Decorating a Christmas tree is a fun event that can involve the entire family. By creating homemade decorations, it can involve the family even more. A night spent making ornaments could be the moment when an heirloom is created, or at least a family memory.
Ask the artists in the family to draw small pictures on cardstock. Then, glue round toothpicks to the edge and overlap them at the corners in log cabin style. Build a few layers to create a frame around the pictures, and loop some ribbon through the top to hang.
Make a photo tree by using copies of your family photos, preferably head shots. Collect bottle tops from bottles of Snapple or similar packaging. Paint the caps in festive colors or add glitter to the backs. Leave the inside of the caps alone. Use the cap as a template to cut out the photos so they fit inside the caps. Then, coat the inside with a thin layer of glue and place the photo inside. Glue some ribbon to the top of the cap to hang.
Plan ahead for next year and collect souvenirs from a family vacation for the holiday tree. Collect shells and hot glue ribbon to them to hang them from the tree. Another option is to purchase the empty ornaments sold at a craft store for filling. Then, while on vacation, gather a small cup of sand for your ornament (store it in a plastic water bottle for transport.) Other souvenirs can be added to the ornaments such as ticket stubs or foreign coins.
Stock the kitchen table with paint, white glue, scraps of wrapping paper, and other small craft pieces. Add a plastic bowl filled with white glue and a few paintbrushes. Last, set out a dozen or so ping-pong balls with a small eye hook screwed into each. Then, bring in the family. Each person should decorate a ball in whatever fashion he/she likes. Coating a ball with white glue and torn pieces of scrap paper creates a decoupage design.
Try decorating an outdoor pine tree this year and give a feast to the outdoor animals. Bring the family outside and use only edible decor. Popcorn can be strung into garland or it could be "glued" onto apples with peanut butter. Oranges simply need to be hung to add color to the tree, and apples add even more variety. Corn cobs are a favorite of wild animals, and they can hang from the tree or be fashioned together in star and snowflake shapes.
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