As I've mentioned before, there are only two questions that cause me to either break out in hives or pretend I'm dead, and they are: "Mom, will you play a game with us?" and "Mom, can we make a craft?"
Hold on. Just typing those queries has made me feel itchy, and trying to scratch with the rigor mortise already setting in is a wee bit tough.
So my kids got out of school early Wednesday and Thursday. Yesterday, after plying them with snacks and showing them the array of happy pills that were going to bring the woman they know and love back to them, we all just sort of stared at each other with an impending sense of "So now what?" that really doesn't bode well for the two solid weeks we're now embarking upon with with their winter break now starting (I pray none of us resorts to cannibalism). After several minutes of uncomfortable silence, my youngest son unleashed the evil.
"Mom! I have a great idea! Let's make a craft!"
What you see up there is the result of that query, and absolute proof that the graham cracker houses were one gigantic fluke. I absolutely wasn't lying to you when I told you I am not a crafty person. I do not enjoy them one bit. As evidenced above, I do not keep craft supplies in the house (honestly, the red construction paper was a huge shock). In fact, I believe glitter courses through Satan's veins, and his horns are crafted from papier mache.
Do not let the shining blue eyes and crimson smiles of those two handcrafted Santas fool you. Those are perhaps the saddest craft projects ever made, and I say that with the authority granted me as the woman who has Styrofoam balls, massacred with chunks of peeling glitter paint, hanging on her Christmas tree at this very moment.
What's that? You want the pattern? Seriously? OK....
- 1 apple per child (personally, I like to play against the grain and would have used an orange, but we've eaten them all to ward off the scurvy)
- 2 marshmallows
- 4 cotton balls
- 3 raisins
- 4 toothpicks
- 1 small sheet red construction paper
- red and blue markers
To make: Shake your head and ask your child, "Are you sure you want to make this? Can we just go watch TV instead? I promise not to gripe during as many episodes of Hannah Montana as you want to watch!" then sigh audibly and often when they insist that yes, they want to make this craft.
Position your apple on a sturdy table or counter. Breaking two of your toothpicks into pieces, insert them through the raisins and poke them vertically into the skin of the apple. Times are tough, so ask your kids if they feel the least bit guilty about wasting food products for craft projects, then mention how they must break the toothpick into pieces because toothpicks, like apples, cost money, dammit.
Use one whole toothpick to impale a whole marshmallow to the top of the apple. This will be Santa's head. Quote lines from The Evil Dead while doing so. Some good examples include: "You bastards! Why are you torturing me like this? Why?" and "Shut up, Linda!"
Fold a small square of red construction paper into a cone. Take one cotton ball and break it apart to make the white 'fur' around the edge and top of Santa's cap. Secure with glue, then balance it precariously atop the marshmallow face which, while the cap is drying, can be decorated with markers to make a face of your choice. From experience, children appreciate if your Santa is a happy Santa.
Stretch out remaining cotton ball to fashion Santa's beard, and glue it to the lower half of the marshmallow face. Then, once again bringing up the topic of recession, take scissors and the remaining marshmallow and cut it into two pieces. With the remaining toothpicks, gouge them into the sides of the apple so they appear to be arms. Or muff-covered arms. Or robot wheels. Quote from Army of Darkness. Example: "It may be bad...but I feel good." or "Groovy."
There you go! One apple Santa! Shake your head in sadness, then glance over and see the delight in your child's eyes. Encourage them not to eat the apples due to the pesky matter of toothpicks holding this craft precariously together, then laugh with irony if your child, like mine, is missing his two front teeth, making the eating of apples (if he actually ate them, that is) difficult, then brace yourself for said child to sing, repeatedly, "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth."
Finally, depending upon when you completed this craft, walk around your house, sniffing the air, and asking everyone "Do you smell that?" What is that smell?" Please note that Apple Claus doesn't necessarily hold up well depending upon where you live and what temperature you keep your furnace set at.
The boys are now off school (thanks to a snow day today) for their holiday break. I predict we'll be making snowmen this afternoon. Out of ice cubes. Because that's exactly how crafty I am. If you need the pattern for that, just let me know.
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