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7 Christmas Decorations That You Can Make With Your Kids

7 Christmas Decorations That You Can Make With Your Kids

There is a reason so many of us claim Christmas as our favorite holiday. Yes, it can be a busy and stressful time of year, but even the most Scrooge-like among us will admit to liking something about the holiday. For those of us who are lucky enough to celebrate Christmas with children, we know that the joy of the season is multiplied by their presence. There is something really special about sharing your holiday traditions with your children, and what better way to create memories than by making decorations together? If you’re wanting to start a family crafting tradition but don’t know where to begin, fear not. Here are some ideas that will have your home feeling festive in no time.

1. Make snowflake suncatchers.

Glitter-Stained-Glass-Snowflakes-with-Elmers-Glitter-Glue
    happinessishomemade.net

    Suncatchers are a great way to brighten up your space, especially in winter. This activity is well suited for school aged children because it provides a good balance of creativity and precision. The only materials needed are glitter glue and precut snowflake templates.

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    2. Make an ice wreath.

      founterior.com

      Your Christmas decorations don’t have to be limited to the inside of your home. Why not bring some cheer outside? This beautiful ice wreath could not be easier to make, which makes it suitable for all ages. Use a bundt pan, or two round containers that are differently sized, and fill with water. Let your kids have fun dropping leaves, evergreen stems, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cranberries, or whatever else you have on hand, into the water. They will love seeing how it has changed once it is removed from the freezer.

      3. Make little Christmas trees from ribbon scraps.

        apartmenttherapy.com

        If you are already the artsy-crafty type, then the odds are good that you have bits of ribbon lying around. This simple ornament makes great use of those scraps. If your children can tie simple knots, then they can easily make a few of these in one afternoon. By cutting the pieces of ribbons into various lengths, and tying them around a stick shortest to longest, you end up with a sweet little decoration for your real Christmas tree.

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        4. Make decorations from drinking straws.

        drinking-straw-star-bursts-682
          auntpeaches.com

          This is a really fun decoration that is great for older children and teens. All that you need are plastic straws and zip ties. This project can be made in various sizes, and would look great on the Christmas tree, hanging from the ceiling, or anywhere else you might want to add some color.

          5. Make stockings from paper sacks.

            bloesem.blog.com

            If you’ve been holding onto your paper bags from the grocery store, certain that you are going to use them for something, you are in luck. These cute stockings are appropriate for children preschool aged and older, and can be as decorative or as simple as you like. You need paper bags and yarn to get you started; however you decide to embellish them is entirely up to you.

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            6. Make your own tinsel tree.

              thecraftycrow.net

              If you have always liked the retro look of aluminum trees, but didn’t want to shell out the money for one, make this miniature version instead. School aged children will have no problem wrapping these sparkly wires around a skewer and decorating it with tiny “ornaments.” Don’t be surprised if one tree isn’t enough!

              7. Make a garland of buttons.

                themagiconions.com

                Who doesn’t love a project that can be stopped and restarted at any time? This simple and cute button garland is perfect for younger children mastering their fine motor skills, and easy enough for older kids to be able to work quickly. Buttons can be inexpensively purchased at most craft stores, and this project has the added bonus of being completely mess free.

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                Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/donhomer/ via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                Boundaries are limits

                —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                • When do you feel disrespected?
                • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                • When do you want to be alone?
                • How much space do you need?

                You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                Sample language:

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                • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                Final Thoughts

                Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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