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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quick Christmas Decor Projects

It was my turn to host November's Saturday with The Girls. And being this close to Christmas I was craving Christmas crafts. So I designated it "bring your own Christmas project day" and found a quick little craft idea to get us started.

Walmart has these fun glittery word ornaments right now - for just $1. I wanted to mount them on something so I cut down some scrap wood and stained it. Then everyone added their choice of patterned paper for the background. Adhered everything and TaDa!

My own project for the day was to dress up some new ornaments. My new theme for my Christmas tree is "Sparkly Santa." So of course I needed some Santa ornaments.
I used XL red balls and hot glued black ribbon around the center. Cut some chipboard (cereal boxes) squares with slits and painted them silver for the buckle. And in no time I had these. I've seen a version of these in stores, but the DIY way is so much more satisfying right?

Consider this a teaser. The next time I post about my Christmas tree it WILL be UP. Promise.

*linked to Strut Your Stuff week at Somewhat Simple


I'm am crazy for Christmas. Seriously obsessed. I think about it at least 6 months out of the year...or more. I've been working on Christmas related projects since at least August. Why? Because I love the holiday and I hate being rushed/stressed. So my goal every year is to get everything ready for Christmas by the 1st of December. Let's be honest, I never get EVERYTHING done. But I do get pretty darn close and that frees me up to enjoy the month of December and all of it's festivities and traditions.
So here I am with only 1 day left before December, with my house undecorated and my shopping only 2/3 done and I haven't started on Christmas cards. How did that happen?!? Some of it was unavoidable. Some of it was procrastination. But the part that is currently bugging me the most is the fact that this year I decided to go against tradition (tradition being putting up the tree and all the decorating the day after Thanksgiving) and not get the tree out until after Tyler's birthday. I'm just itching to drag it out and see how all the new decorations looks on it. I can barely restrain myself. But I must, because our house is tiny and this year I planned a few party games that are a bit active so I need the extra floor space. I only have to wait until Saturday. I can make it, right?
So. Since I can't spend my day putting up the tree and then showing it off to you, I thought I'd share a few of our traditions. This might be a long post - we have a TON. :)
-One that I'm very excited about is our Christmas Elves. They will be showing up Tuesday morning and staying with us until Christmas Eve.
-for the last couple of years we have been taking the kids to the town's Tree Lighting. That's where the kids get to see Santa, have a sleigh ride, and nibble on cookies and hot chocolate. This year it takes place on the 7th. I'm always anxious to see what the kids tell Santa they want - just in case they change their minds at the last minute.
-can't have Christmas without a trip out in the car to see the lights. We bundle into the car, stop for hot chocolate at the Chevron, turn on the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (ooooo we just went to their concert - so good!), and drive around until the kids get bored.
-countdowns to Christmas are multiple - usually in large part due to the kids' Grandma Jackson. In fact, their chocolate advent calendars are waiting here for them already. She usually does 12 Days of Christmas for them as well. And if that weren't enough, we also keep track on these fun countdown blocks.

(original idea was a gift from a friend. These particular blocks I made myself and will be using for the gift exchange in my card group)
-I like to have a family photo taken in November that I can then use in the Christmas cards. This one has been especially hard to accomplish this year, mostly due to my husband's schedule. He was pretty much unavailable during all of this month. On top of that, I wanted to do a digital card this year, which means taking the photos on our own instead of in a studio. We went out today with the tripod, but I'm not sure how happy I am with the results. Not sure I can try for retakes though, as my kids rarely want to cooperate when I am the one behind the camera. Ugh.
-Toys for Tots. My husband used to be in the Marines (reserves. He is now in the Air Force Reserves) and Toys for Tots is something he loves. He used to volunteer to stand at one of the donation locations to collect toys. Now we try to make a point of buying a toy or two to donate.
-Christmas Eve is usually spent with one side of the family or the other (they usually fight over us for this. No idea why Christmas Eve is more highly desired than, say, Christmas Day). When we get home from the party, the kids get to open up a new set of pajamas. Then we set out cookies and eggnog for Santa and throw carrots on the front lawn for the reindeer before the kids go to bed. We also make sure the elves are all ready to meet Santa and report on the kids' behavior.
-On Christmas morning, we call my parents when the kids wake up. They live just down the road and like to see the kids open their gifts. So most of my family's gifts end up under our tree. Once the presents are all open, my husband makes gingerbread waffles and an oven omelet for breakfast.
-we are also thinking of adding in another one (tradition) this year. For most kids in Utah, at least those within driving distance, it is a tradition to go down to Temple Square and see the lights. I remember doing it many years, as does Sam. And now that the kids are no longer babies, we might, just MIGHT brave the cold one night and take them down to see the lights. We'll see.

So there you have it. Anyone else have some great traditions I need to add to the list? :)

linking to Show Us Your Life - Christmas Traditions at Kelly's Korner

Friday, November 20, 2009

Barn Invitations

**Reposted on the new blog.  Click THIS LINK to see not only the invitations but all the fun party details and photos!

Two weeks until my little guy turns 3! His favorite thing is to be out with grandpa, either on the big equipment or helping feed the cows. So the theme I chose for his party this year is Down on the Farm. I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for having the planning and prep work all done already (I'll show it off after the party). And we hand delivered these fun little invitations this morning.
To make them, I simply drew a quick barn pattern and cut them out of red cardstock, making sure to cut the opening for the barn doors. The white "trim" is very thin strips of white cardstock. The tricky part was cutting them that thin. Then I just printed out the wording for the inside and attached it to the back.