By Carolyn Tomlin
Contributing Columnist, B&R
Remember when your family made the traditional trip to the meadows and woods in search of that perfect Christmas tree? Or, you cut armloads of holly, pine, and cedar to bring the scent of winter holidays into your home? Perhaps you recall home made ornaments that held a special place on the cedar tree. This holiday season recapture the joys of making family memories while using greenery and seed pods from nature for decorations. Don’t stop with tree decorations — carry the designs to door wreaths, table centerpieces, and mailbox garlands.
As you find greenery and dried seed pods, think of numerous ways to use these as creative objects in your home.
Directions: Using a hammer, mash about two inches of the bottom stem (adult monitors this activity). Place in a bucket of warm water for several hours before arranging. By allowing the stems to absorb water, the greenery stays fresh for several days in a cool room or outdoors. This is especially important for a door wreath or mailbox garland. Practice fire safety by never allowing candles or a flame to be near greenery.
Tree decorations, left natural or sprayed with white, gold, or silver paint, make attractive ornaments. Use raffia or jute twine to attach to tree. A bit of greenery added to a Christmas present brings holiday cheer.
Cut citrus into round slices and place on a cookie sheet in a oven at 250 degrees for one hour. Punch a hole on one side and secure with a length of raffia or jute twine. Add as clusters to a door wreath or hang as a Christmas ornament. Punch whole cloves into the citrus for a fragrant holiday scent.
As part of each Christmas season, the Nativity scene should have a place of honor. As children place each character represented from the manger scene, explain how they were part of God’s plan in this miracle birth. Read the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-19.
As you work, get in the holiday spirit by singing Christmas carols and enjoying steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Invite neighbors to your home as a way to welcome in the season. You’ll discover natural greenery and dried materials turns your home into one that says Merry Christmas to family and friends. Plus, it’s a way to tell the Christmas story from Luke 2, make memories, and cherish this time together as a family.
— Tomlin writes for numerous Christian publications. She is the co-author of The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister. The book is available on Amazon and Kindle.