Christmas is on its way and in around a month the race will be on to get our houses decorated in the most Christmassy combination of silver, gold, red and green imaginable. Or do you prefer less traditional colours? No matter what you like, Christmas decorations are a huge part of Christmas tradition in many homes, and making your own decorations could be the perfect year to set yourself apart from the rest, this year. Why don’t you have a look at these special ways to make your own pretty decorations and enjoy that extra dimension in family togetherness?
Children love being involved in decorating the house for Santa’s visit, and in my house they are put in charge of decorating the tree (with heavy supervision for my 3-year-old, who would otherwise be responsible for heavy losses among the more delicate decorations!). Of course, this means our tree looks more garish than it otherwise might, but it’s an invaluable part of proceedings for him and to us – as his misguided parents – nothing says Christmas like seeing him excitedly dancing about the tree, throwing tinsel hither and yon and giggling madly to himself as he instructs his brother to pop another bauble in the lower right quadrant. But when it comes to making Christmas decorations, his contributions are by necessity limited. Or are they?
Popcorn strands are very common on the other side of the Atlantic, and they are a great way for children to take part. With a large needle (a cross-stitching one is great) and some string (or embroidery floss in Christmassy colours) you can use the popcorn as beads to make a beautiful string of popped corn kernels. With watercolours you can easily colour them a variety of Christmassy shades – it may be easiest to do this beforehand, let them dry, and then slide them onto the string in question. These home-made garlands look surprisingly better than they sound like they will, and can be draped around the tree or hung from your interior decorations – the sky is the limit! Just be sure, if you hang them outside, that they aren’t painted with anything toxic as birds may wish to partake of them as well!
A Continental tradition that can’t be beaten for cuteness and usability is the miniature Christmas wreath. These are small biscuits, shaped like circles and decorated however you like (melted chocolate covered in colourful sprinkles are popular but whatever you fancy works) which are baked, decorated and then hung in the tree by fancy ribbons. Be prepared for your children to steal them and beg for them – you may need to freeze some of the dough so you can have some more around the actual holiday. But with your children’s help you can have some beautifully decorated treats that cheer up the tree – or baking alone you could well end up with some gorgeous, tasty biscuits. Any crisp biscuit recipe will work for this, and you’re best off using a piping bag to form circles with a hole in the centre. Be aware that your dough may expand whilst baking, which will obviously shrink the hole!
Making Christmas decorations can seem like an intimidating idea, but if you get the right idea and execute one plan at a time it can be the perfect way to bring family togetherness into your seasonal celebrations early on in the proceedings. Enjoy and have a great time decorating!