Ornaments from heart and garden

Kelly Heidbreder
Kelly Heidbreder

Bah Humbug!

Sometimes it can be tough to get into the true meaning of Christmas when we are bustling from store to store to complete our lists, rushing to the office and family parties, and white-knuckling it through the slippery roads. Today is the day we are going to turn off all of the busy distractions and turn on the spirit of the season. Let’s make some Christmas magic.


Simple ornaments

Everyone has a family-themed Christmas tree around the house. If not, then you need to make one. I have a lot of fun with sheets of copper or aluminum. You can find rolls of the thin material at your favorite craft store. Carefully roll it out on a thin towel or piece of cardboard. This will prevent scratches on your counter top or table.

This material is easy to work with. Trace your child’s hand and cut it out and put it on. Use the handle end of a small paint brush or stylis to write their his or name and age. Puncture a small hole in the end and hang it on the tree. Find one of your favorite cookie cutters, like a simple star. Fold the copper foil in half and trace around the star so you will have a two-sided design. Unfold it and cut an X into the center of it, carefully folding back each triangle to reveal a square in the center of one side of the star. Use this as a frame and fill it with faces of people you love.

These make great decorations for your Christmas packages too. Look for pictures of the kids when they were in kindergarten, or fun memories they will enjoy. You will start a tradition for their tree.


Simple trees

It is easy to make a sparkly Christmas tree that doesn’t drop its needles or need to be watered every day. Bundle up and dig around in the garden shed. Pull out a couple of your tomato cages and a couple strings of lights and we can get to work.

Clean the tomato cage and turn it upside down so the hoop is on the bottom. You can already see the basic shape of a tree. Now it just needs a little help to tie it all together. Green zip strips work well for this. Once it is shaped like a cone, wrap it with light gauge chicken wire. Green wire works best to keep the form a uniform color.

Dig around the yard and find some of your leftover evergreen boughs such as white pine, spruce, juniper, and boxwood. Stuff them in the holes of the chicken wire. Once it is filled, the next layer is the lights. Wrap it with lights, starting at the top of the tree and working your way to the bottom, leaving the plug end of the cord exposed under the cone. This will make it easy to plug in once you are done. Now, you can add some colorful touches such as holly, pine cones, branches of berries, and brightly colored bows.


Traditions start now

How’s that? Share more than boxes and bows. Share a handshake, a pat on the back, a hug, and a memory. You will feel the spirit of Christmas tingle from the top of your head to the tip of your toes when their eyes fill with tears as they see the picture of their favorite puppy, or toothless grin.

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