12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 12 Read a Holiday Book #12JollyDays

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I have had so much fun sharing our holiday family traditions with you over the past twelve days. The final activity I want to share is one that is so simple yet so beautiful. Reading. Grab your favorite Christmas book and cuddle up in your jammies by the tree or cozy in bed and…read together.

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We try to read a holiday book every night…like an Advent calendar. A countdown to Christmas in books.

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Below are a few of our favorite Christmas books…

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  • Very Merry First Christmas by Jennifer Dewing
  • The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  • Yes, Virginia There Is A Santa Claus by by Chris Plehal and James Bernardin
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson
  • God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren and David Hohn

Get the Holiday Products Pictured Above

Very Merry First Christmas by Personal Creations. A magical story of Goose, Chipmunk and their furry friends who deliver a note about your child to Santa. Then, the animals adorn a tree with your child’s name spelled out in ornaments. Written by award-winning children’s author Jennifer Dewing and beautifully illustrated by artist Mati Rose McDonough.

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com for lots of great Christmas and holiday decor and gift ideas! Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

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Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

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12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 11 Gingerbread House Party #12JollyDays

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We have lots of young nieces and nephews, which only makes the holidays more fun. Every year, we like to host a holiday party that is just for them. We have thrown cookie decorating parties, movie night & hot cocoa parties, and this year we hosted a gingerbread house decorating party.

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Several of my nieces and nephews came over and donned their cute, personalized aprons (which doubled as party favors)…

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enjoyed a few yummy treats and decorated their own gingerbread house. To keep it simple, we purchased gingerbread house kits, but you can also make gingerbread houses from graham crackers and icing.

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it’s a fun, low key party that is easy to pull together and a lot of fun for the kids (and adults too)!

 

Get the Holiday Products Pictured Above

Whimsical Sugar Cookie Apron by Personal Creations. Perfect for holiday baking with your little one, this red apron features white polka dots and sugar cookie appliques. 

Sous Chef Apron by Personal Creations. Adult and child sizes available. 

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com for lots of great Christmas and holiday decor and gift ideas! Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

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12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 10 Give Back #12JollyDays

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One of the most important lessons that we want our kids to learn throughout their lives is the importance of community and helping one another and giving back. While these are lessons we encourage year-round, we also make it a point to include several give-back activities during the holidays. Whether it’s running over a batch of cookies to share with our neighbors or picking out a few toys to give to a child in need or baking a batch of treats to deliver to our local fire station, we make sure that Lucas (and Amelia will too when she gets older) is fully involved in the process.

This year, we put together some treats for two of our local fire stations…

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and then hand delivered the treats right after school.

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It was a great experience for all of us and a wonderful way to show our gratitude to the men and women who protect us every day. The firefighters were awesome – they gave us a tour of the station and invited Lucas up on the firetruck and let him try their uniform on. He was so excited!

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Make some time to give back in some way this holiday season. Your family could sponsor a family in need, buy a few toys for a child-in-need, volunteer at a food bank or drive, deliver treats to your local fire station, write letters to active or wounded military men and women.

 

Get the Holiday Products Pictured Above

Personalized Baking Pans by Personal Creations. Several designs and styles. Metal pan heats evenly, browns food beautifully and will never rust.

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com for lots of great Christmas and holiday decor and gift ideas! Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

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12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 9 Family Game Night #12JollyDays

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One of the easiest ways to connect as a family is to plan a game night. We love doing this during the holiday season when the winter nights are longer and we just want to be snuggled up inside. It’s also a great activity to do during the week right after dinner. This year, we surprised Lucas by including game night as one of our daily advent activities AND pulled out a bunch of brand new board games we knew he would love!

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We set aside a few hours with no phones or TV and it was ON!

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And, of course – we enjoyed some treats!

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Below are a few tips to have a successful family game night.

  • Make it special by setting out a few treats and hot cocoa
  • Have music playing in the background
  • Put away all distractions, including smartphones, iPads, etc. This should be time that everyone focuses on each other.
  • Get the kids involved by letting them take turns choosing the games you all play
  • Be open minded about the games you play! Board games, video games, card games, charades – all are fun!

 

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Snowman Face Mugs by Personal Creations. Toast to good friends and cozy winter nights with a cup of hot cocoa served in this merry mug. Smiling snowman looks just like the real thing–right down to his charcoal eyes and mouth and 3-D carrot nose. 

Santa Advent Figurine Calendar by Personal Creations. This personalized Advent Calendar is both fun and elegant and looks beautiful in the home. It’s made of wood and has numbered drawers that can be filled with a small chocolate or toy or rolled up paper with an activity. 

