Sunday, December 9, 2012

Our Tree

I wrote this post last year about Christmas and the trap one might fall into when comparing your own celebrations, traditions and decorations to everything else out there.  I called it the Martha Stewart Syndrome, or MSS.

I'm happy to report that this year, I have not yet let MSS into my life.  Do I still want that giant, flocked, 8ft tree with matching blue glass ornaments and silver bells someday?  Of course.  But this isn't our season for such things.  I have three toddlers and a baby.  This is our season for finding magic is paper chains and foam figured nativity sets found at the craft store.

And of course, every Christmas season is about the Savior.  I'm trying to teach my little ones that.  It's their first year of really getting what Santa Clause is all about.  And instead of trying to fight the whole Jesus/Santa debate, I think they go rather nicely hand in hand.  Forgive me if any reader finds this blasphemous, but a kind man who gives gifts to children out the kindness of his heart definitely has some Christian qualities about him.  So we are going to focus on the kindness of the season and how we should also be kind, like Jesus. (And Santa, I guess.)

So, in honor of my Christmas with toddlers, I'll share with you one of our activities.

We have this beautiful, real tree in our home this year.  It's large and lovely and my heart was so happy when we strapped it to the roof of our car.

We got out about 1/8 of the ornaments I have in boxes.  It's just too tempting for little hands to not touch all the little hanging wonders.  And by the time they finally learn to REALLY leave the ornaments on the tree, we could have some causalities.  So, we are making a few of our own decorations.

The paper chain!  I had plans to do this one and imagined cutting out strips of construction paper. Because last time I made a paper chain, in my 3rd grade class, I'm pretty sure this was our method.  But I found this great thing called Lickety Strips.  So much easier.

The boys worked on it for about 4 minutes, and Sunny was focused for a good 20.  It's been on ongoing project.  The paper came in pre-cut strips and you simply lick the back in order for it to stick together.  Easy peasy!  Perfect for my little elves.

We'll add a little something each week, and on Christmas Eve, we'll add the star.  Did you know in Germany, the parents decorate the entire tree Christmas Eve and it's a lovely, beautiful surprise for their little leiblings.

What are your favorite toddler friendly Christmas activities?

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