Saturday, December 13, 2014

Preparations and "Dangerous-Christmas Cards"

We love traditions.
There is always the traditional cutting down of the Charlie Brown Tree. Now that the kids are bigger we have helpers to carry it back to the house.

And decorating the tree has never been easier...
We still have mostly homemade ornaments from when we moved 3 years ago and lost all of our Christmas decorations, I think we have only one or two regular ornaments. Its beginning to be a tradition to make some every year now.

The next picture is not your typical final decorated tree picture, but I liked it.
Its also very fitting for our house; P perched somewhere with a book.
Plus this is one of the only pictures I have before it fell over three times. The tree is now wired up (another tradition around here), but I still haven't fixed the lights that fell off the top half of the tree or the star that is currently hanging on for dear life as it balances curiously on one of the top bows.
For card making this year I remembered something I came up with in high school and decided to teach the kids. I have seen some melted crayon stuff online lately that reminded me of it but I'm still convinced that I invented the following method. This was way before pinterest and the internet was not mainstream yet. 
I began by hauling out my giant paper guillotine and a pile of colored card stock. I had gone through the kids crayons a few days before and retrieved all the broken pieces. Got a candle out and began chopping my card stock in half measuring 5 1/2 in. As I was chopping the children came in and curiously asked, "What are you doing?"
I replied coolly, "Its too dangerous you wouldn't want to do it."
Well, what a surprise it sparked their interest! 
I folded the cut cardstock in half and began peeling the crayons while the kids watched, lit the candle while the 'what are you doing' questions continued to come at me, and began explaining that I was making dangerous Christmas cards and if they wanted to try they better listen and pay attention.
As I put a crayon piece over the candle flame and held it there just long enough for it to start a drip then brought it down on my card to begin sort of painting with the melted wax. I allowed them to join in after this. We had an enjoyable time, I think the whole danger aspect really kept their attention and we together made over 30 cards!  
Now to mail them out, I have not been good at all the last few years so even if they are late we will be doing better than previous years.
-- We discus fire safety a lot having a woodstove in our home. --Obviously, you as a parent know what your children can handle maturely and what they can not. Also it goes without saying to never ever leave them unattended with an open flame. It only takes a second to blow the candle out if you need to leave the table. 

 Last year was a hard year for sickness in our home and I was not in a celebrate-festive mood most of the time. So I wanted to do some things a little more fun and thoughtful this year. So it was time to make a new tradition. I was a little late, 4 days to be exact, but I have never done an advent calendar with them.
I just did a real simple thing with brown paper lunch bags. I cut out the colorful paper and wrote down a meaningful verse from the Bible taping them to each one, wrote the numbers of December with a sharpie and filled each one with goodies. Some have candy, one had nail polish and toy cars, some have things I typically don't ever buy like poptarts and hot chocolate packets.
My husband had the idea to place them on the beam in the living room, I didn't even know where we were going to put the advent bags, but it is the perfect place out of reach.
Number 25 didn't fit so it sits somewhere on the tree (with something they will not expect inside).

We get up every morning and the kids take turns reading the verse aloud and opening the bags.
 As we snuggle up with blankets and warmth this month in expectancy may your Christmas be blessed this year; in ways you never thought, and may the whole reason for celebrating come alive in your hearts, more than ever before: Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Love, the Moore's

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