I'm taking a simple approach to the holidays this year. Some of the things I traditionally do every year, I've skipped on. This decision was in part because my plate was already pretty full with work and other commitments and also because I wanted to focus more on the time spent with my family.
Letting things go has been the best decision.
I've been saying "no" a lot more to outside requests. I know it's made a few people upset but I've learned where my limits are and I'm trying to be very realistic in scheduling and not over-doing. It's been an eye opener because it has clearly separated those who I thought were friends and those who just needed me for something I could do for them. I didn't expect that but it has been a blessing in a weird way. Funny how the truth comes out. Anyway, that's a topic for another day. However, it does feels pretty good to say "no". Because I've said "no" to so many outside requests I've been able to say "yes" a lot more to my family. That's how it should be.
Here's one example: I didn't take family photos or send out Christmas cards this year. Instead, this year I grabbed my girls and we spent this afternoon around the table laughing and creating. We rescued some cardboard tubes from the trash, cut down some card stock and went to town making handmade cards. Our cards, only about a dozen of them, will be delivered with a treat to a very small group of special people. I didn't send out 75+ like last year but boy, I enjoyed the process so much more.
This afternoon was one of the best afternoons I've had in a really long time. I love spending time with my girls. I love laughing with them and watching them create.
So, what did we make? Simple Ornament cards. And it is a very simple idea. If you are looking for something easy to do with your own kids, maybe something to attach to a plate of goodies, this is one idea to save because, well, it's just that, easy. It's also really inexpensive.
If you want to try this, you will need the following...
- Craft Paint in Christmas colors
- Cardboard tubes. I used two sizes, one from a paper towel and one from an empty tin foil roll
- Card stock cut down to card sizes, mine were 4"x7"
- Paint Brushes
Step 1: Paint the ends of your tube. I painted the larger tube first.
Step 2: Use the painted end like a stamp and "stamp" a circle onto the front of your card
Step 3: Just repeat the process, using different sizes and different colors until you have three circles on your card. Tip: If you want the circles to look like they are behind/in front of each other, then after you apply the paint to the tube end, take a piece of tape and put it over one part of the paint end. Then stamp. This will give you a circle that will have a space in it. Then, when you do your next circle, just stamp it into that open space.
Don't forget that your tubes have two ends so you can use different paint colors on each end.
Step 4: Next, take your marker and draw on a little "cap" at the top of each circle. This will be the ornament top. Then add lines from the top of the card down to each cap. And, that's it. You now have a simple card that looks like hanging ornaments. Don't forget to add "Merry Christmas"
After we got done making cards, we played around with the paper scraps and made some gift tags. I know snowmen aren't normally green but I kind of like my little green snowman. So, that's all. It was easy. My girls loved it and it's something that kids, even pretty young ones could do.
Oh, I forgot to mention that our guinea pigs made a visit while we were crafting. This is Ludo, he wishes you all a very Merry Christmas!
and, just an update on the free braces contest, thank you all again for your votes. Cambree is currently in the lead but not by much. If you haven't voted yet, please do. Winning free braces would be a huge help for our family! You can vote for Cambree here: Free Braces Contest