Do you have some treasures you want to pass down to your children and grandchildren? How about decoupaging a box?
In previous blogs I wrote about telling stories that have been passed down about your ancestors. Your children need to hear those stories. I chose to do it with little mini-books. Pinterest is full of ideas about those little books, and I wanted to give them a try. I had so much fun, I wanted to pass that idea on here in my blog.
But I needed something to keep those little books in. There are tons of decorative boxes that you can get in craft stores. But I needed one wherein I could try my hand at decoupaging. Also I wanted to personalize it. In my search for the perfect box, I found a "Santa" box at my local craft store that looks like a big book. I decided that was perfect.
Finding the perfect box!
After I found the box that fit my needs, I got out my Mod Podge and started decoupaging. I put the youtube video that includes directions at the end of this blog. I simply used scrapbook paper and card stock that I deemed appropriate for my box. I was set to go!
Note the papier-mache box above that I also found. One could really get creative with such a box. You could even use paints. Whatever...just have fun. If you're looking for a "New Year's" craft, I think this fills the bill.
And you don't have to use it for ancestor stories as I am doing. It would be great for favorite family photos, essays about your children and grandchildren, or essays about those ancestors--you don't have to create a mini-book.
I've heard of grandparents writing a letter to their grandchildren to be read upon the grandparents' passing. These little boxes would be perfect to house those letters. The ideas are endless.
I plan to include more mini-books to this collection.
Previous blogs about writing ancestor stories:
Youtube video on how to decoupage:
Websites for making mini-books:
I'll end with a quote from previous blogs. I simply love it:
"I am bound to them, though I cannot look into their eyes or hear their voices. I honor their history. I cherish their lives. I will tell their story. I will remember them." Author unknown.
We've done bucket lists for autumn, for November, and December. We're on a roll--let's do a bucket list for winter!
I know, I know. Some of you HATE winter. You despise the cold and well, you hate the cold. I get that, honest I do, But instead of being in a snit for a couple of cold months, how about embracing it for a change? They say it's a great time for humankind to take a break and retreat. . . replenish. So this year, maybe one of your New Year's resolutions can be to try to enjoy winter.
Now I myself LOVE winter. I love snuggling by the fireplace, reading a book or watching the bowl games with my hubby. I just love it. I love the clothes, from bulky sweaters, to leather boots, I love winter scarves, and warm socks. I love cold weather--a great excuse to stay home and stay warm, and maybe do a bit of baking. I love it!
So let's proceed with our bucket list for the lovers of winter as well as the haters. Maybe the latter can find something they love about it this year.
This is what I found!
I've culled the internet and Pinterest, looking for a "Winter Bucket List," and these are some of the items I found:
But wait! There's more!!
There you have it! Ideas for your winter bucket list!
Embrace the season. Have some fun. Do something this winter you haven't done before! You only live once. I quoted Michael Jordan in a previous blog about bucket lists, and I'll do it again: "Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen." I like that! Enjoy the next two-three months. And please share with me any other ideas you have for a winter bucket list.
* I got this recipe from my sister Barbara. It's great for winter afternoon tea or coffee. Such a nice winter's day treat:
Party Games, some new, some old!
New Year's Eve or even New Year's Day is a great time to get together with family. All the obligations are over; now is the time for some fun. Here in the South we get together to eat certain foods, particularly black-eyed peas. But chips and dips and college bowl games are the order of the day as well. And it's always fun to play some games.
Besides the usual games your family might play, here are some you could add.
New Year Scattergories~
Played like "Scattergories" of course, but I've added these questions that pertain to the holiday. See your "Scattergories" game box for the rules. If you have younger children, put them with an adult so they can play too. This is fun for everyone.
Just print this game sheet out so everyone has a copy. Check your Scattergories game box for rules or get online. But basically you roll the dice with the letters of the alphabet on it. Let's say someone rolls a "D". Then everyone writes the name of a winter sport that starts with "D". (Perhaps "downhill.") Then continue down the list. A song title or lyric that starts with "D," and so on down the list all starting with a "D" on the first game. You set the timer, and then stop when the timekeeper announces. Points are given if you are the only one who had an answer that no one else thought of or wrote. I'll post the website with the rules.
Do You Know Me?
The next one I call, "Do You Know Me?" Pass out slips of paper and pencils. Someone is the reader. The reader reads the question and everyone responds writing their answers on their slip of paper. Papers are then turned in to the reader. The reader reads the responses. Everyone else tries to guess who said that. Points are given to the person/persons who correctly guesses who said that. On the next question, assign a different reader so everyone has a chance. After all rounds, the person with the most correct guesses wins.
