From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ghosts of Christmas Past (9)

All In The Family...



Elf patternElf pattern (place on fold)


I keep an envelope marked "Christmas Elf" in one of our boxes of Christmas decorations. It holds a half-elf, cut from an old Christmas card and I'm saving him for my future grandkids.

Here's his little story. One year when the kids were out of school for Christmas but still had a few more days to wait, they were bored stiff and terribly nervous, shall we say?! "There's nothing to do!" they whined.

After Christmas at our house, we were going to drive out to Kansas for Christmas with my parents, and I was busy trying to get ready for all of this. I certainly didn't feel that I had "nothing to do, " but it was clear that the kids were suffering.

I had seen an elf "wreath" in a magazine article about Christmas crafts. I think it was supposed to be made from felt, but I decided we could make one from paper. I sketched out the half-elf (above) on the back of an old Christmas card (stiff paper), cut it out, and set the kids down at the kitchen table.

Keely was old enough to use scissors well, so she traced the outline on folded sheets of paper and made about 20 of the little fellows. Isaac helped color them, and they drew their faces and other details with markers.

Then we cut a big ring of poster board, and the kids glued their elves shoulder to shoulder, with their heads to the center and feet to the outside, all around the outside edge of the ring. I don't think they bothered interlocking their arms, but it could be done. We attached a ribbon to hang it up.

It made a cute bit of kid art that they were proud of. We took the elf wreath to Kansas and gave it to Grandma and Grandpa Hill, and they hung it up until it finally got too bedraggled to preserve any longer.

When my grandkids make an elf wreath for me, I'll hang it up every Christmas (maybe even year-round in their bedroom at my house) and I'll remember my own little children and our drive to Kansas each Christmas and how happy their Grandma and Grandpa always were to see them.

Elf wreath

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1 comment:

Janice Williams said...

What a sweet idea and I love Keely's creation, too. My mother exhibited a Mr. and Mrs. Santa that I created from 2 toilet paper rolls and construction paper and cotton for about 35 years after I made them and I loved seeing my "art" each Christmas. Sweet moms remember those things.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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