A few years ago I realized I was no longer relishing the wintertime holidays. What had once been a season filled with mystery and delight, was now a hectic time of year when I felt all pressure and no joy. As the New Year rolled around, I resolved to make future holidays more meaningful. And since my husband and I are both artists, what better way to do this than to incorporate art?

For our family, Christmas and Hanukkah have special meaning on a spiritual level, something that can get submerged in the materialistic focus of gift exchanging. To regain a sense of awe for these holidays, I began researching art history from around the world. I discovered Las Posadas, a lively community celebration in México and parts of the USA. Ethiopian manuscript art from the 5th century and Latin American nichos provided fresh ways to envision the Nativity. Likewise, beautiful arts and crafts of the Jewish diaspora brought deeper appreciation of Hanukkah. Finally, I learned how Kwanzaa can be celebrated by followers of any faith seeking to honor the cultural heritage of Africa.

This year, we've designed several holiday-themed projects for Artful Kids Club, inspired by global perspectives on this time of year. We hope these projects can spur the simple joy of creating with your hands. Most of the activities are easy enough for preschoolers but still fun for older kids and adults. Projects make great gifts, decorations and meaningful projects to honor the holidays that matter for your family!

Author Rebecca Faubion is co-Founder of artfulkidsclub.com. Click to learn more about online art curriculum for schools, or free holiday craft bundles.