Handmade Christmas Wrapping Paper Craft

Are you looking to start a new Christmas tradition? How about making handmade Christmas wrapping paper for all of your gifts? Doing Christmas crafts as a family activity is a great way to celebrate the holiday season. Best of all, making homemade gift wrap is an easy project for all ages.

Materials Needed:

  • Sponges of any size and shape
  • Scissors
  • Butcher paper, newsprint, or other types of packing paper (You can purchase rolls of brown shipping paper at your local dollar store).
  • Paint
  • Containers for paint
  • Markers

Instructions:

  1. Cut sponges into various shapes, for example, Christmas trees, gift boxes, stars, candy canes, and ornaments. (Help younger children cut the sponges into shapes.)
  2. Spread your choice of paper on a flat surface.
  3. Squirt small amounts of paint in your container.
  4. Dip your cut sponge into the paint.
  5. Make certain the paint covers the entire sponge for a clear shape.
  6. Press sponge on to the paper. When you are finished, simply rinse the sponges of the entire paint residue. You can use the sponges more than once.
  7. Continue the process until you reach your desired design.
  8. Allow the paint shapes to dry.
  9. Use markers to add outlines, Christmas songs, Bible verses, names, or other designs to your gift wrap.
  10. Now, wrap your Christmas gifts and enjoy it.

Homemade gift wrap is an excellent way to provide a personalized touch to your presents. Use your imagination to create numerous sheets of wrapping paper. Set the mood for family fun by playing Christmas music, drinking hot chocolate, and eating snacks.

Christmas Fun: Making Plaster Ornaments

Let’s face it, the Christmas season can get busy quickly. Spending high-quality family time together is essential to enjoy the holidays. When you are you looking for fun, family activities to celebrate Christmas, consider making plaster ornaments.

Plaster ornaments are simple to make. You can hang them on your own tree. Or share them with family members as gifts. Kids will love making an ornament for grandma, grandpa, a favorite aunt or uncle.

Materials Needed:

  • Christmas themed molds or pans (The plaster does not harm them, just wash thoroughly after use.)
  • Plaster
  • Throw away containers for mixing plaster. (Remember not to pour remaining plaster down the sink.)
  • Water
  • Paint in various colors
  • Paintbrushes

Instructions:

  1. Place newspapers or other protective materials on your counter.
  2. Mix plaster as directed. Always add the plaster mixture to the water for a smooth and consistent mixture. (Keep in mind, the plaster hardens quickly. You need to have your molds ready to go. You can add a little extra water to provide a bit more time).
  3. Fill the molds completely.
  4. Place hangers into your mold. (Paper clips or pop can tab work great for an instant, inexpensive hanger).
  5. Allow your ornaments to dry completely.
  6. Gently remove the ornaments from the molds. You may need to tap on the mold to loosen the ornament.
  7. Paint the ornaments. (You can also personalize the ornaments with names).

Even younger children can help with the painting process. Just do not forget to add the date on the back. The Christmas ornaments can quickly turn into a lasting treasure.

Sugar Cookies: A Christmas Tradition

Are you looking for another simple way to celebrate the Christmas season? Baking during the holidays is a long-standing tradition. Sugar cookies are a tasty treat to decorate, share, and eat. Helping to reduce the stress of the holiday mad-dash of baking, sugar cookies can be frozen to decorate later.

Dig out your favorite sugar cookie recipe, find a new one on Pinterest, or grab a tube of dough at your local store. Regardless of your method, sugar cookies are a fun way to celebrate the Christmas season.

  1. Bake your cookies from the method of choice.
  2. Allow your batch of sugar cookies to cool.
  3. Frost cookies.
  4. Decorate

Do you want to get the kids involved in making sugar cookies to celebrate the Christmas season? Set out different types of holiday sprinkles, marshmallows, nuts, and other toppings. Then, ask your children to help decorate the cookies. Making up new designs and colors provides added fun. Enjoy the creative process going into each cookie.

Finally, time to eat the cookies! Put a plate of cookies out as part of family night. Share a batch with a neighbor.

You can always add a nice cup of hot chocolate or milk to the celebration. Now, the next challenge, who gets to pick the Christmas movie for family night?

