Tag Archives: kids

Balsam Hill | Balsam Hill Editors

Starting Your Year Right: Charities for Kids

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Now that Christmas is over, you’re probably thinking of ways on how you can start the year right. While Christmas is a time for sharing our blessings, why not take it a step further and share more of yourself by donating to kids’ charities?

Since many people do not know how to go about making a donation, we’ve put together a list of a few charitable organizations that accept donations or are in constant need of volunteer work:

Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.)

This charity focuses on kids who are victims of tragedies and poverty. Donations made are used to buy new toys, books, and clothes. K.I.D.S. also accepts donated goods – some companies actually send some of their new products to K.I.D.S. to benefit children in need.

Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Christmas Child

Like the good Samaritan from the biblical story, this organization inspires everyone to show kindness to families that are victims of war, natural disasters and famine.

SOS Children’s Villages

Thanks to SOS Children’s Villages, abandoned and orphaned children have a place to call home. This charity helps orphans find foster families. Like a real home, they are taken care of and given a quality education.

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Fun Family Activities for Christmas

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We always want Christmas to be special for children. No one can beat their excitement over the holiday season so it’s only right to make it more fun for them as well as the kids-at-heart. Here are some ideas:

Coin Bank Campaign

You can start this project any time of the year. The purpose of this activity is to save money for Christmas decors and celebration. Each family member gets his own coin bank which will be filled throughout the year. Before Christmas season starts, open the coin banks and start planning how to spend the money everyone has earned.

Walk for a Cause

Collect toys and other objects you want to donate. Spend time wrapping gifts together and make a good family time out of that. Schedule a gift giving walk where you can distribute the goodies you’ve collected. They can be anything from handmade gifts, candies, or homemade treats. Share these with the children in your community or your charitable institution of choice.

Pre-Christmas Crafts Night

Prepare the materials needed for personalized Christmas crafts and gather everyone near the fireplace. It can be any of the following:

  • Christmas tree décor
  • Recycled Christmas card projects
  • Reindeer ornament crafts
  • Home-made gifts
  • Christmas prints and banners

Christmas Eve Family Talent Show

Prepare a Christmas program to reveal the hidden talents of your family. Feel free to follow the format of famous talent shows to make everyone laugh. Give special awards to the best and funniest performers.

The Christmas spirit is all about love, joy, sharing, and giving. Any activity shared by the family is more than enough to make the season meaningful.

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

When Family Members Disagree About How to Decorate

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Every living space is an amalgamation of personalities that live in it. Even if there are only the two of you, it’s important to agree on how to decorate your home. Here’s how family members can reach a compromise over house decorating:

  • Discuss design sensibilities. Before you begin decorating, think about how the individuality of family members could be reflected in your decor. Create a sample board showing photos of your ideal home space. Include a paint or fabric swatch beside each picture to help family members visualize the design.
  • Agree to disagree. Chances are, you won’t agree on every decoration! That’s alright, because differences in taste make home aesthetics more interesting. Incorporating family members’ input makes them feel that they’re part of the decision-making process.
  • Give and take. Compromising on certain things makes decorating easier. When the children want big red ornaments but don’t care which artificial tree you choose, and you’re not picky about the decorations on the tree, then you both win. Understanding the most important item to each person and working around that is a key to success.
  • Let clashes create something new. He’s more modern, she’s staunchly traditional, and neither will budge. Finding ways to make the best of what styles of have to offer can result in something fresh and creative.

Turning this from a stressful situation into a positive one can be done with some careful planning and open minds. Happy decorating!

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Five Ways to Use a Pine Cone Tree in Your Home Décor

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Make your home more festive this holiday season with beautiful pine cone trees! I’ve come up with a few simple and creative ways for you to use them in your home décor.

Smoky Mountain Christmas™ Signature Collection

  1. Tabletop Pine Cone Forest: Bring the outdoors in with a tabletop pine cone forest (you’ll need around four large and three small pine cone trees for this project). Cover the pine cone trees in gold paint and glitter and place them in silver bowls. For a festive touch, place some silver ball ornaments around them and add a small tree topper like a gold star. I’m so sure this’ll be a big hit, especially during meal times!
  2. Mantelpiece Pine Cone Tree Displays: Turn your fireplace into a showstopper with some pine cone trees! Place two large pine cone trees on either side of the mantelpiece. Afterwards, hang an herb wreath above the fireplace and some pine cone garlands on the mantelpiece. Do all this and you’ll be all set for a cozy night around the fireplace.
  3. Ornamental Pine Cone Trees: Running out of ball ornaments for your artificial tree? Try turning small pine cone trees into ornaments. Paint them in traditional Fall colors like red and yellow and embellish them with some gold glitter and beads. Just use a hot glue gun to stick them with some ribbon and you’ll be hanging them in no time!
  4. Thanksgiving Pine Cone Tree Topiaries: If you’ve picked up any larger pine cones (like those from the Ponderosa pine tree), you can make some pine cone tree topiaries. Just place the pine cones in terra cotta pots and add some red berries as decorative accents. You’ll have some lovely pine cone tree topiaries, which you can put on display along the hallways or by the doors.
  5.  Halloween Pine Cone Candy Trees: Add a unique twist to your Halloween décor by covering pine cone trees with some yummy candy. Use hot glue, stick candy corn and black licorice all over the pine cone trees. Trust me, you’ll definitely be fighting with the kids over this project!

Charming and natural, these pine cone trees look good as table centerpieces or as mantelpiece displays (why not try doing both?). I hope my ideas make your home look just as gorgeous as our living room display above. Happy decorating!