Food, festivities and shopping: all of our holiday stories organized in one place.

Work-Back List

Use A Work-Back Sheet To Get Stuff Done

Take the stress out of planning any event with this tool used by event planning pros. (WORKSHEET)

Work-Back List

FREE WORKSHEET | The holiday season will never be as carefree for adults as it is for kids—we have too much work to do behind the scenes—but this year why not make things easier on yourself by using a simplified version of a “work-back schedule,” a tool employed by event-planning pros, to get everything done in a less hurried, more orderly and enjoyable manner. Read more

Gift Tag - Fifth & Hazel

Our Top 3 Printable Holiday Gift Tags

If you ever buy another gift tag, you will be wasting money. Here are a few of our favourites among the hundreds of printable ones you can find on the internet.

Gift Tag - Fifth & Hazel

FREE & EASY | While most of us put thought, time and money into the paper and ribbon we use to wrap Christmas presents, gift tags are apt to receive only brief and unsympathetic treatment. My brother, for example, doesn’t bother with tags at all, preferring instead to use a Sharpie to scrawl the recipient’s name across the top of his offerings. I’ll cut him the tiniest amount of slack given he’s an overworked business exec with a partner who’s not into Christmas, but the rest of us have no excuse for going such a lacklustre route with so many gorgeous, printable gift tags available for free on the internet. Here are three of our favourites, plus tips on using printable tags effectively. Read more

Creative Christmas wrap By Brendan Power - Clinton Hussey

Use Kraft & Scrap To Make Beautiful Wrap

Combine ordinary kraft paper and odd bits of wrapping and ribbon to create super attractive gift wrap.

Creative Christmas wrap By Brendan Power - Clinton Hussey

 

WASTE NOT | Do you have odd bits and ends of old gift wrap and ribbon lying around that you can’t bring yourself to throw out? I was on the verge of chucking out my growing pile of scraps when Brendan Power, my good friend and Frugalbits D.I.Y columnist, suggested I combine them with commonplace kraft paper to give it a lift. What a great idea. Read more

UNIQLO down ultra light coat

What To Get & Give + How To Help Others

What does she want for Christmas? Frugalbits EiC locks down the items on her holiday wish list.

UNIQLO down ultra light coat

 

TO GET: A down ultra light coat. Patagonia makes one that costs the moon, but Uniqlo has the one and it’s just $99. There’s a wrinkle though. The nearest Uniqlo is in Manhattan and they don’t ship to Canada—or even across the U.S. any more, for that matter. We’ve asked a friend in NYC to pick up A coat, and send it to our U.S. Christmas destination. The process is a bit inconvenient but the coat is sooo worth it; it’s stylish, inexpensive and well made— you can’t get any better than that.  Visit www.uniqlo.com Read more

Loksak Bag

Three Storage Bags That Make Good Gifts

To protect and to store, these “something extra” Christmas gifts will keep on giving long after they’ve come out from under the tree.

Loksak Bag

 

HOLIDAY 2011 | It’s all but impossible to imagine storage bags would be at the top of anyone’s Christmas wish list—or tacked onto the bottom of it for that matter. But the clever containers featured here perform their intended tasks so well that anyone lucky enough to receive one or all of them as “a little something extra” for Christmas will silently thank the giver a thousand times over whenever they put them to work. Read more

H&M Gift Packaging - Paul Joseph

Wrap Stars: H&M’s Reusable Gift Boxes

Why don’t more stores follow the H&M lead and minimize their logo on good looking gift packaging so shoppers can reuse it year after year?

H&M Gift Packaging - Paul Joseph

 

FREE & FABULOUS | Too bad other big brands and major retailers don’t adopt Swedish fashion megabrand H&M’s approach to gift-wrapping, because if enough of them were to do it, gift givers would be able to wean themselves off wasteful wrapping paper in no time flat. Read more

Origami Boxes Cover Coloured LED String LIghts - Casey Phaisalakani

Make Easy Origami Cubes For String Lights

Easy to make origami boxes add depth, elegance and fun to LED and other string lights.

Origami Boxes Cover Coloured LED String LIghts - Casey Phaisalakani

 

BEAUTIFUL & EASY | We’ve used a combination of origami light cubes and bare LED bulbs (in a ratio of 1 boxed light to three bare bulbs) on every Christmas tree we’ve decorated in the last dozen years. The origami boxes produce beautiful, diffuse squares of light, something you don’t normally see on a Christmas tree. Some years we’ve chosen to box only white string lights, but mostly we box multi-coloured ones. To make our boxes, we worked with vellum squares (available at art supply stores or online) that deepen and intensify whatever colour light they cover. Read more

Lucky 14 Handmade

What We Got At The One Of A Kind Show

Frugalbits went shopping at the One Of A Kind Show and found spiffy fashion and homeware gifts for a daughter, a son and a husband.

Lucky 14 Handmade

 

GIVE & GET | The fourth annual winter One Of A Kind show and sale got underway yesterday at Vancouver’s Convention Centre West (it continues through December 11). Frugalbits was on hand bright and early to scour the isles for cool stuff coming out of the studios of the more than 300 mostly local artisans and designers who are participating this time around. While plenty of items caught our eye at this holiday shopping extravaganza, products from the following three companies actually enticed us to buy. Read more

Live Christmas Tree - Clinton Hussey

Find Eco Friendly Christmas Trees

Here’s our 2011 guide to finding the eco-friendliest Christmas trees in and around Metro Vancouver.

Live Christmas Tree - Clinton Hussey

 

HOLIDAY 2011 | While artificial trees come in hues to match your decor, real Christmas trees are green in more than colour. They are a renewable crop often grown on land unsuitable for cultivating much else, they remove carbon from the air while they’re growing, and they can be chipped for mulch after use. Here are three ways to get an eco-friendly green tree this Christmas. Read more