It was a beautiful day to hunt down and bag our Christmas tree!


We ended up going with the widest tree we’ve ever had. M has named it “Plumpy.” The girls found the tree and I was skeptical but unwilling to quash their enthusiasm. “That one’s really nice, girls, ” I said. “Did you see the two that Dad and I saw? Or what about that one over there? . . . Or. . . .” Nope. They had their tree. It’s going to be a little bit difficult to open our front door for the next few weeks, but you know, whatever.

Now it’s decorated, the stockings are hung, we’ve polished off a bottle of prosecco and two bottles of sparkling juice, and the girls are hunkered down in front of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Hooray.

Over the weekend, J and I attended not one, but two crafting sessions.

On Friday, it was  the elementary school crafting night. I said that I’d help at one of the craft tables, but I couldn’t be extra-early. You know what that means, right? As volunteers arrive, they  I could only arrive, gravitate to crafts that are (1) adorable or (2) easy or, ideally, both. Those of us who arrive late get crafts that are slightly less adorable and/or high-maintenance. Considering my arrival time, my assigned craft wasn’t too bad: dream catchers. Okay, yes, there was quite a bit of tying, but neither glue nor sparkles, so that rocks. And I thought the craft was pretty cute. Here’s what we used:


Our superb volunteer organizer had already done quite a bit of prep work. She’d cut the middles out of paper plates, punched holes into them, and tied a little ribbon loop to the top. So we had literally stacks of the prepped plates, plus tons of feathers, beads, and rainbow yarn. We could have used from scissors–I swiped a pair from another table and everyone did a good job with sharing.

To make the dream catcher, the kids just tied one end of yarn to one of the punched holes, like so. . .



And then went across the paper plate and poked the yarn through another hole, then moved over one hole to pull the yarn back out. . .




. .  .  and then they kept going back and forth until they’d gone to all the holes. Huh. Now that I’m writing this, I’m realizing that my sample would have looked better if I’d gone straight across and looped once over the right in that first move above. Well, whatever. Also, our kids generally ran out of string before they ran out of holes, and then panic would ensue, but really, they just needed another piece of string. Once they’d strung hither, thither, and yon, they tied their string to keep it secure. Then I’d have them hold the plate by the hanging loop so that they could figure out where the bottom was, and we’d take a shorter piece of yarn and make a “U,” putting each end through one of the bottom two holes.


Then they added a few beads to one of the ends of yarn and tied the yarn around a feather or two, then repeated with the other end of yarn (trimming it if it was too long).


Then, ta-da! They were ready to catch some dreams!


On Saturday, it was our church’s Homemade Holidays event, and my favorite new craft were paper sphere ornaments that the organizer had prepared after finding it on Martha Stewart’s website. I often expect Martha to be way too complicated, but once in a while she has a real gem, and this craft is simple and elegant. You need paper that you cut into strips (she suggests cards, but I think we used scrapbook stock, and it worked out great), a hole punch, and paper fasteners.

Start with paper cut into strips with holes punched on each end. Stack them up so that the patterned sides are all facing the same way, and then  use a paper fastener to attach them together on each end.



At our craft station, we were using little pieces of pipe cleaner to make hanging loops, but I think I’d like a bit of thread or an inconspicuous hook better. Once both ends are attached, you can just gently pull the strips apart into a sphere shape. If it’s not pretty easy to do, you just have to loosen the paper fasteners.


Look how cute!


We just put these on the tree, and they looked even prettier with the lights–someone settled the pink one so that a pink light happened to settle inside, and it made the interior glow. So that we took the yellow one and set it on a yellow light on purpose, and the overlapping paper makes a pretty star shadow. And when it’s time to put them away, we can put them back into little stacks of paper so that they won’t get crushed.

Oh! Here’s a link to my tv appearance.

If you’re looking for more holiday crafts, I have links on this page.


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