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com for lots of great Christmas and holiday decor and gift ideas! Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

$500 Personal Creations Gift Card Giveaway

12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 8 Cookies for Santa #12JollyDays

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The tradition of leaving cookies for Santa is one of our favorites. Every year, we pick a day close to Christmas Eve (usually 1-2 days before) and bake a few different types of cookies and treats. We don’t worry about whether the cookies are perfect or misshapen. It’s just about having fun and being together. I like to choose easy recipes that Lucas can mostly do himself.

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Fun and cute like the treats below!

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On Christmas Eve, we head to my parents for their annual party and when we get home Lucas puts out a plate of cookies and glass of milk for Santa…

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He also likes to leave Santa a note.

“I love you. Your the best. Merry Christmas.” – Lucas

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and, carrots for the reindeer of course!

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From baking and decorating the cookies to leaving the cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve, this is such a fun activity to do as a family.

Get the Holiday Products Pictured Above

Dear Santa Message Plate by Personal Creations. Start a new Christmas Eve ritual by leaving Santa a special message on the cookie plate. He can even write back! Includes soapstone chalk.

Sous Chef Apron by Personal Creations. Adult and child sizes available. 

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com for lots of great Christmas and holiday decor and gift ideas! Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

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12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 7 Family Movie Night & Treats #12JollyDays

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One of our families favorite things to do is watch movies. Each year we look forward to watching Christmas movies, so as soon as November hits, we start pulling out our holiday collection. Each week we pick a night (and sometimes more than one) to watch a favorite movie from our collection, or a maybe a new one we haven’t seen yet. When the night rolls around we cuddle up on the couch with a couple of warm blankets, a few yummy treats, a roaring fire, and we settle in for the show.

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It’s such a simple but fun activity to enjoy together during the holidays (or anytime).

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We like to keep treats simple…popcorn is always a must, of course! And an ice cold beverage. Nothing much beats popcorn and a soda.

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Let me share with you some of our favorite family-friendly holiday movies that we have in our collection.

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  • Jingle All the Way
  • The Santa Clause
  • The Polar Express
  • Elf
  • The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
  • A Christmas Story
  • A Christmas Carol
  • A Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Home Alone
  • Yes, Virginia

 

Get the Holiday Look Featured Above

Holly Berry Wreath Throw Pillows by Personal Creations. Add a dramatic burst of color to your holiday home with this inviting accent pillow. It features an embroidered wreath of brilliant red holly berries. I love bringing in festive pillows, blankets and accessories to really tie the holiday theme together.

Popcorn Bucket by Personal Creations. This popcorn bucket is huge and perfect for party snacks, movie nights, and more.

Naughty or Nice Mason Jars by Personal Creations. It doesn’t matter who’s been naughty or nice–everything looks and tastes more festive in these holiday Mason jars.

Family Movie Night Popcorn Tin by Personal Creations. Give a tasty treat to the family that loves watching movies together! It stars a trio of scrumptious popcorn flavors. Includes butter, cheddar cheese and caramel popcorn.

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com for lots of great Christmas and holiday decor and gift ideas! Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

$500 Personal Creations Gift Card Giveaway

12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 6 Holiday Dinner by the Fire #12JollyDays

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During the holidays, it’s fun to take every day moments and make them a little more special. One thing we like to do is have dinner in our family room right by the fireplace and Christmas tree. It’s cozy and festive and we get to enjoy the tree and each other!

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To make it feel extra special, I set our coffee table with a tablecloth, chargers, and cloth napkins.

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I also add special touches with cute personalized bowls…

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festive holiday platters and personalized drink glasses…

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The menu is typically something like chili with all the fixings or a comforting bowl of soup…

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and of course, we always have Christmas carols playing in the background. Dinner by the fireplace and Christmas tree is the perfect holiday family activity to do during the week especially. It’s a wonderful way to make the every day dinner…extraordinary.

Get the Holiday Products Pictured Above

Soup and Spoon Set by Personal Creations. This brightly colored set makes sure everyone gets their own hot lunch, and never misplaces their spoon.

Naughty or Nice Mason Jars by Personal Creations. It doesn’t matter who’s been naughty or nice–everything looks and tastes more festive in these holiday Mason jars.

Holly Berry Wreath Throw Pillows by Personal Creations. Add a dramatic burst of color to your holiday home with this inviting accent pillow. It features an embroidered wreath of brilliant red holly berries. I love bringing in festive pillows, blankets and accessories to really tie the holiday theme together. 

