By Zirconia Alleyne
You made it through Halloween and stuffed yourself at Thanksgiving. Whew! Let’s buckle down to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s, and your life should go back to normal soon.
In the spirit of holiday gatherings and gift giving, we’ve continued our Families holiday crafts and games guide for the last two holidays of the year. All of the activities in the guide can be found on boards on our Pinterest page, “Families Magazines.”
Hot cocoa reindeer
If you want to give something thoughtful to your child’s classmates or teachers, you can never go wrong with hot cocoa. If you have some googly eyes leftover from Halloween, you’ll want to grab them along with lots of powdered hot chocolate, clear piping bags, glue or double-sided tape, mini marshmallows, tiny red pom poms and brown pipe cleaners. Fill a piping bag with about 2 cups of hot chocolate powder, top with a handful of marshmallows, then twist the bag closed and tie with a brown pipe cleaner. Shape the pipe cleaner like antlers. Using a dot of glue or double-sided tape, stick the googly eyes and a red pom pom on the middle of the bag for the reindeers eyes and nose. (Found at SavvySavingCouple.net)
Homemade snow globes
If you have a little one who eats baby food, stash the empty jars when they’re finished. Peel off the labels and clean the jars until they’re sparkly clean. You’ll need distilled water, glycerin, glitter, hot glue and a mini Christmas toy or figurine (a tree or tiny snowman works). Hot glue the toy to the inside of the top and set aside to dry. Sprinkle a teaspoon or two of glitter in the jar, add distilled water and five or so drops of glycerin. Screw on the lid, give it a shake and enjoy the sparkly show. (Found at Craftaholicsanonymous.net)
Rustic raffia tree
This craft is so simple that you could probably make a 1,000 in an hour. You’ll need snow cone cups, raffia string, a hot glue gun and a tiny star to go on top. Make a ring of hot glue starting at the mouth of the snowcone cup and wrap the raffia around the cone until it’s glued and wrapped to the top. Take a star and glue it on top, and you have a cute centerpiece or you can make a bunch and scattered them on a mantel. (Found at SmartSchoolhouse.com)
Everyone has played this game and been a little heated when their favorite gift gets snatched away by a friend. Don’t rule it out though. It’s a fun way to see who is truly in the spirit of giving — or taking, if you will. Put your guests on a $5-20 limit for the Dirty Santa gifts and give it a try.
Christmas card cliffhanger
While looking for good Christmas games, we came across this excellent list of 17 holiday Minute to Win It games. Our favorite was the Christmas card cliffhanger. Line up 5-10 Christmas cards tent-style on top of a table. Put a minute on the timer and blow each card to the end of the table in an attempt to make the card hang over the edge without falling off.
The guest who does this successfully with all the cards, preferably within a minute, wins a prize.
Decorate the Christmas tree
Break guests up into teams of three or four. Using green crepe paper, ornaments, garland and anything else you can find. Decorate one, lucky team member as a Christmas tree. The best-looking and quickest decorated tree wins.
New Year’s Eve crafts
Clay Fortune Cookies
So, it was tough finding good New Year’s crafts, but these clay fortune cookies will be cute party favors for your guests. You’ll need fimo clay, a rolling pin, wax paper, a glass, foil and a positive New Year’s fortune, which you can type on the computer and cut out in strips or hand write on strips of paper. Roll out the clay in between two sheets of wax paper and use the mouth of the glass to press a perfect circle in the clay. Set the excess clay aside. Lay your fortune paper inside the circle of clay and fold the clay over it. Using the mouth of the glass again, fold the clay the opposite direction over the rim, making the traditional fortune cookie shape. Cover the tips of the fortune paper with foil so they don’t burn in the over. Bake the clay cookie on 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Your guests can’t eat them, but they’ll have fun trying to break them after the clock strikes midnight.
Buy a few picture frames from the dollar store along with festive stickers, such as stars, letters and numbers. Have your guests decorate their frames at the start of the party. If you have a Polaroid camera still stashed away or a way to link smartphones to your printer, have everyone take a selfie at midnight to put in their frame and remember how they rang in the new year.
Glitter Marquee Letters
These letters or numbers will light up any room during the day and, if the night lights hit the glitter right. You’ll need large cardboard numbers 2, 0, 1, 5 or like the blog we found them on, you’ll need cardboard letters, which can be found at a craft store. You’ll also need paint, mod podge, a paint sponge, glitter and little Christmas ornaments. Using an exacto knife, cute the top front of the numbers out. The numbers will be hollow, which is where the ornaments will go after they’re painted. Paint the numbers inside and out. Then mod podge the outside and sprinkle all over with glitter. After taking the tops off the ornaments, hot glue each ornament in a row inside each number. You now have a festive wall hanging.
New Year’s Eve games
Pop in the new year
Blow up balloons for each hour counting down to midnight. Decorate the balloons, writing a different hour on each balloon and place a tiny note inside with an activity to do each hour. Let them float around the house and pop a balloon each hour until midnight.
This is similar to the countdown balloons, but with better games inside. If your guests come over around 8 or 9 p.m., make separate bags for each hour until midnight. Inside each bag, include game items and a small gift or gift card for the winner. On Play Party Pin blog, the writer put a trivia game she found online inside one box. The game went over things that happened that year like “Who won the 2014 Super Bowl?” or “What celebrity couple got married in June?” Whoever gets the most answers correct, wins a gift card to a store or restaurant. Get creative with the games in each box.
Reflection and resolution
Type up some questions that reflect of the current year and then add a few resolution questions at the bottom. Have your guests think about what happened that year and set some goals for the next one. Maybe they’ll want to share them with the group and hold each other accountable.