It takes a Child to Raise a Village

Living in a two bedroom temporary apartment with only 700 lb of belongings has been challenging. We face holidays with open minds and try to create the festivity and excitement-sans tree stand, stockings, etc.-for our boys. My initial goal during this year was live a life less cluttered by material things and come together as a foursome, learning to find fullfillment without, well, things.
I think it has been a rewarding experience so far, and has shaped our children into being less of the typical "I want it NOW" american kids, and more into being imaginative and creative. I would rather they look back to memories of things they made themselves, not things we bought them. So there have also been a lot of handmade gifts that will be bestowed on family this year, made with the messy little fingers of Little P and Nate. Salt dough ornaments and other memorabilia that I hope will be a big hit with the grandparents. And the boys learn the joy of giving this way, not with a credit card.
So maybe our holidays will be a bit more mis-matched than Martha Stewart, but who wants store-bought perfection anyways?
I saw on the Pottery Barn Kids holiday catalog cover a train display with a homemade cardboard village-very creative! However, we had the idea first! Ok, I can't take all the credit. I did see the tutorial for cereal box houses here:
We followed her idea, then covered the houses in gift wrap. Bottle-brush trees, and glittery white felt pads followed for the scene. These were super cheap details we picked up at Micheals.
Little P had fun arranging tthe village on a ledge. Another day we played with glitter glue and pom-poms to decorate a few trees. Electric streetlamps followed, because I just couldn't resist. During a naptime, I tried to fashion a schoolhouse.
And finally, a string of Christmas lights made of felt. We had made snowman and reindeer puppets from felt (I'll share another time. They turned out quite well!) and I always keep my scraps. You just never know! So at least the string of lights I can claim is original.
I think.