Christmas Decorations

JillofallNovember 1, 2007

I suppose most people do this, but last year I discovered that I could prune my evergreens right before the holidays and use the branches for most of my holiday greenery. I even bought a bunch of red apples to decorate with which I ate after the festivities were over. The branches and apple cores can go right into the compost bin when I'm finished. --Kris

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Yep - done that! And the smell is wonderful, not from a bottle!
My nephew made angels in school one year from bow macaroni for wings, long macaroni for body and a wooden head. Awfully cute - I'm thinking of making some this year for the tree. Not expensive and all ages can do this together.

Here is a link that might be useful: Macaroni angels

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 7:17PM
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Another inexpensive idea: I collect pine cones and make my own cinnamon scented pine cones, which cost so much at the stores. I fill the planters close to our front door with them, now that the plants have been removed, and the fregrance greets everyone walking up to the door all winter long.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 7:52PM
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How do you make cinnamon scented pinecones to hold the fragrance?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 9:33PM
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I had an artificial Christmas tree that was gettingb old,the plastic needles were falling off. I took it apart and cut the branches into nice lengths and twistted them to form decorations, wreaths and boughs for around doors, windows, and woven through stair rails.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 6:13PM
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To make cinnamon pinecones (I got the recipe off the internet):

Spread pine cones on foil-covered cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for one hour. This will kill any critters that might be in there.

When cool place in a heavy plastic bag and sprinkle well with the Cinnamon Oil Scent. Seal tightly and let set for about four weeks.

If you are using the pinecones outside and aren't worried about any "critters", just stick dry pinecones in a plastic bag and sprinkle with Cinnamon Oil Scent. Allow to sit for a few weeks to absorb the scent.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 8:13AM
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Grainlady, just curious, would putting them in a plastic bag in the freezer accomplish the same thing (for the critter control) or is there a preference to baking? I always do this when I buy flour, sugar, pasta, etc that isn't sealed in plastic.

jannie, that gave me a chuckle! I'm so used to the idea of having an artificial tree so they don't shed! It just struck me funny. I see how it happens, though. Just never thought about it much.

I have a pair of lamps that have 3 "Christmas light" bulbs in the base exposed through beveled glass. When I'm in the mood for a little festivity, I put in red and green christmas bulbs for a little color. Never thought of it until now, but could use green for St. Pat's day if I were into that... Red, white & blue for the 4th, and paint some black and orange for halloween perhaps....

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 7:02AM
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cynic - It makes sense that freezing would work to "kill critters". It's really only important if you are going to use these in the house. I put them outside so it's not so critical. -Grainlady

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 1:58PM
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Well, I'm going for a walk today to get my pinecones! Thanks Grainlady - I love the cone idea!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:34AM
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There's a giant pine in my next door neighbor's yard. Every fall I pick up the pinecones that blow on my side. Now I'll have a use for them!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 11:54AM
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Thanks for the pinecone idea. My neighbor has a huge tree and I'm going to try it especially for out in front!!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 12:13PM
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Pine cones are excellent decorations that can be found for free in most gardens or parks. Many years ago we made a lot of tree decorations by attaching a wire hook to the top of each cone, and then painting the edges with clear glue and sprinkled them with white glitter to resemble snow. I've since seen similar items in shops, but they're cheap and fun to make yourself.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 4:31PM
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Another 'useful' holiday decoration--I put some nuts (in their shells) and clementines in a decorative bowl.

I always make a gingerbread house, as well--even if we don't eat it, the birds like it. Think this year, I'll do a log cabin (pretzel logs) with a stone foundation (mixed nuts) and a thatched roof (triscuits)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 11:23AM
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Azzalea, our family could not imagine a Christmas without a bowl of nuts and a bowl of fruit. It is a tradition for us.

Your log cabin sounds so cute. Please post a picture somewhere when you finish. We want to see :)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 2:38PM
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I just did a lot of grocery store decoration shopping. My home is decorated in a southwestern style, and winter solstice is no exception. So I just came back from the local food lion, which has a lot of Hispanic patrons, with 4 bags of dried chili peppers and 3 bags of stick cinnamon to make wreaths and riastras, and to intermingle with my free freshly-pruned greens. I am also in the process of making many paper flowers, a tradional Mexican craft. I also have luminarias, otherwise known as cheap paper bags with a votive candle inside. I made a banner of papel picado (cut paper) last year out of tissue paper. Outside I have my Solstice tree, which is a dwarf alberta spruce in the garden next to my house. I spoon peanut butter onto pinecones, roll them in bird seed, and hang them from the tree for the birds and squirrels. Plus it's hours of entertainment for my dogs looking out the window. I tried stringing popcorn on that tree, but it is way too humid here.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 3:36PM
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You can also do the luminarias in gallon veggie cans (that I get from the school cafeteria dumpster:^). I use an awl to punch a design of holes in the sides, put garden sand in the bottom and use candles that I have made from old candle stubs (that my church tosses). They are really pretty since the inside of the can is brass colored!!
If you put your boxwood clippings into wet sand to make outside decos, they will root if you keep the sand wet!!! Makes for pretty topiaries for beside the front doors, etc.. If you want them a particular shape, just use wet Oasis instead of can be cut to any shape and will retain the design.
You can make cinnamon dough ornaments for your Christmas Tree...they smell lovely during the Christmas season, and then can be used all year for in the cabinets and storage areas.

The recipe that I use is

1/2 cup ground cinnamon,
1/3 cup applesauce, and
1 Tbs. Tacky glue
Mix in bowl and stir until well blended. Work mixture in hands for three minutes to form a ball. If it is too dry, add applesauce, if too wet, add more cinnamon. Knead ball on cinnamon-sprinkled surface until it holds togehter well. I roll this out and use cookie cutters for the shapes. I also use a drinking straw to cut a hanging hole. These can be air dried for 24 to 48 hours. Turn several times. They can also be baked in a slow oven.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 1:14PM
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You can also get free greenery from the christmas tree lot at one of the big box stores. They just chunk it into the dumpster, so they're happy to have you take it for free.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 10:11PM
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