The Catholic Housewife

The Playtime Nativity: Joseph reunited with Mary

Art, Uncategorized

‘Tis (not quite yet) the season… handmaking Christmas cards with a toddler 

Hi everyone! Now that Thanksgiving has passed, I feel like everyone is preemptively ready for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I already have my Christmas CDs in the car, and I love hearing Little Bear talking about the “Christmas lights! Christmas trees!” whenever we pass the neighbors’ pretty outdoor displays.   My husband could tell you, he has to reel me in on Christmas decorating and music until Advent, because if it were up to me I’d have garlands in every room and stockings hung with care before Santa appears at the end of the Macy’s parade. 

But I do try to hold off on my decorating until the first week of Advent, and now that Little Bear is picking up soooo much soooo fast, I’m sticking to holding off on the decorating until it’s time for the Advent wreath to appear. So I’ve been contenting myself by making our Christmas cards early this year. 

I’ve handmade our cards one other year, when Little Bear was first born (apparently I have a thing for taking on big art projects when I have an infant), and I do now remember why I said I wouldn’t handmake cards again.  But I had a box full of cardstock and matching envelopes from my mom’s old rubber stamping days, and for the sake of the budget I couldn’t resist!

I wanted to give it an extra-special touch by having Little Bear help, so to start I got out some red and green construction paper and shimmery markers. 

Side note, give a toddler shiny markers and he will quickly discover that it’s fun to have entirely shiny hands.  Thank goodness for washable markers!

The artist busy at work

Of course, Heidi-dog supervised the entire operation. 

When the papers were beautifully scribbled and everyone’s hands scrubbed clean, I cut the paper into triangles of various sizes, and the cardstock into the right size for the envelopes. With the help of my trusty glue stick and some marker artwork of my own, I soon had Christmas tree cards ready to fill out! 

I’m still working on the longest part, filling out the cards and all of the addressing, but writing letters is a soothing task for me and I love thinning out what to write to each particular person I’m sending the cards to… an extra-special task when the cards are fully blank inside! 

I’m not gonna lie, making Christmas cards this way-especially with kids-is tough. I used to be able to do big projects like this in a day or so, back before kids, but this time it’s taken me over two weeks, and I still have to finish writing in the cards.  But I love having Bear take part in the project, and giving that personal touch to the annual card send-off, so even though it is frustrating to me that I can’t finish in one sitting, I’m so happy that I got to incorporate myself and my son into these cards.  And until this Sunday this is the one Christmasy task I have to tide me over.  

Well, that and a whole lot of Amy Grant’s and Frank Sinatra’s Christmas songs.   


Earning my ‘Mom-Badge’

I had a mom-first today. Both kids were awake, tired, not sleeping, and taking turns crying.  So I did something  my mom-friends have told me has been a life-saver for them. I loaded both of them into the car and headed out for a ride. 

My type-B-Plus self couldn’t fathom a ride without going somewhere, so I did grab dry-cleaning that was laying in my way to the garage to drop off, and a snack and drink for Little Bear.  

It was a lovely day, so I cracked the windows for some white noise and we were off. 

First stop: Starbucks. A friend of mine has told me she will sometimes grab a coffee and sit in the car to relax while her baby sleeps.  Best to be prepared for spontaneous napping, I figured. Plus it’d been a bit since I had a “Treat yo’ self” latte moment, and I was due. I handed Bear his drink and snack when I got my drink so we could be treat buddies, which he though was fun. 

Little Bear loves drive thrus. I roll down his window and he gets to say “Hi!” to whoever is there. 

Next stop: dry cleaners. A new-to-me one with (huzzah!) another drive-thru! I took care of business while Bear entertained the lady who worked there. 

By the time we got home everyone was feeling better, including me. I guess we just needed a break from the house, and a mini-road trip was just the fix. It probably helps that Bear and I always talk with each other lots in the car. Sometimes we sing, listen to Dave Ramsey (Bear’s preferred podcast), or just talk about what we see on the drive. Its a sweet time that I love, even on a day like this when the ride was one of desperation. 

And I feel like I earned my “Mom Badge:” I was finally able to post a Starbucks mug pic on Instagram to document a last-resort-kid-ride. Achievement unlocked: Car Ride to Nowhere. 😉