Tiny Reindeer and the Loot

Last year was Emily's first year in preschool and thus the first time that Bret and I got to experience the joy of class treats for the holidays. Now I consider myself to be a pretty crafty mom but let me tell you...I am a novice compared to some moms. Maybe it's not that I couldn't create some the of gifts that were given to my then 3 year old...it's that I don't have the time and don't want to spend the money. Emily came home with a full size grocery sack full of treats for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter. Most of it was candy but she also got pencils, cups, bricks that become washcloths in water, books, play dough, tiny toys, bubble bath, cookie cutters, crayons and coloring books, and yes a stuffed animal one time. These items usually came in little bags with candy. The people who gave candy didn't give just one piece they usually gave a BAG FULL OF CANDY. It was quite absurd if you ask me. My favorite was always the "healthy" moms that gave something besides candy as listed earlier or individual packs of cheese crackers, animal crackers, cheezit's, cookies, raisins, etc. Kids don't need all of this extra stuff let alone tons of candy. The dilemma is that you don't want your kid to feel bad because they didn't bring anything to hand out and you don't want to spend a small fortune because buying for all the kids can add up quickly.

I subscribe to a couple of parenting magazines and one of my favorites is Family Fun Magazine. This magazine is great because it has tons of ideas of things to do with your kids. Everything from recipes to try together, birthday cake ideas, and fun craft projects for all ages. What we try to do for each holiday treat is come up with an idea that is fun to make, cheap, and somewhat simple. On Halloween we make spiders using googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and tootsie pops, for Valentine's day we made "Plant one on ME" valentine's that gave each child a pack of seeds to take home and try to grow that spring, and for Christmas last year we made jingle bell bracelets. The kids love the gifts and Emily had a lot of fun making them too.

This year was different than last because we now have two kids in a daycare/classroom setting. This means that we have to come up with 30 treats between the two classes. Let me also point out that it is not just the treats because you also have class parties that usually ask for donations. This year for Halloween we stuck to the tootsie pop spiders because they are always a big hit, are easy to make, and two year olds can eat suckers. For Christmas we decided to make reindeer candy canes and I got the kids plastic tumbler cups as well. This killed two birds with one stone because I also signed up for drinks and cups to bring for the class party. The parties are funny because Palmer's class always has two parties. Some of the kids are T/TH only and some are MWF only so they have a party on Thursday and one on Friday and Palmer goes to both b/c is there 5 days a week. We even have two class pictures for him.

I had to laugh last night because when Bret and I got home we were both beat. Bret had stay late which meant he didn't get home until after seven and since Emily had dance we got home at about the same time. The bad parents that we sometimes are also picked up McDonald's on our way home and ate in the living room watching TV (which we never usually allow). Emily and Palmer were thrilled as Bret and I sat on the couch just exhausted from our day. As I put the kids in the tub Bret broke out the class treat supplies and started to assemble our reindeer. Although I usually let the kids help this week was busy and we just didn't have the time or patience not to mention the hot glue gun adds extra caution. I helped for a little while but was told that my antlers were terrible so I went back to getting the kids ready for bed and tucked in. Most people who know Dr. Heskett would never guess that he is an excellent crafty person as well. Sorry babe secret is out.

This morning when I dropped the kids off they were excited to hand out their treats. We put a cup and reindeer in each classmates cubby to take home that day. The drinks were stuck in the fridge for the party that will take place after nap time. I am still holding out hope that they send us home early but am not holding my breath. I am curious to see what the kids come home with and how much candy will have to be hidden this year.

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