Most parents love hand-made Christmas tree ornaments created by their kids. These little icicle ornaments are easy, cheap to make, and look pretty classy too.
Supplies for the icicle ornaments:
- Clear beads – I found these at Walmart
- Clear fuzzy stems – also called pipe cleaners and again found at Walmart
Make a small loop on the end of the stem to keep the beads from falling off:
String the beads:
Make another loop on the other end for hanging.
To make ours curl we wrapped them around a wooden spoon, but they can be straight or made into any shape:
What are kids learning?
First you are connecting with your kids and making a memory! Plus they are developing their creativity and fine motor skills. Different colors of beads can be used to create a pattern. They can be used for gifts as well, to teach the gift of giving.
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I Can Teach My Child
What are your favorite Christmas memories? Can you remember what gifts you gave and what gifts you received last year or the year before?
We have been asking ourselves these questions. Our schedule has been crazy, our daughter is getting married on January 2nd, my dad has been in treatment for cancer, and we still want to enjoy the holiday. Illness and a child getting married makes me want to reevaluate what is important.
Our family celebrates Christmas as the birth of Jesus. We’ve been talking about the story of Mary and Martha. Martha is busy hustling and bustling about the home while Jesus teaches. She becomes frustrated because Mary isn’t helping with the chores. You can read about it here. Jesus tells Martha that Mary has chosen that which cannot be “taken away” from her. In the context of Christmas…I’ve been thinking about our family and what can’t be taken away and how that can help us focus on a more meaningful Christmas. We have had our Christmas struggles!
This year to simplify and create a more meaningful Christmas we are:
- Not putting up a Christmas tree, but I am decorating with lights and the Nativity since Jesus is the light of the world.
- Volunteering at our local community Christmas dinner a few hours Christmas Eve day
- Not purchasing gifts for everyone. We are drawing names and then filling that person’s stocking
- Staying home Christmas Day
- Baking cookies for the wedding and freezing them on Christmas Day
What I wish we had done when our girls were little:
- I wish we had encouraged fewer toy gifts and more gifts to their college fund
- I wish we had given better thought to the holiday activities we particpated in
- I wish we had completed simple community service projects
- I wish we had a completed meaningful advent calender
- I wish we had not lost focused on Jesus as the focus of the season
Our suggestion to you:
- Thank carefully about your holiday activities. Will they cause stress as you rush the kids to keep up? Are they meaningful to your family or just one more obligation? Do they teach the Christmas story?
- Keep a daily routine and make sure the kids get plenty of rest. My mother says, “Everything looks better after a good nights rest.”
- Don’t over schedule the family. Say ‘no’.
- Choose advent calendars that focus on Jesus’Birth like Truth in the Tinsel (affiliate link) or giving back and thankfulness. JDanielfour’s mom has a great one on Blessings
- As a family, choose a simple service project, it doesn’t have to be major. It is important to teach children to give.
- Keep Christmas activities simple. I will list a few below from the blog that are very easy.
- Help your children to limit the number of toys on their lists. If they have a long list have them pick their top 2 or 3 toys, then boost the college fund
Think back to your childhood. What is your most happy memory? Many times it isn’t what we get or do but it is the people that make the memory. As a family, evaluate the holiday. Is the focus on the birth of Christ or the busyness of the world around us? Is our family choosing what can’t be “taken away”. Changing family traditions isn’t easy! But if needed, be encouraged. Make the change. Decide: What can’t be ‘taken away”.
Hope you all have a very “Mary” Christmas!
Truth in the Tinsel – an extensive e-book with Christmas crafts and lessons that focus on Jesus’birth
Christmas Candy Canes
Christmas Tree Fingerprint Tree
Nativity Blocks and link up of many activities that focus on the birth of Jesus!
A book about Jesus birthday is “Guess Who’s Coming to Our House”
Photo Sources ~ The Nativity
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This standing Christmas tree is easy and inexpensive to make. If you need a craft for a large group this one works well. Younger children may need help cutting out the tree but over all this is an easy Christmas tree craft.
Continue reading … Christmas Tree Craft for Preschoolers
eMeals contacted me about using their product and provided weekly meal plans. The opinions in this post are honest and my own. This post continues affiliate links.
I was completely pleased when eMeals contacted me about trying their product. I have been struggling with cooking more healthfully over recent months, and we’ve been trying to eating out less. This opportunity provided incentive to plan ahead and be more disciplined. We are now empty-nesters, we work full time, and have many evenings meetings. The tempatation to eat out is always there to run and grab a bite between meetings.
Continue reading … Cooking and Saving with eMeals
My Aunt Jennifer makes the most delicious, moist pumpkin bread ever. I don’t even really like ‘pumpkiny’ stuff either. That is how good this bread is! When I visit my parents during the holidays, I usually find a loaf that has been delivered, and my mother always shares a piece or two with me. Thanks, Mom!
Continue reading … Aunt Jennifer’s Pumpkin Bread (and cake too!)