Creating Gifts for Christmas Chicks.

Christmas passed in the blink of an eye. Didn't it? Am I the only one that feels this way? One minute, I'm up to my elbows in cinnamon roll dough (more on that next time), the next I'm frantically wrapping presents and trying to decide who needs a handwritten note on Christmas cards versus who is up-to-date with kids' happenings via Facebook. Crazy days and late nights resulting in a neglected blog...and then, POOF. 

Christmas is over.

Well, then.

I'm actually feeling a little lost.

The frantic pace screeched to an abrupt halt, and now my brain is preoccupied with seed catalogs, stone paths, chicken coops, and garden plans. The dreary rain isn't cooperating with my new projects, however. So instead, I thought I'd share some of our recent chicken escapades. 

There's nothing better than a little chicken play time to shift your perspective.

backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

The girls enjoyed a bit of supervised free ranging in the kitchen garden. Oreo does a fine job keeping an eye on her feathered friends. (She's actually a little afraid of them.)

backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

Sprite nibbles the herb garden.

backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

The girls are excellent soil- and compost-turners. When the beds are full of crops, they're also excellent devourers of our dinner. Right now, though, only a few beds are occupied, so they enjoyed mostly free access to the garden.

backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com 

Sprouting straw that insulates the garlic bed provided green treats for Willow Wisp and Resa...

backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

...but honestly, the compost overflowing from the bins served as the biggest attraction to the girls. Bugs galore! A chicken feast!

While most of our holiday decorating happened in early December, we added some last minute decor and treats for the girls. After all, nothing says Merry Christmas like eight stockings hung by a run, right?

backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

Along with the stockings, the kids enjoyed creating edible garland for their girls.
  backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

Huh. Kristen's arms look freakishly long here.

backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

Doesn't Mikey look thrilled at our crafty project? So. Much. Fun.

backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

backyard chickens, kitchen garden, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

I even created my first wreath from scratch to hang on the coop.
  homemade wreath, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

homemade wreath, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

homemade wreath, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

Honestly, I have no idea why I haven't been making our wreaths all of these years. Using the cutoff branches from our Christmas tree trunk, floral wire, and a $3 wreath form from the craft store, it took a whopping 10 minutes to complete the wreath. 

homemade wreath, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

Simply cut the evergreen branches into 5-6 inch segments, bundle, place at an angle, wrap with wire and repeat.

homemade wreath, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

homemade wreath, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

homemade wreath, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

So ridiculously easy.

The kids hung their completed grape and cranberry garlands on the fence that separates the chickens' run from the pool area. Three long garlands decorated the muddy fence.

Did I mention that it's been raining A LOT during vacation? The chickens' run is a muddy mess.

backyard chickens, chicken treats, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

At first, the girls weren't certain what to think about the garland.
  backyard chickens, chicken treats, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

But then, once they saw their favorite treat--grapes--it was a feeding frenzy.
  backyard chickens, chicken treats, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

As soon as one chicken plucked a grape from the garland, the rest quickly tried to steal it. A few brave girls plucked their own treats off the strand, but most waited to try to steal the grapes from one another.

Silly chickens.
  backyard chickens, chicken treats, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

backyard chickens, chicken treats, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

backyard chickens, chicken treats, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

backyard chickens, chicken treats, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

backyard chickens, chicken treats, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

backyard chickens, chicken treats, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

backyard chickens, chicken treats, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

The grapes disappeared in a blink of an eye--much like Christmas. The cranberries lingered a bit longer. Next year, if the girls are extra good and quit sneaking out of the run, we might make the garlands from all grapes--red and green. Festive colors and favorite food!

For now, though, their Christmas treats are just a memory. 

Many people already packed away their decorations, but we're still trying to maintain a bit of Christmas cheer here. The tree is dropping needles, but the decorations will remain up until January 1. We can all use the extra bit of good fortune by leaving the tree up until New Year's Day, right? It's supposed to be lucky, like eating collard greens and black-eye peas.

backyard chickens, chicken treats, http://growingdays.blogspot.com

Plus, the chicken stockings just make me laugh, and we all need a little chuckle during the gray winter days.

Are you still enjoying holiday decorations, or are you all tidied up and ready for New Year's?

Hoping you and yours enjoyed a lovely holiday season!

XOXO ~

Julie

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tagged under: backyard chickens, chicken treats, Christmas, decorating coops, Growing kids, Growing one day at a time