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Financial Education 101


Making your own holiday decorations and gifts can be fun and save you some money. Plus, there are few things more thoughtful than something homemade. Try these quick and easy projects!


Light up your entryway. Fill mason jars halfway with Epsom salt for a snowy look, and then set a small tea light on top. Arrange these homemade lanterns near your front door before party guests arrive.

Make tables "present"-able. Wrap a few empty boxes (food boxes work well) of various sizes with wrapping paper, tie them together in an attractive stack with ribbon and arrange them on a dining or hallway table, fireplace mantle, etc. For extra panache, you can set them on a brightly colored platter and arrange ornaments all around. 


Do something "scent"-sational. Fill a mason jar with fragrant fruits, spices and herbs that your recipients can add to simmering water on their stove. Whether you choose ingredients for spiced citrus, fresh pine, apple cinnamon or another aroma, their homes will smell just like the holidays.

Give them a sign. Use white paint and an inexpensive stencil to add their name or your favorite holiday saying to a wooden palette.

Make easy candles. Try a pine-scented soy candle. Or, transform old broken crayons into something beautiful, make a crayon candle. Fill a dixie cup with wax and top with a broken crayon, microwave until liquefied and cool slightly, then pour the colored wax into a votive. Let dry, then repeat in layers of color.

Create body care goodies. Make your own body lotion, bath salts or candy cane scrub, which can be presented in attractive mason jars. All-natural bath bombs are also a fun and easy idea. Look here for body care recipes: www.diynatural.com.

Whip up a cookbook. Print some recipes that have special meaning and place them in clear plastic page protectors, which you can insert into a binder. Create a colorful cover for your cookbook or add stickers, photos related to you and your recipient, etc.

Bake and take. Skip baking holiday treats to give away: there will be plenty of those at parties. Instead, make granola for your health-conscious friends or biscotti for those coffee lovers. Find recipes at www.foodnetwork.com and www.allrecipes.com.

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For additional financial education resources, check out our Financial Education page here. Whether you're in the market for a new loan or savings account, or just need some financial advice, we're here for you. If there's anything we can do to help you achieve your financial goals, stop by and see us. We're always happy to talk things through.