A Christmas gift

I was always an emotional person – actually sensitive is probably a better description – I didn’t think I could be any more sensitive, and yet, the day motherhood took me over I was struck by a tidal wave of emotions I could never imagine possible. And not just related to the baby small one. Oh No. These emotions went much deeper.

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I guess it’s mother nature kicking in and the instinct as a parent to protect your young, but I would find myself in those first few months silently sobbing to television adverts for child plights and heartfelt pleas of help for sick children.

For this very reason, six years later I don’t like listening to the news or reading the papers, and not because I want to ignore it, but because no matter how much I want to help, the reality is I can’t help them all… but little gestures can and do make a difference.

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So every year around this time myself and the small one go shopping and I get him to pick out little items to fill shoeboxes for the Team Hope christmas shoebox appeal that get sent to under-privileged and sick children in Eastern Europe and Africa.

These little children will not be thinking of what gifts will be under the tree or if Santa can get them everything on their lists like my small one.

Instead their thoughts will be full of hope for a safeful night and food on the table in the morning.

Christmas day will be just another day to them, none of the excitement, festivities or fun that we will have.

This gift won’t be life changing but at least for one day they can feel special and hopefully get some joy or comfort from cuddling a little teddy or chewing a sweet – the little things that our small ones take for granted.

I got my small one to help me make these cute little crafts to include in this years shoe boxes to help him understand the importance of giving and to learn that it is so much more about the thought behind the gift than the expense involved.

The boxes need to be in for November 12th so there’s still time to fill a box. Details on Team Hope website.

Reindeer pompom
What you need
1 large gold pompom
2 small black pompom
2 eyes
Black pipe cleaner (cut into 2 x 2″ piece and 6 x 1.5″ pieces)
1 Red pompom

Method
1. Glue on the eyes, the red pompom (for the nose) and the two black pompoms (for the ears) to the large gold pompom.
2. Using the 3″ piece of pipe cleaner wrap the smaller pieces of pipe cleaner around this to create antennas (see photo).
3. Repeat for second antenna, then sew or glue them into the back of the reindeer pompom.
4. Print these Pompom tags onto light card and stick the reindeer pompom to it.
Alternatively you could sew ribbon on to the top of the reindeer to use as a decoration or glue it to a slide for a little brooch.

Santa pompom
What you need
1 large white pompom
2 eyes
1 small red pompom
Red glittery pipe cleaner

Method
1. Print these Pompom tags on light card and stick the large white pompom to it.
2. Glue on the eyes and the red pom-pom (for the nose).
3. Cut the pipe cleaner to about 3″ long and mould it around your finger to make a cone shape for the hat.
4. Glue the small white pompom to the top of the hat and glue it onto the top of the Santa pompom.

Caterpillar pompoms
What you need
6 blue or red pompoms
6 white pompoms
2 eyes
1 piece of glittery pipe cleaner (about 4″ long)
2 bells

Method
1. Thread a needle, tie a knot at the end and sew alternatively through the blue and white pompoms. Secure tightly with a knot.
2. Glue the eyes onto the front pompom.
3. For the antennas bend the pipe cleaner and thread a bell through each end. Secure by twisting the pipe cleaner around the bell.
4. Sew or glue the antennas onto the back of the caterpillars head and secure with a knot.

Candy cane sleigh
what you need
2 candy canes
Piece of red card
Ribbon

Method
1. Cut the card to fit the length of the candy canes and about 2″ wide.
2. Place the candy canes on top of the card and tape or glue to secure.
3. Place your little gifts on top and tie a big bow around them. Place the santa pompom on top.

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