Drawing Prompts for the Christmas Season

Are you and your family spending more time at home this Christmas season? Are you searching for fun, simple activities to do together? How about a daily drawing challenge?

Spending a little time each day drawing can help expand your child’s imagination, increase vocabulary, and enhance fine motor skills. Unsure what to draw? Check out the following drawing prompts for the Christmas season.

  1. Santa
  2. Elf
  3. Candy Cane
  4. Gifts
  5. Star
  6. Angel
  7. Snowman
  8. Snowflakes
  9. Bells
  10. Reindeer
  11. North Pole
  12. Santa’s Sleigh
  13. Toys
  14. Manger
  15. Nativity
  16. Ornaments
  17. Gift Tags
  18. Christmas Stockings
  19. Christmas Wreath
  20. Christmas Tree
  21. Red and Green
  22. Ribbons and Bows
  23. Mistletoe
  24. Christmas Eve
  25. Christmas Day
  26. Snow Globe
  27. Mittens and Scarves
  28. Peace
  29. Love
  30. Animals in the Snow
  31. Welcoming 2021

Drawing is an open-ended activity. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Simply use your imagination.

How to Make Thanksgiving Special This Year

Thanksgiving weekend usually brings large family gatherings, traveling, and community events. The ongoing pandemic, social distancing guidelines, and other restrictions are changing your typical Thanksgiving plans. But, staying close to home provides the perfect opportunity to start new traditions.

Ways to Make Thanksgiving Special This Year

This year, celebrating Thanksgiving at home may result in smaller family gatherings. In whatever way you define your family (yes, your dog or cat counts), check out the following ideas to make Thanksgiving special.

Decorations

Before Thanksgiving, make decorations together. Crafting is a fun activity. Younger children love to create.

  • Placemats: Make paper placemats. Use construction paper to draw, paint, or color designs. If you want to save your creation, laminate the final product. You do not need a laminator machine. Clear contact paper works exceptionally well, especially for larger pieces.
  • Place Cards: Create place cards as part of your table setting. Color a design on folded notecards for easy place card settings.
  • Centerpiece: Create a centerpiece for a focal point on your Thanksgiving table. A basket with fall-themed flowers is an easy task to add beauty to your table. If your budget’s tight, check out your local dollar store for inspiration.
  • Other Table Embellishments: Gourds, miniature turkeys, and other small items create the perfect Thanksgiving table decorations. Allow your children to decorate the table.
  • Tree of Thanks: Create a tree of thanks. Using a small branch or painting a tree on a poster board, add different colored leaves. On each leaf, write down why you are grateful.

Time to Eat

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is the meal.

  • Traditional Home Cooked Meal: Bake a large family meal together. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, yams, or your version of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Don’t forget dessert.
  • Buffet Style: Place everything on the table or counter. Allow everyone to pick and choose from the options.   
  • Picnic in the Living Room:   Is your Thanksgiving going to be a casual affair? Turn your simple meal into an indoor picnic.
  • Pre-ordered Meal: Order your meal from a local restaurant. Many restaurants are hurting due to the pandemic. Pre-ordering a Thanksgiving meal helps small shops stay open. A pre-ordered meal is simple to heat and serve.
  • Candle Light Meal: Light candles or use flameless ones to add a special touch to your Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Toast or Prayer: Say a toast or prayer before eating. Depending on your children’s age, ask each member of your family to give a gratitude toast.
  • New Recipes: Is there an old family recipe or a new one you want to try? Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to try something new.

Starting New Traditions

Staying at home for a long holiday weekend is a great time to start new traditions.

  • Go Hiking: Hit the local trails to burn off all the extra eating.
  • Nature Walk: Get outdoors and go for a slow nature walk.
  • Toss the Football Around: Playing football is a long-standing tradition on Thanksgiving.
  • Go for a Ride: Pack up some leftovers and go for a long drive.
  • Decorate for Christmas: Put up your Christmas tree, decorate your home, or put lights up outdoors.

Enjoy every minute of your Thanksgiving weekend. Take lots of pictures to use in a scrapbook later.  