Here are some sample questions. Party-goers can also come up with questions of their own to submit.
Happy New Year to all my blog readers! May your 2020 be happy and bright with a year full of blessings. And stay safe this New Year's Eve.
Website with Scattergories rules: www.wikihow.com/Play-Scattergories
WAIT! Don't take that tree down yet!!
Write the stories of your ornaments! You'll be glad you did.
Two years ago I did a blog about taking pictures of your Christmas decorations and including all the pictures in a book. www.gigisseasonings.com/blog/a-book-of-christmas-treasures
And yes, I used one of those online photobook-making sites, but you could certainly do a scrapbook. Any way you choose to preserve those memories. You could even gather your grandkids and great-grandkids around and tell the stories of your ornaments. Oral history is important too!
I was reminded how valuable this is on this Christmas holiday. I set my book out and discovered my kids and grandkids going through it. It prompts a lot of discussion about family history.
Here's a peek inside my book:
The photos you include don't have to be only heirloom ornaments. Got a beautiful ornament recently from a dear friend? Include that ornament! And you can write something about that friendship--how long the friendship has lasted, how you met, and her personality traits.
Be sure to include those picture ornaments of the grandkids. They'll get a kick out of seeing those old photos in your book.
Always include handmade ornaments. For certain those are real treasures, especially if they get passed down through the ages.
You get the idea~
I just wanted to remind you to do this before you take your tree down, and put those decorations away. There are blessings twofold to this--you'll love photographing the ornaments--it will bring back fond memories for YOU. And you'll love documenting details in a published photo book or scrapbook for your children and grandchildren to read and cherish.
This blog is about sharing ideas. Please let me know if you do this. And let me know about other books you've created along these same lines, whether it be family Christmas photos through the years, or a book of favorite Christmas recipes. The ideas are endless. I love when you share, and I always pass it on to others.
Blessings to you in the new year!
Just to repeat--here's my blog from two years ago with this same idea:
Crafts and Christmas seem to go hand-in-hand~
I see my friends and family making decorations for the house. And if they are not doing that, they're busy making Christmas gifts for a homemade Christmas exchange. It's all good and it's all FUN!
For the past couple of years, I've tried to get together with my grandkids to make some Christmas ornaments. They are out a week at Thanksgiving, and that seems to be a great time to get together with them.
And we try to make it fun--maybe do lunch, then return home for dessert, hot chocolate and some crafting. I've tried to find homemade ornaments that would be easy, and be something that really would add to their tree. And we do it with an eye for saving them, so they can eventually add them to their own tree.
I found some this year that we could make which entailed decoupaging to thin wood plaques.
Here's a sample:
The supplies I had to purchase included some Christmas card stock papers, Mod Podge, beads for embellishment, and thin wooden plaques. From my own house I got out scissors, other embellishments I had on hand and old Christmas cards as well as a hot-glue gun.
Very basic instructions~
We simply chose a paper that we liked for the ornament, trimmed it to fit the wooden plaque, and coated the plaque with Mod Podge. I provide a link to the youtube video that shows how to do this below. Then we let it dry for 20-30 minutes and then hot-glued or decoupaged our chosen decorations. Easy, and it makes for a lovely afternoon of conversation while we are waiting for each coat to dry.
On the tree!
After I sent them home with the girls, I texted my granddaughter to send me pictures of them actually adorning their tree. She complied.
Also, please note: we included a label on the back with each girl's name and the date it was made. Then they can (hopefully) show their children and perhaps grandchildren. I can dream. (Insert chuckle here.)
Crafting with the kids and grandkids--nothing better!
Such a fun day or afternoon. You can made it as special as you want--pop popcorn, put on the Christmas music, make hot mulled cider or hot chocolate. Just another family tradition for your children to carry with them their whole life through.
Parting Christmas thoughts~
"Christmas now surrounds us, happiness is everywhere. Our hands are busy with many tasks as carols fill the air." Shirley Sallay
"Christmas gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us." David Cameron
Video demonstration for decoupaging:
My blog from last year about making Christmas ornaments out of cookie cutters:
Happy holy season no matter which holiday you celebrate. Good wishes to ALL!
"How did it get so late so soon. . .December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?" Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss was right! Here it is almost December. We need to get cracking on our December bucket list. The important thing is to add some things to your December list that you haven't done before. Makes for a very good life.
I like what Jim Rohn said, "We have two choices; we can make a living or we can design a life." Or as my sister Barbara always says, "Life is what you make it." So let's make December a fun and rewarding time.
Start with your list. . .