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com for lots of great Christmas and holiday decor and gift ideas! Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

 

$500 Personal Creations Gift Card Giveaway

Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Personalized Gifts for Everyone On Your List

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FOR KIDS

1. My Very Own Puzzle: These are super cute, personalized puzzles that come in a variety of designs for boys or girls. Even the box it comes in is personalized. Great gift!

2. KidKraft Baby Doll Cradle: Amelia loves imitating mommy with her baby dolls. I love watching her care for her dolls. She rocks them and feeds them and brushes their hair. That’s why I thought she would love this KidKraft Baby Doll Cradle. It’s beautifully crafted of wood and features lovely scalloped edges. It comes with a purple blanket and pillow covered with butterflies. Plus, it is personalized with an name. 

3. Plush Teddy Bear: This bear is so soft and big and cuddly! The ribbon is personalized and such makes a sweet baby gift.

4. Youth Art Set: Just like most kids, Lucas loves art. He loves to draw and paint and be creative. This personalized art set contains oil pastel crayons, colored pencils, watercolor paints, brushes and more. 80 pieces are held neatly in this attractive wooden case, complete with metal latches to close and a handle for carrying. It’s a wonderful gift to encourage creativity in kids. 

5. Rolling Duffle Bag: This is the perfect bag for young athletes or travelers. It is a large duffle with wheels so it’s easy to transport.

6. Take Along Chair: This chair is one of Amelia’s favorite things. She sits in it every day. What I love is that it looks beautiful in our home, it’s super light (even Amelia can drag it to wherever she wants), and the cover is removable and washable.

FOR HER

7. Character Charm Key Ring: This silver-plated key ring features up to 6 cute boy or girl charms that are each engraved with any single initial. I have one with a boy (L for Lucas) and a girl (A for Amelia). It’s perfect for moms!

8. Red Leather Jewelry BoxCrafted of genuine red leather, this sophisticated lizard-print case features a convenient carrying handle and elegant brass latch. The lift-out top tray has compartments for rings, earrings and other small items. The bottom of the case contains a watch case and removable snap-closure travel tray. The inside lid has a mirror and elasticized pouch for additional storage.  

9. Cosmetic Bag: Every woman can use a small cosmetic bag for her purse or for travel. I love this quilted bag that comes in either rust paisley print, pink floral print, blue paisley print or purple floral print and is personalized with a single initial. 

10. Glass Keepsake Box: This little box is beautiful. It is one of my favorite things. I have one and I gave one to my mom last year, but I love it so much that I had to include it here again. It is the perfect spot to hold your rings, small bracelets, or any little trinket. It sits right on top of my large armoire type jewelry box in my room. Crafted of pink quartz glass, it features brushed metal beaded trim, protective felt pads on the bottom of the dainty legs and a dangling heart charm on the front. The hinged lid is personalized with any single script initial or any message up to 3 lines, up to 18 characters per line. 

FOR HIM

11. Pocket KnifeThis pocket knife is the perfect gift for the outdoorsman or DIY guy (like my husband). He has one that I gave him this past Father’s Day and he uses it all the time. features a contoured handle with wood accents, a belt clip, and a 3 ½” stainless steel blade. It’s laser engraved up to three initials on the handle, which really makes this the type of knife that will be treasured for generations.

12. Canvas and Leather Messenger Bag: This is such a handsome bag made of a durable 100% cotton canvas and genuine leather. It will fit a small laptop (fits my 13in Macbook Pro) and other business essentials. Roomy, lightweight, olive green messenger bag is rugged enough for everyday use. Two exterior zipper compartments hold pens, keys and more.

13. Smoking’ Hot BBQ Cutting Board: A smoking’ hot cutting board for the man in your life! Durable wood cutting board is attractive enough to use as a serving tray, as well. It has a deep moat to collect excess juices so he won’t have to worry about making a mess. It is laser engraved with any name, up to 12 characters.

14. Wood Valet: This sophisticated wood valet is just the thing to keep his electronics (including a tablet which fits in the back), wallet, keys, eyeglasses, and loose change handy and organized. A filer slot in back holds important papers and notes. Crafted of wood with a walnut finish.

FOR TEACHERS

15. On-the-Go Flower Tumbler: I love this pretty tumbler and think it’s a great gift for a teacher or neighbor. Just fill with some holiday treats or a gift card. 

16. Fun in the Sun Tote Bag: These are super cute and colorful tote bags perfect for teachers to carry supplies or for tweens and teens. Comes in bright pink, blue, lavender, lime green, black and orange.

