One way to keep kids from driving you crazy at this time of year is to get them involved in Christmas decorating or other holiday projects. Make decorating the Christmas tree a family project and have the kids make homemade ornaments and gifts. There are kits at craft stores you can buy, or you can buy pre-cut multi-colored strips and make a chain they can glue together to put around the Christmas tree. Even if you need to buy colored paper and cut it yourourself, this is an easy project and works especially well for young children who may not have a lot of coordination yet. Using some of the fancy-edged scissors or unique papers found in the scrap booking department can add a little pizazz to your strips.
Give the kids a homemade ornament project: Spray different colors of spray paint on top of a bucket of water (in the garage, without the cars inside!). Do not stir or mix the paint. Use stiff wire to run through the top of white ball ornaments and then dip the ornament into the water several times. Hang the ornament over a plastic drop cloth and allow to dry. Continue to add different colors to the water to create unique ornaments with different colored swirls on each ornament. To remove any paint color you no longer want to use, run a paper towel over the top of the water or on the side of the bucket. You can buy cardboard buckets in the paint department to eliminate clean-up. Although bright colors are attractive, using black and gray or beige and brown together make beautiful ornaments and gifts.
A great gift idea for grandparents is to buy the glass drink coasters that hold pictures. You could even have the kids take goofy pictures of themselves, then cut with safety scissors, and insert into the opening under the coaster. These are usually on sale at department stores around the holidays.
Children also love to help their parents bake cookies or desserts, and since many of these can be made ahead of time and frozen, it will save you some time as you get closer to Christmas.
Make an aroma-filled tabletop evergreen tree. To learn how, check out our article, “Family-Friendly Christmas Tree Table Centerpiece Project”.