Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Decking the Halls

It's been so cold and the kids have colds so we've been home the past few days. And we're about done with it. Each other. Being stuck inside. Gettin' a little stir crazy. But we haven't been totally unproductive. Here're a few things we've been up to in the last while...

Rather than waiting for Christmas Eve for new jammies, we started off December with a festive pillow case and new jammies. Might as well enjoy for the whole month.

We made a countdown tree out of my magnet board. It's a little easier for the kids to keep track of the days this way. They would not do well with an advent calendar. All the treats would have to be consumed or fought over. So we just count the days and make our own treats whenever we (I) feel the inclination/buy them!

I made some rice bags to keep us warm on cold nights. I just used basmati rice with herbal tea to make it smell nice. Christmas Eve herbal tea (tastes like toothpaste) but has a light pepperminty/cinnamon/orange smell. I like it. And the kids like them too. Although they're just as happy to throw them around like giant bean bags...

We had a couple of santa hats in with our decorations but with 3 heads and only 2 hats there was trouble.
So I made an elf hat out of fleece. And then I made 2 more for good measure. I think this is a super fun idea. And with a bit more time and inclination you could really make them colorful and funky...for now they are just plain with a jingle bell on the end. Two of which need to be replaced already...

For the tree...I've been letting the kids do most of the decorating and we just add on as we make new things. So far we've done bead candy canes, salt dough shapes, and pine cones with glitter (my personal fave). We also have store bought red balls and tin stars for some sparkle.

I have plans to make The Babe a cute dress before Christmas, but I just don't know. I did manage to make this one from the Carefree Clothes for Girls book. It's quite sweet and not too difficult, but I don't have much time to focus on anything that takes more than a few minutes or I can do with 3 helpers with their faces in mine.
One thing that I've been having fun with is making little pajama pants. I first did some for the boys but it's fun for girls too. I just take a pair of their shorts, or sweatpants with holes in the knees, cut off the arms from a sweater/sweatshirt and sew them on to the leg holes. So simple with knit fabric and you don't even have to finish the leg hem (previous arm cuff). Fast and fun. For me. Cute and cozy. And maybe a hat to match!

And now here's a little christmas quandry I find myself in. The Teacher Gift. My boys are in PLAYSCHOOL. They go and play. And it's tons of fun for them.
At their school, apparently is is customary for all the parents to pool money together for a gift card for both teachers (there are two classes of 3yr olds and 2 of 4yr olds). Not such a bad idea. I'm sure you only need so many mugs or tree ornaments. But I heard from one of the other mom's in the other class that last year they all gave $25.
Excuse me??! For a playschool teacher? Or any teacher who isn't directly related to you or saved you from a burning building. I think that's a bit much. And with two kids would I be inclined to give $50? (I wouldn't).
So far now one in our class has mentioned an amount. So do I give a lesser amount? Do I opt out and go the handmade by student route? I personally think that's a more appropriate option, but I understand that you could have a cupboard full of cute/useless gifts. But shouldn't the efforts of your your students be meaningful? Or am I just being cheap (my husband's question to me)? Could be.
What do you think????


Lahni said...

I bought Isaiah's grade one teacher a really cute key fob wrislet from etsy for $5. (similar to this one: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36343460&ref=sr_list_4&&ga_search_query=key+fob&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title ) And I don't feel cheap at all!

Brooke said...

I really like your Christmas ideas! I just got a sewing machine so my mind is going crazy with all of the things that I can now make! Looks like you are prepared for the cabin fever.

Mrs. M said...

Oh you're awesome Mrs Christmas Mittens! We have done hardly anything xmasy...ideas but no action!
Gift? What about a donation to a charity in the teachers honor? Or a new toy or books or containers of homemade playdough for the classroom? I think those are better choices...cause really how many cutsie but not really useful gifts do any of us need? Yes, it's a season of giving....but thoughtful giving.
At W's preschool....we're going the charity route. With a donation jar at the school. I'm thrilled!

mc said...

25$ per teacher seems like a lot! We are making a pool of 10$ per family and will buy a gift card. 5$ for the ed assistant. These are just suggestions, every parent can give more or less, or buy their own gift. So in the end, I think you should do as you like! I like the idea of handmade by student!

Daisy Patch said...

Wow have you been sewing up a storm!You make such beautiful things :)

Jamie said...

Cute Christmas ideas!
I bought my teacher gifts from Etsy for under $10 each - my kids each have 2 teachers, there is no way I am spending more than that. And as a teacher, it's the thought that counts, not the gift. I think homemade treats make a nice teacher gift! Doesn't clutter up the cupboard! :)

mc said...

I received your picture in the mail. Thank you so much for sending it! It looks even lovelier on paper!
Happy Holidays!

Mrs. M said...

Hey Mrs....love, love, lovin' your new header...and I too received some lovely happy mail today! Thank you!!
Can you get together next week sometime? Wed or Thurs?