December 15—10 days until Christmas—Holiday Candles

Every holiday I find lots of useless red and green stubs from the previous year

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that are too short to stick in a holder, but too long to toss away.  Some of them I tuck them into newspaper and stuff under logs in my fire place.  They’re great for creating big flames.

However there’s another use.  I buy some fat white candles,

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light the short colorful candles and let them drip all around, until I have this extra special candle for my Christmas dinner table.

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These make pretty and inexpensive gifts.

Any one have any candle crafts they’d like to share?

Hope everyone is enjoying a stress-free, love-filled holiday season.

November 17th—38 days until Christmas—Christmas Card Bowl

We’re under forty days to the big day and that means soon cards will start to arrive.  I hope you already have yours.  I hope you’ve even started to address them.  Remember we’re trying to do everything in advance so December will be stress-free and love-filled.

Since you’ll be receiving cards, you’ll be needing a place to keep them.  I decoupaged a painted wooden bowl with old cut-out Christmas cards.

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The elves love to carry it away to a quiet place to look at the pictures and read all the greetings.  Decoupage is easy and takes no artistic talent at all–just cut and paste.  Here are the instructions for a box I made last year.

In my next post I’ll take a break from crafts and share some of my dear husband’s favorites for the holidays.  Hope some might be yours, too.

NOVEMBER 13TH—42 Days until Christmas—Holiday Granny Square Throw

I had so much fun making my granny square coasters (See post here) that I went a little crazy with granny squares. First I made some small granny square Christmas decorations that look like this.

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I decided to make a throw also.

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Mine doesn’t stick to the pattern of colors and yours doesn’t have to either. I just took all my leftover Christmas yarns and used the colors until they ran out. My husband was mighty pleased with the outcome. I was, too,  And since the yarn was already in my stash, I was thrilled with the cost which was zilch!

So gather up any Christmas colored yarns you have and get to work.  Now!

Anyone out there also had fun crocheting something lovely for the holidays?

November 10th—45 days until Christmas—Star Poem and Decorations

Up here in the north pole our skies are filled with stars, but on Christmas we celebrate one star.  Hence this poem:

Years ago a bright brilliant star

shone down from the blackened sky,

showing wise men and shepherds the way

to the manger where Jesus lay.

And so I hang a multitude

of stars, around my tree,

reminding me of the reason why

we celebrate Christmas day.

© Ann Whitford Paul

It’s still only November but I had fun making these simple star decorations.

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You and your family can, too. Get busy. Directions are here. While you’re busy painting and gluing, listen to  this you-tube song. 

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It celebrates the book about me and is  less than a minute and a half long.  I hope you’ll play it over and over again.

My next post will have another simple craft for decorations and another holiday throw.  The more you do now, the more relaxed your December will be.

November 6th—49 days until Christmas—Last Advent Activity Suggestions

Here are my final suggestions.

  1. Go on a shape hunt in your house—rectangles, squares, circles, triangles. How many can you find?  How many are holiday related—Christmas tree is a triangle, circle wreaths, rectangle and square presents, etc.
  2. Write to a friend telling them how much he or she means to you.
  3. Make a list of all the things you’re grateful for.
  4.  Make decorations together for your Christmas Tree—out of pipe cleaners   DSCN0224 or buttons  DSCN0228 (2)  Here are the pipe cleaner directions.  And here are the button decoration directions.
  5.  Tie bright ribbons on your door knobs and bannisters.  012 (2)
  6.  Watch a favorite Christmas movie.  These are mine.  MIRACLE ON THIRTY-FOURTH STREET, HOME ALONE, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, or LOVE ACTUALLY.
  7.  Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
  8.  Clean out bookshelves and donate old books to library for used book sale.

Over the last several posts, I’ve given you well over twenty-five activity suggestions.  Pick your 25 favorite and put them in your bowl.  Then each morning pull out one.  Don’t be rigid about this.  If you’re having a busy day and the activity can’t be done, drop it back in and pull out another more doable one.  As the number of papers decrease, you and your family will see how fast Christmas is coming.  And what a fun time you’ll have together!

Join me for my nest post where we’ll talk about stars.

October 20th—66 days until Christmas—Rag Wreath

Oh, my!  Oh, my!  We’ve moving closer—just over two months before the big day.  I hope you’re busy planning for the holidays so you can relax in December.

We’re super busy up here at the North Pole.  They elves are hammering and stitching and choosing just the right books and toys for your children.  Being married to Mr. Saint Nick all these years has made me crazy for Christmas.  It’s also made me crazy for making decorations each year.  And guess what?  I have a closet full of leftover unused fabric, silently demanding, “Don’t forget about me!”

So I this year I vowed not to.  I made these two rag wreaths from fabric scraps.  This one is big enough to hang on my door.

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 The other one will look beautiful on our tree–Yes, we do have a tree each year–or on a window handle.

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Easy directions are here.

And because I still had oodles of fabric left, I decided to make something else–here’s a hint.  It’s perfect for my husband or for a baby too.  Find out what it is, next post.

October 13th—73 days until Christmas—Another Poem

This came to me on a frigid North Pole Day.  It’s titled WREATH

A green wheel

rolls through December

to park on my door.

Its needles, its holly,

its bright red bow

announce, Christmas lives inside.

No wreath will be rolling to your door any time soon, but you can get to work making these small button wreaths decorations now.

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Directions are here.

Next post I’ll have another wreath you can make.  It’s with yarn, but no knitting, no crocheting involved.  Hope to see you then.