Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Tree Potpourri

It's about that time
Soon we will begin taking down the Christmas tree
I'm so sad to see so many artificial trees in homes, lifeless, smell-less, dull...
nothing for later
You get the picture, I like the forest best.
Save a bit of that beautiful tree with this Potpourri
It makes a nice gift for next year, just date it 2009 Christmas tree,
something to spark a good 2010 Christmas celebration.
Christmas tree Potpourri
Collect 2 cups of your Christmas trees small outer branches
Be sure to cut them into small bits 2" or so
The peel from 2 oranges, just peel, cut into 1/8 " strips
and lay out to dry
1/2 Cup Bay leaves
3 tablespoons Lavender buds
3 Tablespoons dried cloves
2 tablespoons of orris root tossed with 6 drops of spice oil (you have many choices here, fragrance oils to essential oils, I like a little clove leaf eo and a little cinnamon leaf eo)
You need to let the ingredients dry completely. Once my tree and oranges are dry I put them in a clean jar and save it until next year. Open and shake from time to time.
If they aren't dry they mold
Around Oct I mix in the other ingredients and return it to the jar to age until Christmas,
Open and stir every week.
You can make this recipe as large as your Christmas tree can provide! You can mix all ingredients now, cure for a month shaking each few days and then storing in and airtight container.
Jars of potpourri make wonderful gifts!
NOTE: you can cut what ever part of the tree you want but no one needs the big branches so stick with the needle bundles. No need to cut the needles themselves. But when you put out your mix, in a glass bowl or pretty bag, be sure and press it with you hand to release the smell of the needles.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The little things that make Christmas happy

I finally got the table cleared of craft projects and Christmas cards and bits of the babies who had visited. Now the yearly puzzle takes over the table.
We love a good puzzle.
Not only does it brings us together to work out a problem area but it allows
us each a moments stress relief.
My mind loves to go deeply into a problem that has no stakes to it. It provides rest from worries and a challenge I can enjoy. This is one of the little things about Christmas that we really enjoy.
I know they make family puzzles with bigger pieces so that all ages can join in.
It draws families to a location like nothing can, and encourages conversation in a causal way. There are many little things that I love about this season.
Sitting in my rocking chair just looking at the ornaments quietly.
So many are from the hands of my children now adults raising their own children. What makes you happy at this time of year?
Set aside the stress you may feel and think for a moment of what makes you smile at this time.
Here is one ornament that always makes me smile.
No it's not on the tree but when our son, (oldest kiddo) made it in grade school
he made it to be a Christmas ornament for the tree.
I can brag at what a good artist he is as he is paid to produce art every day
but back then it was the beginnings of creative thought.
He made a family tree with a likeness of each family member and their hobby beside them.
I don't remember what we are sitting in on the tree, hopefully he will tell us
and also tell us what grade he made this masterpiece in.
I think I'll share an ornament or two in the next few days.
It will give my family a smile too.