Well, I blinked and poof! There went November. I love Thanksgiving but I'm not sad that it's now 100% acceptable to deck the halls and crank the Christmas tunes.
This weekend I decided to do a little crafting with my kiddos. They are 7 (and 5/8's, as we established today...) and just a few months over 2 years old. Both are independent, lively, ridiculously smart and they move faster than should be humanly possible, in my opinion.
I've always thought those little felt Christmas trees that kids can decorate were such a great idea. Decorations they can mess with and possibly create a diversion from the REAL Christmas tree (I do opt for a spruce tree if possible, which seems to deter climbing and any major destruction). I picked up some various colors of felt, with a little extra green, some sparkly pompoms and decided to make one myself. With my little helpers, of course.
Things started out pretty well. My husband took the kids for a walk so I could cut out a cardboard form to adhere the felt to so I got that part hammered out pretty quickly. Next, came the tree felt. That's when things got a little hairy. The kids came back ready to help and I found myself saying "n n n n noooo, don't touch that it's hot!"and "please don't put your crackers on the tree" and "you need to get a tissue before you add another shade of green to our design" and so on.
Next thing I know, there is glue on the front of the tree (which was not in the plan), the cat is stealing the pompoms, the 2 year old is trying SO hard to climb on the table looking for the glue gun, scissors, anything dangerous she can find and the 7 (and 5/8's) year old is bored.
I can see that we are clearly on a headlong tumble into disaster, so I improvise. Quickly cutting out as many felt circles, candy cane (ish) shapes and stars as I can, I nail the (mostly) finished tree to the wall and say proudly "Who wants to decorate!". Be quiet, perfectionism. Sometimes done is better than perfect.
All in all it was a fun little project, and I think the kids will enjoy adding their own creations (or crackers, whatever) to it over the next month. This morning, however, I did find the tree topper star attached to our Great Pyrenees, so maybe not.
I find myself reflecting back on my own childhood sometimes. Wondering if I'm doing it all wrong, if I should spend more time doing this and less doing that etc. My best memories, the ones that made me who I am today, were the simple family times or things we worked on together. They probably weren't perfect, had their fair share of messes and muffled curses from my parents, but to me they are solid gold.
I'm hoping one day my kids will look back fondly on their little felt Christmas tree. Even if it's just to laugh at how crazy their mom was with all of her projects and ideas, and how funny it was to decorate the dog. In the end, their smiles are all I need to make it worth it. Gray hair, glue gun burns and all.
PS - If you are looking for a fun craft project (without kids involved) to kick off the season, I'd love for you to join us for one of our Christmas Workshops coming up this weekend. Hop on over to our booking page here, to save your seat!