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During the winter it’s easy to hole up inside like a pack of bears hibernating (especially when you live in Canada!). However, humans are not bears and there’s a lot of fun to be had outdoors. This Christmas season, take your family outdoors, get some sunshine and have some good old-fashioned family fun. Here are five ways to have outdoor family fun this Christmas.
#1 Snowball – This is essentially a good game of touch, or tackle, football in the snow. Get everyone dressed warmly from
head to toe and head outside. If you have enough folks to get eleven people on a team, that’s great. Otherwise, divide the group evenly. Draw a goal in the snow by digging a trench.
You will also want to mark the half-way point. If you can get one team to wear red snow hats and the other to wear green snow hats, all the better. It’ll be easier to remember who is on your team. If not, no worries. It’s all about fun and playing in the snow. Use the same rules as football and have fun.
#2 Sledding – Sledding is fun for all ages and you don’t need a fancy sled to have fun. Often, the lid of a garbage can or a cardboard box can do the trick. Of course, if you have a large plastic saucer sled then it’s rip-roaring fun. Find the biggest, fastest hill and enjoy.
#3 Build a family snowman – This is a great outdoor activity for little kids. They love to make snowmen. The adults and older children can be responsible for pushing the snowball around when it gets too large for the little ones to manage. They can also do the heavy lifting. Young children can be responsible for finding items to adorn the snowman, or woman, with.
#4 Snow forts and snow angels – Who doesn’t like to make a snow angle or build a fort? If you live in a snowy area it’s almost a required outdoor activity.
#5 Snowy obstacle course – Build ramps, hurdles and other obstacles in the snow and challenge each other to run the course. The fastest time wins. If you don’t live in a snowy area you can enjoy this activity using other items in nature.
You can also simply enjoy a hike, walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the Christmas lights or sing carols to your neighbors. There are a number of outdoor activities to enjoy during the Christmas season. Find one that’s right for your family. Create new family traditions, enjoy spending time together and make it a Christmas to remember.
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Sometimes the best times are the simplest times. You and your family can have an old-fashioned Christmas by enjoying some fun holiday crafts. Here are five old-fashioned Christmas craft ideas to enjoy.
#1 Paper chain – Paper chains can be made year around. However, they’re particularly fun during the holidays. They’re a wonderful and quite simple way to decorate a holiday tree. You’ll need construction paper, or old wrapping paper works quite well too. You’ll also need glue.
Cut small strips of paper, the size you want your rings to be. Fold the ends over so the strip makes a circle, and glue the ends together. Create another circle through your first one and continue linking the circles together until your chain has reached its desired length or your fingers are tired from cutting and gluing. Let dry and hang on your tree or around a doorway, mirror or fireplace mantle.
#2 Popcorn strands – Popcorn and cranberry strands are another old-fashioned holiday tradition. Like the paper chain, they can be used to hang on a tree or decorate other areas of your home. You’ll need to pop some popcorn and purchase a bag or two of fresh cranberries. You’ll also need a needle and durable thread measured to your desired length. It’s also a good idea to have a thimble to protect your thumb. It can be difficult to push the needle through the cranberries. Create a pattern of your choosing. You can rotate cranberry and popcorn kernels, or you can string mostly popcorn with the occasional splash of red. You decide.
#3 Paper snowflakes – Children love to cut paper snowflakes and teens and adults can have fun too. Using special paper and scissors with patterns, you can take this basic craft and make it quite extraordinary. Consider using old wrapping paper from last year to add a holiday touch.
#4 Gingerbread homes and cookies – Who doesn’t love a good gingerbread cookie! And decorating them is extremely fun. If you want to get even more elaborate or detailed, consider making a gingerbread house instead. You can buy kits at the craft store to help you make a gingerbread house. They usually come with everything you need, including the candy decorations. Or you can try it yourself by following a basic recipe, do your own design, and purchasing the candy and frosting to fit your needs.
#5 Pine cone ornaments – Pine cones (collected in your yard, in the woods or purchased at a craft store) make wonderful tree decorations and centerpieces. You can add small items like buttons and knick-knacks to the cone with hot glue. You can spray it with adhesive and sprinkle glitter on it. You can also purchase spray paint and coat the pine cone for a dynamic effect. String the cones and hang them on your tree. Or place them in a basket for a centerpiece.
Old-fashioned holiday crafts often focus on using items you may already have at home. They are simple ideas executed well. A simple piece of paper can become a snowflake masterpiece. A basic piece of popcorn can become a beautiful decoration. Have fun this holiday and remember the simple things that make it special.
Don’t forget to check out our Christmas Fun Pinterest board for more holiday ideas!
