Christmas all year long

By Mir
June 28, 2006

Lovely reader Julia wrote to me about those paint-your-own-pottery places; specifically, how her kids love them but how many ceramic ducks does one family need? But she’s found a great solution:

Start letting your children paint their Christmas presents now. The first time you go to a PYOP store, let them make something for themselves. Get that out of the way, otherwise you’ll be hearing constant whining. Then let them start making Christmas. Make your list, make your budget. Stick to it.

She’s pretty, that Julia! Not only does it keep the kids happy and keep the clutter down, it eliminates some of the “oh my gosh it’s December 10th and we have so much to do” panic.

I’ll add my own tip: I often buy holiday-themed make-your-own ornaments or photo frame kits on Christmas clearance, then let the kids whip up masterpieces for teachers and relatives. They’re just as happy to do it in July as December, and I score a twofer with the cheap supplies and homemade touch.

And when you start early, there’s never a need to say “You will sit down and you will finish that ornament and it will be pretty and you will like it.” Not that I’ve ever done that. Stop looking at me.


  1. I love the paint your own pottery places, but my local one charges an arm and a leg. Still, I need to take my boy (preschooler) on “adventures” now and then and the PYOP makes him quite happy. My solution…tiles. Tiles are one of their least expensive options. He paints them, they fire them, I put little cork or felt pads on the bottom and voila…trivets for everyone! My stove top is now sporting one done in colors to match our new kitchen. I like to think of it as a “commissioned” piece of art. Father’s Day…make Dad a trivet for the BBQ. Birthdays…make Grampa a trivet with your handprint. Easter…make your Gramma a trivet for her stove. They look cute hanging on a wall too. My friend had her kids make tiles and then put them in a frame meant for the house number tiles. She put them in the bathroom of their new house…cute, cute, cute. And cheap, cheap, cheap!

  2. I want to make trivets with my kindergarten class. What kind of paint did you use so it won’t wash off the tile? I tried tempera and it washed right off. My tiles are shiny, does that make a difference?

    Thanks for your help!

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