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Scissors, Glue sticks, & Smiles

It’s mid-January and today it dawned on me. The trees and trimmings have been down for weeks..and I need to take down the MANY Christmas cards that I have hung on the door to our basement. One of my favorite things about the holidays is running (or having my girls run) to the mailbox and excitedly opening each card. We love, love, love  looking at each one. We enjoy familiar faces of friends and family that live close by. We comment about how much those who live far away have grown or changed. And I personally love sharing stories with my girls of the faces they don’t know well…

“These are the children of my best friend from Kindergarten.”

 

“This was Mommy’s college roommate.  We drank alot of coffee (among other things) together.”

 

Even…”This was Mia’s (our beloved (and deceased) dog) best friend’s family.”

 

 

Yes, we keep in touch with many people who have touched our lives for many years. And despite the fact that I “see” their lives through Face book, these cards are my favorite. Call me old fashioned, but I love and appreciate stationary and snail mail greatly.

So, when I take them down each year, I cut them into small portions (with darling faces still visible) and glue them into a collage. This is pretty basic…just me, the scissors, paper,  and a glue stick I dig out from the closest back pack, but I love doing it. (It reminds me of my old junior high scrapbooks..the ones with cut out phrases from Teen Beat. Anyone else do that?). I digress. But tonight, when smiling and glueing, my nephew came beside me and asked, “Whatcha doin’ Auntie Cole?” I explained what I was doing and why I did it each year.  He was quiet for a moment. And then commented,

“It’s like they are all ONE BIG FAMILY now.”

 

 

I smiled bigger. Amen buddy. They are. Our one big family that has touched our lives from the time we ourselves were babies until we had our own babies. Our friends and family who are the village that raises our children by our sides and our parent’s village that helped raise us. In a world that seems more polarizing and more argumentative each day, I choose to smile big and think of us the way my smart and kind nephew does…like one big family.

So, when you complain about the cost and labor of sending Christmas cards next year and grumble under your breath, “they are just going to throw them away,” (I have done the same), rest assured that you too may have a former elementary school friend, college roommate, or friend from the dog park, that is a nerd like me and savors your picture or those of your children and lovingly pieces them together every year in January…so she can see her “one big family” all together, even if it’s only on an old school scrap books page.  And have peace in knowing you have made her heart warm and smile big.

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.” 
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

Holiday DIY

I feel very fortunate that my children have 8 grandparents, 28 aunts and uncles and countless cousins to celebrate the holidays with.  Unfortunately at holiday time my wallet won’t stretch far enough to purchase gifts for EVERYone…hence the crafting begins!  Luckily for us, our family most enjoys handmade treasures from the kids.  My grandfather does not want another can of mixed nuts, my father has way more ties than he can wear and my grandmas and mom have more scented lotion and fancy bubble bath than they could ever use in their lifetime!!  So with a little time and a few inexpensive supplies, the kids and I can cross several names off of our list and have fun while doing so.

So if you find yourself scrambling for a good gift idea and unsure how your budget is going to afford all those presents, consider one of these DIY crafts:

Homemade clay magnets

 

Homemade snowball soap

DIY Snowglobe

Original artwork calendars

No-sew fleece blanket

 

For more ideas visit our Pinterest board DIY Holiday Gifts.