Create and connect.
Do you remember the ‘bah humbug’ character, Scrooge? He played the part of a miserly man in Charles Dickens’ classic story called “A Christmas Carol”. Scrooge was so caught up in himself he nearly missed the message of sharing love between family and friends. The opportunities to spend time with your children are right there on your doorstep. It just takes a bit of creative thought to get involved and make the most of enjoying the excitement of this festive season.
Sometimes it is difficult to take a step back from the frenzy associated with shopping, organising meals and having guests. It just seems as if there is no time to do another thing and, before you realise it, the season is over and you are picking up wrapping paper and putting away the decorations. However, with a bit of careful planning the paper, presents and people can all become part of sharing in the spirit of Christmas.
The creative part of the holiday doesn’t have to be craft related. It is also about creating opportunities to spend time together. It is so important to try and set aside time to be with your children and in so doing show them that the message of Christmas is about giving of yourself as you make room for quality time.
Quality time cannot be shared with mobile phones, your own books or magazines, TV shows or other distractions. The quality part of the time is because it is not diluted by anything else and is focused on the family. Have a plan for the activity and be organised so it goes smoothly. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time but making sure it is ‘one on one’ time is important. Try and get down to the children’s level of play and really interact with them even if this seems a bit immature. The children will love having you enter their world.
- Get down on the floor and make a jigsaw puzzle together.
- Construct something from Lego or blocks.
- Play Twister and see how flexible you are.
- Laugh at some silly jokes.
- Sit outside one evening and count the stars.
- Cook something together and share the meal that you made with the whole family.
- Listen to Christmas music together and sing along.
- Play hide and seek or hunt the thimble.
- Go round the house gathering funny clothing items, hats and shoes and make a dress-up box, let everyone dress-up for a tea party.
- Read stories and let the children tell you their own stories.
- Creative crafts will keep you busy and well-connected too.
There are countless ideas to make wrapping paper, cards, tags, paper decorations and gifts. Made with love and care they are far more special than a gift from the shops. It’s the personal touch that counts. Join in with making the crafts too so that you are actively involved in doing something with your children.
Creative craft ideas that encourage connections:
- Make your own Christmas crackers and put in a personal message or joke. Make this a family activity and put secret messages in a hat. Then pull the messages out and pop them into the crackers. No one knows what their message is till the cracker is pulled on Christmas day.
- Design a countdown Christmas Caterpillar. Draw a series of circles joined by touching each other at the edge. Number them for the days left in December till the 25th. Tear off a little segment each day as you countdown to Christmas.
- Make paper chains and write family and friends names on them to remember how special people are as they are joined together.
- Make table decorations for the Christmas table using natural resources you have collected and spray painted to look festive.
- There are hundreds of ideas on Pinterest and creative ways to use household objects and good recycling ideas too. Teach your children the value of making something from recycled materials.
- Make your own wrapping paper using rolling pins that have been textured with mesh, bubble wrap, elastic bands or anything else you think will print as you roll the roller into some paint and then across brown paper. Even the ‘littlies’ of your family can get down to rolling the paint and enjoy making their own paper. If the rollers are not successful then hand and finger prints are a great backup. **
- Find out how to make soap crayons **
- ** ideas from (www.childhood101.com )
- Websites like www.marthastewart.com , www.blitsy.com, www.talentedladiesclub.com and www.brisbanekids.com.au have great ideas for crafts the whole family can do.
It’s the moment the children have been waiting for…
The sound of the carol ‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly’ is echoing in your ears but if you listen to the words of this well-known carol you will hear the basic recipe for a great Christmas day.
- So ‘Deck the halls’ …….not with holly if it’s not readily available but choose branches of plants that are in your natural environment like the beautiful poinsettia or branches from a tree in the garden. Paint the branches white or spray them gold and make a natural show piece in the front entrance to your house. Then tie on ribbons, bows and bells and Fah la la… you will have a gorgeous entrance piece to your home made by you and the family.
- ‘’Tis the season to be Jolly’……so get into the mood and put on your paper hats and gather round the Christmas tree. Have a good laugh at one another and tell some silly Christmas jokes.
- ‘Don we now our gay apparel’…….buy a nice new outfit to wear on Christmas day or try the tradition of getting new pyjamas for Christmas eve.
- ‘Troll the ancient yule tide carol’…..you may need a dictionary to interpret this but it suggests that there are wonderful traditions that have stood the test of time to become part of your celebrations. Sweets and cookies or mince pies for Santa under the tree; stockings filled with goodies waiting at the bottom of the children’s bed; taking turns to select and hand out presents individually so everyone enjoys the pleasure of giving; cutting the cake and eating the first slice under the tree.
- And then….. ‘Sing we joyous all together heedless of the wind and weather’…… the final lines of the traditional carol that call us all to be happy wherever we may live heedless of the weather which could be hot, cold or raining. It’s the hearty celebration of families spending time together that embraces the real message of the festive Season.
Brisbanekids.com.au cupcake snowflakes and heart paper chains.