 

Make Putting Up Your Christmas Tree a Grand Event

Are you getting ready to put up your Christmas tree? Make the tree decorating a family fun event. (Yes, your dog counts as a family member). Spend an afternoon or evening decorating your Christmas tree together.

Ways to Make Putting Up Your Christmas Tree a Grand Event

Due to the ongoing pandemic, most community events will not take place this year. But you can quickly turn Christmas decorating into a grand affair. Check out the following list for ideas to make lasting memories while merely putting up your Christmas tree.

  • Homemade Ornaments: Make homemade ornaments for your tree. For example, salt dough ornaments are simple to create. Before putting up your tree, make a batch of salt dough ornaments. You and your family can easily cut the decorations into specific shapes with cookie cutters. Bake, paint and date your ornaments as directed. Then, on the day of putting up your Christmas tree, you can hang your new ornament creations.
  • Special Ornaments: Purchase a new ornament for each family member. If you are on a tight budget, dollar store ornaments work wonderfully. Date or add different embellishments to your decorations to create a one of a kind appearance.
  • Make Your Garland: String popcorn, create paper chains, or use other materials to create your tree’s garland.
  • Play Christmas Music: Set your radio on the Christmas music channel or create playlists full of your holiday favorites.
  • Listen to an Audio Book: Listening to children’s Christmas stories is always fun. Playing the stories in the background will add extra fun to your Christmas tree event.
  • Watch Christmas Shows: Play old classic Christmas shows while decorating the tree. Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Polar Express, or A Charlie Brown Christmas are all wonderful holiday programs for your whole family to enjoy.
  • Bake Christmas Goodies: Before setting up your tree, bake holiday-themed goodies. Cookies, pretzels, hot cocoa, or other treats help make putting up your Christmas tree a grand event.
  • Countdown Ceremony: Before plugging in your Christmas tree, have a countdown ceremony. Children love the hype of a countdown ceremony.
  • Photo Time: Wear matching holiday pajamas or ugly Christmas sweaters to pose in front of the tree. Creating a new Christmas tree ceremony selfie can be a new tradition for you and your family.

Remember to take lots of pictures while putting up your Christmas tree. Print your photos and create a special scrapbook. 2020 is definitely a year to remember.

 

Yes! Go Ahead & Decorate for Christmas Now

Many recognize November as the beginning of the holiday season. On social media, posts suggest celebrating the Christmas season before Thanksgiving is not acceptable. After a long year of COVID restrictions, celebrating with your family should be a daily event. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays. Simply have fun and enjoy the season in a way that makes you happy.

Are you looking for ways to start celebrating early? Check out the following list for ideas.

Decorate

Begin decorating early. Do you have boxes with Christmas decorations in storage? Take your time to look through each box. Decorate as you go. Overdecorate. Use all of your decorations. Spread your Christmas decorations throughout your entire living space.

  • Put up your Christmas tree.
  • Decorate hallways and doors.
  • Purchase small trees for your young children’s rooms. (Dollar store Christmas trees work perfectly for this set up).
  • Set a small Christmas related plushie on the dash of your car.
  • Decorate outdoors, including your porch, trees, or mailbox.
  • Set up a nativity scene indoors or outdoors.
  • Arrange a centerpiece on your dining room table.

Get Crafty

Do some of your ornaments lack sparkle? Add some glitter and revamp old ornaments and decorations.

  • Make salt dough ornaments
  • Make cinnamon dough ornaments
  • Create ornaments out of clay
  • Make paper chains
  • Thread popcorn and cranberries for garland
  • Make Christmas wreaths to share or keep
  • Make homemade Christmas cards.
  • Create a centerpiece.

Watch Holiday Movies

The Hallmark Channel began streaming holiday movies over two weeks ago. Go ahead, watch, and enjoy the uplifting holiday programs. If you do not have the Hallmark Channel, start searching your other streaming services to find the perfect Christmas programs for you or your entire family. Remember, you can always dig out your DVDs.

Turn watching holiday movies into a special event for your whole family. Serve snacks, hot cocoa, or order pizza. If you cannot be with your family or friends in person, host an online movie event.

If celebrating Christmas early makes you happy, then do it. Enjoy every minute of the holiday season.