17. Just For Her Latte Mug: This lovely latte mug can be personalized with a name and two lines of message. We will be giving to Lucas’ teachers so they are personalized with their name and a Montessori quote.

FOR THE HOME

18. Set of 3 Nesting Bowls: Vibrant colors and simple lines make these glazed stoneware bowls perfect for both dinner parties and everyday use. The large bowl is artfully sandblasted with your message and the entire 3-piece set nests easily for storage when not in use. Made of glazed stoneware.

19. Cheese Board and 3 Piece Knife Set: The wine and cheese lover will appreciate this eco-friendly rubber wood cutting board…and it holds a secret – a pullout drawer that has 3 cheese tools inside. The tools, ranging from 7-8 1/2″L, feature stainless steel handles, blades and forks. The box’s lid doubles as a cutting board. Laser engraved with any name, up to 10 characters and any year established.

20. Chalk It Up Wine Glasses: I can’t tell you how much I love these wine glasses – they have a chalkboard stem and it’s also etched on the front. We have a set of twelve which I had personalized with “Cheers” in different languages. Help guests distinguish their drinks by using an ordinary piece of chalk to write a name or personal message on the base of each glass.

21. Designer Pepper Mill: Complete your elegant tabletop with a classic peppermill in our beautiful designs. Features a handsome oak or cherry finish to complement any decor. Crafted of rubberwood with an oak or cherry finish and ceramic and stainless steel grinding components.

12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 5 Ornament Exchange #12JollyDays

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Our Christmas tree is filled with ornaments that represent us. Our family. Our memories. Throughout the year, we collect new ornaments to add to the tree. We buy an ornament at every travel destination. We have ornaments from our trips to Ocean City, Disney World, Disney Land, Chattanooga, and more. Our tree has an ornament marking each year that Mike and I have been married. There’s an ornament for each child’s first Christmas. We have ornaments from when we were kids. Ornaments made by us as a family or by Lucas at school. It’s a beautiful sight to see and it always brings up memories while we trim the tree. We talk about the places we’ve been or remember Lucas’ first Christmas or share stories of our own childhood.

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Each Christmas, we like to give each other special ornaments that mark a milestone or hobby. This year, we have several new ornaments. For Lucas – the gamer and baseball ornaments. Two of his obsessions.

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For Amelia – the sock monkey and Elmo ornaments. She is obsessed with Elmo lately!

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For Mike – the beer and griller ornament. Mike loves to brew his own craft beers and he can regularly be found at the grill or smoker making a tasty dinner for us.

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For Aries (our dog) – a beautiful chocolate lab ornament.

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For Family – a new “The Jollys” ornament marking each member of the family.

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For Me – the photographer and smartphone ornaments. These couldn’t be more perfect, right?!

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Exchanging ornaments is a special tradition that every family can do during the holiday season and will create lasting memories. You could host an ornament exchange party with friends or family, make homemade ornaments with the kids, or if you have an “elf” friend he or she can surprise everyone with a new ornament (our Elf Sherman does this every year, actually).

Personal Creations Ornaments

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com to check out their huge variety of personalized Christmas ornaments. They have over 1,000 personalized ornaments – there is literally an ornament for every occasion, milestone, personality, interest, and more. Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

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$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

 

$500 Personal Creations Gift Card Giveaway

12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 4 Indoor Snowball Fight #12JollyDays

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Here in HOTlanta, we don’t get a lot of snow. MAYBE one time per year. If we’re lucky. But there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be able to join in on all of the fun snowball fights to be had, right? That’s why we like to have our own INDOOR snowball fights. We surprised the kids with these indoor snowball buckets and declared a snowball fight war.

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Let’s just say it was fun.

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A lot of fun.

Honestly, my friends up north could also benefit from an indoor snowball fight. You get all the fun without the bitter cold and mess. It’s a win, win!

Get the Holiday Products Pictured Above

Warm and Cozy Adult Pajamas by Personal Creations. Add holiday style to your sleepwear with these comfortable 2-piece pajama set.

Warm and Cozy Kids Pajamas by Personal Creations. Darling for both boys and girls, these cozy 2-piece pajama set will warm up frosty cold winter nights.

Warm and Cozy Nightgown  by Personal Creations. Classically styled holiday plaid nightgown has a dainty bow at the chest and feminine ruffles at the sleeves and bottom hem. 

Snowball Fight in a Bucket by Personal Creations. Bring the battle inside while keeping hands warm and dry. This super-cool set features 6 soft and smiley “snowballs” inside a bright red metal bucket.

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com for lots of great Christmas and holiday decor and gift ideas! Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.

 

$500 Personal Creations Gift Card Giveaway