Well, I've been ooohing and aahhhing over all the wonderful, crafty ideas and beautiful Christmas decorations out there in blog land. I've had to put a hold on my "to do" list for the Christmas season so I can give my mind some time to reflect on what Christmas is really about....the birth of my Lord and Savior. Another thing that I feel is important to establish during this time is tradition and time with my family. Thought I'd post a few crafts I've done over the years during the Christmas season, as well as some of my favorite things and traditions we have so far. I don't think any of them are earth shattering, but I've been busy raising three kids, so I've done what's been easy for me. My all time favorite thing we've done every year since my oldest was able, is salt dough ornaments. I'll share my recipe and some pics of that too.
I painted this glass hand/footprint Christmas plate when my middle daughter was a baby with intentions of doing one each year.....love it, but never carried on that tradition. Painting glass in layers is very time consuming.
What do you do with all those Christmas card pics?? Laminated place mats. I let my kids do these--they cut out their favorite pics each year and glue onto a poster board and then I have them laminated at Kinkos. We have so much fun each year looking back at the old pics from the years past.
Each year we have a birthday party for Jesus, cake and all. I whipped this canvas banner up one year when we had friends over for our party....Pin the tail on Mary's donkey. My husband said he thought it was a little sac-religious, but it's a hit every year now with the kids! I think Jesus would have loved it back in the day!
I painted this frame a couple years ago to hold our photo documenting our annual trip to the mall to see Santa. It's always a big family outing.
We each have our mini trees (I'll have more photos of these when I post my Christmas decorations), but each child has picked their own color and decorations for a small tree that goes in their room. They all three go crazy about the birds on top...just don't get it??
This is a beautiful little box I received during Christmas many years ago at a Bible study. It's full of Bible verses. Just love reading them during the holiday season.
Each year we make a trip to Barnes and Noble and I let the kids pick out a Christmas book from the "sale" section. I pull these all out after Thanksgiving and place them in the smack-dab center of our family room so we can read them and get in the Christmas spirit.
Then there's my favorite Christmas candle--no, I'm not getting any perks for promoting it, I just LOVE this candle. I wish cutting down a real Christmas tree was part of our family tradition, but allergies permit us from doing so. These candles make my whole house smell like Christmas without having a "real" tree.
And, of course, we have an advent calendar that we coordinate with the assembly of our nativity scene. We put baby Jesus in the 25th box so the kids can place him in the manger on Christmas morning. Behind the other doors are Bible verses relating to the birth of Christ and a candy treat. I'm kind-of embarrassed to show my Target purchased advent calendar after all the creative ones I've seen out there, but I bought this on sale when I was prego with my 3rd child and too tired to make anything.
We invited friends over to make our salt dough ornaments this year and as you can see, we had a little too much fun. Yes, it was a flour fight. What a mess, but guess what......I cleaned it all up and you'd never know my kitchen floor... and hallway.. and garage was once covered in flour! What great memories!
Here's my salt dough recipe:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
Roll out and cut with cookie cutter. Be sure and poke the holes before baking. Bake on a cookie sheet at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Cool and paint with acrylic paints and a coat of varnish. We also embellish with the 3D scribbles paint and pretty ribbons.
I love this hand print impression one I made a couple years ago.
They look yummy enough to eat!
Hope you've enjoyed spending some time at our home during Christmas. I have loved getting to see all of your wonderful ideas and traditions lately. Come back this weekend for the grand tour!