Friday, December 18, 2015

Little Bits of Christmas

The Christmas season is like a jigsaw puzzle. Most pieces fit perfectly (freshly baked cookies - mmm!); others need adjusting (shopping cart gridlock in the toy aisle! grrr!). But somehow we manage to put it all together - one little bit at a time. That's because it's mostly about making others happy - something grandparents are very, very good at doing!

I went out shopping for little bits of Christmas - both inside my own head, and inside those of other bloggers. Here's what I found! I hope one or two of these ideas fit perfectly inside your Christmas puzzle and make you happy, too!

"Oh noes, mommy! How did this happen? One minute me's politely examining the 'Do not open til Christmas' tag, and the next thing my lil whiskers know the whole thing is soggy and shredded and catnip mice 'n tasty treats are spilling out everywhere! And that's the truth, mommy!
For reals!"

Oh, Iggy! How can I ever be annoyed with you, my fearless little snuggle-tiger!? -  especially when I'm in such a good mood after finding this delightful idea at Heidi's One Creative Mommy site. She took a traditional item - a Christmas "cracker" and designed festive stocking stuffer tubes for her three beautiful daughters. Once you see her method you'll be inspired like I was, adding little bits of fluff here and there, making it easy to fill those stockings with creative care!

I buy little stuffers all year round and invite my daughters to choose whatever they like, saving them all kinds of trouble and expense. This year, I'll just hand these out, pre-packed with cute little toys and candy! - oh, and a fresh batch of catnip mice, too, I guess!

Thanks, Heidi!*

If you roll a few layers of tissue inside your outside wrap, you can fringe and curl the ends like this.

Add bells and bows and any kind of cute little Christmas jingly-thingies you have stored up in your just-in-case-I-ever-need-this box! Everybody's got one (or more!) of those, don't they?!

Speaking of shiny, cute stuff - little girls just love their bling! And what part of the upcoming "Grandma's Annual Christmas Cookie Party" doesn't suggest that party favors are in order? My little lady guests range in age from two to five; I'm sure they'll be delighted to "jingle while they frost and sprinkle!"

I cut 1/4" wide ribbons to a generous 28" length for each necklace. Find the center point and firmly tie on a cute little Lindt bear with another scrap of ribbon. Wrapped round chocolate balls make great attachments, too. Thread jingle bells here and there, securing their place with a contrasting bow.

Need a seasonal reply to the plaintiff wail, "Are we there yet?" How about,

"Have you found them all yet?" 

My grandkids will discover one of these adorable puzzles on a handy clipboard in the pockets of their car seats. Yours can too! Carolyn generously shares this (free) printout at The Pleasantest Thing, where you'll find creative puzzles and activities for all of the holidays - presented with class on a lovely, engaging blog.

Thanks, Carolyn!

Wouldn't it be fun to have kids find the family elf offering these games on a Saturday morning when mommy and daddy want to sleep in for just a few more lazy moments? Don't forget a "Please Take One!" sign and cute Christmas-y pens for everyone!

*Heidi also has the cutest (free) Christmas Bingo Game to share. Lots of fun for a Christmas Movie-Game Night-Craft Making-Cousin Sleepover at grandma's with an extra school version that will keep up to 30 classmates at the edge of their seats waiting for "gingerbread boy!" or "blue mitten!" to be called!

Have you ever heard of cascarones? At Christmas? Perhaps not, since it's a Mexican holiday tradition usually enjoyed at Easter. Raw eggs are carefully emptied through a small hole on one end, rinsed, dyed and dried before being filled with confetti. The craziness begins when guests grab them and bop each other over the head, issuing a burst of confetti that takes weeks to vacuum up! (just ask grandpa!)

I think the most fun is the element of surprise. Who would ever suspect that a "nice, not naughty" grandma reaching into a basket of "ornaments" spray painted glossy red and stuffed full of "snow," was about to unleash a raucous avalanche of Christmas laughter on her entire family?

Not me! (he he he!)

These ideas are the original, copyrighted work of the designers. They are intended for personal use only. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. Thank you!


  1. I absolutely refuse to ever do the raw eggs thing, lol / sounds way too hard! :)

  2. Good morning, these are all wonderful ideas for stocking stuffers and party favors. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

  3. Oh my goodness. Fun stuff surrounds your home and awaits the arrival of those cherubs. And, your pets must think they live at the Hilton with concierge service. :-)

  4. Oh, Joyce, your crackers turned out beautiful! I absolutely love your spin on them. I'll definitely have to pretty mine up a bit. Thanks for linking back to my idea. Merry Christmas!

  5. your cat is preaparing for christmas too

  6. Oh your ideas are so very sweet - everyone is going to have such fun. We have done cascarones with our kids for many years now - well - for probably 40 years so I guess that is considered many years. Sometimes we do them at easter and sometimes at christmas and sometimes both in the same year. They are a blast. Dust busters and vacuum sweepers really make a fast clean up. When we lived in the S. CA desert we could always do them outdoors - which was easier on the clean up. Enjoy your family time together.

  7. Those are really cute ideas. I especially like the I Spy game!

  8. As have the cutest ideas! What fun. I have sent so many people to your blog and they love it too. Have fun baking cookies and spending time with your family. Merry Christmas

  9. You have done it again! I love the necklaces! I would wear one while I did cookies. And you really can't blame Iggy! Merry Christmas J!

  10. I love your ideas for little bits of Christmas - what a great share! You are right, Iggy the naughty cat is way too cute to be annoyed with.Have a wonderful Christmas. :)

  11. Really cute ideas for Christmas. :)

  12. Such cute ideas to keep the children busy and having fun. Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty

  13. Always looking for fun ideas to do with the grands on Christmas Eve. Thanks for sharing these with SYC. Happy New Year!