Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How about THIS skirt?

I always stress a little when there is talk of Christmas traditions. We have them, but they are pretty simple. There is so much going on all of the time, that I am grateful for what gets done and remembered and I am not really looking for any new traditions. I see lots of great ideas and think I might add it to our Christmas activities, but, often, it doesn't stick.

The one thing I do keep up with is our tree skirt. By some small miracle, I found this idea before my twins' first Christmas. (You know how you see a great idea but feel like you are too late to start it. This didn't happen this time--yay!) It came from Family Fun magazine. Theirs is a little more colorful than mine, but mine is just what I wanted!

So, instead of cutting out felt hands, we paint them on using handprints. I let the girls choose which of their hands they want to paint. They LOVE this part. For some reason, choosing which hand is a big deal to them.

Really, I do all of the deciding when it comes to where to place the handprint. Control, I must have control.

I think I chose handprints instead of felt hands because I did not have hand or foot prints of my tiny twins when they were born or even later--until Christmas when we made our tree skirt. They were 8 months old. At the time, it just seemed mean to put their fingers or toes in ink or paint and maneuver them to stamp on a paper or in those silly baby books. Could I have a do-over on that one? When Avery came along, the hospital did it for me on cute pink cardstock so I didn't even have to worry about it. You can bet I would have done hers no matter what because I was a fool not to get A and O's! They were SO tiny. Must have been the drugs. At any rate...

After the paint dries, anyone who can write her name herself gets to write it with a Sharpie pen under her handprint. I add Avery's name and the date. We alternate red and green paint each year with the opposite color of Sharpie for the writing. Amazingly, I don't worry too much about the shades of red or green from one year to the next.

We have worked our way around the tree skirt although I don't know that I would do it that way if I started it again. We got to the "end" this year and I think I am going to find a random spot next year. I like the way the hands "grow" as you move around the skirt, but I think it would be fun for each year to be randomly placed so the differences pop out a little more. I was amazed when I compared the size of an 8 year old's handprint to her little 8 month old handprint.

You might also notice the quality of the first ones. Water from the tree leaked on the skirt and I foolishly put it in the washer. You know how that paint doesn't come out of any of your clothes when you accidently get it there while painting a craft? Guess what? It comes right out of stuff when you want it to stay. I don't know why I messed with something I didn't want to lose, but, sadly, I wasn't thinking straight. (Can't blame it on the drugs this time!) Because I could see a pretty good shape still, albeit very faintly, I traced around it with a Sharpie so all would not be lost. I should probably do this on every handprint but I thought I should leave well enough alone. And, spot clean only.

So here it is, my favorite Christmas tradition (and maybe the only real one).
Some day I might go back and add some trim and color to the edges. Maybe I won't, though.


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