New Year’s Eve is of course a big going out to party night, but I have always been partial to staying in. First of all, you don’t have to worry about going out and about in the cold and fighting all the crazy traffic. It’s also nice to put on jammies and be cozy at home all night to ring in the new year.
There are a few staples to our quiet New Year’s Eve at home tradition:
1. Snacks. We go to the grocery store and stock up on a bunch of random junk food we would normally never buy. This year we are most looking forward to trying some chocolate covered potato chips we found at Target! We also make snacks that we find on Pinterest that we probably wouldn’t bother making any other time of the year.
2. Cheap noisemakers that only halfway work. And silly hats. And streamers. All of this can be found at the party store and is just waiting for impulse New Year’s Eve shoppers like us to come pick them up.
3. “When Harry Met Sally.” One of our favorite movies and perfect for watching on New Year’s Eve. It’s about New Year’s Eve, is relatively short and fun, and helps kill the time until midnight. Although if our 2 year old keeps staying up late, this part of our tradition may be put aside for a few years as we don’t really need a 2 year old running around quoting and R-rated movie. Sadly, “Love Actually” met the same fate and did not get watched this year at Christmas.
4. Anderson Cooper’s New Year’s Eve show. It’s always absurd and we love it. Now if we can just manage to stay awake until the ball drops. Last year, I did not make it. We shall see…
Today I did one of my most favorite activities of the year – wrapping Christmas presents! I have always loved present wrapping day. In fact, I love it so much that when I was in middle school and high school, my aunt always gave me my most favorite Christmas gift early – around Thanksgiving. It was an assortment of Christmas bows, tags, bags, and paper for me to use on my wrapping day. I still get excited just thinking about it! Now I look forward to the opening of the Container Store’s “Gift Wrap Wonderland” with the same giddy anticipation. (I’m not kidding. I put it on my calendar and start calling the store about a week ahead of time to see if they are ready early by any chance.)
My wrapping day is always the same – I set up my “workspace” in front of the tree with paper, bows, tape, scissors, tags, and sharpies. Then I pop Home Alone in the DVD player and wrap away. I have it down to a science, usually finishing up the last gift as the end credits roll for Home Alone 2.
It’s a great day. I’m already looking forward to doing again next year! Merry Christmas!
In our Jr. Kindergarten classroom, the theme for December is construction. We learn about simple machines, tools, making blueprints, and building gingerbread houses. So when I found this darling craft stick manger scene craft on Pinterest, we decided we should also build stables as part of our construction unit.
For the stable you will need 5 big (REALLY BIG – like 7 1/2 to 8 inches) craft sticks. Glue them in the shape of the outline of a stable. Then get 7 tongue depressor sized craft sticks (I think they are usually referred to as “jumbo” or “large” – they are around 6 inches) for the people. Cut one in half – one half will be Baby Jesus and the other half will be the angel. Paint “clothes” on the people sticks. Leave the areas for the faces unpainted. Draw the faces on the sticks and give the people “accessories” – jewels for the wise men, yarn headbands for Mary, Joseph, and the shepherd, and a sparkly pipe cleaner for the angel’s halo. Glue all the people in their places on the stable. Glue dot eyes and mouth on a cotton ball to make a lamb, and glue it to the stable too. Finish it off by gluing some straw at the bottom. You will end up with a very special decoration to keep for years.
December’s card of the month is, of course, a Christmas card. I love making our cards each year. In fact, I’m currently rushing to finish making this year’s batch so that I can get them mailed in time for Christmas – taking just enough time out to write this blog post!
This card is still probably my most favorite ever.
Baking Christmas Card
I cut the oven mitt and rolling pin out using my Cricut. For the cookie sheet I used a piece of silver card stock and folded up the edges. The doily is just a piece of white card stock punched with a round scallop punch and dotted with a silver pen. The gingerbread “Got Merry?” stamp was from Stampin’ Up several years ago. I used tiny brads for the buttons on the gingerbread cookie.
Baking Christmas Card – Inside
For the inside of the card I stamped “Merry Christmas” and added a potholder also cut out using the Cricut to match the oven mitt on the front of the card. I used a little silver brad to “hang” the potholder on the inside of the card.
Even though it had a lot of parts and was a little labor intensive, this card will always be one of my favorites. I love how it tuned out!