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Crafty Holiday Traditions

The holidays always make me feel a little craftier, and now that the girls are three, I’m having a lot of fun starting family traditions!

On November 1st, I created our third annual family thankful tree. Everyone was assigned a colored leaf and each day, we all put one leaf on the tree, to share what we were thankful for. On Thanksgiving, we had a beautiful tree, full of thanks.

Thanksgiving Thankful Tree

As usual in our household, our Christmas tree went up the weekend before Thanksgiving. Typically, we put it up early, so we can enjoy it longer, since we usually travel up to two weeks over the holidays.

Christmas Tree

I found a wonderful advent calendar from Target, that would keep my creativity flowing throughout the holidays. Each day, the girls flip over an ornament on the advent tree, and we do whatever is on the back.

Advent Tree

Just one week into December and we have already created a paper garland, decorated a Christmas tree, put up our felt Christmas tree, made ornaments for the tree, looked at Christmas lights, taken a picture with Santa, and created gingerbread houses and Christmas cookies!

We also have had fun with Elfie, our Elf on the Shelf. Every morning, Elfie flies to a new spot and the girls have a lot of fun trying to find her!

Over the past two years, the Christmas felt tree has been a hit in our household. The girls love to decorate and re-decorate the tree, again and again.Felt Tree

This year, I was excited to find a felt nativity scene, to put on the wall, and even more thrilled to watch the girls take turns, telling each other the true meaning of Christmas.

Felt Nativity Scene

Every day, offers a little something exciting in the countdown for Christmas. Each day, we find Elfie, take a paper ring off of the Christmas garland, and flip over an ornament on our advent calendar, to see what special event we get to do that day!

We love the holidays and look forward to these new traditions and finding even more, for years to come!

Happy Holidays! Get crafty!

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Elfie: A Gift From Santa

Katelyn & Chelsea received a very special package on the morning of Thanksgiving, from none other then himself, Santa Claus! The girls and I were coming inside from playing outback, when we heard the doorbell ring. We all ran to the door to see who it was, and we found a very special package on our door step.

Special DeliveryThe girls knew exactly what it was when they saw the box, and were super eager to open it up to find their very own, Elf on the Shelf!

We have been eagerly awaiting this special package from the North Pole for the last two weeks, because we have been learning all about the Christmas magic through An Elf’s Story!

Elf on the ShelfThe girls understood all of the big concepts about their new Elf already, thanks to our special book and DVD.

  • We need to give our Elf a name before she gets her Christmas Magic.
  • The Elf will lose her Christmas Magic if she is touched.
  • Our Elf flies to the North Pole to see Santa every night when we are sleeping, to report if we were naughty or nice.
  • We will find our Elf in a new place every morning.

Together, we opened the box and read our book, The Elf on the Shelf A Christmas Tradition.

Elf on the Shelf

We talked about a whole bunch of names for our new friend that Santa had sent us and the girls decided on the name, Elfie. A few hours later, the girls went down for a nap. When they woke up, they ran downstairs to re-visit their Elf on the Shelf box only to discover that Elfie was gone!

She had received her Christmas Magic because we gave her a name and when the girls were sleeping, Elfie had flown out of the box to the top of our Christmas tree! The girls were ecstatic when they found her!

Elf on ShelfEvery morning, we all wake up, excited to run downstairs, and search for Elfie!

Elf Shelf

Elf ShelfWe are thrilled to have Elfie join our family for the Christmas season and look forward to welcoming her back year after year!

Thanks Santa!

Tis the Season to be Creative!

I would not categorize myself as creative or crafty in any way, in fact, most of my days can be summed up by this ecard…

…but there is something about the holidays, and wanting to start family traditions, that has brought the craftiness out of me.

Last year, I made our first Family Thankful Tree. It kind of resembled a big stick. I call it my Charlie Brown Thankful tree.  tree 2012I loved the idea of the thankful tree as a way to show thanks. I even think I got a little more crafty with my tree this year. The family thankful tree is a fun family tradition to begin on November 1st! Every day, each family member writes down on a leaf what they are thankful for and by the time Thanksgiving arrives, you will have a beautiful tree, full of thanks to share!

We are halfway into the month of November, so here is picture of our family thankful tree so far!

I think we have come a long way since the Charlie Brown twig tree last year!

I have been trying to talk to the girls about being thankful and why we say thank you. After a 2-3 minute discussion (which is a very, long time for a toddler), I asked Chelsea what she was thankful for, to which she replied, “A driver.” and “Shopping carts.” I have to agree, both of those are very handy, and definitely something to be thankful for!

Another creative idea I found on Pinterest, which I actually followed through on, was my felt Christmas tree! We just put the tree up today, so the girls could decorate and re-decorate. Yes, I put it up early, but there will only be a few years where they really get excited about it, which makes me excited to get it up early!

photo(19)Right now, the Family Thankful Tree and Christmas Felt Tree are facing off in a dual on opposite walls of each other, and I am sitting in between them, feeling extraordinarily crafty!

I love being able to start new family traditions. Our next tradition to begin this year is the Elf on the Shelf! A parent’s secret to getting your children to behave for a month. Stay tuned for some mischievous elf adventures!

‘Tis the season…. Time to get your craft on!