Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Preparations

I love this season of getting ready for Christmas. All the fun traditions, yet the freedom to change them if needed or wanted. When I was a little girl, every Christmas eve we had a "Christmas tree picnic" - a special meal eaten as a picnic by tree-light on the living room floor. Mike and I adapted the tradition to fit our own family, chosing to have our Christmas tree picnic on the night we set up the tree. Traditionally that has been the first Sunday in Advent.

Well, this year, we wanted to do things a little differently. Part of it was that I wanted to do the tree differently. We've had the same pink and white and gold theme for at least 15 years and to be honest, it was getting boring - to me at least. I wanted an old fashioned tree to fit our old fashioned house. So I convinced Mike to wait a little longer this year.

Meanwhile, I started felting popcorn. I wanted strings of popcorn and cranberries, but ones that could be made once and used year after year. So I got out my wool roving and picked off little bits, squishing and squashing them in warm soapy water until they turned into something that looked quite a bit like pieces of popcorn. It was kind of fun - but slow. Each piece of popcorn needed to be squished for 5 - 10 minutes. At the end of the first evening's work, I had 30 pieces of popcorn. Only about 300 some more to go at least. LOL

I think Mike was watching me felting away and was beginning to realize it would probably be next year before the tree went up! One night he came home with a huge bag of foam bits (meant for stuffing) and some pretty red beads. They look remarkably like popcorn if you don't look too close. Within an hour or so, we had 3 six foot strands of popcorn and cranberries ready to go on the tree! It was wonderful!

I strung the felted popcorn I had done with some beads and made one strand which I put on top of the piano. As Mike pointed out, if I just do a few pieces of popcorn a night, I could have close to 1000 pieces felted and ready to go for next year.

So that opened up the possibility of getting the tree set up and decorated. Hooray! We have several birthdays to work around in December plus our anniversary, so we decided to set it up on Saturday - the 5th. The kids and I made candy canes and gingerbread men from sculpey and painted them. My son, Jeremi glued tinfoil to paper and made origami stars. I *love* how they turned out! I switched out my old precious moments angel tree topper that I bought when I was about 16 years old, for a pretty more old fashioned looking star. I really wanted candles. I've always been fascinated with the old pictures I've seen of Christmas trees with candles on them. My friend Chautona helped me find a place online to order strings of lights that look like old fashioned candles! Way cool! We decided to do as my parents did and have the picnic part of it on Christmas Eve this year.
Now there's the cookies and carols and all the presents to make. :) Our family tradition is to do a homemade Christmas. All the gifts must be homemade. It gets gloriously overwhelming at the last minute - sometimes simplifying the grandiose plans we made at the beginning, and even once in a while putting an IOU under the tree, but nobody minds. It's so much fun to create something made specially to bless that precious person. Here's one I'm working on right now. (My little girls don't read my blog, so I'm safe) ;) It's a tiny little fairy doll that fits into a mini altoid tin. I plan to decorate the tin too. I also made some little gnome and flower fairy people for my Emilie like the ones at weefolkart.com . They are so CUTE.

I am so looking forward to Christmas Eve when our youngest child will put baby Jesus into the manger in the Nativity scene and we'll read Luke 2 and open all the wonderful homemade presents and have our Christmas tree picnic.
What a glorious time of year!!!!!!!!!


  1. What wonderful memories you are making with your children and how blessed each of you are to be in such a loving, caring family.

  2. Oh I LOVE those candle lights on the tree! Those are adorable!

  3. Heidi,

    If you get around to it, I would love to see a tutorial for the little altoid tin dolls. My 5-year-old just saw it. Her face lit up and she exclaimed, "Oh Mama, I love that little doll."

    Tina (from HK)

  4. Sounds wonderful, warm, and cozy. Love the idea of all homemade-the tree picnic too! Enjoy!

  5. Also--was reading your side bar...God is indeed good! You are in my prayers.

  6. Your tree looks beautiful. Hope you are feeling well.