Yes I know...It seems very early in the year to be thinking about Christmas gifts. But folks, my darling husband just told me there are only 110 days left until Christmas. That's less than 4 months! And this year I don't want to be caught unprepared. Plus in my case there are some special circumstances coming into play over the next few months which necessitate my getting things done early or probably not done at all. Not the least of which is the impending birth of our sweet little girl due in November, and family coming to stay from out of the country for several weeks in December! Since I probably wont get much wood working done after the baby gets here I am trying to get that part of my handmade holiday preparations finished now! Sawdust and baby wearing really don't go hand in hand!
I've wanted to make a wooden Nativity set for the little ones to play with for a couple of years and I just never got around to it for some reason. I have the set I played with as a child, but it's more delicate than these sturdy wooden figures, so I really don't like them playing with it unsupervised. I have, until now, kept it out of their reach and only brought it down to the coffee table for them to tell the story of Jesus' birth and then back up it goes as soon as we're done playing and telling. But my plans for this one are to leave it within their reach all Christmas season so that they can interact with it as often as they desire!
I looked at a couple of natural toy catalogs I have and different stores online then drew out the elements I liked best from several different wooden Nativity scenes. Next I transferred the outlines of my drawings to the wood, and cut them out with my scroll saw during two afternoon nap times last week. (I try to get the potentially dangerous crafting done while the under 4 crowd is napping in the afternoon!) Yesterday during nap time I managed to get them all sanded and snapped these pictures outside just as the little ones were waking up from their naps. Sometime over the next couple of days I plan on wood burning details into them, and I'll probably add some nice watercolor washes to them. I haven't decided for sure whether I will paint them or not, I'm leaning towards yes, I will, but we'll see how I feel about it once I get the wood burning done... Then to seal the wood with some kid friendly homemade beeswax wood protector. And I'll be done!
Oh and I still would like to come up with a nice little stable for everyone to hang out in, at least something big enough for the Holy family and a few animals, and as always sturdy enough to stand up to years of play! Or at very least to survive Emmett's toddlerhood! He's rather a force of nature, that one! Kind of like what an insurance company might describe as an "Act of God" :-) That's it, our darling little Emmett~ our own personal Act of God! I read recently on someone's blog that a friend had described her toddler boy as feral, sometimes I feel like that might describe our child too. You'd think after having this many kids (he's #5 for goodness sake!) that we'd have this parenting little ones thing all figured out. Ha! Not really, this kid is so different from any of my other children. He is sweet, and loving, and always happy...until he's not! He is very friendly and outgoing and extremely high needs all at the same time. At least the fact that he is number five gives me the perspective of knowing that although some days are completely draining and can feel like they last forever, time really does have a way of passing so quickly and pretty soon, he'll be beyond this stage and on to some new and exciting development! :-) That perspective is something that I am very thankful for, that comes from having gone through these years before, and really wanting to mindfully make the very most of them now, because this adorableness, and even this neediness doesn't last forever. At least not in the same ways.
Linking up with Nicole here and Linda here.