Last year I watched an HGTV special with 3 celebrities having their homes decorated for Christmas and it showed how they celebrated the holidays. The stars were Kathy Lee Gifford, Jewel, and Holly Robinson Pete. Holly was headed to Cabo and wanted her home decorated all in Cabo style and colors, corals and beachy... and was all "Cabo this" and "Cabo that". I think if I recall I vomited a little listening to her talk about her pretentious Cabo Christmas. And I am sorry if I offend anyone with that comment, but it just wasn't very Christmas-y or Christmas spirited and very commercial. Kathy Lee's house was decorated very traditionally and was classic, warm, and nice, and she hosted a dinner at her home with her friends and family that looked lovely. The one that really sticks out in my mind though is Jewel. She was the only one who worked with her designer and made homemade decorations and homemade holiday foods that her family liked. She shared their tradition of each giving each other one gift that they made. Her father in law made her a beautiful leather bound embossed book for poetry and song writing. I remember crying just watching it- it was so sweet and special. I would love for my family to start that tradition of doing mainly homemade gifts. They are always the ones I treasure most and are the most thoughtful. And I want my kids to grow up expressing themselves and their love through creativity rather than money. That being said, I am going to share the gift they made this year for Uncle Dana, my one and only brother.
Last year, I purchased some frames and had each child paint a watercolor picture for Uncle Dana's apartment. This year I stole an idea I saw at Sawyer's school when I was there in November for my conference. It was a project the kindergarten class had done, so Sawyer was excited that he knew what we were doing and he was able to give Emmy some guidance.
I bought a rather large square frame at IKEA with the mat in it. The opening for a picture was 11" square, so I purchased a piece of 12" square white cardstock. I had each of the kids paint 2 squares of color with poster paint. And I should add, they did this entirely themselves. They chose the colors to use and painted it on their own. I just helped them stay clean and set up. Once that was dry, I painted black paint on their right hands and Sawyer imprinted his hand in the red and green squares, and Emmy imprinted her hand on the blue and orange squares. Once it was dry, I set it up in the frame and showed the kids. Sawyer looked amazed and said "Wow, that is AWESOME, mom!" They are so proud of it and so excited to give Uncle Dana something they made. I love it because he will have it in his new house he purchased this year in Los Angeles, and it will always be a reminder of how small they are, and the bright colors a reminder of their youth and energy.
And here you have Uncle Dana's very own "Handy Warhol". I am SOOO excited for him to open it. I know he doesn't read my blog so he won't be seeing this, but I cannot WAIT!!! This is by far the best gift I have wrapped under the tree this year.