Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Nurturing kids' creativity with Christmas in July

My impatiens a few years ago.  Their petals might be pressed and become the start to a lovely little gift.
Did you ever think of putting the above two concepts together -- nurturing kids' creativity and Christmas in July?  I must admit I never had.  I was looking through a favorite reference of mine, Victorian Family Celebrations (formerly published as Mrs. Sharp's Traditions) by Sarah Ban Breathnach, for quite another reason, when I found that the book includes a page on Christmas in July.  The author writes, "Observing Christmas in July was the custom of resourceful Victorian mothers who started thinking about Christmas long before Thanksgiving."  She notes that summer "affords us a wonderful bounty of present-making materials as well as the luxury of time to begin our work."

Now I must say that I don't really feel I have the luxury of time any more in summer than in the rest of the year -- but the days are longer, and that helps.  I do like her thought of beginning to make gifts in summer; in fact, I try to do so all year long.  I know people who start their Christmas gifts, so to speak, when they plant their gardens, planning to give jars of salsa to everyone on their list.  Others go berry picking and plan to make jelly, jam, and chutney for gifting.  Sarah Ban Breathnach suggests getting kids involved.  What a great idea!  Kids enjoy gardening, crafting, and cooking, so why not let them help with plans for creative Christmas gifts?  They could press flowers to make bookmarks, note cards, and more, or make picture frames using seashells and bits of sea glass.  For kitchen gifts, some jar mixes can be made ahead, as well as spice or herbal blends to use in cooking.  When you think about it, the possibilities are nearly endless.

One more quote from Victorian Family Traditions: "Celebrating Christmas in July keeps youngsters as busy as Santa's elves, while nurturing a gift that will last a lifetime: their creativity."  So true, don't you think?

1 comment:

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