December 11th—14 days until Christmas—Tree Poem and Decoration

If you don’t already have your tree, you’ll probably be getting one soon.  My tree’s bright green beauty and its pungent pine smell inspired me to write this poem.

CHRISTMAS TREE

Wearing my gown

of ruffled green,

draped in necklaces

of sparking lights,

and jewels,

baubles and bells

that shimmer and sheen.

Day and night

I hold my pose,

arms spread wide,

icicle still,

so you can admire me—

your Christmas tree—

the grand dame

of December.

© Ann Whitford Paul

Remember the ribbon pillow pattern I shared last year?           005 (3)

The directions are here.

Well, I had leftover ribbon

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and made this tree.  DSCN0418 (2)

All you need is a Styrofoam tree shape, ribbon cut into roughly 1 and 1/2 inch strips.  Glue them on, starting at the bottom and moving up.  At the top add a fabric ball or anything your heart desires.  You’ll whip these up so quickly you might want to make more than one.

Hope you’re relaxed and enjoying a stress-free, love-filled holiday.

November 6th—49 days until Christmas—Last Advent Activity Suggestions

Here are my final suggestions.

  1. Go on a shape hunt in your house—rectangles, squares, circles, triangles. How many can you find?  How many are holiday related—Christmas tree is a triangle, circle wreaths, rectangle and square presents, etc.
  2. Write to a friend telling them how much he or she means to you.
  3. Make a list of all the things you’re grateful for.
  4.  Make decorations together for your Christmas Tree—out of pipe cleaners   DSCN0224 or buttons  DSCN0228 (2)  Here are the pipe cleaner directions.  And here are the button decoration directions.
  5.  Tie bright ribbons on your door knobs and bannisters.  012 (2)
  6.  Watch a favorite Christmas movie.  These are mine.  MIRACLE ON THIRTY-FOURTH STREET, HOME ALONE, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, or LOVE ACTUALLY.
  7.  Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
  8.  Clean out bookshelves and donate old books to library for used book sale.

Over the last several posts, I’ve given you well over twenty-five activity suggestions.  Pick your 25 favorite and put them in your bowl.  Then each morning pull out one.  Don’t be rigid about this.  If you’re having a busy day and the activity can’t be done, drop it back in and pull out another more doable one.  As the number of papers decrease, you and your family will see how fast Christmas is coming.  And what a fun time you’ll have together!

Join me for my nest post where we’ll talk about stars.

Keeping in Touch

       Just like Santa makes his list and checks it twice, it’s time to do that with your Christmas card list.  Are you planning to send them?  Have you bought them yet? 

No!  What are you waiting for?

Sending and receiving Christmas cards expresses the joy of holiday–of contacting loved ones and important people in our lives.  It’s a tradition worth continuing, although perhaps in a less manic manner.

Go over your list.  Your circle of friends changes over time.  People move.  Make sure, since cards and postage cost so much, you’re sending only to those people who truly matter to you.

Lucky me!  I don’t have to go shopping for a card this year.  Mine is a picture from the book about me, ‘TWAS THE LATE NIGHT OF CHRISTMAS.

 xmascardpix

I adore how that little boy is bopping his sister with his paddle ball.  Typical!  Inside the card says,

‘Tis the season . . .

Enjoy!!!

But you don’t need this card, because, if you’ve followed my suggestions thus far, you’re already feeling confident that you can enjoy the season.  In fact, you’ve already finished a good portion of your shopping.  Right????

When buying a card, I recommend checking out the collection at this web-site  www.cardsthatgive.org.  The site connects you to two hundred charitable organizations that offer cards and tribute cards to help fund their good works.  Whether your cause is animals, environment, health or education, they have cards for you.  Sending out their cards becomes not just a way to connect with friends, but also to help others.  That’s truly the Christmas spirit!

Perhaps you’ve decided to go the paperless, stampless route via the internet.  Cards that Give has them, too.

Do you have any helpful tips regarding cards?  Don’t keep them to yourself.

       In our next posting, November 18th, get ready for a Riot of Ribbons.

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I’ll have instructions for a fun, easy to make, ribbon pillow that will add a festive touch to any chair or sofa.  (Mr. Claus is grateful when he discovers a decorative pillow where he can take a short break on Christmas Eve Night.)  In addition to the pillow pattern, there will be links to other crafters in the blog world.  You’re sure to find something to make that strikes your fancy.  Hope to see you back here on Monday.

Until then, let’s all strive for a stress-free, love-filled Christmas . . .