Brit Morin from Brit + Co Shares Her 8 Budget-Friendly Holiday Hosting DIYs!
There you have it: eight budget-friendly DIYs for your holiday party. Now go on and host your heart out!
Production + Styling: Alexa Land + Cassidy Miller
Photography: Brittany Griffin
AARP Fraud Watch Network’s Amy Nofziger Shares Tips for Avoiding Holiday Scams
Scammers and criminals don’t take a break during the holidays. In fact they might ramp up their efforts. This holiday season look out for different ways scammers might try to take advantage of you. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure this holiday season is joyous and scam-free:
Gift Cards: Skip the Rack
Fraud experts report that thieves sometimes hit store gift card racks, secretly write down or electronically scan the numbers off the cards, then persistently check online or call the toll-free number to see if someone has bought the cards and activated them. As soon as a card is active, the scammers drain the funds. By the time your gift recipient tries to use the same card, the money is long gone.
We recommend purchasing gift cards online directly from the retailer for an extra layer of security. Be sure to give the receipt for the gift card to the recipient. If you do buy a gift card from the rack, inspect it thoroughly for tampering. Ensure the PIN number on the back of the card is not visible.
Charitable Giving? Ask and Check
Charitable solicitations are abundant this time of year. While most charities are legitimate, there are many fundraisers, especially telemarketers, who keep 85-90% of the money they raise. Do your research before giving through www.give.org or www.charitynavigator.org to check the legitimacy of the organization.
Before donating to a charity, make sure it is registered with your state’s Secretary of State or Attorney General’s office. Ask how much of the money goes to the fundraiser versus how much goes to the charitable purpose.
Avoid giving to charities you haven’t researched.
Shopping Online? Watch the Wi-Fi
Who doesn’t love the convenience of free public Wi-Fi? It’s fine to use these networks for checking the news, weather forecast or sports scores. But online security experts warn that consumers should never use public Wi-Fi to buy anything online. The networks are easily compromised by scammers, who could gain access to your credit card number or other information.
Take Credit –Use the Right Card for Holiday Shopping
Consumer protection experts recommend the use of credit cards rather than debit cards, for most purchases, to better protect against fraud and theft. With credit cards, you are liable for only up to $50 of fraudulent use. But in the case of a lost or stolen debit card, financial losses to the consumer can be much more significant.
Guarantee Delivery – Sign Off
Thieves are known to troll neighborhoods, especially during the holiday season, looking for packages to steal from front porches. Package delivery companies are not necessarily responsible for stolen packages that are left at your front door without requiring a delivery signature; check with your carrier to confirm what their policy is and see what your options are.
Whenever possible, require a signature on all package deliveries. Or write specific instructions for the delivery company on where to leave your package. Consider having your package delivered to you at work or another location.
Also watch out for delivery scams — fake emails from UPS, FedEx or the Postal Service about your ‘package’ being held pending delivery. The email usually says “click here for info” – and then you’re asked to provide credit card or other personal information, or it loads malware onto your computer.
Visit www.aarp.org/FraudWatchNetwork for more tips from the Fraud Watch Network
Monica Mangin shows Kelly and Jeffrey how to make DIY wrapping paper!
Pom Pom + Stickers + Markers
POM POM PRESENTS
Bag of pom poms and glue transform these presents!
Gather supplies from your yard or leftover tree clippings to create these natural gifts, and add splattered white paint!
PAINT SPLATTER PRESENTS
Any leftover paint can become your gift wrap secret weapon!
Black craft paper and white chalk pens!
GINGERBREAD HOUSE BAGS
Brown bags turned gingerbread houses with only white markers!
PRETTY AS A PICTURE!
Instant photos make fun, personalized tags!
FINGERPRINT XMAS LIGHTS
Get the kiddos involved in this wrapping idea!
Fashion Guy LAWRENCE ZARIAN shares ideas for last minute gifts!
MUGS, MITTENS AND …MORE!
Items are available at World Market
WRAPPED UP IN FASHION
Items are available at Burlington
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY, PLEASE
Items are available at World Market
WRAPPED UP IN FLAVOR
Items are available at JCPenney
Items are available at Williams-Sonoma
Items are available at RiteAid, Herbivore, Keihl’s, and Rituals
TOP IT OFF
Items are available at Macy’s
Abomidable Snow Man Sweater: Tinsel, googly eyes, felt.
Poinsettia Sweater: For something a little more fashionable, but still ugly. Dollar store poinsettias and hot glue.
Reindeer Sweater: Create Santa’s sleigh in the nights sky with dollar store ornaments.
Fruit Cake Sweater: Plastic dollar store fruit and an easy cake DIY.
Christmas Card Sweater: Decorate clothes pins and show off cards friends have sent you.