Oliver's Tree: Ornament Recipes + Fun Ideas for Kids

This is indeed one of my favorite times of year. I love decorating for the holidays, baking sweet treats, hosting festive parties & enjoying holiday traditions with family. Having my sweet nephew close by makes it even more special!

When our nephew, Oliver, first moved to town, Luke & I decided to gift him experiences rather than stuff. Sure, we buy him little things here & there, but we knew gifting him a date to the movies & a visit to the bakery would be much more valuable than a plastic toy. Thus our weekly date was born! 

Every Wednesday afternoon, I pick up Oliver from school & take him on a little adventure. Every Wednesday, he asks, "Aunt Natalie what's the fun plan for the day?!" Sometimes we go to the museum. Other afternoons we spend at the library or the park! 

This Christmas season, we decided to treat Oliver to his very own Christmas tree at Uncle Luke & Aunt Natalie's home! We went to the tree farm & Oliver picked out his very own, just-his-size tree! We brought it home & have slowly been decorating the tree each Wednesday afternoon.

We have made a variety of ornaments & decorations together this season. We made colorful paper chains as garland & these cinnamon dough ornaments to hang!

I rolled out the dough & Oliver picked the cookie cutters - pig, snowflake & tree - to make his ornaments. You can find the recipe right HERE for the cinnamon ornaments. They'll make your house smell amazing & are very easy to make!

We also made orange slice ornaments together! We sliced the oranges in circles & dried them on a baking sheet in the oven at 200 degrees for 10-12 hours (keep an eye on them so they don't burn!). I then threaded each ornament & Oliver hung them on the tree. 

Each week that Oliver comes over during Christmas, I have been placing a "special treasure" underneath the Christmas tree for him. It's oftentimes a book & his finished ornaments in a small basket. I can't wait for him to find his soft little fox slippers under the tree this week!

It has been such a gift to share these little dates with Oliver each week. One day, when Oliver is grown up, I hope he knows he can come to Uncle Luke & me with anything at all. You are so loved, sweet Ollie Pop!

What Christmas traditions do you keep with your favorite littles? I'd love to read your wonderful ideas - please share in the comments! 



Heather said...

This is so sweet, Natalie! And what amazing memories you're making with him. Im sure Mama appreciates the afternoon free as well!~

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stellaonline said...

I just adore this story! I did this with my darling nephew when he was young. Now, at the ripe old age of thirteen (*giggle*), he will still choose to spend time at our house, just relaxing and talking to me.

Back then, it was just him & I, and it was such a special love that I can't begin to explain. I'm sure it's exactly how you feel for your OlliePop.

Enjoy every single second of it. There is magic in being an Aunt - you get the love, and trust, and fun, but none of the hard, painful parenting business.

It's the BEST!

Unknown said...

Natalie this is absolutely precious. Just what I needed to read today. Merry Christmas! Thanks for another year of joy and inspiration!

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