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Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas

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Enjoying Christmas is all about priorities so maybe having a spotless home is not a priority so have yourself a messy little Christmas!

I actually really hate messes

But I’m not a neat freak.

I actually know people whose houses truly are virtually spotless all the time–really.

We know this because I’ve dropped in on them unannounced.

Having sat with them as they recovered from major surgery.

I would have done dishes to help them out, or vacuumed, or done laundry, but I couldn’t, because it was already done.

These people have magical powers, and I really, really do wish that I could have a little of that fairy dust sprinkled on me, even if I would want to clean it up right away.

If I ever have major surgery, they will have plenty to help me with, I’m sorry to say.

Have Yourself A Messy Little Christmas

But neatness is important to me.

For that reason, I am not an awesome mom in many ways.

We don’t paint unless we’re painting a whole room. I’m very hesitant in the chalk department.

We don’t cook together much. Doing dishes with kids does tend to result in sloshed water.

My sister tells me that play dough is actually fun if you use more than one color, but I say you can’t get them back in the right container ever again.

Not completely.

It’s irksome.

Sure, it’s fun the first time, but what then? So my kids have a less than stellar play dough experience.

I have a specific date in mind for Christmas decorating this year, and I have a firm goal that the house will be totally clean before we do it.

Then, and only then, let the festivities begin!

And it’s going to be great this year!

We will bake, we will craft, we will sing, we will wrap!

But only after the house is completely clean first!

We can’t enjoy it otherwise. Right?

Just now, the earth shaking thought came over me–what if the house doesn’t have to be completely clean first?

Would I want to sacrifice everything else to that one goal that never quite seems to be attained?

Could we, possibly, maybe, still have fun baking cookies together with that pile of mismatched socks in the living room?

Would we still benefit from and enjoy studying Christmas in other cultures if the sun porch only has a narrow path cutting through the clutter?

What if I have to chose? What do I do first to prepare for Christmas? What should I put first?

I guess this isn’t a terribly original thought.

Prioritization and Organization? Not for Me!

I’m pretty sure I’ve read about a billion blog posts on prioritizing, and not putting a spotless house first.

I know I’ve read time and again things like, “Your kids will remember the time you spent baking cookies with them and not the pile of socks in the living room”, and I can tell you why I’m different.

I grew up in a house with plenty of sock piles and other piles, and I DO remember, and it DID bother me as a kid, and it DOES effect me now.

Um. Obviously, I guess.

We have a close family and have always had lots of good times…but that didn’t negate the condition of the house.

But on the other hand, I’m tired of saying, “Someday when Mommy gets her act together, we’ll have some really great times.”

Or thinking, “The only way I can keep this house in livable condition is if we absolutely do not do anything that might make a mess.”

I’m not giving up on cleanliness, not entirely.

There are times when it is just too cold outside to play so you need a list of activities for indoors.

I’ll keep cleaning until that appointed date, I’ll try to leave only picturesque piles of flour when we paint and glitter when we craft.

But maybe, just maybe, I’ll give up on perfection and see how awesome just living might be.

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Crafts

Toddler DIY – Kid Friendly Christmas Crafts

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Welcome to the holidays, time for Kid Friendly Christmas Crafts.

Only this year, I have a toddler trying to help.

I went searching for kid friendly Christmas crafts and this is what I found.

I found the cutest ornament on Pinterest, so I figured I would give it a shot.

While I am putting the final result on my tree, this is totally a Pinterest fail.

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Crafts

DIY Polish Star Christmas Ornaments

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My mother-in-law posted a link on Facebook the other day detailing how to make something called Polish Star Ornaments.

I watched the video and immediately fell in love with these easy, yet beautiful ornaments and thought how wonderful they would look on my Christmas tree.

Tradition of the Polish Star

In the Polish tradition of celebrating Christmas, the star has special significance.

On Christmas Eve the first star of the night is named “Gwiazda,” meaning “little star,” in remembrance of the Star of Bethlehem.

At the moment it appears, greetings and good wishes are exchanged.

Families then partake of the Christmas supper, “Wigilia,” the most carefully planned meal of the year.

Polish Star Ornaments

You will need the following supplies to make your Polish Star Christmas Ornaments:

  • A pen or pencil (to form the points)
  • Something sharp to poke a hole through the center of each piece of paper, I used a sewing needle, a toothpick would work too. If you use a compass to draw your circles, you can use that to poke a hole through the circles of paper.
  • Scissors
  • White Glue (to glue the points)
  • Jewelry Cord (to hold the pieces together, string, twine, ribbon etc. can also be used)
  • 2 Jewelry spacing beads, sequins, etc. (to keep the cord on both ends taught)
  • 5 Sheets of 8.5 x 11 Paper (scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, printer paper, brown shipping paper etc.)
  • A Compass or object you can use to draw around about 4″ wide, I used a cardboard ribbon spool
  • A Compass or object you can use to draw around about 1″ wide, I used a nickel

Instructions:

1.  Use a 3″ – 4″ circle (I used a cardboard ribbon spool that is roughly 3.5″) and draw 4 circles onto a piece of paper. Next, use your .09″ – 1″ circle (I used a nickel) and draw the inner circle in the middle of the larger circle. Do this on the remaining pieces of 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper for a total of 10-20 large circles.  Or use the template found here.

2. Cut the larger circles out.  Then Fold the circle in half, fold a second time in half (1/4), then a third time in half (1/8).

3.  Open your circles up. In the center of the circle punch, use a needle, toothpick, etc. to make a hole.

4. Cut along the folds almost to the center, but not quite all the way. You can see in the photos below where the cuts are made.

5. Put a small dab of glue on the point of one tab, then wrap the tab around a pencil or pen hold in place for a few seconds so the glue sets, do this for all 8 tabs. You can also do this without using a pen or pencil as seen in the youTube video posted at the bottom.

6. Slip a spacer bead onto your jewelry cord halfway down the cord (you can also use string, twine, thin ribbon etc.). I didn’t take a photo of this, so I used the diagram from diohomeimprovements.com.

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Crafts

3 Simple Halloween Crafts to Decorate your Home

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At TotsFamily.com we like to get crafty but we are also a very frugal set of people.

When Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store challenged us to create a #SpookySpaces tablescape we couldn’t refuse.

Our table consists of three separate crafts which together make a lovely scene.

Or you can make just one or two of the crafts and add to your existing decor.

Looking for more Halloween ideas?

3 Simple Halloween Crafts To Decorate Your Home

Framed Holiday Quote

I love framed holiday quotes because you can customize and reuse it for every holiday table scape you create.

I chose the phrase ‘BOO’ for Halloween and decided to just use 1 letter per frame so it really stands out.

You could also choose whole words or phrases for each frame.

Instructions

I drew my letters, cut them out and glued them to a piece of Halloween craft paper.

Next, I trimmed my Halloween paper down and taped it to the back of the mat that is included in the frame.

I then assembled the frame back together and it was done.

Easy and effective. (You can reuse the frames with new paper for each holiday, accordingly)

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