Despite yesterday’s post about Santa, (and the fact that I’ve admittedly been a little grinchy about Christmas-time growing up) being a wife and mom, with a home of my own, has changed things. And for those of you who are on the fence about Santa and what to say to your kids, know this: Christmas is a magical time with or without Santa. We never said one way or another about Santa, until directly asked. And then we shared, and also shared the story of the “original story,” and talked about families who don’t have all the things that they are so accustomed to. Which prompted them to show great signs of heart. After talking with my Miss E about it, I gave her a dollar and said she could use it to buy gum or something (she looooves gum), but on the way in she asked about the man ringing the bell next to the red bucket. I told her what it was and what the money went for. And that’s right, my three year old decided she’d rather help out a family in need than get some gum. And Big E has helped pick out a toy for a boy who would possibly not get any others. They frequently go through their toys and leave me with a pile they say they don’t love anymore, to give to kids who are in need of some toys to love. (Granted if I don’t get them out of the house quickly enough, eventually they’ll be rediscovered and magically back in love with…but c’mon, they’re under 5!) As I was saying, there is magic in the season, even without Santa bringing it. There’s magic in their faces watching the snow, watching them decorate their own tree (it’s just their size!), hearing the oooohs and aaaahs (And “Mooom, look! They’re just so bootifull“) over houses and trees lit up with lights. Hearing them recount to each other all the special traditions and meanings of Christmas. Listening to them reenact the Christmas story with the nativity set. Baking cookies, making fun crafts… there’s magic in all of that. Even without Santa.
Here’s some of our magic that’s very easily duplicated…
This was really easy and the kids thought it was really fun. I found a book of Christmas stencils among my decorations, but you could easily hand draw some simple, Christmas-themed things (tree, bell, star, santa outline, stocking outline- they’re all pretty basic) and then had the kids color them in. Next they’ll get cut out and used as gift tags for grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. You could do this on green or red paper and make it even more festive! I didn’t think about that until after!
I got the idea for these from pinterest, which lead me to this lovely blog. Mine is a little different, but definitely the same premise. I just filled 8 clear bulbs with some white glitter, stuck an index finger from each of them into some glue and them put it on the bulb. Then we covered the finger prints in glitter! After they dried I used a permanent marker and made little black hats for their heads and three black dots for buttons on the belly. I also added a red scarf with a red permanent marker. These were so easy and turned out really cute.
And these gems were really just because. I’d gotten some ornament shaped…I don’t even know what to call the material, kind of like a thin foam, maybe? Anyone know what I’m talking about? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Whatever, they’re cute and they were on sale. I figured these could either be gift tags, or I could glue pics of the coordinating kids on the back and make them into ornaments (probably payback to our parents for all the child-made ornaments my grandparents had to have!) This was another glitter and glue project. Dip the whole hand in, put it on the “paper” and shake the glitter! Easy-peasy. Oh, I did Littlest E’s feet instead of hands because on anyone under 2 years old, this is the easiest way to go without doing it in their sleep. (When the kids were babies I’d use a finger paint and sign footprints on all their cards- to daddy, grandparents, uncles, etc.) I don’t even care that these are blatantly “chintzy,” I like ‘em!
I saw a few posts about 25 days of crafting, where you do a new and different craft with your kids each day. I am not going to be doing that. I’d be digging myself out of the glitter by day 4. But I liked the idea, and we are doing lots of crafts. Today will be chocolate-covered strawberries, made to look like Christmas lights. They are gonna be cute!! (And delicious) Unfortunately, MissE has been unable to help herself, and she’s already eaten half the strawberries I bought for this, so we’ll just have enough for a post dinner snack. I’m really excited about them anyways (I always get excited about food!) and look forward to posting pictures of our work after!
This is not craft related, or maybe it is… I can’t remember what he’d gotten into! I just like it! And since he wasn’t really a part of the pictures or post, there you go. And here is his contribution into today’s laughter:
Our dog is a huuuge baby. (Have you ever heard of a lab who gets tired of playing fetch after maybe 5 throws? And he’s only a year!) When I’m diligent about it, he gets better, but normally, anytime he hears a noise, he sits at the window, with his head stuck behind the curtain. Barking and/or growling at all the little old ladies that go a-walkin’ through our neighborhood. (Obviously, they are the most threatening of the passerbys.) Today was no exception. Lady walks by, puppy begins to growl. I turn around, tell him to Stop that! And then shoo him to go lay down. A moment later, I hear more growling. I find myself rolling my eyes as I head back to the window, only to find that the growling I heard was coming out of my sweet, littlest boy! The dog, of course, quickly sidled up next to him. And there they stood, growling in unison at the sweet neighbor-lady (that they both know). *Sigh*Headshake*Eyeroll*