Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 8: White Envelope

Phew, I am caught back up. :)

Today's activity was a special one. Like I mentioned before we really want to teach Sydney that Christmas is about loving others and giving not just the commercialized version we see all around us. Today Sydney and I did a little white envelope activity for Shane. If you haven't heard of this before it is a really great way to teach kids about giving as well as a creative gift for somebody in your life. The idea is to give to somebody else or do something special to meet a need in your community or the world. Then you write down what you did and seal it in a white envelope and place it in your Christmas tree. On Christmas day, your recipient (in our case Shane) will get to open the envelope and read about what we did in his honor. I am excited for Shane to read our first white envelope!! No peeking!

Day 7: Date with Daddy

For Day 7 of Christmas celebrations, Sydney was able to go out with her dad. Shane took her to get ice cream, or so I thought. They returned with this year's ornament for the tree (Sydney picked out a pink angel), new legos (she picked out Star Wars), AND ice cream. Daddy definitely treated her. Today she will not let the new legos out of her sight. We have taken apart and rebuilt them about 5 times. Well, she has taken apart and asked me to put them back together. I love seeing how excited she is when she gets back from time with Shane. Special time with family and those we love is such an important part of Christmas.

Day 6: Festival of Lights

On Saturday we took Sydney to the Festival of Lights. It is an annual event here in Los Angeles sponsored by the Department of Water and Power. Even though we have lived in the area for a few years we have never been before. After going this year, I am sure it will become an annual event for our family. We met some friends there and the kids all had a great time. Usually you drive your car through the event to observe all the light displays but there are special nights when they shut the road down and you can walk. We decided to see the lights via our own two legs. I figured that Sydney would have more fun running from display to display rather then reaching her neck to try to see each one. Different local departments have displays. For example, there was a display from the local fire department, one from the airport (which was one of my favorites), and of course some from the Department of Water and Power. I would definitely recommend this for any family who lives in the area.

While we have figured out where our camera is, we have not been able to pick it up yet. And since my iPhone does not work too well when trying to capture Christmas light displays, this post is sadly pictureless.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

DreamWorks Holiday Bazaar

I had a great time participating in the DreamWorks bazaar for the first time. I met some really nice people including some ladies who make amazing children's clothing. I had an array of blankets, elf hats, scarves, and onesies. You may remember a little sneak peek at a new pattern I was working on. Well, as you can see from the picture I worked on a design for an ogre beanie. It was a big hit. I sold all the ones I had and took orders for a few more.

I learned alot from my first two craft fairs. I learned that you never can predict what people will like. I also learned that in economic times like these people prefer smaller items. I look forward to doing more shows in the future but for now I am ready to only craft for our own gifts and my own fun for a little while. After I finish up a few more Christmas gifts and a couple orders I really want to try my hand at some new things. I will be working on getting the extra blankets and hats in the shop over the weekend so check back.

Day 4 and 5: Hot chocolate and a Date

Sorry for the little delay. Here is the Christmas activities we shared the past two days.

First up, on Thursday I had a holiday bazaar at DreamWorks (I will share more about that soon). Since most of the day was spent in a mad dash to finish things and pack everything up I needed to look at the list of possible activities for something simple. To my surprise, Shane brought over the perfect treat. While Sydney and I were watching the table and chatting with people he brought Sydney hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. I think that is a wonderful little holiday treat. (And yes that is a full cup of hot chocolate for a three year old on my table of goods. Luckily, we didn't have any accidents.)

Friday's Christmas treat was a date with just Sydney and Mommy. We went out to dinner for Mexican food and talked about ponies and other things Sydney thought she might get for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Day 3: Ornaments

Today's Christmas activity was making ornaments to hang in Sydney's room. She really loved doing these. In fact she spent a little over 2 hours working away on them. I was inspired from this post and just simplified it for a three year old. We used silver pipe cleaners and as you can see Sydney picked all pink beads. They actually look really cute and festive all hanging in the corner of her room.

1. To make just use 3 pipe cleaners and twist at the centers. Then arrange to resemble a snowflake or star.

2. Then have your child place beads on the pipe cleaners in whatever order or color they want. The beads stay on the pipe cleaners by themselves.

3. Then hang from string.

Note: You could also use a nice ribbon instead of string and use them on the Christmas tree or have your kids hand them out as gifts.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Day 2: Mailing a gift to Zambia

We sponsor a child through World Vision for Sydney. It is a little girl in Zambia who is the same age. We really wanted to encourage Sydney to think of others. Having somebody the same age is a great tool to teach her about another country, culture, etc. It is also a great way to show Sydney how blessed we are here in the United States.

For today's Christmas activity we sent Ireen a small gift. Sydney helped pick out a few little gifts: a small notebook, gel pens, stickers, and a pack of hairclips. Since Sydney can not write yet, I wrote a letter to the little girl and Sydney drew her a picture of the two of them playing together. It was so cute but alas I forgot to take a picture before sealing the envelop. Whoops. This is a wonderful way to teach kids that Christmas is about giving and loving others. Plus, through sponsering you can use this to remind kids throughout the year to think of others!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Anticipation Day 1

Now that Sydney is three she understands fully that Christmas is coming and that it means lots of fun presents, food, and activities. I would love to make an amazing advent calendar for our family like this one or this one. But alas, it is December 1st and no such calendar is finished (or even started for that matter.) So last night we made an old favorite, a paper chain, to help her see visually the count down to Christmas. I have also decided that every day I will have a Christmas activity for her. The goal is to share them with all of you but I am not promising to get to it daily. I hate making promises I can't keep but I will do my best.

Today's activity was making her own Christmas cards for handing out. She made Christmas tree cards last year so this year we decided on Snowmen cards. This is pretty easy but here are a few steps in case you are interested in doing this with your little ones too.

1. First, we read a book about snowmen so she could see different pictures of snowmen and get different ideas for details.

2. Then I let Sydney pick out construction paper for the actual cards. I just cut them in half and then folded those pieces in half.

3. I assisted Sydney in cutting large and smaller circles for the snowmen.

4. Finally, I left her with all the cards, circles, scissors, glue, markers, and extra construction paper to assemble and decorate the cards.

Sydney says that this one has 'branch' arms, boots, a hat, eyes, a smile, and buttons. So cute!

P.S. I have misplaced our camera so for now you are going to get cellphone pictures. Forgive me...I am cleaning the house today and hoping to will turn up soon. :(