We love Christmas around here!
And we really try to keep things simple and not blow our budget.
One of our favorite Christmas activities is making our own ornaments for the tree. It usually takes several weeks, with all these tiny helping hands that are still learning! We try to have fun, enjoy ourselves and (mostly importantly) not rush.
Christmas music and lots of breaks for treats and reading Christmas books helps tremendously! Of course, we have the usual sentimental favorites (ornaments given by close friends/relatives to commemorate a birth, marriage, special family vacation) that go on the tree each year, but the rest are mostly homemade.
Some years we change things up a bit but cinnamon dough ornaments are always on our list of ornaments. Not only are they fun to make, they make the whole house smell like Christmas all season long!
Cinnamon sticks are also great for making ornaments that smell amazing! If we are in more of a hurry we just bundle them up and stick them on the tree. Some years we have taken more time and used the glue gun and paint to make cinnamon stick Santas.
We also always have some type of dehydrated fruit, usually apple or citrus, on our tree. We always try to use something different than the year before. And we try different shapes too, sometimes using slices and other times the whole fruit.
Several years ago I bought an assortment of nuts and painstakingly drilled holes into them, failing at about half the attempts, to insert hooks. Then, I covered them in gold leaf. These took too much time to make every year but they’ve lasted for several years so far!
We also enjoy brainstorming a list of words that best captures the spirit of Christmas for our family that particular year. Then, I cut large ribbon into sections and paint one of our words on each piece. Words like peace, goodwill, joy…
This year we are trying a cranberry and popcorn garland. It’s been pretty messy so far but yummy too!
When our crafting is complete, we celebrate with a tree decorating party! We always play our favorite Christmas tunes and have cookies, hot chocolate and popcorn. Everyone chips in on the decorating, even the youngest. While it might not be a fancy tree, it’s a real family effort and we always have a blast!
This picture is from the first year we decided to try a homemade Christmas tree. We now add so many more ribbons, silver and gold bells, and grapevine or burlap garlands. Even though it’s probably the least photogenic of all of our trees, it’s been my favorite one so far!
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Does your family have any special Christmas tree related traditions? Do you have any ideas or suggestions for ornament making? I’d love to hear anything you’ve tried or want to try! Thanks for stopping by!