Its no secret that Christmas is by far my most favourite time of the year.
Growing up I had the most amazing Christmas’s, from the tree decoration, to the atmosphere in our home around this time, till watching our annual movie (tradition). I love everything about it.
Its great growing up in a big family, all these wonderful events means a BIG family gathering. And since coming from a blended family we’ve had the annual tradition of celebrating with a Christmas eve dinner hosted by my amazingly awesome Aunt Karen (if you’ve ever been to one of her gatherings then you know what I’m talking about) followed by a wonderful Christmas lunch either by My Mom, Dad, or in-laws.
This year I thought I’d get a head start with the Christmas planning and do a few posts on ideas for Christmas. These will range from Christmas Eats, Christmas Treats and new traditions.
Since last Christmas our little family has grown with the addition of my perfect little niece Izzy – Rose Petal. Guys she’s beautiful and super bonus is she loves her Lala as much as I love her.
So without further a do… Lets kick off with some Christmas Treats.
Inexpensive Christmas ideas
- A few years back, due to the ever growing family we decided that the adults in the family would draw names for presents and all the kiddies would get presents. Its been so much easier this way as the ever growing family just did not fit into everyone’s budget. So score.
The idea is you make up a gift for the person to the value of R300.00. This should include something that they have put on their want list (yes we do 3 ideas for the other person so that they have an idea), and then maybe something else small. Last year I was the lucky person to pick my Hubbys name, perfect for me as I knew exactly what he wanted for Christmas.
- If you’re feeling creative then make something. Since I’ve taken up a side hobby (Crocheting, yes I can see my little sister rolling her eyes at me) this could be useful when coming to gift ideas. There’s patterns readily available online for the cutest goodies i.e. headbands, cushion covers, placemats, coasters, blankets etc.
- Have a special photo framed.
One of the most special gifts I’ve received was from my Dad. He gave me a photo of us from my wedding day in a beautiful frame which I display proudly in our lounge.
- Turn to Pinterest for inspiration.
When embarking on a new project I always check on Pinterest for some inspiration before I get started. I’ve done a quick round up of some of the things I’ve pinned.
Something for the chef in your life
For the one with the Sweet Tooth
For the Grandparent who loves to cook / braai why not get the kids involved and do a custom hand painted Apron
Personalized Christmas Baubles
DIY pillow (see tutorials below)
Arts and Crafts:
- Salt Dough Ornament
How to make salt dough:
1 cup salt
1 cup plain flour
Up to 1 cup of water (add gradually)
Combine the salt and flour then pour in the water gradually, stopping when it has become dough-like and not too sticky. There should be no residue left on your fingers when you touch it.
Knead it on a floured surface for a few minutes to make it soft, workable and stretchy, like you would with any dough.
This step is wonderful for strengthening those small hand muscles essential for writing and cutting!
Choose a range of cookie cutter shapes and simply cut straight from the dough. We used Christmas trees, stars and hearts. Poke a straw through the centre, near the top, of each shape so that ribbon can be threaded through later.
Lay them on some greaseproof or baking paper and on a baking tray. Cook them on a VERY low heat (around 100ºC) for up to 3 hours. If the shapes are over 1cm thick then they will probably need to be turned over during baking.
It is VERY important not to have the oven on too high. This will cause the salt dough to bubble up and fill with air, as essentially it is being cooked. What you are really aiming for is to dry them out thoroughly, over a slow period of time.
As soon as they are out of the oven they can be left to cool while your child chooses which colours and decorations to add! We used acrylic paints which adhere to the dough really successfully. Ordinary water-based children’s paint does work, but the colours are not as vibrant and the paint can flake off eventually.
The acrylics work as a sealant and keep the colours strong and beautiful!
Once the paint is dry, spread on some PVA (runny) glue and sprinkle over some glitter for a wonderfully Christmassy effect!
When they are dry, thread through with thin ribbon or twine and hang on the tree! You can write the date in the back to remember when they were made too, adding a special memory to the occasion.
And then finally, add a new tradition to your Christmas this year. Why not build a Gingerbread house together!
Sets are available from :
Gingerbread House Kit
DIY Kit – Gingerbread House
ALL YOU NEED IN ONE BOX:
- easy step-by-step instructions
• ready baked gingerbread house panels
• gingerbread door and window
• gingerbread trees and stepping-stones
• cake board
• icing sugar
• piping bag
• assorted sweets
Easy to assemble.
Great family fun for all ages
Let me know what you thought, and if you have any special Christmas traditions!