Well, Christmas has well and truly come and gone. The decorations are now safely wrapped in bubble wrap, tucked in their box under the stairs. Our lights are still up, however, because we love them so, and we've hardly used them (Christmas lights really are a waste in New Zealand - the middle of summer, it's hardly dark before we adults are going to bed, I think we should just put them up in winter so we can really enjoy them to their full extent!).
I tried to do some crafty activities with Munchkin this year, seeing as he is three and a half. We made paper chains, we did some thumb print ornaments, we baked gingerbread stained glass stars for our neighbours, we made button ornaments and start ornaments. I tried to find ideas that would work for small fingers and a short attention span, that didn't require me to buy very many extras, and that were hopefully encouraging Munchkin to grasp our worldview of Christmas. Tried doing dot-to-dot pictures for instance, but I was disappointed to find that almost every available one online that had less than thirty numbers was about Santa, reindeer, stockings, or snowmen. Just not quite what I had in mind. Nativity or stars being more what I had in mind. Think next year I might draw my own. I've already got a list of possible activities for next Christmas - a combination of things I didn't get to this year, and others that seemed a little beyond Munchkin's level but might not be next time round.
I must admit that by the time Christmas Day arrived, I was a bit Christmased-out. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the activities. I did. And I think he did too. It was just Christmas takes all this time. Time that would usually otherwise be spent on other things, which just didn't get attention. So I was ultimately glad to lay aside the festivities and return to 'normal' life and normal food once more.
Here's one of our activities:
Originally found here, I simply chose a star shape from clipart online instead of a Christmas tree.
I printed it, cut it out, glued it to cardboard, and cut that out.
Then we put paint on a cheap sponge.
And used our bubble wrap star like a big stamp. We had to make sure to get paint over the whole star, and then press it carefully to get an even star on our black cardboard.
And wa-lah! Lots of stars (disclaimer: Munchkin did one star on his own. Mummy did most of the rest.)
Some coloured cardboard from the cupboard matched our colours nicely. And there was ribbon in the ribbon stash.
I made these double sided so that they can spin on the tree and we will see the patterns on both front and back. Munchkin's one got his name and date printed.
There's something really beautiful about handmade Christmas decorations.