In this Issue:
Christmas Countdown Ideas
Hanukkah and Kwanza Fun
Welcome to the November 2000 issue of Linda's Crafty Chronicles. It's hard to believe that 2000 is almost over and a new year will be beginning. By now most people are preparing for the upcoming holidays. No matter what you celebrate, I wish you and your's Happy Holidays!!!
Thanksgiving Recipes and Fun:
Here are a few of my favorite sites for recipes whether they be for Thanksgiving or Tuesday night leftovers. Both of these sights are easy to search in and have great ideas for your holiday meal.
Here are a few other sites as well:
Here are some fun sites for your entertainment while that meal is cooking:
Christmas Countdown Ideas
Christmas time is coming down to the wire for most of us. Here are some ideas to help you enjoy the holidays without so much stress:
Write up a list of who you want to give gifts to this year. Then write down a few ideas for each. Carry this list around with you and when you happen to see something on your list you can cross it off. One gift down. This list can also help you with your Christmas card list also.
Think of a craft that a family member or friend has shown an interest in and buy them the supplies and instruction booklet to learn that craft. There are a lot of "How To" books on the market that are easy to learn from. There are also videos and computer programs that teach anything from knit and crochet to origami and cross stitch.
Give a homemade coupon book - this idea is great for the kids to make and also for the parents to make for the children. When my children were tiny I made them to include such things as: The first cookie out of the oven, 30 extra minutes past bedtime, No chores for 1 day, A long hug for no reason(never expires), my turn in the front seat(with 3 kids I could fit 1 in the front seat and 2 in the back-this way everyone gets a turn).
Keep a pocket calendar with you and write down the dates you want to keep in mind such as when packages have to be sent in order to arrive before Christmas, any School Christmas Programs, the Christmas Parade, are just examples. You could also write down the dates you want to have gifts bought by. Give yourself plenty of time to wrap and enjoy.
Let the kids help wrap. Get some wrapping supplies, the gifts(not theirs of course), hot cocoa, warm cookies and the kids. Have a gift wrapping party. Let them wrap the gifts to the Grandparents and others. Be there to supervise and have fun.
Instead of buying Christmas Cards to send, make your own Christmas Cards out of materials you have around the house. With some brown paper bags, markers, old Christmas cards, glue, stickers, crafty scissors(with the crinkly cutting edges), and a little imagination, you can make Christmas cards that will be kept for years to come. Most stationary stores carry envelopes of assorted greeting card sizes. Make sure that you buy them first and cut your card to fit the envelope so that you won't have to re-cut or fold it later.
Make as many of your gifts as possible. They will mean more to the person and you will be able to give that personal touch. See the section "Homemade Christmas" below.
Take some time for yourself and read a good book(even if it is just a few pages), listen to some soothing Christmas music, or just drive around looking at the decorations with no distractions. This is your time for YOU!!!
Hanukkah and Kwanza Fun
I didn't want to leave off these important holidays. I have found some great sites and info to go along with each. They have historical information and fun recipes and craft ideas to help you celebrate with cheer.
Hanukkah:Homemade Christmas and Hanukkah Gifts
KwanzaaChild Fun Themes and Activities for Children for Kwanzaa
My youngest daughter, Cyndy, (20 years old) and my granddaughter, Mariah, (3 years old) are with me for Christmas this year. Cyndy and I decided we didn't like the hoopla that usually accompanies the holidays so we decided to have a homemade Christmas. We can buy items for the stockings we fill, and everything else will be made by hand. I have no idea what she is planning on making but she wants to learn how to crochet and use my sewing machine. Makes for an interesting combination. I have been surfing the internet looking for ideas for things that I can make her, Mariah and the rest of my family. Most of the patterns I found I already have printed out and placed in binders. Here are some of the ideas I have:
Make cookies or candy and place them in a decorative canister. You can make them from 3 pound cans with lids, margarine tubs, canning jars, baby food jars, etc... If it is glass, just paint the lid, glue some lace around the top and place your goodies inside, this works great for M&Ms and baby food jars. Paint the 3 pound can(coffee can) and decorate it with stencils, stickers, etc and fill. Don't forget to include the recipe of a nice recipe card you have made.
Crochet or knit up sets of coasters, placemats and napkin rings for a family. You can include a few of your favorite recipes and a few dishcloths and potholders as well.
Girls today like scrunchies for their hair. The newest thing to them are the kerchiefs. There are patterns on the internet that will give you instructions on how to make them. They are the rage now and were when we were children. There was even a simple crochet pattern in a seventeen magazine. Make her one and teach her how to make them for her friends.
Stocking stuffers can be low cost also. At the site My Free.com has links to plenty of places where you can get stocking stuffers for free. I have sen t for and received free smaples of jelly beans, kids stickers, shampoo, soaps, coloring books and more. I even received a set of posters from NASA a few years ago. Kids love these for their walls.
Make accessories for the person's car or truck.
Here is one of the things I am giving my granddaughter for Christmas if I can wait that long. I have been her teacher at Early Head Start(preschool) and we have a lot of manipulative games. Most of these are sets of blocks, pegs, linking shapes, or even beanie baby cards. They love to sit and play with these. They can learn colors, shapes, sizes, animals, fine motor and gross motor skills while having fun. They can't say "manipulatives" or "activities" so I just call them "games". I had some orange yarn that I was crocheting into circles for pumpkin pins when she came up and grabbed them and proceeded to play with them. As she played she was saying the word "game" and the color "orange". I decided to make her a large box of these. I am using up my scraps of yarn(which she loves to play with) to make circles in different colors for her to play with. I am also going to make other shapes like squares and triangles. I am going to place these in a large popcorn can that I have decorated for her. The shapes are easy to make and are a great beginners project. Try different textures of yarn for an interesting feel.
Here are some other ideas for Christmas you want to try.
I have a lot of patterns for this issue. Here is a list of the following:
Instructions for the Shape Game for Toddlers
Holiday Diamond Dishcloth
Falling Leaves Dishcloth
Knit Bobbles Dishcloth
Knit Ripple Seed Dishcloth
New Patterns such as a star that can be used as an ornament, coaster, or more.
Gift coupons that you can print out and use for your family(see Christmas Countdown Ideas above).
If you have any suggestions please feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Headstart Christmas Project on my site needs assistance. If you can help in any way please check out my site and take a look. It is all done for the children.
Happy Holidays to you and your's.