It occurred to me, as we put our lives into storage this past June and headed East, that maybe somewhere around November we’d be wishing that a couple of the boxes that made the trip with us were filled with holiday goodness.
I’m all about traditions. Love them with incredible heartfelt goopy sorts of emotion. Taking the stockings and ornaments we’ve made out of the boxes, unfolding the seriously gorgeous quilts, wall hangings and other handmade goodness crafted by my mom and taking stock of all of the memories of Christmas past is something I pretty much live for. Christmas, in my book of sentimental gushiness, rocks.
In June, all roads pointed to us staying here a year and then finding a new home. We left the Christmas boxes in storage way back in Comox. In practical terms that lacked any realistic sentiment, there was no point schlepping them around the country. Then, Halloween came and went (in awesome style) and the kids faces fell to the floor (mine too, admittedly). Would Christmas have any Rhiverson style without our stuff?
There I stood in the holiday aisle at Superstore knowing darn well that we had everything in that aisle (or at least a version of it) in boxes. Buying it again just to have some holiday spirit in Halifax seemed, well, dumb and rather unthrifty of me.
I shook my head. How could we possibly get our Christmas mojo going without spending days and months at the craft table or at Michael’s – which gives us all a headache and drains the bank account faster than…well…
Then, our big kid came home from a new friend’s house one day full of massive delight. She’d gotten all inspired and spent the evening whipping up a few holiday decorations. We all smiled with those big, goofy, sentimental grins.
The season had begun.
I love her crown for Mrs. Claus and realized (maybe for the first time) that getting ready for the holidays can be a great mix of homemade and the quirky, fun things that are just plain old cute. No fretting or roaring around. We’re getting little bits of it done at a time and the house and it is starting to sparkle a bit more every day.
I found $4 packs of lights at Superstore to twist around pillars and tack up around a few windows. A few knickknacks that somehow made it came out. Then, we just let imagination and what we could find in the house lead us where it may.
Here are some fun holiday ideas that don’t take too long, are cool to do with a toddler in the mix and make things super sparkly. I’m all about the sparkly:
Old paintings (especially watercolor) make for a really sweet Christmas tree garland.
Stickers and coloring projects are perfect for keeping the kids occupied while you sip on happy egg nog or move on to your next project.
All those pasta sauce and peanut butter glass jars we saved for no reason got magically repurposed into very fun and twinkly Christmas lanterns.
I had originally had the kids paint these (then I glued them together) to make lots of Christmas trees. But, the big kid had a much better idea for a bit of door decor. Glue and sparkly jewels (there I go with the sparkle again) made this one pop. Super easy.
I caved and let the kids get those stockings that grow to 10 times their size in water. Lesson in boring, that one is. But, they loved it anyway.
We traded in the advent wreath for a Winter wreath that was easy and fun and meant we got a walk in the woods out of the deal too. This one is my fave and will be a great table centerpiece.
Last, living in a world where I work full time, kids are in school and day-care, Ken is off making magic, I am super good with the holiday window clings as our window decor this season. We’ve made some cool sun catchers and all of that. But, really, I’m a sucker for a cutie pie snowman.
So, go have fun. Don’t sweat it. Make some cool things. Stay out of the Superstore holiday aisle if you can and enjoy the season. Traditions and fun and creative goodness can come out of anywhere, anytime.
We are learning quickly that there’s no doubt when those boxes end up with us again someday we’ll be super excited to see everything in them. But, this year in this sweet, lovely part of Canada, we are making warm memories to remember forever.