We made it!! The holiday is over.

Congratulations everyone!   Give yourself a pat on the back if you survived with minimal ornament damage, drunk relative conversations and temper tantrums in the middle of your Christmas Eve service OVER GUM from any of your children.
poor mother *ahem*
Anyhoo.... Good News those of you with kids:   You Have Another Week To Go!


Luckily I am here with a few easy activities that you can do with your kids when even they grow tired of viewing Despicable Me 2 yet again.


Candy Cane Reindeer

you will need:   candy canes, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, mini pom poms, mini jingle bells, green or red ribbon
click to enlarge

1.  twist the pipe cleaner around the top of the candy cane to form the antlers
2.  glue on the googly eyes
3.  glue on googly eyes
4.  loop the ribbon through the jingle bell, then tie to the candy cane

Viola!  A craft so adorable, your kids - who surely do Not need any more sugar this season - will not want to eat the candy cane.
You're welcome.

Rag Wreath Using a Coat Hanger

This is a great one if you Really need your kids to be occupied for a looooonnnng time.   Like long enough to drink several cups of coffee and watch at least 2 episodes of Downton Abbey.    And if you have kids of different ages, you can give the cutting of strips job to older kids; assuming they don't hide in the bathroom and chop all their golden curls off run with scissors.

You will need:   wire coat hangers (yes, this is one time they are OK), rag strips from various cloth, other accessories to decorate as desired

http://muskaelvis.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/rag_tie1.jpgStep 1:  twist the wire hanger into a circle shape, leaving the hanging portion at the top so that you can hang the completed wreath.

Step 2:  start tying the strips of cloth onto the wire hanger.   Just.Keep.Tying

Step 3:  get yourself another coffee and perhaps some of those chocolates you have been hiding.  Eventually they will have a very full and lovely wreath after all that tying.

Here is the one Angel Girl made in class to present us with Christmas morning.
I love it - especially since I did not have an indoor Christmas wreath.

 Since Christmas is past, you could use any colour combination for your wreath.   You could even twist the hanger into a heart shape and make a Valentines Wreath.
Imagine that - you're ahead of the game now! 

Now, if your kids are still too young to be unsupervised, or have not learned to tie knots by practicing on their older brother,  you can gather them all at the kitchen table to work while you make this delicious traditional festive treat.

Christmas Bark
1/4 lb. (1 sleeve) saltines (the salted ones)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter  (optional if nut allergy)
chopped M&Ms,  crushed candy cane, sprinkles, Skor bits, whatever you fancy

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Line a deep cookie sheet with wax paper. (I also spray mine with a bit of cooking spray for easy removal.)  Line pan with saltines, salted side up. Don't worry about some spaces between the crackers.

In saucepan, bring sugar and butter to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes....and absolutely no stirring!

Pour boiling mixture over crackers. Place in oven for 5 minutes.

Put dollops of peanut butter on top and return to oven for 1 minute. 
Spread melted peanut butter over the mixture with a spatula and top with chocolate chips. Then put back into the oven for 1 minute.
(I skipped the peanut butter part because I had a guest with a nut allergy. Instead I combined white chocolate with the semi sweet and swirled it.)

Use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate chips. 
If you opted for the peanut butter, go ahead and sprinkle some M&M pieces. 
If like me, you opted for milk and white chocolate, sprinkle crushed candy cane pieces for a festive look. 
Place in freezer for at least 1 hour.

Once set, crack into individual pieces. 
I dare you not to eat the whole pan...  it's not nicknamed "crack" for no reason.

I hope this PSA will prove beneficial to all the moms out there intent on not losing their sh$t hoping to sit back and feel the joy with their children over the remainder of the holidays.

Peace and Goodwill to all.