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Christmas in July
July 12, 2012 - Jen Zbozny
Are you cringing? Should I mention that Christmas is fewer than 6 months away? Breathe out.
I'm not one of those moms who has it all done by the day after Christmas in time for next year. I do think about it though and it's time for me to do a few things now so I don't have to panic later. The first is stop time. The second is stop sleeping. That way I'll have gifts purchased and wrapped, cards written and mailed, cookies baked, and my teeth brushed by Christmas morning. Is that too much to ask? Okay, I'll only brush the top teeth, how about that?
Actually, there really are some Christmas decisions I'm starting to make right now and I thought I'd share. The first is that Eve and I always make something for her grandparents. I like the idea of making something practical that can be used, either each year at Christmas or even regularly throughout the year. Also, it has to be something Eve actually helps to make and customize. It's a bonus if a few photos can be included. It's a tall order.
Last year we made one of my favorites, sets of Christmas placemats. Here's what we did (and see the pictures at right too).
Red and green poster board
A few metallic markers
Christmas stickers, flat ones, not puffy or dimensional
Red, white, and green, pieces of construction paper
Pinking shears or fancy-edged scissors
Some of your favorite kid-photos from throughout the year
Clear contact paper
Instructions: 1. Using enough poster board, cut out 2 red and 2 green placemat-sized shapes, whatever shape you prefer. I recommend bringing home a paper placemat from a restaurant and tracing that shape. These will be your 4 placemats.
2. Use the pinking shears or fancy scissors and the red, white, and green construction paper to cut out some rectangles of different sizes.
3. For each mat, use one paper rectangle and write "Christmas 2012" on it. Use 2-4 stickers to stick it to the center of the placemat.
4. Give your children the markers, stickers, photos, and some of the other paper rectangles. Let them decorate each placemat to their heart's desire. Make sure to tell them not to color on the photos. Make sure they use the stickers to stick each item firmly to the placemat.
5. When they finish, cut 2 pieces of clear contact paper to the size of the placemat.
6. This is the grown-up job. Peel the backing off one piece of contact paper. Set it over the front of the placemat and smooth it over the artwork.
7. Next peel the backing off the other piece of contact paper and cover the back of the placemat. Trim as needed.
If you're making multiple sets of these, I suggest you start early and let your children work on them over time. It's a fun way for them to participate and the family will treasure them.
Are your kids making things for Christmas? Tell us about it!
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Our homemade Christmas treasure