I REALLY love to craft. However, as a homeschooling single mom to 3 kids I have very little time. (Don’t we all?) This year, I have hatched a plan to get my 5, 4, and 2 year olds into the crafting spirit! Plus, who doesn’t have wonderful memories of those homemade ornaments you made when you were that age? I’m pretty sure my mom still has some popsicle stick angels in a box. This year I want to spend the holidays with my kids in the moment. Last year was my first Christmas as a single mom, and I did not even put up a tree; but this year is going to be a wonderful homemade Christmas packed with memories!
Pinterest it up! We all have those folders of things we *want* to do, but we don’t have time (here are mine – specifically, check out my “Deck The Halls” and “Homemade Kids’ Christmas” boards for decorating ideas!) This year, I am forcing myself to make time! My tree won’t be decorated in a day- in fact, I am actually planning on decorating it bit-by-bit every day until Christmas, but that means even more fun for the holidays! Plan a craft night with your kids every day, maybe as an advent activity, and each night have them hang their ornaments on the tree as you read a Christmas book or watch a movie and drink hot cocoa.
Buy pre-made activities! Yes, I’m a SAHM. Yes, I love to craft. No, I do NOT want to cut out 1,000 strips of paper to make a chain link garland. Luckily, for all of us, places like Hobby Lobby have not only pre-cut strips of beautiful Christmas stationary and pre-packaged it, but they have also added a peel and stick backing! Let’s take a moment to celebrate the fact that I do not have to give my kids glue and/or tape for this project! The foam sticker ornaments and gingerbread houses are also fabulously cute and so easy even if they aren’t very “adult-ish”. One very awesome purchase I made was a chalkboard doorhanger. I *could* have cut up a piece of wood, painted it with chalkboard paint, drilled holes, and threaded the ribbon through it; but why do all that work when I found one pre-made for $2 at Hobby Lobby (it was 50% off!) You can write whatever you want on it, but I plan on using it as a countdown to Christmas at the top of the tree!
Use what you have at home! I have been given bags and bags of satsumas, so many bags that we will never eat them all. Luckily, there is a wonderful homemade Christmas ornament made from dried oranges! So beautiful, so classic, and so yummy smelling! Maybe you have some ornaments from when you were younger? Hang them on the tree while you talk with your kids about your favorite Christmas memories. Tie strings around some of their favorite little toys- maybe a tractor or a car or a doll- and decorate the tree with your own fabulous finds after a scavenger hunt around the house (make a hunting list if you want to control the size or even pick specific toys for them to use on the tree!) Christmas books make an amazing addition to the tree, and you can wrap them with a bow and pull them out of the tree to read to the kids as a little “surprise”. Gather pinecones and sticks from your yard or from a local park or go on a nature walk and fill your bags with things you can use for your tree. The possibilities are literally endless! Plus, you don’t have to be crafty at all for these and it gives you even more activities to do with your kids!
Make your gifts! While we’re already crafting over here, you might as well make grandma and grandpa a precious little ornament (or a set) for their tree. What grandmother doesn’t love getting homemade crafts (even if she may throw it away later because she’s not a hoarder like some of us, I’m sure she will truly love it in the moment and your kids will be so proud!) I also made my kids library bags as a gift this year- since it’s the year of the homemade Christmas! You can buy a 3 pack of canvas bags for less than $8 at Hobby Lobby (less than $4 if you catch it 50% off!) and some acrylic paint and just go to town! I’m sure your kids would love to make little bags for each other using sponges, stencils, handprints, or adding their own personal “abstract” art to the bag! There are so many homemade gift ideas on Pinterest I don’t even know where to start, so hopefully you have already clicked the link above and are perusing my boards as we speak!
You can find so many kits and activities that fit in with any age range, so you can make your tree as fancy or as crafty as you want! Since my kids are so young, this year I am going for colorful, cute, and as homemade as it can get (popsicle sticks and all!)
Be sure to share your homemade Christmas ideas and projects on Twitter and Instagram @redstickmoms #rsmbconnects
This post is a part of the RSMB CONNECTS series for the 2013 holiday season. We encourage you to connect with your kids, friends and family, and your community. Read more about the series here.