Monday, December 3, 2012

Getting in the Spirit of Things

So that deep breath that was Thanksgiving weekend has passed by and now the Christmas season is coming on full-bore.

It started Saturday, as it does every year with the Make-A-Craft fair at M, E and Z's school, which I thought (and kind of hoped) I had gotten out of this year, until someone from PTA called last week to make sure I was all set to volunteer.

Every year I like to bring my own materials for a craft that involves natural materials and some actual handwork, rather than helping out with one of the glue-gun-and-glitter crafts. Not that there's anything wrong with glue and glitter, I just like to introduce kids to an actual skill that they might otherwise never try. And I have to admit it, I like to see boys in camouflage sewing. It warms my Waldorf-wannabe heart.

In the past I've done Wee Felt Folk and gnomes; this year, because I didn't have a lot of time to cut out tiny gnome hats or fold a couple dozen pipe cleaner bodies, and because I was curious how it would go over, I did wet-felted acorns.

Most of the kids who tried it, and some parents, got really into it. And it seemed to work okay to glue the acorn caps onto the still-wet balls, but I warned everyone they might have to re-glue after the balls dried. 

It's funny to watch some parents, how little patience they have for process; if they sense their kid isn't doing it right or fast enough or is getting the tiniest bit frustrated, they want to snatch it away. Maybe (hopefully) it's just the setting, with 15 tables of crafts they want to get through in an hour. Wet felting requires a fair bit of patiences, and in a lot of cases, it seemed the littler the kids, the more willing they were to roll and roll and roll the balls until they held together (as long as their parents backed off and let them). And one little guy just wanted to come and play with a bit of wool in the warm soapy water (I was totally in support of that; his mom might not have been too thrilled about his wet clothes on a freezing day).

After the fair, I was supposed to go to Augusta for an appointment. I went into the weekend with a cold, and probably should have just called everything off, but I have a hard time breaking commitments. By the time I left, the flurries that had been flying all morning had formed just a skim on the frozen asphalt, and as I came around a big curve in the road, my car started fishtailing back and forth. A sanding truck was coming from the other direction and ditches and trees lined the road on both sides. In some sort of slow-motion nightmare, I envisioned my death (in half-a-dozen different ways, until finally my car came to rest in the weeds at the edge of someone's lawn, not four feet from the woods. I just drove across their grass and out their driveway and back home. When the Universe tells you to stay home, it's good to listen. I spent the afternoon trying to write one last story for this semester, with two kids sitting within inches from me, finger-knitting and begging me to read.

Sunday the boys and I whipped up Christmas presents for three of their grandparents and we all headed to see Scrooge at the Opera House in Waterville (with snow tires now on the car, courtesy of C). And now that the season is in full swing, I'm feeling a bit behind, with no decorations up (Z finally took the paper bats off the windows for me this morning, so we're finally post-Halloween) and nothing planned for St. Nicholas Day Thursday.

How's your holiday season coming along?

1 comment:

  1. Your story about your drive got my heart pounding. A New Englander by birth and a Midwesterner at the moment, I nevertheless get very nervous driving in the snow. I'm so glad you were okay.

    I also love your observation about the focus of some parents on product rather than process. I've definitely been guilty of this. I remember my oldest coming home from preschool one day with a giant piece of paper covered with finger paint.

    "Oh, what is it?" I asked him.

    "Nothing. I just like smooshing the paint around."

    Lesson learned. :)


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