http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/12/14/crafts-and-cookies-creating-decorations-and-gifts-can-be-tons-of-fun


Pleasanton Weekly

News - December 14, 2012

Crafts and cookies: Creating decorations and gifts can be tons of fun

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

'Tis the season to be sparkly and bright. This can translate into family fun as you join your children in creating some holiday fun this year.

Making decorations is a good project at home on a cold winter day. If they turn out a little too tacky, you can put them away for good when the season ends. But chances are that holiday craft sessions will result in something that you'll be pleased to nostalgically unwrap each year and display.

Check out ideas on the Internet and you'll be amazed at what can be created even with what you have around the house. But, inspired by glitter and glue, you'll probably want to head to the store for supplies to create ornaments or gifts.

Buy plain boxes of many different sizes -- it's easy and fun to decorate them for gifts.

How about plain glass votive candleholders? Let kids glue on translucent sparkles for a lovely effect when the candle is lit.

Decorating small gift tags may be perfect for a younger child's attention span. Punch a hole and tie it to a package for a pretty extra touch on any present.

Gingerbread houses become easier to make each year as new kits come on the market. Fun to make, cheerful to look at, and delicious to eat -- bake an extra little wall just for nibbling. Don't forget the old preschool trick of assembling mini-houses using graham crackers and frosting. These are quick and easy, and don't take up too much space to display.

Then of course there is always the tradition of baking Christmas cookies, taking a festive step beyond oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chip.

Even the youngest child can add sprinkles to the cookies before or after they are placed in the oven. If you are pressed for time, pre-made dough is available, some complete with holiday shapes in the center.

Baked items are wonderful gifts as well as fun treats for the family. Arrange some in a hand-decorated box, add a gift tag, tie on an ornament, and your children will take great pleasure in delivering this special present that comes from the heart, the home and their own little hands.

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