My blog post is a few days later than usual because we have been in the throes of undecorating after Christmas. It always makes me a little sad to take down all of our beautiful Christmas stuff, but I’m also always happy to get out the fresh new winter decorations. I was especially excited to get out the winter stuff this year because we weren’t allowed to put it out last year since our old house was on the market. It’s hard to believe that just one year ago we were getting ready to sell our house. Which made me start reflecting on everything that happened in 2015. And I have come to the conclusion that 2015 was just TOO MUCH. In our family we had 2 moves (3 if you also count moving my classroom at school the same week we moved to our new house), 1 case of pneumonia, too many cases of stomach flu to count (the most recent occurring on Christmas Eve, of course!), 1 major surgery, 1 broken nose, 1 bad playground injury (ironically for the husband not the kid), 1 anaphylactic allergic reaction, daily life with a 3 year old… and a partridge in a pear tree. Phew. Even though not everything (like daily life with a 3 year old and getting to live in our new house) was bad stress, even good stress is still tiring. Like I said – too much.
So needless to say, I am very excited about celebrating the New Year this year. We have our usual quiet, low key celebration planned to ring in 2016: appetizers and snacks and general assorted junk food and a viewing of When Harry Met Sally (assuming a certain little someone heads to bed early enough) followed by a herculean effort to stay awake until midnight while watching Kathy Griffin embarrass Anderson Cooper. I can’t wait! 2016 is going to be my year of recovery and relaxation. It can’t start soon enough! Happy New Year!
As promised, here is another installment in my recent obsession with marquee decorations – this time a Christmas version. I saw a JOY marquee at Pottery Barn back in the fall, and I knew it would be the perfect Christmas decoration for our movie themed family room. Unfortunately, the price tag was not so perfect. So I decided to make my own JOY marquee using Heidi Swapp Marquee Love letters I bought at Michael’s. I got a J, a Y, and on a whim a star for the O. I painted the edges a pewter color and filled the inside with red, silver, and green glitter paper. And that was it! Super quick and easy – the whole project took less time than it would have taken to drive to our local Pottery Barn and back! And I actually like my cheaper DIY version better than the Pottery Barn inspiration because it’s more Christmas-y and the colors go better with our red and green Christmas decorations. I hope your Christmas is full of JOY!
December’s card of the month is one of our Christmas cards from a few years ago that I find to be quite funny – I hope you do too. I had this darling mouse shape on a Cricut cartridge, and I wanted to use it for a card so I came up with this “Creature stirring” card.
I started with a piece of red card stock cut to 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches and folded it in half. I cut the mouse out of gray card stock and glued on pink ears and nose, black eyes, and a red mouth. I attached it to the front of the card with a pop up dot. I also used my Cricut to cut out a white speech bubble on which I wrote “Oops…” since the mouse was still stirring when he wasn’t supposed to be. I used regular adhesive to glue that to the card next to the mouse. The “Not a creature was stirring…” words were printed in green on white paper using my computer. I matted this on green and used adhesive to attach it to the top of the card. I was worried it wasn’t Christmas-y enough so I added a tree. The tree was punched out of green card stock using a scalloped triangle punch from Stampin’ Up. The tree skirt was punched out of various Christmas patterned papers using a scalloped oval punch also from Stampin’ Up. I decorated the tree with a gold star brad and stick-on rhinestones. I attached the whole tree to the card with another couple of pop up dots.
Creature Stirring Card Inside
I finished the mouse joke on the inside with a piece of cheese – a triangle punched out of yellow card stock and then punched again with a regular hole punch to make the holes for swiss cheese. I added a green holly stamp and glued on a red paper dot to make it more festive. The Merry Christmas words were also printed from my computer and punched out and matted with oval and scalloped oval punches. Everything on the inside of the card was attached with adhesive.
The whole card looks pretty cute in my opinion – even if the joke is a little cheesy. Ha ha. Merry Christmas!
My favorite decorations to use in the classroom for December are mittens. They work well with the cold weather, they are not specific to any holiday so no one feels left out, and they go perfectly with the idea of helping hands which is so important during the holiday season. I used to have a free time center activity in my classroom where kids could cut out and decorate paper mittens and label them with the names of friends who had shown caring and been helping hands. We would string them together on paper chains until eventually all of the helping hand mittens would wind around the whole classroom.
To go along with this helping hand theme, we made wish poems for December. All children have wishes regardless of their religious, ethnic, or socioeconomic backgrounds. We would talk about how wishes could be big or small, and that some kids might need a helping hand to make their wishes come true. The format of the wish poem is shown here:
Wish Poem Sloppy Copy
We would write the final copies of the wish poems on mittens to remind us that by being helping hands we can all help wishes come true.