A Handmade Christmas

Every year my immediate family draws names for a “Secret Santa” of sorts. Instead of buying a gift for the person we pick, we make a gift. My family has had this tradition since my 30 year old “baby” brother was in Kindergarten. Now my husband, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law have joined in on the fun. When the girls are a little older, they’ll be able to draw names too. This is just one of the many traditions I love at Christmastime.

This year I drew my brother’s name. When he was younger he was a fan of Ninja Turtles. I figured they still had a special place in his heart, so I decided to make him a hat and scarf featuring his current favorite turtle, Raphael. He loved it. And, of course, I have to thank Pinterest for the hat idea. I used the same stripe and eyes on a scarf.



Jonathan painted a daisy for Dawn, my sister-in-law.



I didn’t want the girls to feel left out so I made them each a “Lego sack”. I had been searching Pinterest for a Lego storage solution because lately cleaning up Lego’s has been like pulling teeth. The girls get so into playing with them that they end up everywhere and they have no interest in cleaning them up. I thought about storage where you could separate Legos by color/shape/etc but realized that they might stay organized for a day tops. Instead I found instructions for a Lego sack. Basically it is a mat you can use to play with any small toy on and when you are done you simply pull on draw strings and the mat becomes a sack.




The girls also made a gift for their Grandma, who was visiting from South Carolina. My Mom found a recipe for sugar scrub. The girls made warm vanilla sugar scrub with brown sugar and a peppermint scrub with white sugar.


Here are more pictures of gifts exchanged on Thanksgiving (the only time we would all be in one place for Christmastime).







Pre-Easter Fun

The girls got together with their cousin, Auntie, and Nonna to make their Easter baskets for this year. This is the way Nonna made her basket when she was growing up. All you need is a milk/orange juice carton, construction paper, and other crafty items to decorate your basket.

IMG_7355IMG_7357IMG_7358The day before Easter we colored eggs. I asked Abigail how many she thought we should make and she suggested twelve. I figured, why not? We had been doing the letter “R” in homeschool the week before, which included lots of rainbow crafts, so we went with rainbow colors (minus indigo-so sorry, Indigo).

Abigail and Sarah were doing fine and all was well until Lily decided to see what all the fuss was about. At one point she would grab a white egg, pretend to nibble on it, and then set the egg back in the carton. Then she decided to get more adventurous and grab at the spoons in our glasses. Finally she caught on though. Without us seeing it coming Lily grabbed another egg from the carton and plopped it into one of the cups of colored water. I’m sad I wasn’t prepared to capture it on camera.


I’m glad my husband and I like hard-boiled eggs. I had a feeling the girls wouldn’t like them and I was right. Sarah took one “taste” and declared, “I don’t like these.” Abigail did eat the white of the egg and discarded the yolk, but I think she had to really work hard to swallow it all. Maybe next year?