Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Chain

After our Sunday pancakes around the family table together, Katie and I played with some blocks and puzzles and then worked on another Christmas project in her playroom while listening to Christmas carols. We lit her pink tree, and although I had a different outfit in mind, Katie asked to wear her "candy cane dress" (as she calls it).

So we settled in to make our Christmas paper chain. About a two weeks ago, I cut twelve strips each of red and green construction paper. I found a pack of 60 Christmas stickers for $1.00 at Target, and since I know Katie loves stickers, I thought she would enjoy putting them onto the paper strips and that it would sustain her interest more than if we colored and drew and wrote on the paper strips this year.

The stickers sure worked well! I had her chose each sticker and she loved putting them on!

Katie affixes a wreath to one of the green strips...

As soon as we had put the chain together, Katie began to dance with it all over the playroom and her room.

The finished paper chain!

Right now we have him hung up in Mr. Pumpkin's old spot, above the kitchen table. It works for right now, but as the chain grows shorter as Christmas approaches, I might need to move it down where she will be better able to reach it.

Every morning when I take her downstairs, I lead her over to our mistletoe ball and say, "Kissing ball! Mistletoe kisses!" and cover her with kisses. Tomorrow, we will add to our morning tradition: we will start opening our advent calendar and taking rings off our paper chain.

In the afternoon, I put up all of our external Christmas lights. At our house, I am in charge of all things Christmas. Katie helped for part of the time, ate lunch with Daddy for part of the time, and napped for part of the time. The lights were fairly easy this year, as the previous owner already had the nails in the wood trim ready for use. The main challenge was hauling the ladder from nail to nail---my arms are sore this morning (I actually am one of those people who loves the feeling of sore muscles, though). And of course, there was the unexpected mud puddle in the grass that both my feet sank into when I was adorning one of the pepper trees. I also had to make a decision early in the process not to be intimidated by the man across the street, whose light display this year includes lawn ornaments and something else he seems to be making with a skilsaw. I'm not that hardcore, although there have been times when I would like to do some woodworking. I miss my retro C7 lights this year, but last year they overheated and started popping...and I made a decision to use the mini lights this year. Replacement bulbs are a little easier to find and not as expensive. Overall, I am pleased with our lights. I have part of them set on a timer (I only have one timer), and part of them running on a different outlet (I had to run a green extension cord from one of the back outlets to the front yard for the pepper tree), so the only issue is that I will need to turn those off manually if I want them to be off. The most important thing is that Katie takes joy out of seeing them!

I was thinking that I would get our tree next week, but as I thought about it last night, I think I have decided to get our tree this week so that the Christmas decorating is complete and so that we can enjoy the tree for the maximum time.

Today we have our toddler class, then the market, then a sourdough bread making session, then a Michael's run if we feel we energetic by then.

Happy first week of December!