Posts tagged ‘christmas’

Christmas Magic



Magic is real.

Saviour – the reason.

Giving – in need and fun.

Lights – glow and astound.

Advent – prepares our heart.

Cards – affectionate remembering.

Time  –  to ponder  . . . . . .  be with others.

Christmas magic is real, if we make it real.

How will you grab Christmas magic today?


NOTE: This post is for the WordPress writing 101 2 week poetry prompts. I don’t know if I will do this everyday, but at least I did day 1.


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From Sticks to Twig Christmas Tree

My apartment is small. My small dog is blind and doesn’t get around well because of his arthritis (and blindness). These combined facts make it difficult for me to have a traditional floor Christmas tree.

Add these two facts. (1) I am allergic to pine. (2) I don’t want to spend money on buying something since I already have plenty of nice looking artificial trees.

Then I came across this blog post about making a twig Christmas tree from At Home With K. This tree is displayed in a frame. It would be perfect for placing on my entertainment center in one of those frame holders.

Of course I did an Internet search to see how else a twig Christmas tree could be made. I found 2 other ideas.

  • I LIKE this 7 foot (or so?) wall mounted twig tree I found on The Art of Doing Stuff. I don’t have that much wall space. And to be so impressive it HAS to be this big! This project is definitely on my someday holiday to-do list. It uses free materials or things I have on hand. And it is off the floor so my dog would not run into it nor be tempted to pee on it.
  • And I am equally in-like with this hanging twig tree from Michele Made Me. The size is of this tree would be perfect to hang from the inside of my front door. The polka dots grabbed my attention. But I don’t have a drill so making this tree was postponed as I wanted to make a twig tree NOW.

So in the end I went with a style more like option 1.

Here’s how I made my tree.

Step 1. Grab a flashlight and scour the grounds around your home. I was able to find a nice pile of sticks due to a recent wind storm. Sorry no picture of the sticks.

Front of tree. Notice the different colours and textures.

Step 2. Choose a stick or two for the spine of the tree. Lay it on your work surface.

Step 3. Sort leftover sticks according to the thickness of the stick. I wanted the thicker ones to be on the bottom of the tree. Since I don’t have a saw or floral cutters either, if I couldn’t break the stick with my hands, it was discarded.

Step 4. Look for branches with unusual colorations like moss or unusual bumps. I think these details add texture and visual interest.

Step 5. Work from the bottom to the top, placing the sticks on top of the spine, breaking them to fit as needed.

Step 6. Once you like the look of it, hot glue it all together.

Back of tree. Notice the “planter box” that keeps the tree upright.

GLITCH in Progress. I made the tree too big to fit the frame I already had. I was going to cover the mat with burlap.

I held the completed twig tree up to my front door to see how it would look hanging there. Didn’t like that look.

Then it hit me: make my tree stand up! So I glued some sticks to the back of the bottom trunk to make a “planter.” I like how this is coming together.

Step 7. Glue on twine with the intent to make it into a garland.

Glitch TWO. After doing half the tree this way, I decided I did not like the look.

Step 8. Take off the twine garland.

Step 9. Go back outside with your flashlight and scour the ground for dingleberries and greenery with red berries. The dingleberries will be the ornaments  for the tree.

This twig tree is as perfectly at home decorating the planter box as on the entertainment centre.

Step 10. Paint the dingleberries with watered down acrylic paints. I really like how these turned out.

NOTE: Apparently my family is the only one who calls these (former) seed pods “dingleberries.” A friend, Lorna, confirmed my Google search:  not even one hit for this term. She said they are called gum tree balls. Her family calls them “spiny balls.”

Step 11. Hot glue the “sweet gum ornaments” onto the tree with springs of leaves with their red berries. (I have no idea what these are called.)

Step 12. Admire. Take a bunch of photos; post them to Facebook so others can admire your work. Make said photo your profile picture.

Step 13. Take off all the glue strings in preparation for spraying sealer all over your creation, front and back (Krylon or polyurethane). I am hoping this will preserve the fresh leaves and berries.

