These are three things I love about Christmas, and it occurs to me that these are also things I love about life with my children. The two have much in common, don't you think?
- Christmas is a whirl of color; children are perhaps the most colorful creatures on earth.
- Christmas is bright with light; children shine a light on the world around us.
- Christmas brings joy whenever it comes; children create joy wherever they go.
Preparing for Christmas means many things to me - all of them good, and all of them comforting. But perhaps best of all are the cozy days spent at home, making lots of crafts with my boys. A perfect way to bring lots of color, light and joy into our life! As you know we love crafts around here (and me most of all!). Someday I might graduate to the more refined types of crafts - fiber arts, candle-dipping, wreath making and such - but for now I positively revel in woolen felt, glitter and glue. :) This morning I gave you a peek into my craft basket, and here's where we've gotten so far!
"Stained Glass Joy"
These windows face east, and receive light most of the day. What a happy spot for a reminder of the season!
We made these "stained glass windows" by cutting letters out of black construction paper. (I did all the prep work - cutting out the letters was fussy.) Using clear contact paper we adhered bits of colorful tissue paper to the open areas. The end result, a special message full of light, color and, of course, joy.
Mexican God's Eyes
Thanks to Elizabeth, Mary and Cay, we are learning about Mexico and Mexican Christmas traditions this week. We read The Legend of the Poinsettia today and found Mexico on the world map. We then made this very familiar and easy craft, the God's Eye.
You've probably made these before. I did loooong ago when I was a Girl Scout, but I had forgotten how to do them. I found excellent instructions here. (I love the explanation, "God's eyes look with love on all people.") We like using mulitcolored yarn for crafts, and this one was perfect for it!
"Stained Glass Poinsettia"
After learning about the Poinsettia, I was inspired to try another stained glass craft. This one was way fussier than the letters, but I like how it came out. (I used a print-out of a poinsettia coloring page as a template. This time I cut the tissue into individual leaves and petals.) It's hard to tell from the picture, but the light behind the flower is from the west, just about dusk. I love watching - and knowing - the light that comes into our home.
Last Light before Darkness
And speaking of this time of day, all year long, but especially in winter, I like to draw my children's attention to the times of sunrise and sunset. I read a bit on this idea in Celebrating the Church Year with Children by Joan Halmo. Ms. Halmo writes:
"As the Christmas festival is related to the time when light begins its ascendency over darkness, the link of celebration with nature's cycles can be easily made for children. During Advent, our family often watches the sunrise dispelling darkness, noting that its light comes from the east, the place of Jesus' return in glory ...
Starlight walks are especially appropriate in Advent. They are more easily done at this season, for the evening falls very early, and even tiny children can "get to see stars" before their bedtime ...
Everyone looks for light in the darkness!"
A Christmas Lights Ride
We took the boys for a nighttime Christmas lights ride the other night. Right after supper we bundled everyone up, and trucked off in the family van in search of light ... and boy did we find it! Magic!
All these bits of color, points of light and moments of joy add up to a beautiful season. It is my hope to keep these blessings in my heart, and my life, all year long.