For those with a special reason to be thankful!

aliceWe were inspired to create a personalized book celebrating adoption by some very special Frecklebox customers, who also happen to be adoptive parents. Our customers originally contacted us to ask if we could adapt our “Big Sister Book” to work for their family. Our book features a pregnant mom talking with her daughter about bringing a new baby home. This family needed a book without that imagery — one that conveyed the same type of loving message, but that referred to adoption.

So, instead of adapting our current book, we decided to create a new one!

Children are “chosen” all the time to complete a family, and this book’s story and illustrations reflect that through lighthearted yet sincere portraits of different animals welcoming new additions to their own families. We hope you enjoy reading “I Chose You” as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Frecklebox is making wishes come true.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation® is a cause near and dear to Frecklebox co-founder Scott’s heart. First introduced to the charity by a family member over 20 years ago, he has donated time to fundraising planning, wish granting and working events. Now, he has found a way to share his enthusiasm for this charity by spreading the word to our Frecklehead following.

You can help Frecklebox grant magical wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses by placing your order between November 17th and December 25th. We’ll donate 10% of the proceeds to Make-A-Wish and we’ll also discount your entire order 10% for helping us contribute to this worthy cause.

To learn more about Make-A-Wish, please visit their site: www.wish.org.

Let’s spread some holiday happiness to those in need of some cheer! Thank you.

Thanksgiving is next week! Make it special…

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and you’re probably pulling out old turkey recipes or clipping new ones from magazines. But instead of going through the holiday-planning motions, why not do something a little different this year? Here are a few ideas from all of us here at Frecklebox:

* Talk turkey. Consider either adding a new and different protein to your Thanksgiving spread, or replacing the bird altogether. Lamb, duck or even roast beast can be just as mouth-watering and make you look forward to leftovers.

* Go ethnic. Don’t want to give up turkey? Try a theme meal that still includes it but with a twist. Stuff the turkey with sticky rice, for example, or fry up that bird instead of roasting it. Neighborhood restaurants or take-out menus are great sources of ideas.

* Eat out. Maybe you’ve been avoiding eating out for months to save money. For Thanksgiving, splurge (a little) and save yourself the time and stress of planning and cleaning up after a meal. See what local restaurants offer and make reservations early.

* Get crafty with your kids. Have your child help decorate the dining room with homemade crafts, such as a turkey-themed wreath, coasters, place cards, napkin holders and placemats.

* Take time to teach. If your child is in school, she’s likely to spend some class time talking about Thanksgiving, but don’t miss this opportunity to read books about the holiday and American history.

* Give back. Remember that there are a lot of families out there who will not be able to enjoy a warm meal at home, or at all, this year. Find out what local food banks, churches and other charities are doing on Thanksgiving and spend some time either donating canned goods, serving food, or simply talking to families in need.

 

Holiday Gifts Can be Cheap and Cherished

Looking for ideas for inexpensive holiday gifts but don’t want to disappoint your child? We’ve come up with a few suggestions to keep you out of debt—and out of the doghouse (you know, that one reserved for parents).

 

  • Ever notice the kid section of your local drugstore or grocery store? The items there are just as cool, and often cheaper, than the same items in more expensive child-themed stores. Possible finds include toy cars, bouncing balls, coloring books, disposable cameras, toy phones, trading cards, and art supplies. To save even more, see if the store’s website offers online-only gifts and coupons.
  • In the weeks before the holidays hit, browse local fairs and farmer’s markets. Sure, some items can be pricey but you might just stumble upon a gem made by a local artist or store owner. You could, for example, turn a favorite food item – like a jar of boysenberry jam or honey – into a gift by simply tying it with a bow and putting your child’s name on it.
  • Drop by your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or consignment store. At the ShopGoodwill site, you can browse a huge selection including dolls, plush toys, sports equipment, board games – and much of it for under $10.
  • Don’t forget neighborhood garage sales. If you host your own in the run-up to the holidays and save the cash for holiday shopping, you may just break even.
  • If your child has his heart set on a specific gift, resist the temptation to rush out and buy it. Scour the Internet for deals and used versions. The site mysimon.com allows you to enter an item and compare prices on Amazon, eBay and other sources. Then wrap it up in the funny pages.

Get Personal with Personalized Gifts Ideas for Kids

If you’re like us, you’re already overwhelmed with gift catalogs in the mail and holiday ads on TV. Instead of opting for those typical, highly commercial presents for your kids, nieces and nephews, take a moment to consider more meaningful items. What makes a gift truly special? You guessed it—the thought and effort put into it are as important as the price tag.

 

Some ideas:

 

1. If you can sew, drill a hole, or handle a scissor and glue, you’ve got the skill to create a homemade item for your child. For example, check out these easy instructions for making a kids’ kaleidoscope.

 

2. Fill a gift basket. Your kid love to draw? Offer a basket full of brand new pads, pencils, crayons, markers. Wrap it up in plastic and tie it with a bow.

 

3. Put his or her name on it. Give your budding writer a personalized journal with your child’s name and favorite design on it.

 

4. Skip the gifts.  If you’re trying to save a little money this year, consider giving your family anexperience instead, such as a special day trip or holiday dinner out. Start saving and planning for it now.

 

5.  Shop unconventional stores, like museum or art supply stores, for unusual items.

 

Share your ideas for unique and meaningful gifts for children.