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Decorating for the holidays is often one of events people most look forward to. There’s just something special about the twinkling lights, the smell of pine in the air and the festivity. If you’re tired of fancy decorations or want to take your holiday decorating in a new direction, why not go au naturel? Give your home and homestead a pure and simple holiday feel this Christmas.
Pine cones are a natural element of the holidays. People often place pine trees in their home and decorate them for the holidays, so it’s only natural that pine cones are also part of the season. You can go on a family hunt for pine cones in the woods and make it a true homemade decoration. You can also purchase pine cones at most craft stores during the holidays.
Decorating with pine cones is simple and can be quite diverse. You can make wreaths and table centerpieces with a hot glue gun, a bit of wire and pine cones. You can be really organic and set them in a bowl or basket to display. Or you can get a bit festive with them and use glitter or spray paint to add flair. Imagine a crystal bowl of gilded pine cones. It’s an inexpensive and simple craft with a lot of drama.
In addition to pine cones, pine branches can make wonderfully simple decorations. Again, you can collect pine branches on a hike with your family in the woods. You can also find them at your local tree nursery. They often trim the branches after a customer has cut down their tree. The trimming is part of the tree packaging to make it easy to haul the tree home. The extra branches usually end up being mulched, so you should be able to take a few home without a problem.
You can also purchase real or fake pine tree branches at your local craft store. Also like pine cones you can use them to create a simple centerpiece or wreath. Or you can get creative with them. Add a few pine cones, shiny ornaments or a small bird for extra flair. Additionally, consider hanging the boughs on the wall for a focal point during the holidays.
Candles are great for setting a mood. They can be festive, solemn or simply beautiful. Candles collected in groups of like colors are best. White, symbolizing peace, and the twinkling effect of small candles can be quite lovely. Red candles, green, silver or gold candles can be festive. Group them in varying sizes for aesthetic appeal. Place them on tables and in windows for the most ambiance. Take care to keep a fire extinguisher nearby and always put out your candles before leaving your home or going to sleep.
If you’re skilled with paper cutting and folding, the fun childhood activity of making paper snowflakes can take on a new look. Cut out elaborate snowflakes in beautiful paper and display on a table or hang in a doorway.
Holiday decorating doesn’t have to be bright, colorful and noisy. It can be simple, pure and quiet too. If you’re looking for new ideas to decorate your home this holiday, look to nature and the items you already have in your home.
Quick and Easy Ideas that Create a Festive Mood
Want to decorate your homestead but don’t have a lot of time, energy or money? Here are some more quick and easy ways to create a festive mood.
#1 Grab a few candles, place them in the center of your table and light them. The twinkling adds instant ambiance. If you have a decorative plate, stand, or even a few branches to place underneath or around the candles it’ll look even better.
#2 Holiday ornaments – Collect a few of your favorite solid-colored holiday ornaments and place them in a clear glass container. Grab ones with complimentary colors like silver and red, or collect ornaments that are all one color but varying sizes to add effect.
#3 Spruce up an old wreath by adding small ornaments to the boughs. Attach them with wire through the back of the wreath to ensure they stay in place.
#4 White Christmas lights – String white Christmas lights up a stairwell banister. Hang them around a doorway, around a mirror, or adorn a plant in your home with the small sparkling lights.
#5 String cranberries and/or popcorn and hang on your holiday tree with white lights for an old-fashioned holiday tree.
#6 Fill a glass bowl with holiday fruit. Pomegranates, oranges, and pears are in abundance during the holidays.
#7 Gather pine cones and string them for a decorative touch. Place them in a basket on your mantle or table, or add glitter or sparkly spray paint for a more festive look.
#8 Purchase a bag or two of cranberries. Place them in a clear glass bowl filled with water. Add a few small red votive candles and light them. The candles will float amongst the red berries. You can also fill a bowl with the red berries, skip the water, and position the candles amongst the berries.
#9 Display your holiday cards by hanging them over the fire place or around a doorway.
#10 Gather branches from your homestead or the tree farm. Place them on the wall over your fireplace, create a wreath from the branches by weaving them together or use them as the foundation for a centerpiece.
#11 Gather candy canes both large and small in a tall vase or clear glass. Tie bows around the middle of the candy canes and display.
#12 Wrap mirrors and doors with wrapping paper. They’ll look like giant gifts.
When you use your imagination, you can come up with tons of great ideas to decorate your home and homestead this holiday season. Take a look around your home and yard. What do you already have that you can use to decorate? Keep it simple and have fun!
Make sure you check out more Simple, frugal, easy holiday homestead decorating ideas on our Christmas Fun Pinterest Board.
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