recycled post: Christmas crafting

This is how lazy I am  – I’m recycling a post from the old blog to describe the craft of the day.

(Oh, is that what they’re calling it now, when you were out til midnight watching Daddy J’s band perform and are having trouble stringing thoughts together this morning: “lazy”?) 

Anyway.  This is my favorite Christmas craft, the Christmas card ball ornament.  The Fishmaster and I made four from last year’s cards a couple of days ago, so now I have them from 2006 AND 2007.  Cool, huh?  The Fishmaster had a much better crafter attitude than last year, and cut out almost all of the circles himself, like a good little laborer.

(Also: Daddy J’s band performance: AWESOME.)

From December 2, 2007:

I was pretty crafty as a child. I made clothes for my stuffed animals out of scrap fabric with my own patterns, sandals for them out of masking tape, dolls out of yarn, ribbon barrettes and friendship bracelets, cross-stitching. Maybe it’s a girly thing, or specifically a crafty girly thing.

The boys, on the other hand, are not particularly crafty. And yet – there are certain activities I feel like we ought to do, just because. Because making homemade stuff with them just seems an essential part of Christmas.

So, we are treading a fine line. I want them to enjoy it, or at least not make them furious with me, so I have do quick activities with them. Forget cross-stitching little ornaments. And, I have to refrain from complaining when they do impatient, sloppy work. (Although I do allow myself to encourage them a little bit to slow down already and try to make it look nice.)

Today, the peppermint bark was a good activity. You just buy the “white” flavored cubes of candy (try not to think about the artificial flavors and colors) and candy canes. The boys got to shuck off the plastic wrappers and then crunch up the candy canes in ziploc bags by pounding them with metal measuring cups. They liked that part. (Helpful tip: double bag the candy canes so you are less likely to have peppermint dust all over your kitchen.) Melt the candy in the microwave, pour into wax paper lined jelly roll pan, and let them pour the pulverized peppermints on top. I let them stir the candy around with toothpicks (yes, I could have just stirred it into the candy, but this gave them some more Involvement.) Jack and I decided to melt some regular chocolate chips and pour that over his batch. Pop the pan in the fridge and then break it up like brittle when it gets hard. Mmmm!

A slightly more tedious activity: recycled Christmas card ornament balls. I’m too lazy to take a picture and download it, so let’s see if I can describe the process. Trace circles from a small coffee can onto a pile of last year’s Christmas cards and cut them out. Fold a pattern circle into an equilateral triangle, and mark the three points on the card circles. Fold the edges, from point to point, so that each card circle became a folded triangle with the edges facing up. Staple these edges together so that the cards form an 8-sided ball. [Take a picture, lazy girl. That is way too hard to visualize.]

Fine, fine. Here’s a pic taken with my camera phone. Perhaps not the clearest, but you get the idea:

Christmas card balls

[If your children are willing, you get make these extra-special by gluing glitter around the edges, or, using a holepunch, winding ribbon or yarn around the outer edges. Otherwise, affix a ribbon hanger through the middle of each ball with an ornament of some sort to hold the knot in place at the bottom. Also, gluing the edges together instead of stapling would make for a nicer finish, but also more mess and potential for hot-glue burned fingers.]

Anyway! I love these. I remember a great grandmother that had them in her house before she moved into a nursing home. The boys enjoyed looking back at last year’s cards, especially the photo ones, and seeing how kids they know have gotten older. (That Mark Ethan used to have short hair!) The cutting and folding got old fast, but we persevered without me having to crack the whip. And now we have six lovely new bits of Christmas decor.

I’m feeling a little ambitious this year and am thinking I might make gingerbread cookies and a house with them FROM SCRATCH and let them decorate them. They decorated a pre-baked house last year and enjoyed it fairly well.

Do girls’ mamas get to do all kinds of involved crafty stuff all the time? Sigh.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Christmassy « love, loss, and rainbows

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