Monday, December 10, 2012

the art and craft of Christmas

Like most things in life, Christmas is what you make of it. It needn't be about mindless consumption, - be that of food or gifts. Each year the feeling around Christmas is different based on how the year has panned out, the people in your life, or those missing from your life. Christmas for me is a time of reflection, sharing, nurturing, remembering and celebrating being together.

On Sunday, River, Sol and I spent a good part of the day making our Christmas tree. Last year Sol slept while River and I created our cut + paste tree. This year he was old enough and interested enough to do some cutting and pasting of his own. Last year our tree was a collage tree. This year I pondered what we could do differently and I came up with the idea to create a Christmas family tree. So we went through a pile of photos that were already printed and picked out what would become our framed 'ornaments' to stick on the tree. In these times of digital photography, most of us take more photos than we'll ever know what to do with (or how to organise!) so having photos on the tree is a great way to actually enjoy the photos each time I walk past.
For me, crafting with small children is a great meditation on patience, surrender and delight. Ok, there's a pinch or two of frustration or exasperation at times. Patience while small fingers grapple with scissors and glue, surrender to their creative ideas as they burst over my own grand vision, and delight when we all become lost in the making and then stand back to admire the finished piece.

This weekend we also made very simple Christmas cards from white, green and red card cut with a guillotine (which was the exciting part for the boys) and decorated with trees and stars cut from foil. This year River was able to write the messages in the cards. Seeing his almost-in-grade-one handwriting will bring as much joy to the family and friends receiving the cards as it did to me as I watched him carefully form each letter and ask me how to spell certain words along the way.

I know for some craft and baking are not their 'thing'. Creativity though is core to the human spirit. Whatever way you spend creative time with your children, family or friends I hope that you are finding time to do so in these pre Christmas days, for me it feels so nurturing to step away from the daily demands and do a little making.

What are you making? Or not making. Do you love or loathe Christmas? How is it for you this year?

Linking up with Em at The BeetleShack


  1. What a gorgeous tree :) I absolutely adore Christmas and all its making and baking! We made our own Christmas cards and wrapping paper on the weekend. I think I love that my little girl LOVES Christmas... Makes it all that much more special.

    Sophie xo

  2. Hi Nikki - that is such a festive and cool tree. What a lovely time you had putting it all together. It kinda makes me want to ditch the plastic green tree and make a paper tree of our own... mind you, one Christmas tree isn't ever really enough, is it!?

    I need to work on the 'surrender' bit a little more when crafing with the kids. x

  3. Me too Maxabella....I can be such a control freak!!!!!!!!!!
    That tree looks fantastic - I think I'll get my class to make one.

  4. LOVE your tree. I adore Christmas for many of the reasons you've described. I've been doing activities with my girls since the start of the month - crafting, baking and so on. I'm taking a week off writing any blog posts so I can dedicate more time to all these pre-Christmas activities :)

  5. We have all decided to make each other a gift this year. My creativity is certainly going to be challenged! I am also healthifying a few Christmas baking favourites, which is always creative! Love your tree and your outside the box thinking :) Sonia xx

  6. Oh yay glad everyone is digging the tree. It is a fun thing to do and if you already have a tree up you can do smaller versions, I made ours this size because River and Sol wanted it to touch the roof. Of course. Loving the festive blogging spirit. xx

  7. We just moved and I found a tutorial online to turn our cardboard boxes into a Christmas Tree! I can't wait to give it a try! Your tree looks great. I can't wait until Anouk is old enough to have crafty fun with me. :) Luna.


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