Mason Jar Crafts
Materials: mason jar, various colors of glitter, ribbon (optional), decorative stick tape (optional), paint brushes, clear craft glue, small votive candle
You can use any size mason jar. You know you are from the south when you have mason jars stashed away like old college sweat shirts. We love mason jars, and we use them for decorating, making jelly, pickles, whole 30 recipes of mayo and ghee, and sometimes put leftovers in them for work and school.
- Pour some clear glue on a paper plate
- Using a paint brush, paint the inside of the jar with glue
- Pour your favorite color of glitter into the jar and “roll the jar around” to spread the glitter
- Pour off excess glitter into the trashcan or a plastic cup or plate
- Decorate your jar with ribbon or decorative tape (optional)
- Place votive candle into the jar, light, and enjoy! Another option is to put lights in the jar as you see below to the far right.
Nature Mason Jars
Materials: spruce branches, or your favorite evergreen, cranberries, water, mason jar, votive candle, other pretty things from nature
When we keep our granddaughter we ask her if she “wants to go on an adventure”. We create some activity in which we over emphasize the adventure part. One time we walked to a local school and played on their playground. Recently my husband walked with her in our yard to see the wonder and beauty of nature.
- Go for a nature walk and find your materials
- Using a larger sized mason jar, fill the jar with water
- Clip your nature materials and place in the jar
- Place some cranberries on top
- Add your votive candle
- If you are using for a centerpiece, you can add other items around the jar from your nature walk and enjoy!
There are certain Christmas decorations that are precious to me. One of my favorites is Great-Grandma Hebb’s nativity scene. I remember when she gave this to us. I was pregnant with my second child. When Parish showed me how it played Silent Night, we sat there in the early morning darkness and cried together. I thought of Grandma Hebb raising 5 children (Parish, Jr., Ronnie, Susie, Sharon, Ginnie), and the coming of Jesus. Taking all that in, I found comfort and courage for my journey. I also felt moved by the importance of marriage, love, and family. Thank you Grandma Hebb–you live on in our hearts, and we think of you when we play the music.
Another Christmas decoration we enjoy is the manger that Parish made with his daughters at the annual “Build a Manger” that Mike Young, Nobel Warriors sponsors. It’s fun to watch my granddaughter, who is 2 years old, come over and “check on baby Jesus”. She’ll tell Him “Happy birthday” and “I love you.”
This year we got our tree from Heritage Hill Farm Retail Lot. I must confess that I would often pass by the parking lot and dismiss getting my tree from an asphalt wonderland. After researching Heritage Hill on their website, we thought we’d give it a try. I was also highly motivated, because it was only 3 miles from my yoga practice! After yoga, we went to pick out our tree. We’ve had many compliments, and the tree has remained fresh! The employees were jolly and most helpful. They also have all the materials you need like a tree stand, they wrap your tree in plastic webbing, and help you with loading your tree in or on your car!
Parish found the old train in the attic, and revived its joyful whistle for Adelaide.
Our Aunt Polly, who passed away on December 26, would spend the night with us on Christmas Eve. Her letters of gratitude after the event, and her childlike faith and joy made Christmas so special.
One of our annual traditions is to visit with the Legendary Santa! Thank you Spencer for capturing Santa coming down the chimney! After a 3 hour wait, we were so happy that we would be in the room when this occurred! An unexpected surprise!
Valentina was about 4 or 5 years old when she sang her first solo of Silent Night at her church. What great memories with her dad and spiritual mentors Pop and Kaye Vickers.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays beautiful friends and family! You know I’ve been ever hopeful, optimistic, and concentrating on the light of our Savior. This morning I felt great joy to share with you simple things we can do to embrace His love and light as well as look back and remember with gratitude–oh gratitude! It truly is the answer to great joy!
For all the chaotic moments remember this–“the state of your house does not reflect the state of your soul” (Ann Voskamp, The Way of Abundance). As my sweet sister and friend Sandy told me over coffee, “hover in the discomfort, Anna”. You can embrace His light and be grateful in the midst of it all. Don’t try to ignore or apathetically go through the motions. Hover with gratitude for the things that speak life and light to you.
Silent Night! Holy Night! All is Calm. All is Bright!
From our family to yours, may this time of year bring you quiet reflection, hope, and joy! All truly is bright when we think on “God with Us”—Emanuel!
We love you. You’ve been a special part of our lives, and at Christmastime, we stop and take pause of all the many blessings. You are a blessing! May this coming year bring you health and unspeakable joy!
With great love,
Parish, Anna, Victoria & Spencer with little Adelaide, Vivian, Valentina