If you’re thinking of changing things up this Christmas because of the COVID, you love all the things Christmas, or if you have a kid that can’t deal with malls or able to make it to the mall… we got you.
If one of your resolutions this year is to get your home in order, you might want to start to declutter as soon as you can at the beginning of the year. There is literally no better time to do this. Your desire to have an orderly home is on the forefront and you will find the energy to accomplish this task. If you still have your Christmas decorations up, this is an even more perfect time. Don’t believe me? Here are three reasons why it is a good time to declutter:
- Since you already have some of your Christmas decorations out, you can take a look at the items that didn’t make the cut and determine whether you don’t like them anymore, they don’t suit your decor style, or if they are broken. If an item meets any of these criteria, get rid of them and don’t just put all the Christmas decorations back in storage.
- You likely got a lot of new items over Christmas as presents, so you can get rid of the old items or ones you like a little less.
- Before you put away the new items, you can take a look at the space and see if there is anything that can be donated or given away (to other family members.)
Once you have the Christmas decorations and new presents taken care of, here are five other areas you might want to consider decluttering for a fresh start:
- Fall or winter clothes – Any clothes that got continually bypassed during the last few months might be an indication they need to be donated. Regardless of the reasons you didn’t wear them in the last 2-3 months, chances are they won’t be worn in the next 2-3 months either.
- Outgrown toys – Any toys that your children will “sometimes” play with can probably be donated. Obviously, keep the sentimental ones. Random ones that you got for free from McDonalds or gets played less than 10 times a year, should go.
- Any papers you have stacked up – Take some time to go through all the paper you have saved/neglected the past couple of months. Recently, I found a package you use to file your taxes manually in a stack of papers my spouse had. I have no idea why he still had this package because we filed our taxes months ago. Take all of your papers out, go through them, and then file or recycle them. You don’t want more paper to accumulate when September rolls around and more paper finds its way into your home.
- Your pantry – If you have a resolution to eat healthier this year, go through your pantry and donate any non-perishable foods to your local food bank. By having the items out of your pantry, you will be able to stick to your resolutions and eat healthier.
- Anything that annoyed you throughout the year – This can include things that no longer serve you, things you never liked, things that were gifted to you, or things constantly in your way. Get rid of the items and create some new space.
It might sound daunting to declutter your home, especially if you’ve never done it before. However, by selecting these areas to declutter first, it will become second nature to you. If you are still struggling, when you look at an item, ask yourself if it serves the “present” you or your current intentions. If it doesn’t, it may serve someone else. Good luck!!
Monica Hui is a working mom in Calgary, Alberta, constantly looking for ways to do things faster and faster so that she can slow down to have pretend picnics with her daughter. Her website, www.wishahmon.com, shares efficiency tips to help moms create an easier, prettier, and efficient mom life. You can follow her on facebook or Instagram, @wishahmon.
It’s hard to pick the perfect potluck dish. You want something easy to prep, a dish that will feed a crowd, and something that’s easy to transport.
Don’t worry Mamas, we’ve got you! We’ve partnered with Alberta Turkey and have created the perfect pot luck dish: Turkey Buffalo Mac n Cheese. And the best part? EVERYTHING was made in an Instant Pot because we know you have zero time this time of year. By using the Instant Pot we’ve also cut out on all the dishes you have to do. This is literally a one pot meal!
Narrowing down the perfect gift for your child’s teacher, coach, tutor, or babysitter can seem overwhelming. We polled a group of moms and teachers and found out some of the best gifts you can give this holiday season that won’t break the bank.
- A thoughtful note is at the top of everyone’s list. A personalized thank-you note for your kid’s teacher to show appreciation for their hard work is sure to be well received.
- A favorite for many is sweet treats! Cookies by George or homemade holiday treats; either way, they won’t last until the end of the day.
- A box of quality chocolates or biscuits. A great option if you know of your caregiver’s preferences or dietary restrictions.
- If you’d like to steer away from sweets, fancy crackers with artisanal jams are a great option. You can even pair this gift with a beautiful handcrafted cutting board.
- A Christmas tree ornament. You can get crafty and decorate one with your child or pick one up at most retailers.
- Gift cards are a sure-fire hit! For the coffee lover Tim Hortons, Starbucks, or McDonald’s all offer gift certificate ages of varying denominations. If you’re unsure, we love giving (and receiving!) gift certificates from Chapters Indigo.
- It might be tempting to give a bottle of wine; however, we recommend giving a gift certificate to the liquor store instead. The recipient can choose their favourite alcoholic beverage.
- A personalized gift basket filled with lip balm, hand moisturizer, and hand soaps is useful for nearly everyone.
- Classroom staples such as whiteboard markers, fine writing pens, a beautiful notepad, or colourful sticky notes make great teacher gifts.
- A pair of mittens or a warm scarf are perfect for the teacher who works outdoor duty during lunch and recess.
- An insulated travel mug is perfect for those early morning commutes. If you know the recipient’s tastes, you could add packets of handmade or store-bought hot chocolate.
