You know by now that I do not have a crafty bone in my body, but I am more than happy to ride on the coattails of people who do. Hence, I can recommend to you three Christmas-y crafts that you or someone you love who has the talent and time for such things can do, with or without the help/interference of child(ren).
One: The Felt Christmas Tree
Did you know that felt adheres to felt? I did not, but my wise mother did, and so she created this tree and its accompanying ornaments:
It's pretty self-explanatory -- cut out a tree shape and some ornament-type things (candy canes, snowman, wreath, sparkly balls) and presents, and make a little pocket for storing everything (you could sew the sides or just glue them). You could tack it to the wall or hang it somewhere, but I like to spread it out on the coffee table, which is a nice height for preschoolers. That's it!
Two: The Gingerbread Train
I have somehow lived all of 37 years and never made a gingerbread house of any kind. Technically, I still haven't, since Felicity and I made a gingerbread train. Well, and technically we didn't make it; we decorated a pre-made, pre-assembled train. And thank the good Lord for that, because decorating it was quite enough work for a non-crafter like me.
We received the kit as a gift -- I am sure you can get similar ones at Bed Bath & Beyond, Michael's, or Home Goods, but for reference here's the one we used on Amazon. I will note, for those with preschool-age children who need to burn some daylight, that this kept us occupied for a solid hour.
Before you can dive into decorating, you need to make the royal icing. The dried mix is in the kit; you just add water and beat it for about five minutes. Now, the instructions suggest that you use a hand mixer, but unearthing and plugging in an appliance was too much for me once I'd committed to this activity, so I used a wooden spoon and some muscle and still got the icing to the right consistency in a reasonable amount of time. Using the enclosed food coloring, I also made a little green and a little red icing.
While I was doing that, Felicity sat at the table and tried to break the train apart so she could eat it. So you might consider making the icing before getting the child hyped up about the gingerbread train and sitting her in close proximity to something that appear to be a giant cookie.
The candies in the kit are individually wrapped, so I unwrapped those as Felicity decided where she wanted to put them on and around the train. Then I took them away from her as she tried to eat each and every one of them. Together we managed to get most of the candies onto the train. The kit also includes a little baggie of colored-ball sprinkles that go absolutely EVERYWHERE when you open the bag. Those that didn't end up on the floor got artfully distributed around the icing-covered parts of the train.
Oh, the kit also includes a pastry bag and tip. Because I am masterful at this sort of thing, I cut off too much of the end of the pastry bag, so the tip wouldn't stay on and instead of piping frosting prettily onto the train precisely where I wanted it to go, it created a royal mess. If you're the type who has pastry bags and tips lying around your kitchen, use those instead of the one provided. I abandoned the bag and just used wooden spoons to kind of smush the icing into places where we were going to put candy. That worked nicely and didn't make me feel like my head was going to explode from stress.
Naturally, some sampling of the icing occurred by the junior member of our decorating team, and the following day, when the aftermath had been cleaned up and the train had dried, Felicity continued to try to sneak bits of it off our gingerbread masterpiece. But then I told her that the train looked sad where she'd smeared it with her finger, and she cried, and she hasn't touched it since. Success!
Three: Christmas Tree Ribbon Shirt
My mom, a master crafter if ever one existed, made this shirt for Felicity:
As you can see, it's a Christmas tree made of looped ribbons sewn onto a long-sleeved t-shirt, and it is very cute.
I am no expert, but I think what you do is cut up a bunch of ribbon into pieces maybe...five inches long? And array them in the form of a Christmas tree. And then sew them on. Probably there is math involved in figuring out how many pieces of ribbon you need and how to arrange them in a way that doesn't make the tree lop-sided, but that is beyond my pay grade.
Happy crafting, or delegation of crafting, everyone! Any questions?