Christmas Week!

Artsy Dinos

Twas the week before Christmas - let us help you get ready with some fun crafts and activities!

1) Christmas Tree Crafts

Popsicle stick Christmas trees!
Christmas tree popsicle craft
First craft reposted from @rattleandrollkids
Original caption:
This right here is one of my favorite Christmas crafts of all time!

It’s simple....
It’s great for all ages...
It’s great fine motor practice 👍...
It uses supplies you probably already have on hand....
And you can use the end result as an ornament, gift topper or even a photo frame!

What’s your all-time fave Christmas craft?


Christmas tree pipe cleaner and popsicle stick craft
2nd craft - we did this at the Houston Museum of Natural Science last year - pipe cleaners wrapped around a popsicle stick triangle!

2) Christmas scavenger hunt

Over the years with my younger cousins, we used to have scavenger hunts for the kiidos to find a special gift! This year, Bubba is old enough to appreciate this, so for our pod holiday party, created this scavenger hunt for the kiddos! Includes our clues (which were specific to us lol - has our dog's name in one of them!) and some blank templates for you to write your own!


3) Cookies and Milk for Santa Plate!

Free Santa's Plate PNG

Santa's Cookies & Milk plate! Plus don't forget carrots for the reindeer! Bubba and I have been talking about how he wanted to decorate his plate for a few days now. He's going to be so excited when he sees it (will be the surprise at the end for the scavenger hunt above) - his little pod friends get one too! I'm debating whether or not to write in cookies and milk in the circles or maybe draw in. Looks like a snowman face!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Do you guys leave out cookies for Santa?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Made with my @officialcricut! Here's a PNG of the file for PERSONAL USE ONLY - you'll have to erase the background within the Cricut app though. Charger plate from @Michaelsstores (note this isn't food safe - for decor!).⠀⠀

4) Christmas in the Philippines


Celebrating Christmas around the World - the Philippines ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
People in the Philippines like to celebrate Christmas for as long as possible! The playing of Christmas carols in shops can start in September (and go through the "Ber" months)! The formal Christmas celebrations start on 16th December when many people go the the first of nine pre-dawn or early morning masses. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Christmas customs in the Philippines are a mixture of western and native Filipino traditions. People in the Philippines have Santa Claus (or 'Santa Klaus'), Christmas trees, Christmas cards and Christmas carols from western countries!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
They also have their own Christmas traditions such as the 'parol' which is a bamboo pole or frame with a lighted star lantern on it. It's traditionally made from bamboo strips and colored Japanese paper or cellophane paper and represents the star that guided the Wise Men. It is the most popular Christmas decoration in the Philippines.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
(Abridged from⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Love this beautiful paról by @simplylilliehome so festive!⠀⠀

5) Gingerbreads and Letters to Santa!

Michael's gingerbread store

Bubba had all kinds of crafts at pod school this week! Decorated his own gingerbread house which he said tasted "disgusting" and wrote letters to Santa. He apparently wants a jet, a drone (wtf I didn't even know he knew what that was - courtesy of SuperWings) and a toy car. None of which were on his list when we asked three weeks ago while making a list of ideas for our family to get him 😡 plus he's not getting a drone lol. Looks like Santa is going to disappoint this year! I may cave and go find a car, sigh.

letter to santa

Do your kids mail letters to Santa?

P.S. How cute is this ginger bread man from @michaelsstores?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

6) Ornaments & Traditions

Our annual ornaments! I love the idea of passing along traditions over generations. One that Samir and I started that we hope to carry forward into future generations is to pick an ornament that represented something important or fun for the year. So whether it was buying a new house, getting a new pet / Bubba, or our fun trip to AZ where we rode a hot air balloon, we have at least one special ornament for that year.

COVID ornament ideas Shrinky Dink ornaments
This year we took a cousin's COVID work / play trip to Gulf Shores AL and Bubba still talks about how fun it was. We brought back some sand and shells to commemorate! Plus of course we had to make a COVID #stayhome ornament. Used our handprints on ShrinkyDinks - makes for a great keepsake.

DIY beach ornament with sand and shells

I still want to do one that says Vote 2020 and Black Lives Matter on it - maybe this weekend we'll finally get to it!

Did you make a special COVID ornament?

7) Easy Holiday Party Menu & Games!

Last but not least, here's what we did for our pod holiday party menu. I like to do stuff that I can make ahead and throw in the oven so we're not in the kitchen the whole night! We also have a vegetarian fam in the pod, so heavy on the vegetarian dishes for us!

Broccoli cauliflower corn au gratin

1) Appetizer: Spinach and Artichoke Dip - I like adding tomatoes and onions to the standard recipes

2) Salad - literally got a salad in a bag and added avocado, pomegranates, feta and onions to it

3) Broccoli, Cauliflower and Corn Au Gratin - this recipe plus added corn!

4) Brussel sprouts with cranberries and walnuts - basically halved brussels, balsamic vinegar, salt, a couple of random spices and roasted in the oven

5) Sweet potato fries - peeled sweet potatoes sliced and seasoned with oil, lemon pepper seasoning and garlic powder - put half in the air fryer and half in the oven just to see - both equally good in different ways!

6) Roasted chicken from HEB - they have fun flavors of roasted chicken so grabbed a couple from the store to cook down on cooking for us!

7) Mac and cheese of course!

8) Rolls with cinnamon and brown sugar butter - I love making flavored butter - it's so simple and adds a dash of fun! 

One of our guests brought some yummy dessert for us! Hope you guys enjoy and get some simple ideas for your celebrations!!

For games:

1) Scavenger hunt above

2) Book exchange - had each kid bring a book and passed the book around to jingle bells (stopped and started the song a couple times and changed direction)

 Saran wrap ball game

3) Saran wrap ball - this is always fun - wrap a bunch of candy and little dollar store treats in saran wrap. The first kiddo starts by unwrapping the ball, the next kiddo rolls two dice. When the second kiddo gets doubles, the first kiddos turn ends and the ball passes on! To make it harder (like with adults), put on oven mitts to make it harder to unwrap!

Other fun ideas include a holiday photo booth or a hot chocolate charcuterie board - check out this one by my bestie!

Hot chocolate charcuterie board

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