Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Basket

This is our Christmas Basket, okay it's really the hot wheel basket, but I snagged it for Christmas goodies. The idea is to keep the boys busy, constructively, and focused on the reason why we, as a family, choose to celebrate Christmas. Which means this basket is loaded with books, videos, crafts, and another assortment of things. I'm not done filling it yet, as we still have a few things on their way here from America, as well as a few things that i couldn't fit in. I'm thinking, due to the size of some things that we'll probably keep it loaded with books and videos (some of which will change each week), and then I'll put the items needed to go along with our Christmas Fun Reindeers. And, yes, those are real Christmas presents that we've all ready wrapped for this year. (The funny one on the right is a guitar for Morgan. He's been hinting about one for a while, all though I think he was hoping for electric, and we went acoustic.) Below are some of the contents in our basket..

Party in a bag!! We always have fun decorating the house at Christmastime. and that includes balloons since it's a birthday party, right? I found a whole bag of them this year, normally I can only find one or two and I stick them in the boys stockings and let them choose when and where to hang them up. They'll be delighted to cover the house with these balloons!

A couple of our Nativities. We have the Fisher Price Little People Nativity, one that seems to be indestructible, yippie! All though I noticed, when collecting the pieces, that Joseph is missing. I'll have to find him. The other one pictures we picked up this year, and within ten minutes of using the boys snapped Mary in half. In all fairness, she was apparently scaling a mountain and tumbled down. I managed to tape her back together since I couldn't find the super glue! I'm considering a wooden one that is nice and big, our local Christian Book Shop sells it, but I'll have to find out the price first. Then Nana is knitting Jayden one (He saw it at a craft fair and requested it) and the boys have been watching the weekly progress!

These are our silliness showing. We've been collecting one each year for a couple of years. Somewhere we have a reindeer (he might still be in America). The sheep is a Grumpy Party Pooper, cute play on words. The boys haven't seen the pink one yet, they'll be amused! Excuse the glare here off the cds..

I pulled out our Christmas cds and put them in the basket. We usually pick a new one each year and I'm debating between a Veggie Tale one or one with Various artists on it. We shall see, we shall see.. I might need to purchase Lawrence a pair of ear plugs, he can only tolerate very small doses of Christmas Carols (long story....)

These are nothing more then the kid stockings. I thought they'd have a good laugh opening it up to find something they all ready owned. Plus, I couldn't find any more bags to hide them in.

A few fun things to do. The box is a set of ornaments to make, it's a Tommy Nelson kit that we picked up last year. Only we ended up getting involved in so many other things that we never utilized the whole kit! Which means it's back in the basket again this year. The big pows with the "don't peek" signs are going to go on our bedroom doors, which we'll cover with wrapping paper. This is a new idea. We'll be doing a countdown calendar, and one of the ideas I found was to remind our children that they are gifts from God to us. So, to remind our entire family that we are gifts to each other, and in the spirit of Christmas, we'll decorate our doors, and put giant bows on it. I suspect we'll break down into teams and see who can pull it off the best. Should be fun!

This is our Christmas Tree ornaments. One of the "papers" tucked in the reindeer instructs the boys to decorate the tree. So I've tucked all the ornaments in a small bag to put in our basket. I'll have to close it up with some tape or "something" so the kids don't "peek" and figure out what their doing for the week!

This is a countdown book, believe it or not. I picked it up at Goodwill before we left America, and it served as our Christmas Tree Ornaments for our first Christmas in Australia. It comes with a little book to read, and then each day you pull out the ornament and put it on the tree. The ornaments are a nice thick cardboard and have withstood two Christmas with my rough and tumble crew. I'm more amazed we haven't managed to loose any!

A few of the Christmas movies I've all ready tucked away. Many of our holiday videos are still in America, so we may have to borrow some to make up for it. There's a list around here somewhere of the Christmas videos I'd like to watch this year. The boys are holding out for Jingle All the Way and the Santa Clause (1-3). They've never seen either of them. The First Noel (pictured above) is a well loved movie around this house. Believe it or not Andy Griffith does one of the main voices on it. It's a quick short film and the boys love it. The Blue's Clues is a big favorite for them too, touching any many different celebrations in December (Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, etc.) The Legend Of The Candy Cane is new, can't wait for that one.

Check these out! They are shadow puppets. I actually got them free last year from Amy Pak's Christmas Study over at Homeschool in the woods. (They are currently offering a Free Christmas Unit Study over there!) It takes a LOT of effort to cut these things out, because the more you remove the better the shadow puppet will look. Needless to say I didn't get them all cut out last year, and I'd love to finish that up for this year. I think the boys would love seeing a shadow puppet show, and then attempting one themselves!

Here's a few of the crafts I all ready tossed in the basket. There's a puzzle in the background by The people who made the Candle Bible, the illustrations are usually whimsical for the little ones. I suspect the puzzle will be done daily. The papers on the floor with numbers on them are a countdown project for Jayden. The book pictures is a cling film book where the kids can act out the "story of Christmas". I strongly suspect they'll love this one too

This is a small pile of our Christmas themed books. As you can easily see most of them are Biblically based. We don't do Santa here, mostly because I don't want the kids focusing on what they will or won't get verse what they can give to others. The Felix book pictured does have Santa in it, but they love it based on the little letters included. I actually purchased it for the geographical fun involved in it.

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