Toddler Friendly Christmas Decorating Idea

Toddler Friendly Christmas Tree Decorating Idea with Stuffed Toys

This pretty Christmas tree made using stuffed toys can be a Christmas tree alternative in a kids room or baby nursery, or simply a kid-friendly decoration to brighten up any corner of your home. Make Christmas special for your toddler.

Toddler Friendly Christmas Tree Decorating Idea with Stuffed Toys
A Teddy Bear Christmas Tree for Kids

Skip the real or artificial fir and create your own toddler-friendly version with stuffed toys like teddy bears. A nursery stool gives the necessary shape and height to this tree. Group together little teddy bears (dressed up in Red and Green, if possible) on the stool and at its base. A star-shaped straw wreath makes for the tree topper and the pretty nativity tole painting plaque adds to the lovely decoration.

More Ideas for Toddler-friendly Christmas Decorations

Christmas Tree Decorating for Toddlers

When decorating for Christmas, take into consideration your little one. Keep your fragile ornaments in their boxes and decorate the Christmas tree with paper chains, paper snowflakes, edible ornaments, stuffed toys, or other unbreakable and safe items.

Around the House

Hunt for large stuffed toys like Santa, snowmen and elves that your toddler will love. If you do not wish to spend money on them, use existing large toys and dress them up in festive colors and stitch gifts into their hands or Santa hats on to their heads.

Use some of your toddler’s soft toys. Our ‘Raggedy Ann and Andy’ always find their way into any decor, whether it is for Christmas or for a Birthday party. Set them up near the fireplace, on a corner table or on a shelf having tea or a picnic.

More Ideas for Making Christmas Special for Your Toddler.

25 Fun Activities to Keep the Kids and Guests Busy during Christmas

Christmas Games and Activities for Kids and Guests

Keep the Kids and Your Holiday Guests Busy While You Get Your Own Work done or Take a Break and Enjoy Some Time with them! Here are some fun Christmas games and Holiday Activities for Kids and Guests.

Christmas Games and Activities for Kids and Guests

1. Enjoy story time

Adults and children will have fun together listening to a wonderful tale. An adult family member or older child can be the reader. There are so many wonderful Christmas stories available, but here are a few suggestions to get you started:

• The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: an Appalachian Story, By Gloria Houston, pictures by Barbara Cooney

• Christmas on Exeter Street by Diana Hendry pictures by John Lawrence

• Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

• Santa Calls by William Joyce

• The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski, pictures by P.J. Lynch

2. Edible Snowmen

This is an easy way to keep young hands busy. Give the kids large marshmallows, white frosting, graham crackers and small candies. Show them how they can make a snowman by using the graham cracker as a base and the marshmallows as the snowman’s body and head. They can then decorate them with the small candies.

3. Movie Time

Get comfortable on the couch, break out one of those Christmas tins filled with popcorn and watch a fun Christmas movie (check out the article about the top ten Christmas movies for suggestions).

4. Memory Game with a Twist

Gather up Christmas stockings and different types of wrapped candy. You will need two of each type of candy. Put one candy in each stocking and lay the stockings on a table or the floor in a grid. Have guests take turns trying to find matches and when someone gets a match, they get to keep the candies. Yum!

5. Cookie Decorating

Provide Christmas Shaped Sugar Cookies, colored frosting and small candies and let everyone decorate their own cookies.

6. Tree Decorating

Set up the Christmas tree, put out the ornaments and let everyone decorate it. Want to turn it into a contest. Get a few of those smaller trees with the tiny ornaments. They can be found at most craft stores. Divide guests smaller trees with the tiny ornaments. They can be found at most craft stores. Divide guests into groups. Give out small prizes for those who decorate it the fastest, prettiest, etc.

7. Go Christmas Caroling

Print off a few copies of the words to favorite carols and go out and spread the Christmas cheer. When everyone gets back provide hot chocolate and cookies.

8. Group Up

The host calls out a number, usually between two and fifteen. The number shouldn’t be more than half of the number of total participants. When the number is called out everyone must try to collect in a group that contains that number of people. To be considered a group the group members have to be latching arms or have their arms wrapped around each other so that the leader can see who is in the group. Those who do not get in a correct numbered group are out. As the game continues there are fewer participants.