 

Simple Halloween Ghost Cookies

Halloween (or any holiday) is an excellent time to start new traditions. Whether you are staying close to home due to the pandemic or avoiding the cold weather, making simple Halloween ghost cookies is a great way to celebrate. Anyways, who doesn’t like warm, gooey marshmallow cookies?

Grocery List

  • Cookie dough or the ingredients to your favorite cookie recipe.
  • Marshmallow shaped ghosts
  • Halloween sprinkles (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven.
  • Bake cookies as directed.
  • Remove at the proper time.
  • Place the ghost marshmallows and sprinkles on to the warm cookies. The marshmallow begins to melt from the heat.
  • Serve warm.
  • Enjoy the extra sweet, gooey goodness of simple Halloween ghost cookies.

These simple but tasty Halloween ghost cookies are a perfect snack for family movie night.

Halloween Crafts: Pumpkin Suncatcher

Halloween is not canceled. The holiday is just a little different this year. For those staying close to home, finding other family-friendly activities is a great way to celebrate. With adult supervision, create pumpkin suncatchers to display outdoors or hang in your windows.

List of Materials

  • Pony Beads
  • Cake Pie (The round cake pans from dollar store ones work well. You do not have to worry about ruining your favorite cake pan.)
  • Nut (Use a nut to hang your suncatcher. Drilling a hole in your suncatcher is another option. But you always run the risk of cracking your finished project.)

Instructions

  • Place your pony beads in your desired design into the cake pan. Arranging your beads is the longest part. If you are having trouble placing your beads, use a toothpick to gently move them into position.
  • When you are ready, preheat your oven to 400˚F. Keep in mind, pony beads are plastic. As the beads melt, they give off a strong odor. Opening a window for proper ventilation is highly recommended.
  • Melt your beads for about 35 minutes.
  • When your beads are completely melted, remove from the oven.
  • Allow cooling.
  • Gently tap your pumpkin suncatcher out of the pan. Be careful; the bottom of the pan may still be warm to the touch.
  • Display proudly.

October: Family History Month

Did you know all of October is Family History Month? As the weather turns colder, finding indoor activities is essential. Chilly autumn days are excellent for learning about your family history. Asking questions is one of the best ways to learn about your family. Visit or call your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, or other elder family members. Remember either record or have a pen and paper ready to take lots of notes.

Do you need help with the type of questions to ask? Go beyond simple dates and locations. Ask about family stories too. Check out the following areas for inspiration for finding out about your family.

Marriage

  • How did you meet?
  • How did Grandpa (or other elder relatives) purpose?
  • What was your maiden name?
  • Do you know how your parents or grandparents first met?
  • What was your mother’s maiden name for both sides of your family?
  • Is there any story surrounding your proposal?
  • What was your wedding day like?
  • Did you have a big wedding?
  • Where did you get married?

Family

  • How many brothers and sisters did, or do you have?
  • Tell me about them.
  • How many aunts and uncles?
  • If you had lots of cousins, did you stay in touch with them?
  • Did you have family reunions?
  • What was your family gathers like?

Childhood

  • What is your favorite childhood memory?
  • Describe an average day from your childhood.
  • Where were you born?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • Did you move around a lot or stay in one location?
  • Do you know where your parents grew up?

School

  • Where did you attend grade school? Junior high? High school?
  • Did you like school?
  • Did you attend college, vocational, or a trade school?
  • What was your favorite subject in school?

Religion

  • What was your religious upbringing?
  • Did you go to church regularly?
  • Where did you go to church?

Occupations

  • What was your first job?
  • Do you remember how much you made an hour?
  • How many different jobs did you have over the years?
  • What was your favorite one?
  • What was your parents’ occupation?

Military

  • Did you serve in the military?
  • What branch?
  • How long did you serve?
  • Were you ever in a war zone or other conflict?
  • Where did you attend boot camp?
  • Were you drafted?
  • Do you know any other family members who served in the military?
  • Describe a typical day for you in the military.

The more questions you ask, the better understanding you will have of your family history. Enjoy your time with older relatives. Their knowledge will be lost once they are gone.