Christmas Magic and Snoopy Kids

As I’ve mentioned before–magic is a big deal to me. Remember the fairy post? Each time I see the Nutcracker–I’m pretty sure I truly belong in that Sugar Plum place. No, I mean it. Sometime, maybe I’ll tell you how I feel about pixies and Santa and toys coming to life. At some level of sleep deprivation I could probably even give you a pretty convincing speech in defense of the Keebler Elves.

As I’ve said, magic works for me.

Now, of course, I don’t mean the–eye of newt, ‘piece of thine own tongue,’ chicken knuckles, creepy stuff. I’m talking about the–sparkly tinsel, Deck the Halls, new doll plastic smell on Christmas morning –magic. You know…MA-GIC. The whispery, tip-toey kind. The candy cane hot chocolate kind.

The very best kind.

When my kids were tiny, I worked hard to pass that same sense of wonder, that shivery, strangeness on to them–as a personal favor. One reason is because we already have enough grim-reaper moments on this earth, and I personally refuse to give them any more space. But the biggest reason is that it’s just more fun if I’m not the only one in the house bursting into song every time someone rattles a jingle bell.

Way better if we’re all nuts.

Another advantage to having 5 kids who have passed “Magic and Wonder Appreciation- 101” is that while other moms were trying desperately each year, to hide the Christmas presents in a new place (or new  country) that their snoopy children hadn’t discovered yet– I could stack 5 feet of gift boxes in my sewing room with a blanket over them and say, “Don’t peek–you’ll spoil the magic!” Oh, of course they could look if they wanted to, but the feeling was, “Why would you wreck your own Christmas? Magic is better.” My kids swear to this day that it worked…even the boys.

That said, it’s been hard not to post the projects that I’ve been working on this season, but I couldn’t, unless I wanted to spoil my own family’s Christmas. So I’ve come up with a solution. I’ll put them on another page and hang the “Andersonians Beware” sign on the door. Once it’s up–you can peek if you like. But I bet you a million bucks…they won’t.

Because for us…Christmas magic is just better.

PS–So watch for it…a new “door” that will be opening in the next few days.

Look carefully…You’ll see…

{ The Gift of Christmas }

“Kissing the Face of God” by Morgan Weistling

“Part of the purpose for telling the story of Christmas is to remind us that Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Indeed, however delightful we feel about it, even as children, each year it ‘means a little bit more.’ And no matter how many times we read the biblical account of that evening in Bethlehem, we always come away with a thought—or two—we haven’t had before….

“I, like you, need to remember the very plain scene, even the poverty, of a night devoid of tinsel or wrapping or goods of this world. Only when we see that sacred, unadorned child of our devotion—the Babe of Bethlehem—will we know why… the giving of gifts is so appropriate”

Jeffrey R. Holland

Christmas “Lists”

Searching around online at all the “stuff” there is to do, to see, to make, to buy, to have at Christmas time–can be a bit overwhelming. In fact, sometimes it feels like my brain’s going in 17 directions at once. A person can blow up that way.

There’s just so much. But sift through it–I did–and bookmarked everything that made me sigh or smile or slow down for a minute and think happy thoughts. The rest can just blow away.

Now, understand–all I can really show you are things that work for me–but that’s ok. People have been scooting closer to whisper good ideas in each others’ ears since before the flood.

I think it’s how we keep each other warm.


Gifts in a Bottle About a hundred ways to pack joy in a jar.

Recycled Paper Ornaments This should keep little hands pretty busy.

Salt Dough Ornaments Other food-ish ornaments as well.

Simple Christmas Simple, low cost Christmas Projects–just click past the ads.

Felt Cookies I know, I know…again with the felt!

So much fun stuff.

If you get a good idea from any of this–I hope you’ll share it with us.

Glass Pebble Magnets

These little fridge magnets were so easy and fun to make…

I couldn’t get myself to stop…

Start with clear, glass craft pebbles–size 3/4″ and 1-1/2″ worked well with 3/4 in magnet buttons. I found all this at Walmart–but I’ve seen them at the dollars store too. You just have to keep your eyes open and snag them when you can.

Next, decide what you want as your pictures. I used stickers, fabric and tiny words from magazines. The original idea was to use photos, but I’m getting low on printer ink, so I had to improvise.

Cut your pictures out and glue them on the back. I just used Mod Podge–anything that dries clear will work. Next–once the glue is dry–use a hot glue gun to stick the magnets on the back. Be careful here, especially with the tiny pebbles. I thought I had finally made friends with my evil glue gun…

I was mistaken.

Let the cute little things sit and settle for a day or two before making them hold the plum pudding recipe on the fridge. It will seal the bond to let it rest a bit. An Altoids box is a great storage case for your magnets–and also makes it easier to wrap them up as a gift.

Especially if your fingers have bandaids all over them.


Personal History Prompt Jar

~What could you see from your childhood bedroom window?

~What did you do, as a child, that got you in big trouble?

~Do you remember a favorite nursery rhyme?

~Have you ever gone fishing?

These are just a few of the personal history prompts that we’ve folded up mysteriously and sealed into a class jar. Someone you love–grandma, grampa, mom, dad–then, chooses one question each day to trigger a slew of childhood memories. It doesn’t matter so much if they write them down in a formal journal or a simple spiral notebook, as long as they start putting it on paper…for the rest of us to enjoy.

Probably the number one reason people hesitate to begin a journal or personal history in the first place, is because they have no idea where to start. So what better gift to give them than a box or bag or–in our case–a cleaned candle jar–of daily prompts with intriguing questions that will actually be fun to write about. If they answer only one question per day–in six months they will have quite an impressive history. And who knows? That history may just be their Christmas present to you–next year!


Click on the link below to make your own copy of the prompts. Print them on white or colored paper–or both. Cut them into strips. Fold them and store them in a bottle or box. Tie a ribbon around it–and there you have it. A family heirloom in the making. Oh, and adding a pretty pen and notebook or journal is a nice touch too.



Click the following link:

Personal History Prompts