The first time I ever saw a mandolin slicer in use was at a friend’s house just several days into my married life. My husband and I had just moved to a new city and were attending what was to become our small group for the next three years.
(If you’re not familiar with mandolin slicers, it’s the kitchen tool which is known in equal measure for thinly slicing vegetables and as well as losing fingertips due to a momentary lack of attention).
Gathered around the small apartment kitchen watching my friend prepare snack food, the conversation quickly turned to stories of kitchen mishaps after my friend cut her finger deeply on the mandolin slicer.
The danger of mandolin slicers made an indelible impression of my mind that night.
Well, it just goes to show that no matter how much you know to use caution AND TO ALWAYS USE THE GUARD, knowing and doing don’t always go hand in hand.
Long (bloody, uninteresting) story short, I sliced into my thumb last night due to inattention while using my mandolin slicer.
And because of this, my plans to attend our church’s annual Christmas dinner were quickly replaced by a need to visit Urgent Care and spend a ghastly amount on fancy superglue and a hydrogen peroxide bath for my thumb.
The church’s Christmas dinner was the first event on my kids’ holiday countdown calendar. With the fullness of the month, and the perpetual questions of “when will it be…” and “how many days until…”, I wanted them to have a way to visualize the month’s events at a glance.
It’s an easy project and one which might save us all a little holiday sanity!
We made the calendar with a piece of half-posterboard, crayons, a few sharpies, and a couple pages of personalized coloring sheets I quickly put together and printed out. Best part? I didn’t have to leave the house for anything. (Homebody? Perhaps.)
This month we have several events and activities we are excited about– the Christmas dinner (insert sad face and band-aid emojis), Nana’s visit, the Nutcracker Ballet, gingerbread houses with friends, family celebrations and more.
It’s a full month. My guess is yours is too.
You can use our Holiday Calendar Images if your events happen to be just like ours. If not, it was really easy to create. I found pictures on Google Images, dragged them to a document, and resized them to fit into our calendar.
Print it out, color the pages, cut and paste the pictures on the calendar. Hang it in a place where you can send your children to reference after the twentieth time they’ve asked when Nana is coming this week.
Our calendar is hanging right next to our rustic Christmas card holder (have you made yours yet???). When I shared that project, I also shared the first half of our Christmas-afied house.
Here’s the second half!
Day 2: the dining room.
Our dining room is the room in the house with the best light and most varied uses. Not only is the long room the place we eat most of our meals, it’s also the home to our homeschool nook, our library, and a small sitting area. Oh, and it’s my Santa’s workshop during the month of December when I’m busy making gifts for the family.
I used some of the leftover branches from the tree and our mantle for an easy holiday centerpiece.
Our Jesse Tree wall hanger is also in the picture.
Our school nook looking a little more festive with white lights. Everything looks cozier and prettier with stringed lights.
Little People Manger. Classic Christmas toy. (Whose pieces are currently spread around the house).
Framed Christmas verses atop a stack of Chatbooks and a Charlie Brown comic book Goodwill find.
And that’s it! Besides some colored lights in the boys’ room, all of our decor is up in our most used living areas. It’s simple and pretty and I’m sure I’ll be ready to take it all down right after Christmas!
How about you? Is your house decorated? Do you leave it up a while after Christmas?
What things are your kids looking forward to most this month? (In addition to Christmas!)
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Oh, I hope that your thumb heals! That sounds awful. Darn kitchen tools-I can’t count how many times I’ve accidentally “grated” my hand on the cheese grater. I love the holiday centerpiece using leftover branches! It’s so simple, but super elegant and festive. Over here, we haven’t really done much decorating yet, aside from our Advent wreath. We usually try to have a small Jesse Tree up during Advent, but I honestly haven’t had time to find the ornaments yet, so I’m thinking we may not venture into that this year-or if we do, it’ll just come at the halfway point of Advent 🙂 We like to do a “travelling holy family” during Advent, where Mary and Joseph gradually move closer to the Nativity scene, where they wind up on Christmas Eve, so we’ll probably set that up in a couple days!
For Christmas decorations, I usually don’t go too crazy since our apartment is small, but I try to utilize lots or ornaments, lights, and Christmas-y looking things. I keep ’em up for the whole Christmas season (so until the Baptism of the Lord), but usually keep up the Nativity and sometimes the tree for the whole Christmas Cycle, which goes until February 2 🙂
I love the idea of the traveling holy family! Our Jesse tree has been sporadic thus far, but I’m okay with that. I would rather have a slow approach to the holidays than feel like I have to cram everything in. Leaving the tree up until February sounds like a way to make the winter a little more cheery…I just don’t think our tree would last until then!
Yes! I totally agree-we end up losing so much of the spirit of Advent preparation if we’re trying to fit everything in! Oh, that’s a good point about the tree! We’ve always used a fake tree, so we never have to worry about it turning brown or anything, and it does make the dark, cold days of January a lot brighter!