounded by accessories.

And not just any accessories.

THOUSANDS of Color-Coordinated accessories.

Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, headbands, billfolds, purses, scarves, shirts, shoes, slippers, lanyards, eyeglass holders. Even accessory organizers!  And it’s all divided into color coordinated sections of the store. So, if you’re like me and everything has to match and blend (I stick with what I know) – they gotcha covered.  If you’re a little more creative and like to mix and match, get a little crazy – you’ll be in heaven!

And one of the best things about Charming Charlie – they’re affordable!

Find your local store and check them out if you haven’t already.  They’re growing fast, so if you don’t have one nearby, keep looking – you’re bound to have one in the near future.  And make sure you have time for a thorough shopping event, because this isn’t a quick-browse kind of store.  You will be hooked from the moment you walk in and want to spend time checking every nook and cranny.

If you’ve ever been to a Charming Charlie store, you MUST ‘Like’ this post and leave me a comment about your experience.  Tell me what you like best about their stores.  What was the last thing you bought there?