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12 Days of Crafting: Enjoying Christmas Break With Your Family

The holidays are here. Christmas is finally here! Oh, what fun! The food, the presents, the time with family and friends. What a great season of joy.

But, after tonight, and once the holiday hype has called down, parents everywhere will be thinking, “What do I do with my kids for the remainder of school break?”

I completely understand. Without school filling most of the day, how do you keep a kid busy for a week or more?

Here are five great ways to survive the school break. Today I want to focus on giving a project. Here are 12 days of projects that can help you celebrate the season and enjoy great a product.

Buffalo Plaid Christmas Wreath; Credit: Carrie at Lovely Etc.
  • Buffalo Plaid Christmas Wreath: This project brightens any door in a classy way. This is fun way to liven up the holiday décor for this year and next.
Let IT Snow Wall Decor; Credit: Blooming Homestead
  • Let It Snow Wall Décor: I love the simplicity of this design. This can hang wonderfully in any room or on any wall and bring immense joy.
Jingle All the Way; Credit: Hallmark Channel
O, Come Let Us Adore Him; Credit: View Along the Way
Joy Wine Bottle Table Toppers: Credit: Sytletic
  • Joy Wine Bottle Table Topper: Reuse those empty wine bottles from Christmas by adding a touch of beauty to your holiday décor. Reduce, reuse, and recycle with this fun craft.
Mosaic Tree Table Topper; Credit: Handyman
Grinch Table Scape; Credit: House of Elynryn
  • Grinch Table Scape: What is the Christmas season without the Grinch? Bring in this fun Who-Ville inspired décor to the celebration.
Snowflake String Art; Credit: DIYonthecheap
  • Snowflake Sting Art: No matter what part of the world I have lived in, there is something about snow that makes the holidays – even when I live in the heat at Christmas. Add a touch of winter wonderland to your home with this fun craft.
Snow Frosted Candle Holder; Credit: Crafty Morning
  • Snow Frosted Candle Holders: Lights and lanterns are a tradition the world over for the holidays. Enjoy these beautiful candle holders as you prepare the way.
Joy Farmhouse Christmas Serving Tray; Credit: Create and Babble
Giant Christmas Ornaments; Credit: HGTV
  • Giant Christmas Ornaments: Decorating our yard is such a fun tradition. Add these simple ornaments and be the talk of the neighborhood.
Santa Wine Glass; Credit: My Paper Craze
  • Holiday Wine Glasses: New Year’s is just around the corner. Adding these fun glasses to your entertaining will bring smiles and laughter galore.

I hope these fun crafts help you find time to slow down and be intentional with your family. Families that create together, make memories together, stay together.

Let me know what fun crafts you like to do.

Featured

Slow Down this Season: Christmas Movies and Books for the Whole Family

How easy is it to get lost in the planning, gifting, and chaos of the holiday season? Do you find yourself exhausted? Overwhelmed? Anxious? Is the holiday season taking over your life (and not in a good way)?

I completely understand. The demands placed on people during the holiday sometimes seemed completely unrealistic. This can be especially true for deployed or separated families, single parents, parents of special needs children, and single people. It is so easy to get lost in the chaos.

How do we get out of the funk the demands can place us in? Change our focus. Stop thinking of “me”, and start thinking of others. If you are still having a little trouble getting into the season, try some old family traditions.

Part of the fun of the holidays is the books and movies that get pulled of the shelf and dusted off to enjoy. Growing up, my mom used to read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to kick off the season. My dad would read Luke 1 to us prior to opening any presents. It was in these calm moments the real meaning of the season came alive.

I have continued this tradition in my own home. It is so special to pass this on to my kid and husband. These memories require no money, just quality time with those you love. When my husband was deployed during the holidays, this was one of the things he missed most about not being home. This is also what helps me stay grounded in the chaos when things start to get overwhelming.

So, I invite you to slow down with us this Christmas season.  Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, snuggle up (perhaps by a fire), and enjoy these fun movies and stories. May they bring you as much joy as they have our family.

MOVIES

BOOKS

I do hope these give you as much joy as they have our family.  What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

For more fun Christmas traditions, check out my Facebook page.

5 Simple Steps to Surviving Winter Break

Photo by Claire Morgan on Pexels.com

I loved winter break as a kid, a student, and as an adult.  I love the opportunity to take some time to reset, renew, and rejuvenate before the new year begins.

This time of year offers a great opportunity to reconnect with family and friends (something I think we all need more of this year).  It also offers the ability to slow down; remembering this time of year is not about us.

Winter break is also notorious for creating conflict with children, turn off our brains, getting out of routine, and all-around can be a formula for disaster (something no one wants more of this year).

We have learned for our winter refreshment some simple steps that decrease conflict and increase the quality time (all while keeping our brains fresh and working for the coming semesters).

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com
  1. Set a routine: It is really easy to let our kids run amok during school breaks.  After all, it is vacation time, right?  Ture, but when you plan a vacation to Disney World or on a cruise, you have an itinerary.  Why would you not have a similar concept for your stay-cations? We have found that even the littlest routine is in place, behavior and attitude are much better all around.  Our vacation routine consists of ensuring all chores are completed, some reading is done, some time outside playing, and perhaps a craft is done before turning to any computer or television screen.  For some more tips on screen time, check out my blog Is Screen Time Your Friend or Enemy?
Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

2. Join a Reading Program: Words have power. Books have power. For those who follow me closely, it should come as no surprise I incorporate reading into our lives – even on vacation.  A great way to incentive this (and keep our brains working), is to join a reading program.  This is a great way to keep kids (and adults) reading year-round, but especially during school breaks.  Many local libraries have winter break challenges.  We particularly like Beanstack.  This site allows you to find local reading challenges near you (or create your own).  Many challenges have tangible rewards.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

3. Plan at least 1 outing a week: Many are averse to this for money’s sake and others are adverse to this for COVID-19 sake.  I understand both of these.  However, neither should prevent you from getting outside and enjoying the beautiful world around you.  For those concerned about money, many zoos and museums offer great deals for the year for family memberships.  For those worried about COVID-19, a hiking trail is a great way to be outside, seeing nature and enjoying the beauty around you.  Either way, getting outside your home once a week during the break prevents Cabin Fever from setting in and taking over.

Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com

4. Give a Project: This should be something they can do in the allotted time.  Projects offer a way to feel productive and successful at the end of the break.  More importantly, if you help your child with the project, it can be a great time for bonding and making memories.  Some projects to consider for winter breaks: rearranging the room and painting it (let them choose the color and help); painting a scene or picture onto a canvas, building a new bookshelf (or re-purposing furniture).  For those with younger children, some projects might be arts and crafts, sorting through toys they no longer want, writing a comic book, or a story with illustrations. If your child plays an instrument, this is a great time to give a new song to practice and then a recital at the end of the two weeks to celebrate.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

5. Schedule Active Family Time: I love family time.  My family tries to set apart an hour a day to just be with family – no screens, no phones, no distractions.  But, that can be difficult (especially with my and my husband’s jobs).  How do we manage?  We set a specific time and put our phones on silent or away (we do have to keep them out sometimes due to the nature of work). Then, we let our son pick the activity. Often he picks games (we like games a lot in my family).  Sometimes he picks art or going for a walk or bike ride.  Then we do that.  It is our time to invest in each other.  Some of our favorite family games are Shut the Box, Speak Out, Apples to Apples, Quiddler, Phase 10, Uno, Pictureak, Boggle, Scrabble, Concept, Clue, and Sorry.

We are hoping this winter break is full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  May these simple tips be as useful to you as they have been for us. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good break! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours.