Every year we make Christmas crafts it becomes a little less crowd control (don't touch that paint! Scissors are not for hair! No, that gingerbread is not for eating!) and a little more actual family fun. We always have the same younger contingent of children who have to be waved away from the X-Acto knives but each year we have more older ones who understand what is going on and actually can make the crafts.
Our long-term parenting strategy is to eventually get everyone to that stage and then we'll have some pretty amazing stuff going on around Christmas. Right now, however, Brandon and I still are in charge of the bulk of artistic directing.
This year we made snowflakes (pictures from last year),
and a gingerbread castle. We just finished studying the Normal conquest in history, and this week there was a section about Norman castles in England after the conquest. One of the suggested activities (which I never do) was to make a rice Krispy treat castle. Kathleen suggested we make a gingerbread one instead, so we did.
This was, of course, the most popular activity of all. Edwin didn't even pretend to be interested in snowflakes and stamped a few stamps before running off to construct trucks with his duplos, but he stuck around the entire time we had candy out. I think he might have put on one piece of candy and spent the rest of the time eating it. Joseph did the same. The girls helped with the candy, however. And a good time was had by all.