Whenever Marie truly loves a dress, she wears it as often as possible! Here she is baking cookies at the home of a friend on the Feast of St. Nicholas. Ladies, if you have more ideas than time this year, consider gathering one or two families for a day of baking and crafts, asking each of the mothers to plan a project. Our family was invited along with two others for a peaceful, productive day we will not soon forget.
My wildly artistic friend displayed her Advent Wreath, a simple collection of four large pillar candles on a round reflective tray with purple sprigs from her daughter's ballet recital wreath tucked around it:
Here is the sleighful of fresh-baked cookies we brought from the best bakery on Long Island. (I post this photo not so much to pass along ideas as to ensure that none of you ever have friends over without inviting me.)
Our family contributed "Take-Along Mangers" to the day's lineup of activities. For details on creating this economical craft, please see my post on O Night Divine.
While we were there, the children sampled many projects we wouldn't normally do at home, like these hammered foil hearts:
And vibrant Mexican "God's Eye" ornaments:
I was so impressed by the simplicity of the God's Eyes--just loop colorful embroidery floss around crossed q-tips adding a bit of glitter for a very effective adornment, or use them to embellish a memorable gift:
I may never throw away another Clementine crate after marveling at the fabric-lined gift and storage boxes each of the children created. Margaret made hers to resemble a winter scene and plans to use it to display her toy Nativity. We have not yet properly hot-glued the lining to the inside, but this photo gives an idea of the potential of these versatile, sturdy little crates:
Rolled cookie baking is one of those things we never seem to get around to doing at our house, but my children had their fill of it yesterday, rolling and flocking to their hearts' content. Theresa's love of the kitchen shined through in her joyful creations:
It is difficult to see in this picture, but Agnes cut to the heart of the season by transforming her cookie into a shining Blessed Mother:
Patrick discovered that adding sprinkles to cookie dough is the greatest pleasure in life:
I just had to include this picture of a bit of the food, also served potluck style, if only because the presence of Maureen's wee, reaching arm is so amusing!
And a good time was had by all!
The Take-Along Mangers cost approximately $2.00 each--99 cents per wooden basket and roughly a dollar or so for paint, clay, felt, and "straw."