Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The easiest (best?) Christmas craft ever

It was a miserable rainy day on Monday.
We had driven ten hours on Sunday after a delightful jaunt back east, and Monday was just feeling very Monday.
And it was CYBER Monday. So this meant I was frantically trying to get every. last. deal. known to online shoppers or face the certain penalty of missing a bargain.
And Little Guy was BORED.
He had just enjoyed five days of constant attention from loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great grandparent, cousins once removed, dog, great aunts, great uncles. Goodness we have a big family.
Not to mention the indoor pool.
Were we the first people at the hotel pool and the last ones to leave every day?
I'm not sure I even have to answer that.

So he was REALLY BORED to be back home, with no playmates (not even a sister who was at school), and no pool. And rain.

Ok, this is good, I thought. We'll do a puzzle. Or some reading practice. Something "productive."

"I want to decorate for Christmas!" he said demanded. How could I turn this down? Such a sweet idea. One problem: I didn't have the keys to our storage locker.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, I just got way ahead of myself. I forgot that I have readers who don't live in the city! "What's a storage locker?" They are asking.
A storage locker, dear rural reader, is akin to your "garage" or "basement" or "attic" or "junk room" where you keep all the things you use infrequently. Or never.
Like huge luggage.
Or skis.
Or Christmas decorations including the artificial tree you inherited with your condo because the previous owner forgot that she actually had a storage locker (side note: Thanks!)

And then, a stroke of brilliance: A Days till Christmas chain!

 1. Cut red and green construction paper into strips. (Obviously I chose this pic because it shows off the gingerbread house we made. Go ahead, admire it.)
2. Form alternating loops. Feel free to teach your child what "alternating" means if you're into that sort of didactic moment thing.
3. Staple. Or tape. Or glue. Whatever adhesive you already have at your house will do.
4. Ta-DAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Oh so very proud.
5. Hang on wall and rip off one loop per day till Christmas!

I probably made one of these chains in every Sunday school class from ages 3-17. It is the simplest, most Kathleen-proof craft that exists.
And it was soooooo fun! Little Guy had a blast and the time just flew by while we worked together.
There was a lesson here for me about the Christmas season. A lesson about patience, simplicity, and the value of time spent together over perfection.
I hope your Christmas season is full of all that good stuff.

Right before we hung the chain on the wall Little Guy looked at me and said, "I'm going to teach my kids how to do this when I'm a Dad!" I know you will, buddy.

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