Day 23: Make the Season Bright!
I don't know about you but I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas. I LOVE Christmas because it celebrates the birth of Christ but I hate how materialistic it has become. Now, with the economy the way it is, people making less at jobs if they even have jobs, families losing their homes and this list could go on and on. I really want to teach my children the TRUE meaning of Christmas and also teach them how we can show others why we celebrate the birth of Christ and spread the love in a non-materialistic way. Here are a few ideas that I have pondered over and sort of put my own little twist.
Every year we let Santa bring "one" gift. It's usually the big gift! That way if money is tight, they'll understand that it wasn't Santa's fault and that the other gifts are simply from their brothers and mom and dad. No biggy but I think maybe this year well flip that a little. The Bible says that the wise men came to see Jesus and brought three gifts. Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh. Now here's what I'm thinking, the Gold = something really special that they wanted. Frankincense = something that is educational or helps them "grow". Myrrh = a gift of something they need. I think this might actually work this year. Now what about stockings.... I can handle stockings!
1. Dollar Store Gifts
2. Homemade Cookies
3. Homemade Coupon Book
4. Craft Kits
5. Toothbrushes & Toothpaste
THAT WAS EASY!
Oh my, I was going to suggest an Advent Calendar but isn't everyone doing them this year??? Seems so! Well, maybe instead of goodies or chocolates or tiny toys, we should put in something a little more special.
Now this is my kind of Advent Calendar! It's simple and easy to do. I also adore the different colored envelopes and tiny clothes pins. AND my heart skipped a beat when I read what this blogger put in the envelopes. You have to go check out A Peek Inside the FishBowl. There were wonderful treats inside these envelopes like. 1. Dance and Sing to Christmas Music 2. Bake a Batch of Cookies... Now, of course with me being the only one in my house that will paint her toe nails, we'd probably change that one. But I think even my boys would think it was cool to take a candlelit bubble bath. I could just Die! Oh...and there's even an envelope template. YAY!
One of my favorite ideas ever was by Nie Nie. She saved all of her sons formula cans, covered them in Christmas Paper, cut and inserted corrugated paper around the inside and added homemade cookies. Awe! I just love this woman. Here is a picture of her cans...
This woman has inspired me in more ways than I can count so if you haven't visited her website. Go Now, don't walk...run to The NieNieDialogues. Also stop by her recovery website and read her updates and don't miss the video of her husband giving Thanks! It touched me... Now, bake up some cookies and spread the Christmas cheer around to all your neighbors and friends and wouldn't it be super cool to go caroling! Do people still do that...oh won't someone carol over to my house!
I don't know what else to call this one but it's something we should do once a week if we can. We should sit down by ourselves or with the kids and craft all day long. Basically, you are making gifts for those on your list. Handmade gift tags, ornaments, painted paper for wrapping, and the list goes on and on. Hopefully you'll find plenty of ideas from this blog for the next few weeks to try. I can't do them all but I'm sure going to give it a go. This blogging thing takes up alot of time you know. My husband is starting to think I'm crazy but I love it. It's a great excuse to get my thoughts together and organize some wonderful ideas. If you haven't crafted in awhile, go do it. Mark a day or two or three on your calendar, get your ideas in order, your supplies organized and Go For It!
Oh and before I forget (silly me) Go visit this site or check out her books at your local bookstore or library if possible. They are for crafting with kids! YIPPEE!
Oh and one more....
My Mammoth -Super Soft -Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 c brown sugar (packed)
1 c. white sugar (level)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 to 2 1/4 c flour (level)
1 tsp salt
1 c. chopped nuts
6 oz. chocolate chips
6 oz. white chocolate chips
(really you can just add any chip you like but try to keep it around 12 oz. total)
Cream together butter, sugar, eggs & vanilla. Stir in rest of ingredients and mix well. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes for normal sized cookies. I make Mammoth sized cookies (drop cookie dough a little larger than a golf ball) so about 15 minutes. Or until delicately brown. Cookie should be soft!
My husband was like MAN why'd you make them so big. I said..."cause you'd eat 12 little ones or 3 big ones it didn't really matter and bigger was easier".
Enjoy! Meet me again tomorrow!!!