Make It Monday: Christmas Ornaments

Gonna lighten up for a moment, well, sort of. 😀

Last week at family therapy we met our new therapist. Because we play games, and some of the games involve candy, our old therapist mentioned the kids’ food allergies. We went around explaining each one’s dietary needs, or personal decision, in Braniac’s case. When I got to Spock, I said, “He’s normal.”

He took that as an insult. (I’ve raised my children well. :))

So, I came up with something that might or might not be the case. I said it is possible he might have mild Asperger’s. If he does or not, I don’t know. I’ve suspected it but couldn’t consider it until I left Zelena. (I didn’t get BC dx with Autism until after I left, either.) I do know one thing, he’s a perfectionist. Therefore, crafts scare the crud out of him.

Pretty much.

I totally get that now. As I examine my own fears, I understand the drive behind perfectionism, and I know why it’s so debilitating.

Knowing this is an issue for both of us, though I hope for different reasons, we have taken our sweet time getting around to making our Christmas ornaments.

 

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I found the idea in LandLove about a month ago. We went hiking to find some of the things to make them the day after Thanksgiving. And we planned to make them Sunday afternoon the weekend after we were finished with the Christmas show at church.

Still, I found I had to drag him to the table. And that is sometimes how it is with perfectionists. They just can’t stand to face failure so they just won’t do it. I had no choice, because I need to get us past, well, the past. But with Spock I had to really think how to get him to make his ornament.

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The first thing I did was concede to his idea of having a fire in the fireplace. I figured that might help. So we moved our crafting to the living room. Even with that it took quite a bit of cajoling to get him to pick out a pine cone for his ornament.

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Finally, when we were nearly done, I thought up something, not particularly profound, but something I’ve been working on with him over the past several months. I told him I would help him. It was that simple, and that complicated. See, perfectionists don’t really like help, either. I suppose it’s another sign of imperfection to ask for it.

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(This Lego has decided to go for a more natural, less machine-made, look by putting a twig through his head. #lifewithkids)

Whatever reason it is, I’ve been working with him for months, trying to get him to understand it’s OK to accept help. But I was surprised when that simple promise got him to come over to the table and complete his craft.

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It’s a work in progress. I keep hoping some miracle will occur before he has to start high school and we go through the stress of that again. But Sunday afternoon I saw a glimmer of hope.

Here are the rest of our ornaments:

What you need:

Stuff you found on a nature hike (a real one, not at one of those manicured hiking trails so common in the city). Or, you can just go to church and pick up your pine cones in the parking lot. At least if your church has as many as ours does. 🙂 Cost: Free. Unless you hike in a national forest then you will need a day pass.

Felt, to make the clothes and possibly the wings if you run out of good leafs. Cost: about 40-50c per piece at Joann’s

Glue gun. The article recommended wood glue. I don’t know. Maybe glue guns are illegal in Engalnd? (That’s where the magazine is from.) But wood glue would be a pain. We used the gun and it worked much better than the wood glue. Cost: if you don’t already have one, they run from $7-12 at Joann’s depending on how fancy you want. I’d go with fancy. I went with cheap and, while it works, it’s a pain. Plus the sticks for the glue gun, those run about $2/bag.

Twine, or some other type of string. I bought a natural bow at Joann’s that had twine to wrap around the present. I put the bow on top of our tree for our topper. Cost: $3. There was a good amount of string, so if you have a lot of kids or you want to make several ornaments, it’s worth it. (It’s softer than the twine you buy at Home Depot, so I thought that was a benefit.)

Wooden beads for the heads and buttons Cost: $4-7 at Joann’s. You’ll want to get bigger beads if you have bigger pine cones.We improvised with some nut shells we’d found on our hike and glued them to the front of the beads to make the head appear bigger to match the pine cone.

Let your kids get creative. The ornaments don’t have to look perfect. Babycakes wanted two different colored leaves that were different sizes for his wings. I had to take a deep breath to keep myself from convincing him otherwise. But it was worth it because he was just so proud of how his own creation looked. 🙂

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