9. Christmas Gift Game

For this game you will need a hat, a pair of gloves, a pair of dice, and a gift wrapped in multiple layers of boxes. To play the game have everyone stand in a circle and place the gift, gloves and hat in the middle. The first person is given the dice to roll. If they get a six, one or twelve, then they run to the middle of the circle put the hat and gloves on and try to unwrap the gift. While they are doing this, the dice continue to go around the circle, and the next person to roll a one, six or twelve comes to the center. The previous person must take off the gloves and hat and give the present to the next person to try and unwrap. The game continues until the gift is all the way unwrapped. The person to get it unwrapped gets the prize.

10. Letter to Santa

Provide paper, crayons and pencils and have everyone write a wish list letter to Santa.

11. Book Exchange

Ask everyone to bring a wrapped Christmas book. You will need to have the story of the Gingerbread Man. Have everyone sit in a circle holding a wrapped book. The host will read the Gingerbread Man story and each time the word “ran” is read everyone passes a book to the person on the right. When the story is over everyone can open the book they are holding.

12. Word Find

Write longer Christmas related word or phrase a put it where everyone can see it. Pass out paper and pencils and tell everyone to figure out how many words they can make out of the word or phrase in three minutes.

13. Classic Games

Play Pin The Nose On Frosty or Rudolph

14. Siamese Twin gift-wrap

To play this game you will need two boxes, wrapping paper, and tape. You will need four volunteers. Two people will stand side by side with one hand on the other person’s waist, so that one person has their left hand free and the other person has their right hand free. The two “Siamese Twins” must then try to wrap the box.

15. Play Jeopardy

Get a posterboard and some Sticky-notes. Place the sticky notes on the board in a grid, and then write Christmas related questions on each of them. The questions can be anything from when a certain Christmas carol was written to how Santa gets into houses. Then place sticky notes on top of the questions with dollar values just like jeopardy. Set up the board and let guests divide into two teams and have fun seeing who can win the most “money.”

16. Christmas Carol Charades

Have someone act out the name of a Christmas song while everyone else tries to guess what it is.

17. Anagrams – Unscramble these Christmas Carols

Give everyone a copy of these and a pencil and see who can figure them all out.

1. Lets thin gin ___________ _____________

2. Jill lens beg _____________ ____________

3. Again wean army _____ ____ _____ ______

4. Flee this torn ______ _______ ________

5. Oilcloth jolly sands ________ ___ ___ ________

6. Fatter hymns swoon _______ ____ _____________

18. Make a Christmas Tree

Give everyone a piece of paper and have them try to teat it in the shape of a Christmas tree. The catch is that they have to do it behind their backs.

19. A Picture of Frosty

Give everyone a piece of paper and a marker. Tell them that they must draw a picture of Frosty the Snowman while holding the paper above their head.

20. Toss the Goodies

This one is especially great at parties with lots of children. Spread a sheet on the floor and put lots of wrapped goodies in the middle of the sheet. Have the children hold on to the edge of the sheet and lightly shake it while they sing a Christmas carol. When they get to the end let them give one big toss. The goodies should fly out and they will have fun trying to find them all.

21. What is that?

Have people divide into groups of two and sit back to back. One person is given some small object, like an ornament, and the other is given paper and a pencil. The person with the object must describe to the person how to draw the object, but they can’t tell them what the object is. For example they can say draw a square, but they can’t say draw a soldier.

22. Guess the object.

Cut different picture of Christmas items out of magazines, but cut only a small part of it. Paste the pictures to notecards and when guests arrive give them a piece of paper and a pencil and have them try to guess what the objects are.

23. Who am I?

Put name cards on people’s backs with different Christmas characters, such as Santa, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman and so on. The guests must ask yes or no questions to each other to try and figure out who they are.

24. Noah’s Ark

Write the names of animals on notecards. Make two notecards for each animal. Make sure that you have an even number of people participating. Pass out the cards, and then tell everyone that they must act like the animal on the card and find their “mate.” They can’t yell out the name of their animal, but can make the noises that the animal would make. When a player finds their mate they must sit down as fast as possible.

25. I Have Never

Give everyone the same number of some small object, like paperclips, pennies or small wrapped candies. People go around the circle saying something that they have never done. All the people who have done that thing must give them one of their objects. At the end of the game the person with the smallest objects wins.

This article first appeared in the ‘Celebrating Christmas PDF Magazine‘ (2007 issue) which is a FREE magazine that you can download and even print out.