So many websites and blogs to help us create a list~
Here are a few ideas I found:
So many special cultural and holy events fall during this month. Of course we'll all be adding to our list based on the holy day we celebrate, whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.
My list includes many items that are based on Christmas. But I'm thinking they could be adapted to any holiday celebration--especially winter holiday festivities.
Add to your Hanukkah bucket list and traditions~
Kwanzaa bucket list~
This relatively new observance for African-American families is rich with traditions, and activities to be done each night. Such a wonderful family celebration of heritage and history. It's difficult to think of what else could be added, but here's a couple of ideas:
Christmas bucket list~
"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others MAKE it happen." Michael Jordan
Enjoy creating your December bucket list. Add some new items and traditions. You can make it happen!
Happy December to all!
Interview a relative this holiday season while you still have the chance!
How many of us have lamented that we didn't ask our mother this or our grandfather that? Curious what life was like for your daddy on the farm during the Great Depression? Or what it was like for your uncle serving in Vietnam? This holiday season....whether it be Thanksgiving or Christmas...sit down with those relatives and talk to them. And this year you might focus on the BIG EVENTS of our lifetime. It's important to get their firsthand knowledge and thoughts.
And not only that, get your kids and grandkids involved. Encourage them to sit down and visit with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and ask them questions about the big events of their day, and what their "take" was/is on these happenings. It can make for very rich discussions and will help them add to their family story. That in turn will add to their own identity and self concept.
Start with the BIG EVENTS~
I sat down and came up with a list of what I considered the big events of our lifetime. I consider these events things that had an impact on our lives and our culture. And for sure our kids and grandkids will be studying these in school. How valuable to interview their relatives and get firsthand information.
More on the BIG EVENTS~
I'm thinking you might pick out a big event and be prepared to ask a relative about it. And that relative does not have to have participated in a civil rights protest march or been in the war, but they certainly witnessed such things and felt the effect of them. Ask them about it.
Or you can simply print out your list of what you consider the outstanding events of the last century or this century, and hand it to them. Let them speak about any of the happenings in that list.
And you won't just be learning firsthand accounts of these news events of the day~
You'll also be learning even more about your loved one. And let's not forget that for some of our elders with some memory loss, reminiscing can be hugely important.
Don't leave out some of the little-discussed major events~
Our kids might not know there was ever a time in our history (besides the Great Depression) where we experienced sugar rationing or gasoline shortages. They should know this.
Websites with interview questions to use~
My blog from last year about interviewing relatives during the holiday~
And one of my recent blogs about telling our ancestors' stories:
"If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're like a leaf that doesn't know it's part of the tree." Michael Crichton
"Old men and women of the village are books of history and wisdom." African proverb
Another fun craft with the kids and grandkids~
I'm always looking for a craft to do with my grandkids, especially for holidays. I found this one online, and I'll provide the link at the end of this blog. I thought it was cute, and something that my six-year-old grandson could help me with. Then he would have a gift for his mother, teacher, and bus driver.
Once again it involved a trip to the craft store to get the silk leaves, small clay pots and raffia.
It also involved some wooden hearts--two sizes; and some wooden spoons. Remember those? They're like the wooden spoons that used to come with ice cream cups back in the day. And yes, they have them in the craft store.
Next? The painting!
That's where my grandson really had fun. And he added ideas of his own. The sample cup online wasn't painted, but he decided that painting the clay pot would make for a really colorful turkey. And I agreed. I like all his creative ideas.
Finished turkey cups~
I assembled them as it involved a hot glue gun and I didn't want him to burn his fingers. He was content with all the painting, and picking out the prettiest leaves for tail feathers.
The many uses of turkey cups~
We came up with a few things these cups could be used for:
It's always fun to do a craft with your grandchildren. And to be able to add their art work to the seasonal decor around their home or grandmother's home is especially nice. They beam with pride when telling others that they made it. And to be able to tell the teacher that they personally made the small gift brings them such satisfaction.
This blog is all about sharing ideas of things you do with your grandchildren. Please write and share any ideas you have that have worked in the past.
Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!
Website for turkey cups~
Have you ever done a progressive dinner at Thanksgiving? This may be the year to start!
Thanksgiving is wonderful--I think we can all agree on that. An old friend used to say she loved Thanksgiving more than Christmas as it was a great time to be with family centered around an awesome meal. No holiday shopping, no decorating the house, no fighting crowds and traffic in the malls and on the street. No, just that wonderful family time with good food and the counting of our blessings.
But sometimes it can be a bit much for one person to do. And while I know that most families have everyone bring something to the meal, a lot of the preparation falls on one person. How about shaking things up a bit and spreading out the hosting duties?
