Don’t Forget Your Thank You Notes!

The big day has arrived, the gifts have been unwrapped, and everyone is basking in the celebratory post-holiday glow. But you’re not done yet! According to Emily Post, you should write your holiday thank you notes as soon as possible, preferably within 2-3 days. So while you’re enjoying downtime with your family set aside a few minutes to write your thank you cards and get them into the mail. You can even get everyone together to knock them out as a group over some snacks and then do something fun.

A nice hand-written thank you note is always nicely received – my grandmother used to send a thank you note… for my thank you note! An acknowledgement of what the gift was along with a quick blurb about how you feel about it or what you’ll use it for is usually all you’ll need – along with a hopeful note about the New Year.

If you need help remembering who bought what, you can log in to CheckedTwice to see a full accounting. If you need to order some cards, we’ve got a Pinterest board with some beautiful options to inspire you.

Follow T-h-a-n-k-y-o-u by CheckedTwice on Pinterest

We hope CheckedTwice helped make this year’s gift exchange a little easier and a little more fun and we wish you and yours a very happy New Year!

The Team’s Favorite Christmas Songs

There’s no arguing now, we are in prime Christmas music season. Love it or hate it – it’s everywhere. We wanted to share some of the CheckedTwice team’s favorite Christmas songs – click the links to see and hear the songs on YouTube.


He’s got two favorites, The Coventry Carol and The Holly and the Ivy. Check them out on YouTube if you’re unfamiliar. He is fancy, isn’t he?

The Coventry Carol

The Holly and the Ivy



Rebecca is a Christmas music aficionado and has quite an expansive repertoire. Here are some of her favorites from some diverse musical styles.

Doo Wop: Drifters – White Christmas
Punk: Dickies – Silent Night
Surf Rock: Ventures – Frosty the Snowman
Latin: Red Hot Jalapenos – Jingle Bells



Well, Matt’s song is filled with expletives. It isn’t right for an upstanding family-friendly blog such as this but we can give you a few hints. It is from the show South Park, it is sung by Mr. Garrison, and there are three words in the title, two of which are “Merry” and “Christmas,” and that should be enough to find it on YouTube if you are so inclined. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.



Fred’s a pretty easy-going dude and chose something in between Andrew and Matt’s selections – Sleighride by Leroy Anderson.



As author of this post, I’ll just come out and say it. I’m still into Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and with 63 million+ views on YouTube, I’m not the only one. I’ll also recognize N’SYNC for Merry Christmas Happy Holidays. What can I say? #sorrynotsorry


And if you wanted to know what everyone else is listening to – did you know that Billboard has a chart decidated to holiday music? They do, here it is!

What did we miss? What is your favorite Christmas song?


Sadly, Regis didn’t make our list.

Organizations Use CheckedTwice to Give Back This Christmas

The season of giving.

Each year, the holiday spirit brings with it a desire to give back. Whether it is through individual donations of gently used household items, purchasing toys for a collection event, or giving cash, this is a time of year when people reflect and give back to their communities and organizations that they care about. One popular practice is when a family in need is “adopted” by their community, a local business, or other organization to help create a better Christmas by donating items that they want and need.  Earlier this month, we were contacted by three different groups to see if we could help them streamline their Christmas giving programs – and with a few hacks to our site, we were able to help them make it easier to coordinate support to those in need. We are so happy we were able to help and wanted to share some details about organizations that have used CheckedTwice to give back this Christmas.

One group was the Moores Park Neighborhood Association in Lansing, Michigan. The president of their association, Paul Johns, contacted us to see if we could help with their annual adoption of neighborhood families. There were 7 families in need and he was looking for an upgrade from their previous system that involved a PDF list of all of the family member’s wishlists. After talking with Paul to get some additional details, Andrew was able to adapt our system to work for the neighborhood – allowing access to up-to-date-wishlists for all the neighbors interested in helping. They could see exactly what the family members wanted and saw instructions about where to drop the items off. Some entire families were adopted by local businesses and now they’re just working on an event to wrap all of the gifts!

We also worked with Peggy Smith who was organizing an effort on behalf of Eagle Point, Wisconsin’s PTO. They were looking for a way to organize wishlists that the school’s teachers had for their classrooms – items that would make the school a more enriching learning environment. We were able to set up an account where each teacher was able to add items to their lists and parents or others in the community could take a look through a dedicated link to decide what to purchase and donate. This is a great way for teachers to share specific needs and for the community to make direct donations that they know will have an immediate impact.

