I really dialed back our fun activity crafty time this fall. I'm still torn about it. On the one hand, less stuff going on means less stuff I have to worry about getting done. But I miss doing those things with the kids and I've finding that that is really what gives me energy. I'm too introverted to go out during the day more than once or maybe twice a week (out being a playdate with friends or a visit to a museum, park, etc) so those fill time nicely - a day at home with the kids playing and nagging me seems really long. And Lucy really loves this type of thing (Jonah happily tags along but he makes his own fun no matter what). So I guess I'm glad I cut stuff to make life manageable, I just think I cut the wrong stuff. But I'm not sure what else I can cut. I mean, we still need to eat and wear clean laundry, right? It's a conundrum.
While I ponder away at that, I decided to really go whole hog with the fun cutesy stuff for Christmas and see how it goes. This week we did J is for Jesus (and then I'm taking a break from Alphabet Path until the New Year but J for Jesus just fit too well!) before moving on to St. Nicholas. And of course we read tons of Christmas books (check out the newly updated Christmas section of Lucy's book page for some of them)
We made some simply candy cane ornaments, read The Legend of the Candy Cane and talked about the symbolism. Lucy spontaneously decided to try some different patterns. I prefer the 2-2 but she liked 3 of each color best. The next day we saw something else with a candy cane and she told me all about what the shape and colors meant.
We've never done the "Santa thing" and don't plan to but this year she started asking about him. So we talked and read about the real St. Nicholas, watched the Veggie Tales' St. Nicholas video, and got ready for our St. Nicholas themed tea time.
We made our St. Nicholas miter hats and put together St. Nicholas bingo sheets, talking about each picture and why it went with St. Nicholas.
Then we made our tea time snack. Jonah kept calling it dog food then Lucy would correct him, "No, Jonah, it's funny puppy!" which he eventually caught on to so I think we'll have to declare it a family tradition to call it funny puppy now.
For tea time, we did double duty, starting with our regular tea time pile and the Letter J. We looked at some Jewelry art and listening to Jabberwocky (Thank you Benedict Cumberbatch) while I made tea.
Then we moved to St. Nicholas. We looked at several depictions of him over time as he went from St. Nicholas the giver to St. Nicholas the saint and then to Santa Claus before finishing with a riveting game of Bingo.
Jonah's hat looks a little off because he accidentally ripped it and I tried multi-tasking its repair while also making tea so it ended up sideways, Lucy and I had a hard time controlling our laughter but he hasn't noticed anything amiss so I'm not about to tell him.
The tea was on Friday and by Friday evening, I could tell the sickness storm was a brewing. Lucy fell asleep before dinner then woke up with a fever of 101+ and by the next morning, Jonah was sick as well. I was a little sad because this was our first year actually celebrating St. Nicholas day itself but despite the ickiness the kids perked up at the sight of their stockings with chocolate coins, pajamas and new christmas books. I didn't get any pictures but I've got some good memories. My favorite was when Lucy noticed my stocking was empty. She told me to cover my eyes and ran and found her toys to fill up, making sure I knew they were mine to keep not just borrow. When I gave her a hug and told her she was sweet she started up with a mini-sermon about how important it is to give and how St. Nicholas was a giver and he could love others because he had God's love in him. If I was the grinch, my heart would probably have grow 3 sized I think.