By guest writer Mary Ann from The Lighted Branch Etsy shop:
Yesterday I opened our box of Christmas ornaments and discovered a family time capsule. I found some ornaments older than I am, some brand new, and many homemade. There’s something about Christmas that gives us a sense of heritage, our place in time, and the brevity and magic of childhood…
When I was little, my mom filled every season with creativity and whimsy. We decked the halls with boughs of holly. . . and with snowflakes, Valentines, patriotic bunting, sun catchers, scarecrows, etched leaves… you get the idea. When I had my own children, I realized that those magical creative moments – sewing teddy bears, painting Christmas villages, designing Easter eggs – didn’t just happen. My mom made the magic happen.
From Fond Memories to Harsh Reality
As I tried to recreate that same magic for my two little boys, I ran into serious obstacles: busyness and budgeting (not to mention perpetual fatigue!). All those festive crafts and activities required planning and time and money, all of which were in short supply.
Driving 30 minutes to the nearest craft store seemed like an epic journey. Once I got there, I had to buy SO much more than I needed for my projects. (Did you know that chenille stems come bundled in packs of 200, feathers are sold by the bushel, and even those ready-made foam craft kits come in packs of 12?)
Why do I have to spend time and money and energy I don’t have to provide my boys with creative moments like those I so enjoyed?!
One day, as I stood discouraged in front of a shelf of holiday craft supplies, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just buy a whole season’s worth of crafts and activities all at one time… and all in ONE box?”
And Crate Expectations was born!
Counting down the days until the next holiday and filling those days with fun. Crate Expectations equips you to do just that without the hassle and expense of planning activities and purchasing supplies on your own.
What’s in a Crate?
We offer Crates for 5 seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall & Christmas. Each seasonal crate includes 10 ready-to-build craft kits, complete with written directions and instructional YouTube Videos to walk you through each project step-by-step. You will also have access to a Teachable Moments printable to enhance each activity with a faith-based lesson.
Seasonal Bucket Lists burst with fresh ideas to keep kids active. (We’ve even noted car-friendly activities since car time can be a red-zone for pediatric boredom.)
Chatter Cards spice up family conversation. Even my four-year-old often sums up his entire day with one completely useless word: “fine.” (Dah!) End the verbal stalemate with these conversation sparking questions, ranging from the heartfelt to the hilarious.
Snapshot Scavenger Hunts open kids’ eyes to the world around them. Keep their little eyes busy (and off of all the screens) as they search for seasonal sights year-round.
Monthly Holiday Inventories list both widely celebrated holidays (like St. Patrick’s Day & Thanksgiving) and under-appreciated days (like National Popcorn Day & Fly a Kite Day), so your family won’t miss a chance to celebrate.
You can do it!
We make every season exciting and EASY for you and your family. We research. We plan. We purchase. We sort. We pack. We ship. We deliver a whole season’s worth of fun… all in ONE box, so…
YOU can be a crafty mom, ready with creative projects at a moment’s notice.
YOU can seamlessly weave faith lessons into your everyday routine.
YOU can spark meaningful and fun conversations at the dinner table.
YOU can start-up engaging while-you-wait games in grocery lines or car rides.
YOU can seize each and every opportunity to celebrate with your family.
YOU can spend your time making memories, not planning them.
When you open your Crate Expectations Crate, you won’t just find craft supplies; you’ll find moments of creativity and celebration, delightful family conversations, and new adventures to be shared. You’ll also find that most precious resource you and all parents need: more time!
To learn more, read this play-by-play review by Jessica Smartt of Smartter Each Day and follow us on Facebook. Then visit The Lighted Branch on Etsy to order your Christmas or Winter Crate. Better yet, subscribe to automatically receive all five 2016 crates and save even more time and money. Supplies are limited, and when they’re gone, they’re gone…until next year.
Let’s create together!
Mary Ann Wilmer lives in North Carolina with her husband, Chip, and two little boys. She graduated from Davidson College; then earned a Master’s Degree from Southern Evangelical Seminary. After traveling the globe as an Army wife and teaching high school English, she enjoyed a promotion; she’s now a full time mom… and lifelong crafter.