Only 12 days before Christmas! To get my first grader into the holiday spirit, I try to pack some Yuletide-themed lunches, sometimes with little notes, to let him know I’m thinking of him (even if he’s just 5 km away and I’ll be seeing him in a few hours).
You’re thinking: seriously? One more thing to add to mama’s ever-expanding to-do list? Well, it’s been said that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. That’s why moms are everyone’s go-to people.
Let’s make Christmas happen in those lunchboxes and spread joy into the classrooms.
Christmas baon should be easy to assemble because many of us have basic baking equipment (or at least a paring knife) in our kitchen.
Use large cookie cutters to shape sandwiches. This is also great if you need to bring something for the class’ potluck party. It’s simple, cost-efficient, yet always received well with just a bit of effort.
Arrange the sandwiches on a bright red Christmas platter or the like, and you’re good to go.
For something instantly colorful, try using rainbow loaf bread, or use initials or letters to spell out something (such as your child’s grade and section, a short greeting, or the school’s initials) to make your offering more personal or customized.
For more intricate cookie cutter designs like snowflakes, cut out the bread separately before adding the filling. You can also do smaller cutouts inside the shape if you want to show off, say, a strawberry jam filling. Or it can be the nose of a reindeer (pipe out Nutella from a Ziploc or pastry bag). Use the crusts of the bread to cut into “antlers.”
If you’re just doing round sammies, a slightly smaller shape with dull edges like an inverted glass or bowl will do to “seal” the sandwich.
You can make a snowman sammie with plain circle cutters. Or cut the sammie into squares and top with “ribbons” or “bows” from fruit peel, veggie strips or bento picks to make them look like presents.
Smaller cookie cutters or narrow bottle tops can be used on cheese or ham slices that can be arranged on crackers or on top of rice. Nori cutters and other bento materials such as reusable decorative plastic picks are also available in Daiso for P66 or P88 each.
Kebabs, rice toppings
Skewer veggies or fruit into red and green patterns, mixed with some white and yellow for a subliminal lesson in abstract reasoning. You can translate the same idea into assembling rice toppings onto the rice box or cutting out stars out of carrots.
Arrange peas, beans or edamame to form a Christmas tree, or broccoli into a wreath.
Fashion a soft tortilla wrap to make a baby Jesus in swaddling clothes.
Add red and green sprinkles to chopped fruit or onto a plain piece of banana bread or a chocolate muffin.
Dec. 25 may still be far away for your kids, but they can start looking forward to recess or lunch to see what little surprises their merry mama has in store for them every day as a Christmas countdown.