One other group that we worked with this month was the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California. Madeline Bergerot was looking for a way to make their annual donation collection process more efficient and we were more than happy to help. We made a few modifications to allow the hospital’s staff to view and claim gifts from the wishlists of local families in need. Using CheckedTwice helped to eliminate duplicate items, made it easy to see exactly what each child wanted, and made it super easy to administer the program as a whole.

We were so happy to have been contacted by these three great groups and are so glad that we were able to help them help their communities. We had already touched on some ways to use CheckedTwice for charitable giving on our blog but each of these organization’s programs allowed us to explore even more ways to help and for that we are very grateful. If you are organizing a charitable event this Christmas or any time during the year that requires organization of multiple recipients or groups, contact us and we’ll see if we can help!

Our Big List of Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Don’t forget the stocking stuffers!

Great Stocking Stuffer Ideas

We’re two weeks from Christmas now – we hope CheckedTwice has helped make your shopping a breeze! If you’re the type to leave stocking stuffers until after the main shopping is done – here is a big list of stocking stuffer ideas to power you through to a totally completed Christmas shopping season! Once all of the shopping is out of the way you’ll have more time to spend with friends and family enjoying the season so move along and wrap it up!

Did we miss any of your favorites? If so, add them in the comments!

Art Things

–          Coloring books

–          Crayons

–          Markers

–          Colored pencils

–          Tracing paper

–          Dry erase markers

–          Chalk

–          Paint brushes

–          Finger paint

Makeup & Personal Appearance Things

–          Chapstick, lip gloss or lipstick

–          Mascara

–          Nail polish

–          Hair ties or bows

–          Body lotion

–          Bath bubbles

–          Hair brush or comb

–          Oil absorbing sheets

–          Pocket sized Kleenex packs

–          Nail clippers

–          Makeup brushes


–          Candy: all kinds!

–          EmergenC packets

–          Oranges

–          Hot sauce


–          Leatherman tool or Swiss Army knife

–          Allen wrench set

–          Phone case

–          Phone chargers

–          Change purse

–          Card wallet

–          Reusable coffee mug

–          Reusable water bottle

–          Bookmark

–          Sewing kit

–          Hand and foot warmers

–          Thumb drive

–          Lens wipes

–          Reusable shopping bags

–          Reusable snack and sandwich bags

–          USB car chargers

–          Mini flashlight

–          Mini measuring tape

–          Travel power adapters

–          WD-40 Pen

–          Tide Stain Stick

–          Herb scissors

–          Mini first aid kids

–          Tire air pressure gauges

–          Emergency car escape tools

Winter Wear

–          Scarf

–          Hat

–          Gloves or mittens

–          Slippers

–          Pajamas


–          Mini liquor bottles

–          Shot glass  or set of shot glasses

–          Koozie

–          Disposable flask

–          Pocket shots

–          Whiskey rocks

–          Corkcicle wine chiller

–          Wine monkey

–          Novelty cocktail napkins

–          Drink tags

–          Bottle opener

–          Bottle stopper

–          Wine opener

 Fun for Kids or Adults

–          Emergency Clown Nose

–          Crazy socks

–          Silly putty

–          Stickers

–          Animal finger puppets

–          A yo-yo

–          Tornado Tube

–          Mini Etch-a-Sketch

–          Balsa Wood Airplanes

–          DVD

–          Dominoes

–          Juggling balls

–          Golf balls

–          Ski or snowboard wax

–          Personalized home address stamp

–          Pez & Pez Dispensers

–          Kaleidoscope

–          Action figure

–          Bubbles

–          Astronaut Ice Cream

–          Glow in the dark ceiling stars

–          A puppy

–          Kidding, just wanted to see if you’re paying attention

–          Board books

–          Play dough

–          Teething ring

–          Bib

–          Field notes notebook

–          Oreo holders

–          Magnetic alphabet set

–          Googly eye stickers

–          Harmonica

–          Kazoo

–          Recorder

MISC. Other Ideas!

