The Christmas of 2010, after we realized that our beloved decorations were still in the basement in Maine, we started over, thinking it was a temporary arrangement. My mother-in-law lent us her ornament tub (which is STILL in our basement), my brother gave us his spare tree, and my mom bought us 700 lights to help us restart our holiday collection. However, there was no way we could add enough of our own ornaments to decorate a 7 foot Christmas tree, unless we got creative, so that is exactly what we did.
Our new Christmas traditions, 3 years later are still fun, and we still do them. In fact, the kids ask about them, so I know, at least for now, they are here to stay. We always start our Christmas crafts the Friday after Thanksgiving. Scott normally works, so the kids are home that day. It’s a fun way to kick-off the Christmas season, while waiting for Scott to get off of work so we can decorate.
It’s the easiest recipe:
1 cup of applesauce and 1.5 cups of cinnamon. Mix it together to make a dough. Roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to make your shapes. Poke a hole through the top and let the ornaments dry for 24 hours. If they are still wet after 24 hours, you can put them in the oven at 200 until they are dry. Add some ribbon and hang them on your tree. If you store them in a plastic bag, and are careful with how you pack them away, they work for more than one year.
It’s an easy way to kick off the Christmas season, and the kids can do most of the work independently. This year, I entrusted the measuring and the mixing to the kids, while I did some cleaning, needless to say, it wasn’t our best batch. Some years, they look better than others, but they are always made by us and are always special.
The best part for me, is that EVERY year, one or both of the kids beg to have a taste of the dough. It makes sense, cinnamon applesauce is delicious, but they refuse to understand the ratios are MUCH different. So every year, I tell them to go for it. The looks on their faces is priceless, and I will probably sad the year they finally remember that the dough is NOT for eating.
While our tree is not fancy, it is our tree, and each item has been selected out of love.