Monday, December 23, 2013

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas {2013}

This time of year is always crazy.  Between holiday celebrations with friends and family and the fun and festivities at school, I have not had much time to sit still!  There's so much I want to share, and so little time--let's go straight to the pictures!

I planned on taking some better pictures of my first graders' Christmas gifts for their parents...  but I did not.  These are one of my favorite things we do during December in my class.  I have been making these ornaments with my special friends for the last three years!  We start by making Christmas light name banners, and then I take a picture of each friend holding his or her name.  I print them and trim them into circles (my wonderful husband made me a perfectly sized template), roll them up and stick them inside clear, plastic ball ornaments.

Old picture from 2011--it's still adorable, though!
My first graders write names and years on the ornaments using paint pens, we tie ribbon around them to hang them and wrap them up in brown paper bags.  Easy peasy--and the parents have a way to remember what their first graders looked like and wrote like when they were six years old.

And...  I've made myself one each year the kiddos have with a class picture inside.  I hang these on my tree in my classroom.


This weekend, I hosted a cookie exchange with some of the wonderful ladies in my family--my mom, grandmas, sisters, cousins, aunt and mother-in-law were all there.  So many cookies, so much hot chocolate, coffee and SUGAR.  It really is one of my favorite parts of the holidays.  My sister, Melinda, made delicious peanut butter chocolate sandwich cookies--shaped like a TARDIS--and has the recipe up on her blog.  You should probably take the time to test out that recipe.  I made chocolate M&M cookies and added more chocolate chips when I didn't think they had enough chunks in them--Chocolate Monster Cookies!


And now, I've been crafting up a storm to finish all of those last minute Christmas gifts.  That's what Christmas break is for, right?

Left to right: Cookie Label Chalkboard Ornaments, Washi Tape Money Box and Floor Wax Glitter Pirates Wild Card Game Ornament
It was SO HARD to find a Pittsburgh Pirates ornament anywhere this year.  Geez!  Merry Christmas, everyone, and happy 2014!