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Mendo Lake Family Life

Easy-Peasy Decorations

Dec 11, 2016 12:00AM

By Meagan Ruffing

The holidays are so much brighter and livelier when we see them through a child's eyes. I know my three kids' innocence and wonder keep me amazed. I do decorate differently now that I have kids, though. Breakable ornaments are up a little bit higher and, after seeing what tinsel looks like strewn about my house, it's become a thing of the past. I've replaced these things with kid-friendly decorations and crafts like these:

1. If you have young children, invest in projects that are easy to put together like straw Christmas trees. This takes the stress off you and instead puts the energy into where it needs to beā€”having fun with your kids.

2. I used to stress a little bit (okay, kind of more than a little bit) about my kids asking me if they could wrap someone's gift. I adored the thought, but I always ended up rewrapping a few things. I have chilled out quite a bit in this department and have decided that beautiful wrapping paper can make anything look better. Who cares if it is a little messy with extra tape? My kids love being able to pick out which wrapping paper they want each person to have.

3. All of our holiday decorations are stored in tote bins. One of my most favorite holiday traditions is watching my kids' eyes light up as they go through the bins and remember something special about each item.

4. There is something so inviting and cozy about a homemade wreath decorating a front door; it subtly says "Warmth and friendship inside." Don't let do-it-yourself wreath-making intimidate you. Follow these simple tips and you will have yourself an expensive-looking decoration for not a lot of money.

  • Pick up a grapevine or wire wreath from your local craft store.
  • Decide which type of ribbon you want (solid color vs. floral pattern).
  • For the grapevine wreath, just wrap the fabric tightly around it, super-gluing the end piece of fabric on the back of the wreath. For the wire wreath, use a basket weave with the ribbon, and then tie a simple knot on the backside.
  • Hot glue pretty bulbs, silk flowers, or decorative items wherever you would like on the front of the wreath. If you are feeling really creative, pick up a cardboard letter for your last name and paint it; then hot-glue the letter to the front of the wreath to make a monogrammed decoration.

5. Stockings are always a favorite in my house. I usually hang the traditional monogrammed ones outside my kids' doors, but this year I opted to go with those featuring images of their animated characters: Tinkerbell, Elsa, and Dory.

Yes, it's different decorating when you have children, but let that be more inspiration than limitation. Think outside the box and let your kids get their hands messy with chocolate, tape, glitter, and glue. You'll be making memories and creating connection for the best year yet.

Meagan Ruffing had the best time making crafts for this article and looks forward to finding more ways to decorate her home with her children.