If you have family and friends in town that you always spend time with on this day, how about approaching them with this idea?
My niece here in town is fortunate enough to have all her grown children here. And she has a long-time friend that she always spends the holiday with. They got together and decided to have a progressive dinner. She reports that one daughter hosted the appetizer part of the feast, her other daughter had everyone over for salad in a jar, Tracy hosted the main event (the turkey of course!) and her friend Stacy had everyone over for dessert.
Yes, this eases the host's work for the day, but it's also just plain FUN! How wonderful to open your home to friends and family for part of this meal. Share the JOY! And what a wonderful experience for our children and grandchildren.
But wait! There's more!!
My niece has quite the extended family. Grandparents, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles from across the US. They arrive to Texas from Minnesota and California and places in between. How to get those people from one house to the next? Well, a hay ride of course!! Now that's a memory few grandkids could forget.
Travel from one part of the dinner to the next? A hay ride of course!
Now I agree, this is possible because they all live in close proximity to each other. And it did address the need for getting all their out-of-town guests from one house to the next. But what grand fun and what a memory!
If you decide to do this, check your local municipality for laws, ordinances and required permits. You could share the trailer rental with all involved. Tracy reports that as far as the hay, if you return it still in the bale and clean, you get your money back.
When I decided to showcase this idea in my blog, I asked my niece for photos. She sent tons of photos, but alas, no pictures of the set-up for the feast itself. We are fortunate to live in Houston where November weather is mild and perfect for outdoor eating. I managed to find a picture in my files of another Thanksgiving meal at Tracy's house. So here ya go. . .
Final thoughts on adding a new tradition~
I certainly don't have the ways and means to do such a Thanksgiving extravaganza. These two ladies, my niece and her best friend, have great decorating and party ideas. People come to them for their fabulous ideas, and we all consider them great party-planners. You can see by the above set table that it is an occasion to behold.
But it might be fun to add some aspect of this family feast to your Thanksgiving traditions. Perhaps the progressive dinner idea. That could be really fun. Or a hayride in the country at the end of the day at a local farm would be a treat for the kids. I share ideas simply to spur us all on to try new things or add a new tradition. And that's what my blog is all about--ideas for things that grandparents can do with grandchildren throughout the seasons of the year. And the Thanksgiving season is one of the best.
Thanksgiving season is the perfect time to start a gratitude journal.
In past Novembers, I've seen Facebook do what they billed as "Thirty Days of Gratitude," wherein members were encouraged to share on Facebook each day something they were grateful for. I've never participated, but it really is a good idea. I was reminded of the blessing of doing a gratitude or happiness journal by a friend. Her mother recently passed away, and she was reading her mother's happiness journal. Kathy had given her mother a journal one Christmas, and discovered the journal with her mother's things after she died. She was loving reading the journal, and learning even more about her mother.
So I put those ideas together. If you've never done a happiness or gratitude journal, November is the perfect month to start. And to remind you to also think about posterity. Family members will one day enjoy reading your journal, just as my friend is doing now.
Gratitude journals revisited~
During this month, I would encourage you to start a gratitude journal. It can also be called a happiness journal because, as social scientists tell us, gratitude is the KEY to happiness. And if you have done one in the past, but have discontinued it, I would encourage you to start it again. Not to sound corny, but it is the spark that reignites the fire in your soul.
All you have to do is keep a little journal specifically for writing 3-5 things that make you smile on any given day. Or simply add those things to your journal or day book.
Bookmarks with ideas and writing prompts~
Last year to encourage my granddaughters to write in their journals and to give them ideas of things they could write about, I made them bookmarks with writing prompts. These writing prompts will also work in a happiness journal. Sometimes when you are filling in the blanks, it helps you take stock of things you're grateful for. Here are my bookmarks. You can either print them out to insert in your journal, or simply write down these ideas.
Gratitude journals can be the key to getting through a difficult time~
Last night I was fortunate to go see a former high school classmate at a local entertainment venue. (I know--how fun was that!) He shared a song he had written with the Eagles' Don Henley. They had both broken up with girlfriends and were feeling pretty low. Times were also difficult in our country. They wrote a song together, and this gentleman told the crowd, "Our country is going through difficult times again. Sometimes it helps to focus on the good and to create something--get your mind off the hard times." I found it interesting that I'm not the only one who turns to writing, creating and refocusing on the good during such times. So if you're going through a difficult time, all the more reason to start a gratitude journal. Try it for thirty days--the whole month of November, and see what a change it can bring in your life.
Happy Thanksgiving season to all! And please feel free to share my blog with others.
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!