Getting Ready for the Holidays with HP – Some Great DIY Gifts and Advent Activity Ideas

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{I wrote this review while participating in a program on behalf of HP and received an HP ENVY Rove20 TouchSmart All-in-One and an HP ENVY 4500e-All-in-One printer as part of my participation. All opinions are my own and 100% honest}


The holiday season is officially here and plowing full stream ahead. We are going to be starting our advent calendar in the morning, and my usual panic attack as I count down the days until Christmas has already started!

I do feel a bit more organized for the holidays this year, largely thanks to my HP ENVY Rove20 TouchSmart All-in-One. I am so impressed with how well it has been able to take a scatterbrain like me and make me just a bit more productive. I am sure that it is because it is so easy to use that I can’t help getting organized – and there are so many apps available on Windows 8 that it helps me get everything done (if you haven’t checked out my post about Bing Smart Search yet head over and check it out now!).

Anyways 🙂 I have been keeping organized by actually writing a holiday gift list this year. There is always at least one person that I total space on shopping for until a day or two before Christmas. Creating a master list has really helped me figure out who I have to buy for, and who I can make a small gift for.

We decided to par back on our spending this year for a variety of reasons, and being able to make some gifts has been awesome. I have been searching online like crazy for easy crafts the kids can help with, and I have found a pretty good list to work for.

Here are 9 awesome gifts that you can make this holiday season as well!


Handmade Hand Warmers
Tile Coasters
Hair Comb
Peppermint Sugar Scrub
Custom made Mugs
Yarn Wrapped Candles
Mini Clay Bowls
Glitter Galaxy Ornaments
Salt Dough Ornaments

I also decided to set up our Advent Calendar one the HP ENVY Rove20 TouchSmart All-in-One … well, I used it to create our to-do list, and then printed it out on the HP ENVY 4500e-All-in-One printer. Last year, I made these awesome bags and filled them with trinket toys and candy. This year, I decided that I wanted to do a more hands on advent calendar, and opted for activities instead of treats.

I took colored Popsicle sticks and wrote different activities on them. These are in a simply decorated mason jar in the kitchen, and are what we pick from each day. The way the kids know which color to pick is by the main calendar. I made a simple paper chain (with printed out scrapbook paper downloaded from here), and numbered each link. On the inside of the paper for each day there is a color (either red or green) and that tells the kids which color popsicle stick to pick.

I did it this way so that I could keep a bit of a handle on what we were doing. The simpler activities are on red sticks, and they are mostly weekly sticks, while the more involved activities (green sticks) are saved for the days/nights that both kids are here and the weekends.


This is our first year doing this method and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it moves smoothly! If you want to take a peek at some of our activities, you can download a copy of our complete list here. You can also get some great ideas from this list of 150+ Advent Ideas!

It’s going to be a busy month! 🙂

Do you do an advent? How about handmade gifts? Tell me about them in the comments!


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