It is now Christmas Day and we wish you a wonderful day filled with love, laughter and friendship.
If you’re in a heat wave like us, remember to drink plenty of water and stay cool.
My daughter and I made some Christmas stars for her to give as gifts to her kinder friends last year – like for my son, I wanted something other than candy canes and it is so much nicer to make something.
I was inspired for these stars by Crafty morning’s snowflake ornaments. I prefer to make stars rather than snowflakes don’t mean Christmas to Aussie kids – and I think mine look more like stars anyway!
ribbon or similar for hanging
scissors and hole punch
cut cotton buds into two pieces – uneven sizes is the aim so don’t worry about making them equal or matching sizes!
Add glue to a piece of cotton bud – I found the easiest way for my daughter was to have a blob of glue on a plate and put the pieces in the glue.
Stick 5 or 6 pieces onto cardboard with the cut ends together and the other ends spreading out to for a star shape.
Spread some glue roughly between the cotton bud pieces – close to the centre, reaching out to different lengths.
Sprinkle some glitter over the star.
This stage needs adult supervision or assistance for younger children. Cut out the cardboard around the stars – it is easier to cut roughly around each star and then neatening it up. Rounded edges look nicer, I think, but sharp corners could be effective, too.
Then simply put a hole in the cardboard of each star, thread through some ribbon or twine and you’re done! I made a little loop of the ribbon so it would be easy for the kid to hang the stars on a tree, and it also made it easy to hang a number of stars on a length of ribbon at home, too.
The stars are small and light enough that my daughter could pop them into an envelope with a Christmas card to hand out to her friends.
To solve the issue of what my son could give to his classmates for Christmas, we decided on a card and small gift for everyone rather than trying to choose who to give a personal present to.
I found some magnets and Christmas stickers so our gift idea was found!
If you manage to get stickers and magnets exactly the same size, then all you have to do is stick on the stickers! However, the odds are you won’t be quite so lucky.
If the sticker is bigger tan the magnet, you can just take off the backing paper and attach the magnet. It will look great from the front and back but (and this is a big but!) the exposed glue surface will attract dirt and dust and soon will become messy.
The sticky surface will also make it difficult to put the Christmas magnet into an envelope or gift wrapping.
I traced around the magnet on the back of the sticker and then scored the outline. I actually prepared a pile of them before my son got involved, but older children could possibly score the paper themselves.
It was then easy for my son to peel off just that bit of backing paper and attach the magnet, leaving the rest of the backing paper in place.
That’s it – no drying time or finishing touches needed! And because they are small and light, it’s easy to just pop them into an envelope with a Christmas card and you’re done. In half a day, my son had a gift and card done for all his classmates (and writing the cards was definitely the most time consuming task!)
Whether it is from advertising or simple interest, kids will ask for all sorts of things for Christmas (and birthday) gifts.
There may be many reasons to decide against a particular item for you child (price, values, practicality, appropriateness, and so on) but one I have been reminded of this week is safety.
This week, a mother contacted us about not wanting mention of a mermaid tail in her daughters’ Love Santa letter as she had decided it was not appropriate for her daughters.
I know very little about mermaid tails so I am not saying they are or are not dangerous.
But the point is valid.
If you don’t think your child’s gift request is safe or appropriate, then that is your decision and the child should not get that gift.
At one level, safety depends on the specific child. That is, the child’s age, personality and physical abilities will impact on what is suitable for that child, and that takes someone who knows the child to make that decision.
Certain things are clearly not safe and thus easy to decide against – like small Lego pieces for a baby or guns for any child, for example.
Whereas other things may be less clear. So to decide if something is safe enough to give to your child (or the child in your life), here are some suggestions:
If you decide a gift is not safe, what do you tell the child?
I think it helps if you don’t promise anything so you don’t have to back track 🙂
Beyond that, I tell my children that I don’t like a potential gift and give them a reason. I may simplify it to suit their knowledge, but I let them know to maintain their trust and get them thinking . It also means that I have already set the expectation that I won’t get it later nor allow them to buy it themselves a few months later.
How do you tell your children you have decided against them having something they would like?
Just to compete the above story about mermaid tails…
Santa understands safety and works hard to never give children toys or gifts that are not safe. And when Santa writes to children he never promises any particular gift will be given because he knows things may change between writing the letter and Christmas Eve.
As each Love Santa letter is individually adjusted, it was not difficult to remove any mention of the mermaid tails for the girls mentioned above, keeping everyone happy and safe.
While Santa loves a laugh and often puts a joke in his personalised letters, the following ones are not in this year’s letters so won’t ruin any surprises!
What happens to you at Christmas?
How long do an Elf’s legs need to be?
Once you’ve thought about them…
They both have Sandy Claws…
Yule be happy
Just long enough to reach the ground so he can walk on them!
Image courtesy of 123RF
Yesterday I wrote about Santa asking me to help him write letters to Australian children each Christmas.
As it is an honour to write to children on Santa’s behalf, and a responsibility to give those children a special message, I put a lot of care and love into all the letters we write.
Every Love Santa letter (including our non-personalised self-print options) is written to meet the following aims:
There are a number of ways I strive to make each child feel special, but it mostly comes down to spending the time editing each letter just before it is printed and mailed to be sure it is just right.
Every Love Santa letter
To share in this fun part of Christmas, request a Love Santa letter so your kids can experience their own personalised letter – and look out for some ordering tips in tomorrow’s blog post.