–          Magazines

–          Lottery scratch tickets

–          Matches

–          Personalized luggage tag

–          Personalized home address stamp

–          Incense

–          Decorative soap

–          Tea infuser

–          Scented candles

–          Washi tape

–          Personalized notepad

–          Key chain

Flickr User Randy Pertiet
Flickr User Randy Pertiet


Christmas Tree Decorating Tips

We’ve all seen the gorgeous trees on Pinterest and in our favorite catalogs – but do you struggle with getting the same effect on your own trees? Did you know, there is a strategy for decorating your tree? There is! Whether you’re trying to recreate an inspiring model tree or just looking to spruce up your family’s traditional look – you’re sure to have a lovely result by following some of these quick Christmas tree decorating tips!

Once you’ve chosen the perfect tree, watered it, and steadily secured it in your home:

  1. First, the lights! Use lights that are on a strand that matches the color of your tree. For most people and lights, green will work – though if you’re doing a white tree, make sure your lights are on a white strand. Wrap them around the tree, keeping them evenly spaced from one level to the next. And don’t skimp! As a guide, you should use 100 small lights for every vertical foot of tree – but adjust as necessary if you’re using larger bulbs.
  2. Next – garland (or anything else that will wrap around the tree). Start at the top and gently lay the garland toward the ends of the branches. If using something small, like beads, you can wrap them from branch to branch for a swooping effect. With bigger garlands,  aim to wrap them around the tree itself. Check out some of these great garland ideas for inspiration. Garland-making is a great activity for kids!
  3. Finally, the fun: add the ornaments! Keep your largest ornaments on the bottom third of the tree and gradually decrease them in size as you make your way up. If you have any family favorites, position them on the part of the tree that will be seen the most.
  4. The final details – any last items that enhance the overall look of the tree or fill in empty spots such as individual bows or candy canes. Stand back from the tree and add your little fillers in any areas that look like they need a little more love.
  5. And the topper! The tree isn’t finished til it has your family’s favorite topper. If you haven’t settled on a favorite yet – here are some ideas!

If you decorate your tree as a family or as part of a party, we recommend completing steps 1 and 2 ahead of time to allow everyone to plow straight in to the best part. And don’t put too much pressure on yourself – your tree doesn’t have to look like a Pinterest masterpiece or a page in Martha Stewart Living to be meaningful and loved by your family, friends and guests. Have fun and make it your own! And when it is time to take everything down – stay organized by simply reversing the order above. Store items separately by step so that it will be easy to get started next year.

We’d love to see your trees – share a pic with us on our Facebook page!

Introducing the CheckedTwice Mobile App!

We’ve got  more big news to share! In addition to the recent release of the CheckedTwice bookmarklet, we’re also excited to introduce the CheckedTwice mobile app! Available  for both iOS and Android, the CheckedTwice mobile app makes it super easy to add items that you encounter in the real world to your CheckedTwice wishlists.

Click here to download for iOS

Click here to download for Android

The app allows you to add gifts in three ways.

App 2

First, you can take a picture of an item, add a description, and place it on your wishlist (or that of another family member).

Another option is to scan the item’s bar code which will automagically pull up the item’s picture and information that can then be added to a wishlist.

The third option is to simply create a gift (without a picture) to add to your wishlist.

From within the app, you’ll also be able to access your family member’s wishlists to have with you while shopping. You can claim gifts while on-the-go to prevent duplicate gifts and you’ll also have access to your shopping list while shopping to help you stick to your budget.

We hope that you enjoy using our new app this Christmas and find that it helps make your gift exchange easier and more organized. Happy Gifting!

Frequently Asked Questions

As the holiday season gets into full swing, we’re fielding questions from new CheckedTwice users. We do have some frequently asked questions within our application, but in an effort to get some of these answers out to more people, we thought we’d share them on the blog. So, we present to you – Frequently Asked Questions About CheckedTwice! And if we’ve missed something, please ask in a comment or send an email to and we’ll get back to you!


How do I add a gift to my wishlist?

To add a gift to your wishlist, click on the “Add Gift” button.

You will be presented with three different ways to add a gift. They are:

Find it on Amazon: Type in what you’re looking for and we’ll serve you search results directly from Amazon. Click on the item that matches what you’re looking for and then click ‘Add this Gift’ on the gift preview on the right.

