I love Christmas. It's a time to remember, a time to share, a time to give, a time to love, a time for thanks. But my absolute favorite thing to do during the Christmas season is to decorate the tree. Growing up my favorite gift every year was from Granny (My Great Grandmother). She spent all year making a shoe box full of ornaments for her Great Grandchildren. Lucky me that I was one of them. My parents would make me open that gift last because I would take forever examining each one. Granny has been gone for 15-16 years now but every year she is here at Christmas. I can decorate a 7 foot tree with just her ornaments.
Here I am at two years old looking at one of Granny's ornaments.
Making ornaments was sort of a family thing though because both of my Grandmothers made some ornaments (Although not nearly as many as Granny), my Mom has also made ornaments and now my children and I do too. I thought I would share a couple of the ideas for ornaments I have done with my kids. Besides being able to do something with your little ones these ornaments can also be given as gifts to Grandparents or Aunts and Uncles.
The first one is actually one I adapted. It uses up old Christmas cards which is a great idea by itself, but I used some of my kids art in them and got a great result.
Here are the directions from Scoutie girl http://www.scoutiegirl.com/2009/12/tutorial-crafting-a-holiday-card-keepsake-ornament-by-nicole-of-lillyella.html What I did was have my kids paint on some card stock. I used this as my paper for the ornament. Then I made sure to write each kids name and the year it was made on one side of the ornament.
The next idea is really simple to do as well. All you need is some felt, some embroidery thread, a little ribbon, and your child's hand. This works best when you have a child that is 18 months or younger so that their hands are still super small. First you trace their hand on a piece of paper. Make sure that their fingers are together with their thumb separate like they are wearing a mitten.
This is how you want the hand to look on the paper.
Once the hand is traced on the paper you want to make it more of a "mitten" shape. When you are done it should look like this:
Then you simply cut out the shape, trace it twice for a front and a back onto whatever felt you chose and cut out the felt.
I like to attach the loop on the bottom of the mitten where I drew the red loop on. I like the way it looks when they hang, but you could put it wherever you like.
Those are my two top favorite ornaments to make with my little ones for our family. They are really quick and easy but they look like they took forever and everyone always loves them. Plus with the mitten one it reminds you of how small they used to be :)
Another one of my favorite gift ideas is to make a yearly calender using my children's art. We do this every year for our family. It's especially neat because it started out being just Naiya and this year Lily did some stuff for the calender too. I like to use vistaprint http://www.vistaprint.com/vp/welcomeback.aspx?xnav=welcome&GNF=1&rd=2
I find their program really easy to use. All I do is the design your own calender, which allows me to choose the template and then I add in the art I want. They make desk calenders or wall calenders so there are options, which is always a bonus. I just scan, or take pictures of the drawings or whatever it happens to be and then upload those images onto their site. I can put whichever image into whichever month, and add or remove Holidays (I always make sure to put in every body's birthdays and anniversaries). If you order them in mid-November the calenders are usually 50% off and then you can use their slow shipping to save more money because there's plenty of time for it to get to you. This is a gift that they can enjoy all year and it doesn't clutter up the house which I always appreciate :) Here's one of the paintings from Lily and one from Naiya for a little sneak peek at our family calender this year.
Lily's marble painting.
A painting soon to be framed that Naiya did at the beginning of the summer.