Stress Free Holiday Shopping

Tips for Stress Free Holiday Shopping

The House is Shiny and you are sweating; the dinner table is laden and cookie jars are filled but you hardly feel like tasting a thing because you are dead tired; and you also need to drive to malls and get the shopping sorted out. Holidays can become stressful but like with everything else, there is hope! Check out some tips for stress-free shopping times.

Tips for Stress Free Holiday Shopping

Timing is Everything

Those who plan ahead and are always keeping an eye out for great gifts before the holiday shopping season comes say they are less stressed during the holiday season and have more time to enjoy the holiday festivities. But if you aren’t that prepared and end up shopping during the holiday season for gifts, it is best to go during times when it is less crowded. Retailers say that they have the fewest customers during the early morning hours and they are the most crowded during weekends and holidays.

Make Lists

Take a cue from Santa and make a list of all those people that you are planning on buying gifts for, and check them off as you get the gifts. Or if you are getting multiple gifts for some (i.e. your kids or spouse) make tally marks so that you can easily see how many gifts you have bought for each person.

Take Stock

Check your gift wrapping supplies and make sure you have what you need to wrap the gifts. If you don’t have everything you need, write out a list and pick up the supplies while looking for gifts. This will save you from having to go back to the store just to pick up some tape or more wrapping paper.

Consider Shopping online or by Mail

Many online companies and mail order companies will wrap the gifts, include a card and ship them directly to the receiver. This is an especially great option if you will be getting gifts for family or friends who are far away. Plus you won’t even have to leave the house or fight crowds.

Kids Coming Along?

Don’t have time to shop for the kids gifts without them with you? Consider asking a family member or even getting a babysitter to go with you. They can distract and keep the kids entertained until you’ve selected the presents and have them safely hidden in the grocery bags.

Did you know…

That Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) isn’t the busiest shopping day of the year? So what day gets that special title? The Saturday before Christmas; you’ll definitely want to avoid shopping on that day if you would like to miss the crowds.

Avoid Pressure

If you are in a rush you often feel pressured to make a purchase that you may later regret. Avoid the stress of having to return an unwanted gift later by stepping back and taking a little bit of time to think about the gift. If you need to ask the salesperson to put it on hold and go do something else for a little bit, then come back and if you still want the item than it is probably a good choice.

100% Guarantee

Make sure to only buy from stores that have a refund or exchange policy. Keep receipts for all gift purchases in an envelope so that you will know where they are if you need to take an item back. Ask for gift receipts for items and include the receipt with the gift especially if it is clothing that might not fit.

Avoid Lines

Most stores have multiple cash registers in different parts of the store and will allow you to ring up any items from the store at these registers. If the lines up front are incredibly long, swing by the photo counter, electronics counter, jewelry counter or other department counters to have your items rung up. This will often save you a lot of time and stress.

Take Breaks

And lastly, shopping can become a much better experience if you squeeze in little coffee and snack breaks to keep your energy levels high at all times.

This article first appeared in the Celebrating Christmas PDF Magazine 2007 issue.

Victorian Gingerbread House

Victorian Gingerbread House

Decorate a Gorgeous, Victorian Gingerbread House this Christmas with our foolproof blueprint and step by step decorating ideas.

Tammy Graf from Encino, CA constructed this Victorian style Gingerbread House using our blueprint for Victorian Gingerbread House and shared her decorating ideas with fellow Christmas Baking enthusiasts.

Victorian Gingerbread House
Victorian Gingerbread House – baked from scratch and decorated by Tammy Graf

Tammy modified our Victorian Gingerbread House pattern by adding a Chimney (download plan separately).

Patience is the key to a beautiful, large Gingerbread House, says Tammy. She took her time creating this lovely house by first making the gingerbread and letting it cool overnight. She then, built the house, let it sit overnight, decorated one side, let it sit overnight, etc.

Decorating Details

Here is what you will need to decorate your Victorian Gingerbread House.

Victorian Gingerbread House - Front View
Full Front View showing the Decoration Details

Chimney: Chocolate Covered Raisins
Roof: Nickle wafers
Windows: Yellow and Brown Icing
Side walk: Peppermint patties and shoestring licorice
Fence:  2 tone (red and green) Sugar wafers with Wilton icing on top
Pond: Blue icing
Tree , present, snowman: Not gingerbread. yes, they are fake!
Wreaths on front door: Gingerbread.
Walls: M&M’s.

The poinsettia leaves on the fence are table decorations.

Back View

Here is the back view of the Victorian Gingerbread House.

Victorian Gingerbread House - Back View
Back View