Build from a Link: You can add a gift from anywhere on the web by using the item’s link. Copy the item’s URL from your browser bar and paste it into the “Paste your link here”  field. We’ll try to fetch an image for you as well – click the best image from that page, give your gift a good name and click ‘Add this Gift’ on the gift preview on the right.

Add without a Link: This is an option if you want to add an offline item or don’t want to be super specific. Give your gift a name and a good description, e.g. A Red Sweater, Size Medium, or World Peace… for all the people of the Earth. When you’re happy with the name and description, click ‘Add this Gift’ on the gift preview on the right.


How do I add a gift to someone else’s wishlist?

There are two different ways to add a gift to someone else’s wishlist – one will show that you’ve suggested the idea for them and the other will keep the gift a surprise.

To Suggest a Gift: When viewing the recipient’s wishlist, click the red button at the top that says “Suggest a Gift” and you will see the same screen that you see when adding a gift to your own wishlist. Find the desired gift on Amazon or create it yourself and then click “Add to Wishlist”. The gift will be added to their wishlist and the rest of the family will see that it is a suggested gift.

To Add a Surprise Gift: When viewing the recipient’s wishlist, click the red button at the top that says “Add a Surprise” and you will see the same screen that you see when adding a gift to your own wishlist. Find the desired gift on Amazon or create it yourself and then click “Add to Wishlist”. The recipient will not be able to see this gift but the rest of the family will. Use this power wisely!


What does it mean to claim a gift? FAQ_claim

If you claim a gift, you are telling the rest of the family “don’t worry, I’ve got this!” and everyone will know not to also buy the gift. It is a way of avoiding duplicate gifts and also encourages collaborative gifts – for example if you see that someone else has claimed an Xbox, maybe you could surprise the Xbox recipient with an Xbox accessory or game.


How do I claim a gift?

When viewing someone’s wishlist, to claim a gift, hover your mouse over the item you would like to claim and click “Claim” in the upper right corner. That’s it! And don’t worry, if you claim a gift, the recipient won’t be able to tell. Their wishlist will look the same as always to them.


How do I create an account for a child?

The ability to create accounts for children is something that sets CheckedTwice apart from other family gift registries. To create an account for a child:

– Click on your name in the top right corner of the window and then go down the menu and select “My Settings”

– On the Account Details page, in the lower left, click on “Add New Dependent” under Dependent Accounts

– From there, you’ll be able to add a name and birthday to the new account and once it is created you will have the ability to add and remove gifts.

And keep in mind, dependent accounts aren’t only for children – you can use them for anyone in your family who may not take the time to create their own wishlist but the rest of the family will be buying for nonetheless (think grandparents or lazy husbands).

Once you’ve added the account, don’t forget to add them to the family. In the left navigation, you’ll see the name of the newly added account. Click their name. Then on the right side, you can add them to all the families you’re in.


Will the recipient know when I have claimed something?

Nope! We want to make sure fun surprises are kept intact so the recipient is unable to see which gifts have been claimed for them. The rest of the family will be able to see, though, so that there aren’t any duplicate gifts.


How do I share my wishlist? 

Once you’ve added some items to your wishlist and are ready to share it, click on the red “Share Wishlist” button. You’ll go through a series of prompts to invite family members (or the members of whatever group you’d like to create) via email. As they join, they will be able to see your wishlist.

If you’ve already invited some people, but need to add others, click on the blue Invite Others link at the top of the page. You’ll be able to add more people to an existing family, or create a new family for the in-laws.


Can I share my wishlist with the public?

CheckedTwice specializes in family sharing. But you decide who’s family. Because we keep track of what gifts have been claimed for you, you can’t just share a link. Sorry. But you can email anyone to join a group or an occasion. They don’t have to have an account to see your list, but they do have to have an account to share their list back with you.


Can I add another group of people to my family? 

Yes! To add another group of people (like your immediate family on your in-laws side), click on the blue “Invite Others” button in the top right. In the box that pops up, choose the second option, “Add New Family” and invite members the same way as you did initially. These two groups will not be able to see each other’s wishlists, but you’ll be able to work within both as the common link.

If you want them all to be in the same group, you’ll still click on “Invite Others” but instead you’ll choose the first option, “Add Members,” and add additional people to the family you’ve already started.