…like a pair of pants that’s just a little bit too big.

I can’t stand Christmas.  Seriously.  I’m such a Grinch.  Because it all starts before Thanksgiving and doesn’t end until more than a month later.   A whole 1/12 of our year devoted to consumerism and self-gratifying materialism.   And everywhere I go shopping and every commercial I watch, it looks like Santa Claus has puked Christmas cheer all over every little thing.   Yes, we can get into the good spirit of the season by being generous and thoughtful of friends and neighbors, which I appreciate as much as the next person.   But couldn’t we do it without all the waste?   Just once?

But it has a way of growing on you when you see it through the eyes of your children. The Anticipation, the Secrets, the Decorations, the Magic.

two rows of little wrapped presents hanging on the wall

My sister who lives in Maui was here for Thanksgiving and she left for the boys an ‘Advent Calendar’.  When she said she had made advent calendars for the kids and wanted to hang them in their room, this was not quite what I pictured in my mind.  This is like an advent calendar with turbo boost.  There is a wrapped gift numbered for every day in December leading up to Christmas day.

They are small gifts, like pads of paper, stickers, playing cards.  The boys are LOVING this OBVIOUSLY.  Who doesn’t like getting presents?  And a present for each day until Christmas?  Really cool.  They are lucky to have such a thoughtful auntie.

We’ve been getting into the holiday spirit lately with lots of crafty fun. We’ve made decorations for our house, cards to mail to loved ones, and salt dough ornaments.

Spoiler Alert: If you are related to my children by blood or marriage, one or more of these will likely be coming your way this Christmas.  Just sayin’.  That’s not going to stop me from showing off this salt dough sneak peak right here.

salt dough ornaments
Made with cookie cutters

salt dough ornaments
Even cooler, made freeform with knife

salt dough ornaments
Painted and drying in the sun

boys looking at their finished salt dough ornamentsProud happy elves admire their handiwork

Crafting is a wonderful way to experience the true spirit of the season, making decorations, cards, and gifts with a unique personal touch.  It is always delightful to see what magic is created by my kids at the art table (which is our kitchen table, of course, with special plastic tablecloth over it).  Their individuality always shines through and evolves before my very eyes.  It is a gift I will never tire of unwrapping.

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