- A framed handwritten poem from your child to their caregiver. This could be an excerpt from your child’s favorite book or poem your child makes up. You can add a hand-painted and decorated frame to make this an extra special gift.
Tis the season and oh how we love the holiday’s at Alberta Mamas. As the song goes, here are a few of our FAVOURITE things.
“Getting a Christmas Tree
from my parents farm” ~ Mama Deanne
The first house you see
decorated, with their lights all aglow. That feeling!
Spotting the PERFECT gift
Maybe it’s not super big, but you know it’s something they will really love.
Cooking the turkey
Making sure you’ve taken it out to thaw, getting all your fruits and veggies and spices prepped for stuffing. And in our house, we also dress it with a little bacon.
Wether they are home made, store bought, for you or for the kids, I’m almost as excited as the kids to see what they get!
Why I Love Elf On The Shelf:
We love when December 1st hits and Elf On The Shelf comes back from the North Pole and here’s why:
- The magic of it all! They think it is real and I love the Christmas magic that happens when they believe.
- Let’s be real – it is a parenting too for the whole month of December. The kids definitely act better when “Jingles The Elf” is watching.
As the holiday season approaches a favourite activity for many families across Alberta is to check out the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.
This year live entertainment from Dec 5th – 7th will be from Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo and then for the rest of the way it will be Terri Clark! Warm-up around the bonfires while sipping some hot chocolate, and of course seeing all of the beautiful lights that decorate the train cars.
Here is where you can see the Holiday Train for 2019:
|Provost||Field adjacent to railway tracks at 50th Avenue and 46th Street||2019-12-5||5:55 PM||6:00 PM – 6:30 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Hardisty||East end of CP railway yard, west of Highway 881 overpass||2019-12-5||9:00 PM||9:15 PM – 9:45 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Camrose||52 Avenue and 50 Street, next to Moose Family Centre||2019-12-6||1:05 PM||1:15 PM – 1:45 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Wetaskawin||CP ES Building, 4009 50 Street||2019-12-6||3:25 PM||3:30 PM – 4:00 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Ponoka||50th Street and 47 Avenue||2019-12-6||5:00 PM||5:15 PM – 5:45 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Lacombe||Len Thompson Fish Pond||2019-12-6||6:50 PM||7:00 PM – 7:30 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|BlackFalds||CP tracks at Greg Street between Broadway Avenue and East Avenue||2019-12-6||8:05 PM||8:15 PM – 8:45 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Innisfail||52 Avenue and 50 Street crossing||2019-12-7||1:15 PM||1:25 PM – 1:55 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Olds||50th Street Level Crossing||2019-12-7||2:45 PM||3:00 PM – 3:30 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Didsbury||CP Mainline, 20th Street and 18th Avenue||2019-12-7||4:05 PM||4:15 PM – 4:45 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Airdrie||Nose Creek Park, Main Street, East side of CP tracks||2019-12-7||5:45 PM||6:00 PM – 6:30 PM||Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo|
|Calgary||Anderson C-Train Station – South C-train parking lot||2019-12-8||5:45 PM||6:00 PM – 6:45 PM||Terri Clark|
|Okotoks||Along Dagget Street between Northridge Drive and Veterans||2019-12-10||12:00 PM||12:15 PM – 12:45 PM||Terri Clark|
|Blackie||Across from Post Office at 1201 Railway Avenue||2019-12-10||1:35 PM||1:45 PM – 2:15 PM||Terri Clark|
|Vulcan||CP crossing at 1st Avenue and 2nd Street||2019-12-10||3:15 PM||3:30 PM – 4:00 PM||Terri Clark|
|Lethbridge||2nd Avenue North and 12th Street, behind Save On Foods||2019-12-10||7:00 PM||7:15 PM – 7:45 PM||Terri Clark|
|Fort McLeod||Level Railway Crossing on 5th Avenue||2019-12-11||9:15 AM||9:15 AM – 9:45 AM||Terri Clark|
|Pincher Creek||Mile 61.12 – Railway Crossing Range Road 302 off Highway 3||2019-12-11||10:35 AM||10:45 AM – 11:15 AM||Terri Clark|
|Coleman||South of 17th Avenue between 69th and 70th Street||2019-12-11||12:40 PM||12:45 PM – 1:15 PM||Terri Clark|
Also, don’t forget to bring healthy non-perishable food donations (or cash to donate instead) which will go towards local food banks in your community to help those in need.
For more information or to get live updates you can check out www.cpr.ca
I love pretty much everything about Christmas. Nothing makes me happier than cranking the tunes, drinking hot chocolate and watching pretty lights dance their lovely dance.
Classics are my fave and my kids have actually latched on to those as well. The new songs from Sia are super fun too though so I asked my kids their favourites and voila we’ve got a dancy, fun way to get in the holiday spirit. Pop on this playlist while baking, decorating or even making supper and groove along with your kiddos!