January 2016: Holiday History & Craft

Holiday History and Craft, January 2016Okay…so I totally failed. I did something I’ve never done before and hope I’ll never do again. I failed to meet a blog post deadline – and now I’m two weeks late. I’m sorry. But today’s the actual day, so you’re getting January’s Holiday History and Craft now and for the rest of the year I’ll go back to being faithful to post on first Monday of each month.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Usually referred to as MLKJ Day, I never quite grasped what it celebrated/memorialized when I was a kid. My parents did try to educate me – we read about M.L. King, Jr. in the encyclopedia, but it wasn’t until I was formally studying U.S. History that I understood. Let me see if I can make this easy to understand and not too long-winded…and then we’ll do a craft!

Martin Luther King, Jr. making his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr. making his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963

Holiday History

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American citizen who worked and advocated for racial equality, justice, and humanitarian causes. During the 1950’s and 1960’s the Civil Rights Movement brought important questions of law and liberty to the center stage of America. Sadly, in previous decades, African American citizens had been treated very unfairly and the Civil Rights Movement was their formal, organized appeal to the U.S. government and people to give them equal rights.

Some leaders of the Civil Rights Movement thought that violent actions were necessary. Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated and preached that peaceful methods would be much more effective. He encouraged and practiced civil disobedience, rather than mob actions. He made a very famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. in 1963; you might recognize part of the speech:  “I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'”

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was observed for the first time in 1986 and is a federal holiday.


You’re going to need to choose a quote to use in today’s craft. I’ve picked some of my favorite shorter quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. for you to choose from:

We are reaching out for the daybreak of freedom and justice and equality.

We’ve got to rediscover these precious values that we’ve left behind.

The thing that we need in the world today is a group of men and women who will stand up for right and to be opposed to wrong, wherever it is. A group of people who have come to see that some things are wrong, whether they’re never caught up with. And some things are right, whether nobody sees you doing them or not.

Keep moving. Let nothing slow you up. Move on with dignity and honor and respectability.

Martin Luther King Jr.I think one of the best ways to face this problem of self-centeredness is to discover some cause and some purpose, some loyalty outside of yourself and give yourself to that something.

You are what you are because of somebody else. You are what you are because of the grace of the Almighty God.

Somewhere somebody must have some sense.

Every genuine expression of love grows out of a consistent and total surrender to God.

We must in strength and humility meet hate with love.

The time is always right to do what’s right.

I will go out with you and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.

 I have a dream today.


Holiday History and Craft, January 2016What You’ll Need:


Wax Paper

Paint, red and blue (I think the washable kind is best!)

Sponges, cut into small rectangles

Paper plate


Felt pen markers

Holiday History and Craft, January 2016Begin by laying out a piece of wax paper to keep your table or other work surface clean.

Wet your sponges and squeeze out the excess water.

Pour a little red paint and a little blue paint on your paper plate.

Lightly (very lightly) dip the edge of a sponge in one color of paper and dab it lightly on the paper. Make a border around the edge – anyway you want. My design is only a suggestion.

Holiday History and Craft, January 2016When your painted border is finished, set the cardstock aside to dry. After a while (when the paint isn’t wet), use your pencil to lightly write out your quote. Writing in pencil is helpful when working on letter spacing – you can erase pencil, but not pen!



Trace your light pencil lettering with a felt pen.

Your “quote page” is now complete!

Holiday History and Craft, January 2016

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