User post: Making time to make memories...

Our favorite holiday tradition grew out of necessity. It seemed that there was a yearly struggle as Christmas drew near to find ways to keep the kids occupied. When school vacations arrived, too often there was no one for them to play with, and boredom would quickly set in. I can only listen to so many choruses of 'I'm bored' before I feel compelled to do something to distract them.

We started with holiday crafts. Some were simple, the old gingerbread house kit, while others were more involved, like making ornaments. And while other crafts went by the way side, our tradition of making ornaments each year has lived on.

The beauty of making ornaments is that the difficulty of the project can evolve and grow with the kids. We began so many years ago with the ready to paint ceramic ornaments from the local craft store. We'd gather some acrylic pain kits and spend a few afternoons making ornaments. They were a nice inexpensive way to pass the time. And, they made for lovely holiday decorations.

The making or holiday ornaments also created other traditions. In lieu of bows on gifts to family members, we started attaching ornaments. Grandparents love these handmade gifts. (In our experience, aunts and uncles and cousins do, too.)

So, it has become a joy each year to hear the chorus of 'what kind of ornaments are we making this year' begin. It has become a lovely family project. And given that we now have a Great Dane who is slowly destroying the ornaments on our tree, we may have to up our production to keep up with his rate of destruction.

For more fun, try Salt Dough ornaments. The salt dough is forgiving. It can be baked and painted. You can mold it or use cookie cutters. And it is really quite durable. But what really matters is that you are having fun with the kids and making some memories.

When Nicki isn't busy making memories with her family, she can be found writing about her experiences on Suddenly Single Journey.