December 20, 2014
The kids are home from school, Seth MacFarlane’s Christmas album is blaring (I’m just as surprised as you, but this man can sing!) and I’ve made a big dent in my lists. I’m gearing up for a terrific, and yes, chaotic holiday week.
While I don’t consider myself overly crafty we have been busy doing fun crafts together — friends, family and…Seth, of course. Here are a few well-tested projects to channel all of that hyper kid-before-Christmas energy into something creative.
This tradition came to our house via our babysitter, Sharon. She used to make snow globes with her mom in mason jars. As you might imagine, my cupboards posses a boatload of mason jars. One trip to Michaels for the miniatures, a cordless glue gun (so handy!) and some beautiful glitter compliments of Ms. Martha and we were good to go.
Speaking of the grande dame, she has great instructions for snow globe making. I think these globes are actually prettiest if you forgo the water and just create a small scene. Make an example so the kids understand the concept and then set them free to create their own wonderland.
I love anything that doesn’t mean a trip to the store. I had the best time with the girls studding oranges with cloves. Shoulder to shoulder in the kitchen surrounded by sweet smells and chatter, Merry Christmas to me.
Since the oranges came from our tree (sans the waxy covering you get at the store) they were pretty squishy after a few days. The next batch of oranges we put in the oven to dry. The fragrance is just incredible.
Stud your oranges with whole cloves or place plain citrus scored with a knife on the top oven rack with a sheet pan on the rack below. In a 200-degree oven, bake oranges for 18 hours or two days in the dehydrator. Moving them around a few times will help even drying/cooking. If your oranges are studded you may have to gently press them back into the flesh as they tend to pop out. Note: super ripe oranges are not ideal, go for the firm ones, as is true with most things in life.
Good Ol’ Gingerbread Houses
We made these houses post-breakfast/pre-pick-up last weekend for my daughter’s slumber birthday party. Do I get some sort of award or ribbon for pulling this off before 10 am? I “built” the Trader Joe’s houses with a glue gun so they would be stable for decorating. Who wants to eat that hard gingerbread anyway? We go straight to the candy.
Speaking of candy, The Fresh Market carries a beautiful selection of special candy — I’ve been eyeing those little sour gummy bricks waiting for a perfect excuse to drop them in my cart. All those candy choices lined up in white bowls makes for some beautiful home decorating and delicious sneaking/snacking.
I’m always looking for ideas so if you have some activities to add to the list please share. Wishing you a joyous and sweet holiday.