Salt Clay Snowman

Old salt clay snowmenWhen my sister and I were little, my mom found a recipe for clay made from salt and we made snowmen out of it at Christmastime. I was around three, so my snowman was a little wobbly. He had to be held up by a toothpick that connected his three parts. My sister’s ended up painted with buttons, eyes, and a smile. They remain a holiday decoration at our parents’ house to this day. So, I thought it would be fun to do this with the girls and my nephews at Thanksgiving. We all travel to my grandpa’s house for Thanksgiving, which is a lot of fun, but there are a lot of breakables in one house full of five kids under the age of five. To curb a little of the rambunctious boredom (and just because it’s fun), I like to have a craft planned for the kids. Last year, we made turkeys from toilet paper rolls. (more…)

How to Tie a Christmas Tree to Your Car

Christmas Tree on Car topLadies, it is time to change our mindset on the difficulty of tying a Christmas tree to a car. Have you ever experienced discussing a topic with a man who makes something seem really difficult and stressful, but when you try it out, it couldn’t be simpler? This is one of those experiences. Check out this site for example. Detailed. Thorough. A really good tutorial on how to tie a Christmas tree to your car. Here’s the thing. When tying a Christmas tree to your car, all you need is some good rope, a little bit of patience, and some common sense. (more…)

I Was That Mom

Last year, I was that mom. You know, the one in a full panic because the toy of the season that every kid wants is out of stock, and, guess what, that’s the one toy yours wants for Christmas. The shame of participating in this has plagued me all year. But, before full judgment sets in, let me explain. I assure you, my motives were pure. (more…)

Coffee Filter Snowflakes

We make these snowflakes each year. I made these as a kid, although we used construction paper, and the girls seem to enjoy it just as much as I did. It’s kind of exciting, even to me now, to see what each shape will look like once it is unfolded. The best part is they never turn out the same, just like real snowflakes. We usually use these as a start to our winter decorating by hanging them on the windows in the living room. It’s also a great activity to pull out when it is snowing. Since I’m a mom, I always have coffee filters on hand. Always. So there isn’t any need to stock up on art supplies. When it starts snowing, we’re ready.

Coffee filter snowflakesWhat You’ll Need:

Coffee Filters
Safety Scissors
Tape or String

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The Year We Had an Elf

by Elizabeth Stasny

These days almost everyone with young children knows about The Elf on the Shelf, but in 2008 when my younger daughter, Margaret, was nine years old and in fourth grade, elves were a fairly new phenomenon. Margaret came home from school one day in early November all excited – her friend Emma had an elf that was staying with her until Christmas and Kate was asking for one too. Could she please, please, please ask Santa to let an elf stay with her until Christmas?

The year we had an elf 1What? I’d never heard of such a thing. I emailed Emma’s mother asking what all this business about elves was. I didn’t like what I heard. You sent away for a little stuffed toy elf (for an outrageous amount of money, plus shipping and handling), the elf stayed a toy during the day while everyone was awake but came alive at night and did mischievous things around the house. Some suggestions were that the elf would watch DVDs, which he would leave around on the floor along with spilled popcorn that he had popped. Or he might go “fishing” for goldfish crackers in the sink, again making a mess. At that moment I was not all that happy with Emma’s mother for getting an elf for Emma. I didn’t have time to clean up messes around an elf-free house; I certainly didn’t have time to make and then clean up messes from a Christmas elf!

But it was hard to resist Margaret’s begging, and her written plea to Santa:

Dear Santa,
May I please have an Elf? I would really like one!
Lots of Love,
Margaret
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