I know that my thoughts at the moment should be well and firmly rooted on turkey and pie at this moment.
I know that I should be counting my many blessings, giving up thanks for our abundant life and gathering with friends and family to celebrate our bounty.
And I am, don't get me wrong, I LOVE Thanksgiving.
Any holiday that involves gobs of food (most particularly several kinds of pie) suits me and my elastic waistband just fine.
Truly, Thanksgiving is such a nice start to the holidays… just a chance to gather and be warm and merry and grateful for right here, right now. No other expectations, just joy.
Of course it would be a nice Thanksgiving miracle if my Ags managed somehow, someway, to rise above their sorry season and take Texas down on the football field, but I digress…
Anyhow, yes, I should be focused on Thanksgiving, but little bits of Christmas began to seep into my thinking quite a while back.
So, I'm going to spend a few days this week showing you some of my kiddos current projects and the Christmas ideas that they've spawned. Maybe they'll give you an idea or two for the young people in your life too.
First up, for the tinkerers on your list …
My boys have been after their own "workshop" for some time. We told them that if they were willing to put in the elbow grease to help us fix it up, they could have the old chicken coop (one we used ages ago – it was a BIG mistake, too dark and creepy and not well ventilated to be a good coop). We cut a nice big door, dawned our dust masks and raked 4 year old chicken poo-strewn litter for DAYS. If that doesn't make the next season of World's Most Disgusting Jobs (or whatever that show is called) I don't know what will. They did it though. They put in the work. They helped their Papa build a work bench and now they are ready for tinkering.
Mostly, save for a few "take it apart" sessions with a clock and a radio, it's sat empty. This is primarily because they don't have a good set of tools that fit those small hands.
So, I'm considering this really nice set from Fat Brain Toys. I like the old fashioned, sturdy, woodsy look of them.
My little tinkers have also grown really interested in Automata, after reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and several viewings over at Caberet Mechanical Theater.
They've pooled their dollars to buy a few inexpensive wind up toys and then carefully lifted off the plastic plates that cover the workings to "see what goes on inside." They're sure to get a few more of those in their stockings. And perhaps this neat wooden snake automaton kit . I think that might be just the thing.
Honestly though, just about anything from Edmund Scientific's would send them over the moon. Anytime my boys get their grubby hands on my computer, they find their way to that site. I have to peel them away with my foot braced against the wall – so many fun things to be found there.
Throughout the week I'll be back with ideas for rock hounds, young naturalists, budding paleontologists and even a thing or two for the resident Migmajig.
Oh, and one more totally unrelated but absolutely essential side note…
My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE clementine oranges. Anytime we come across a sale they insist (beg) that we bring a gross or two home. Then, of course, I find peels strewn here and there.
Well not long after I got my new (old) dehydrator I decided to pop and few peels in and see what happened.
As it turns out, dried peels are fantastic fire starters! The oil in them really gets the fire moving, and they smell great while burning too! I'm sure you could dry them in the oven at a low temperature too.
Be warm and merry, friends!