holiday fun with little one

Bah humbug.  I just had to say it to get it out of my system.  I promise, I really do love the holidays... December may just be my favorite month of the year.  Mine just got off to a bad start, so forgive me while I work on getting back my holiday cheer. 

You see.  December 1st, my car got towed.  Fellow city dwellers, you may know this feeling:  Everything seems to stop as you realize...  oh... my..... GOSH. It's the first Thursday of the month.  And. Wait, Oh no! It's after 8 am in the morning.  Then you run down all 12 (ok I'm exaggerating) flights of stairs with your hair uncombed and wet from the shower, in boots with no socks, looking all sorts of disheveled to the street where you so innocently parked your car the previous day to find it... empty.  Sigh. 

Sigh...  Then, if you are anything like me you start working on blaming someone else: boyfriend, silly street cleaners (the streets don't even look that clean!), the city of Boston itself...  only to find that it really is your fault.  Bummer. Lucky for me, this has happened before so I knew just where to go to retrieve my vehicle.  At least I had that going for me.  So Boston started December $131 richer thanks to my forgetfulness.  Merry Christmas, Boston.  Ho Ho Ho. 

Moving on.  

It's the most wonderful time of the year. 

Growing up, Christmas really was the most wonderful time of the year.  My parents worked hard to make sure of it.  And while they were very generous and we always woke up to wonderful gifts under the tree, it wasn't the gifts that made it so special.  It seemed the whole season was full of wonder and magic.  Here are some ideas to create wonder and magic in your home with your little ones:

1.  Mini Christmas Trees: 

When I was probably 8 or 9 my mother decided both my sister and I should have mini Christmas trees in our bedrooms.  We enlisted the help of my father and walked the property looking for the perfect, little trees.  We cut them down, dragged them home, and set them up in our rooms.  I was so proud of mine.  It was small, fat, and perfect to me in every way.  Each night I feel asleep to the twinkling lights and the smell of Christmas.  It is a favorite holiday memory of mine.  Look for small trees (they are cheaper too!) when purchasing you family tree this year, or consider getting a small potted tree that can grow with your child over time.  

2.  Sleigh Bells Ring... 

Parents... cover your kids' ears!  One year, I stopped believing in Santa.  I remember it clearly.  I was in the girls' bathroom after basketball practice with my older sister and her friends.  One of her friends said something about Santa not being real.  The look my sister threw this girl could have silenced just about anyone (yet, another reason I love her), but the seed had been planted.  That Christmas, I wrote Santa a letter asking for proof.  I awoke to a large, colorful bell on my door with a note from Santa.  It was bell from his sleigh.  I am ever thankful to "Santa" for another year of believing.  Leave a beautiful painted bell for your little ones to renew the magic.  

3. Painted Holiday Ornaments

This is a great one.  Paint your own family ornaments.  There a number of ways to do this.  You can purchase plain glass balls almost anywhere.  Then let your imagination run free.  As a family we painted our own ornaments one year and our results varied from snowmen, to portraits, to squiggles.  I'll let you guess who did what.  I also really love the idea of pouring some paint into the ball and turning it around.  You end up with custom colored Christmas balls.  (Plug!  You can buy sample pots of our paint for this!)

4. Ice Candle Holders

This is still my favorite thing my mom did at the holidays.  I thought she was so creative (still do!) and the result is so beautiful.  She filled 5 gallon buckets with water and placed a coffee can floating at the top.  Simple as that.  She then let them freeze outside, removed the coffee can, removed the mold, and inserted candles.  The result is so festive.  I've also seen people put holly or other decoration in the water as well.  Try it - your little ones will think you are the bomb.  Which I'm sure you are. 

5. Ornament Gift Ideas

And finally, another paint idea (we are a paint company after all).  Take your little one, dip his or her hand in some (organic!) paint and place it on a glass ornament.  Presto, chango:  Christmas gifts!  Buy sample pots of organic paint here

And there you have it - fun ways for you and little one to get in the holiday spirit and enjoy the magical season.  It worked for me!

I feel as though I should point out that while writing this post, the same boyfriend I wanted to blame for the car, came home with flowers. For me. Because I had a bad day.  Merry December!