Friday, December 30, 2022

Five on Friday: Holiday Magic 2.0

By virtue of the fact that nobody even bothered to finish what used to be the highly anticipated countdown until Christmas morning, it feels pretty safe to say the "holiday magic" has dissipated around here. (Though of course the advent calendar filled with sweets did get finished.)

But there was that other kind of magic. The kind that I'm loathe to mention at the risk of sounding like I'm repeating a tired trope, recycling a thematic standby for holiday feel-good stories. The thing is, though . . . I have to, because it's absolutely true. There is magic in being afforded time to spend with the ones we love. 

Of course I appreciate it so much more now that two of the kids don't live here anymore--so the time with them home with us having meals, playing games, watching movies and making music is precious. Maybe it's also that I can appreciate it more now that I don't have to spend so much time creating that little-kid mystical holiday magic.

An important component of our  holiday magic 2.0 is handmade gifts and crafts. They've always been part of our traditions but this year they feel particularly poignant with this renewed focus  on what is truly important.

1. I went to a "turn the top of an old sports trophy into a wine topper" workshop and transformed a lady bowler trophy into a Janeane Garofalo as The Bowler from the movie Mystery Men

Want to guess who the recipient of this gift was? It was my adult daughter who can legally drink wine and loves that movie!

2. Likewise, she presented me with a pair of earrings that she made . . . OUT OF TWISTED NOTEBOOK PAPER. 

3. Daddy-O knocked it out of the park with thoughtful homemade gifts this year:

Check out the amazing hanger for wet socks/etc (I don't know what to call it) that he made on the right! Much bigger, better and sturdier than the one on the left that I frequently use.

4. Our 12-year-old daughter purchased gifts for her siblings and me but didn't know what to get Daddy-O. I told her that what he'd really like is a letter, but she had to spend time on it and write something really special. I honestly wasn't sure if she had it in her to spend the time coming up with something nice so I'm glad to report that she did write something really sweet.

Then, to our surprise, both my husband and I were gifted with very thoughtful personal letters from our 20-year-old son. They are very much treasured.

5. Lastly in this list of older kids/together time/new holiday magic/craftiness: the hot cocoa bomb experiment. I picked up a kit on a whim and, well, let's just say hilarity ensued.

Insert sappy analogy here about how it doesn't matter how ugly/decidedly not magical my hot cocoa bomb turned out, what was important was how much we laughed at it together.

Am I at five already? Wait, there was more! Kid card-creating sessions and drawing competitions and OH MY GOD I didn't even tell you about this year's gingerbread!!!! 

Everything about it fits perfectly with this week's theme! Introducing Pittsburgh's Duquesne Incline   gingerbread:

No, the cars don't really move, but . . .

. . . the lights work!

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