Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Treats

I'm glad I've got pregnancy as an excuse, because there's been no shortage of good food.

When your sweet tooth is overloaded, but you got a new cookie pan for a present...Gingerbread pizza!

One of our birthday gifts...granola! John loves eating it for breakfast. Pretty good, next time I need to remember more dried fruits to include.

John's birthday treat...Snowman ice cream. (He's all about vanilla ice cream)

And as neighbor and visiting teaching goodies, we made up some popcorn...

Peppermint Popcorn - white chocolate and candycanes

Cinnabun Popcorn- Cinnamon Caramel Corn with Pecans and White Chocolate

We also made up massive quantities of White Chocolate Chex. Recipe Here.

I make the recipe with two boxes of Chex at a time, a whole package of candy coating, plus m&m's.

And for tonight...Cafe Rio. No we're not in Utah, just my copycat loving kitchen.

Christmas Crafts

Here's what we've been up to lately...

First, there were some little flower hairclips for the ladies in my life...

And some BIG flower ones. I made some for Young Women's Evening of Excellence, a few weeks ago, and then took the same idea (alligator clip plus grosgrain ribbon plus hot glue plus flower) and made some with fancy flowers..

I bought a bag of ribbon scraps at Hobby Lobby- 2.00 for about 30 pieces of ribbon, 2yds each). Inside were some fancier and shinier ribbon than I usually buy. So I made some hairbows for the preschool gift exchange (there were about 8 girls and 2 boys, so girly was ok).

And on Friday I made these flannel/felt play sets for the girls and our car ride to Grandma's house.

Here's 5 little Snowmen, as seen on Frugal Family Fun . I'll be teaching my girls the cute snowman song as we go over the river and through the woods.

Then I looked through my fabric box, and found some scraps to make winter scenes. From some winter fabric I cute these:

Well, I cut out about 5 times as many. But you get the idea. (Isn't that hello kitty the cutest? She'll be appearing in the girl's christmas pajamas)

And from flannel we made a gingerbread flannel house and some decorations. It took me maybe an hour and a half to cut out all the pieces and glue with tacky glue the sun together, and the house together.

The girls made suggestions about what shapes and accessories they wanted (like hair for gingerbread girls!)

And last but not least, we made a nativity scene to color, from cardstock and toilet paper tubes. From Catholic Icing. Fancy, I know. But it cost nothing, and was a quick activity after dinner last week, so I'm not too sad when it gets ruined.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Santa Conondrum


It's all over the place this time of year.

So for the past few years, we've never done presents from Santa, or made lists for him. It seems like it's a lot more prevalent in Sophia's mind, as there's been way more Christmas movies and books in our house lately.

We had a FHE a few weeks ago, and talked about the Santa that lived, how he gave anonymously, and how we were going to give gifts without a name to a child in our church. We went together and picked out the gifts together.

Sophia's beginning to realize that lots of friends think Santa is bringing them gifts, that they think he's real, rather than being a storybook character like Princesses and Fairytales. Last year we saw a Santa at the mall, and she said "Look, someone dressed up as a Santa." This year at the ward Christmas party, she said- "Santa is a real person, he's here."

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and dissecting the whole Santa story, and how it is pretty much standard Christmas culture.

First, there's the reasons I didn't want to talk up Santa originally:

1. When I was a child, I was obsessed with Santa and getting gifts rather than receiving them. I think my children will still be concerned about what I am getting them for a gift, but I hope the whole discussion in our house leading up to Christmas is about what we are giving and how excited the other person will be.

2. I try my hardest not to lie to my children or gloss over hard things. I want them to know what I tell them, I honestly believe. I would hope they'd never think that you "grow out" of certain beliefs.

3. Santa movies bother me. Mainly because the idea behind them is that children have the capacity to "believe" and adults don't. AND there is a whole aura of blind belief- you "just have to believe"- that somehow belief is the key, rather than faith. I know I am thinking way too deeply about movies that a lot of people think about being about hope and joy and love. But I have religious beliefs, but I act on them in faith and receive answers and I don't advocate just believing to make something true. And it bugs me that movies talk endlessly about "the Spirit of Christmas" and not about Christ.

4. I find it incredible that we as a culture spend so much effort talking about and taking pictures of and baking cookies for Santa, basically perpetuating an idea that isn't true. Same with Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. Why are we playing a joke on our kids? Why do we equate Santa Claus with child innocence?

So, is it worth it to tell my kids, when they ask, that I don't think Santa delivers gifts to them, and that he's like a character from a storybook? What should I do if another authority figure in their life says it is?

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