Step 14. Put finished Christmas Twig Tree in a place of honour!

Your Turn . . . Share photos and comments about trees and other Christmas decorations you have made.

Related Posts . . . 

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Christmas in July: 13 Things to Do By Mid October

Yes, the weather outside IS frightful and not from the cold or snow. A heat wave, poor ozone layer, and smokey haze have me bunkered down at home. Some retail stores (like Harrod’s Christmas World) are getting ready to launch their Christmas line.

Go here to view Harrod’s 2007 Christmas Parade. While normally this wouldn’t appeal. Today it does. Doesn’t it just get you ready for Christmas chores?

I ‘ve made a Christmas check off list of things I can do this summer.

  1. Start buying stamps. Get out Christmas cards – I bought some last year on clearance. Put stamps on envelopes.
  2. Input all my addresses in a label program.
  3. 3.  Print address labels & return address labels. Put the labels on the envelopes.
  4. 4.  Watch a Christmas movie while putting on labels. Perhaps, White Christmas or The Polar Express.
  5. 5.  Start working on handmade Christmas presents. Tangled Thread  has this very same idea about starting Christmas presents in July Challenge.
  6. Plan Christmas card for CNC women. Write letter and address envelopes.
  7. Pick 3 cookie recipes. Put on calendar when I will make these. Buy ingredients for the recipes. Should I participate in a cookie swap?
  8. Plan Christmas Day Meal. Plan what to buy and make ahead. Put on calendar.
  9. Make a gift buying list. Start buying the gifts. Wrap pressies as they come into the house.
  10. 10. Make Christmas wreath. Contact Geri for help.
  11. 11. Advent Preparations – Check with Google to see when the first Sunday of Advent is. Find wreath, candles, and devotional.
  12. 12. Prepare Christmas letter. Print. Fold. Stuff in envelopes. Watch another Christmas movie. What  would you suggest?
  13. Organize Christmas photo with me, Chip and the kiddos. Print. Put into envelopes.

Just think how much easier Christmas will be, if I actually finish this list before November.

Do you ever do Christmas “chores” in the Summer or Fall?  What Christmas things would you like to accomplish in the next 90 days? By say, October 17, 2008.

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A Christmas Tale of Two Families

Excited shrieks reverberated throughout the downstairs as the children discovered the mounds of gifts under the tree. The tree, decorated with blinking lights, seemed to catch the excitement of the moment as each blink echoed the children’s cries, “It’s Christmas. It’s Christmas.”

Christmas 1996 was a magical slice of time for my family and I in CO.

Hysterical shrieks reverberated throughout the house as the parents discovered the empty bedroom of their 6 year old beauty queen. Later her broken, violated body was discovered in the basement where Christmas gifts were stored. Their tree, decorated with blinking lights, seemed to catch the hysteria of the moment as each blink echoed the mother’s heart-broken cry, “It’s Christmas. It’s Christmas.”*

Christmas 1996 was a never-ending nightmare for the Ramsey family in CO.

After a nightmare decade of dead-ends, wrongful accusations, and a never-ending speculative press, an arrest was made today in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Patsy, JonBenet’s mother, knew about the probability of this arrest in June before she died from ovarian cancer.

Snuggle and Pray
Back then as I heard the reports that haunted the news on that 1996 Christmas day, I snuggled my children often. And I prayed for the family. Today my children are not near enough or young enough to snuggle (without extreme protest). But I can still call and let them know of my love.

And I can still pray. Won’t you do the same?

I know nothing about the Benet family’s and friends’ religious convictions. But I have to ask, and I’m sure you have too, “How can anyone survive something like this without Christ?”

Unfair times, bad times, horrific times do occur, but there is a strong comfort and strength in the knowledge that nothing will separate me (or my children) from the saving love and grace that only God (through the Messiah) can give.

Do you know that saving grace? Do your children? If not, please take care of that here, here or here.

You never know when your last breath, or theirs, will be.

* This is a fictionalized account of that time frame. I have no knowledge of what was really said.

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60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

The Finish Date.

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