Christmas Decorating and Crafts

Posted On October 21, 2006

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CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS > “Good to Eat & Good to Look Upon” > From “The Delineator” December 1901.

“Kris Kringle, that jolly little fellow with his eight tiny reindeer and sleighful of toys, must have had some Christmas trees tied on the back of his sleigh, for he would not have had the heart to leave them behind when he knew how much the girls and boys enjoy the sparkling, glittering trees all laden with holiday gifts.”

“Sometimes the young people do not wait for Santa Claus to bring the tree, but hie away to the woods and secure one themselves days before Christmas, that they may have the sport of decorating it with their pretty home-made ornaments; and the girls and boys are wise, for it is always best, if possible, to  cut one’s own Christmas tree. They can bind the branches to the trunk to keep them from breaking, tie the tree on a sled or a hand wagon, and drag the fascinating burden home, as in olden times the people with merry laughter and song were wont to bring home the famous Yule log. In whatever way the tree is procured, make your own ornaments and decorate the tree with the aid of brothers and sisters or young friends.”

“Most of the ideas given are for a daytime Christmas tree where lights are not used. If candles are employed, no paper festoons can be on the tree. But why use lights? They are always dangerous, and the tree can be so brilliant without them.”

POPCORN BALLS > “Pop-corn balls look tempting on a Christmas tree. They are easy to make, a safe ornament when the tree is to be lighted with candles, and they taste very good, indeed. Have the fire clear and hot, with no flames, and put in the popper at one time only enough corn to cover the bottom a single kernel deep; shake the popper constantly while the corn is over the fire until it has all popped. Then boil one-quarter of a cupful of molasses with a little sugar until it hardens in the water,  remove from the fire before it turns brittle and pour it over two quarts of corn. Mix well and make into balls about the size of lemons, suspend the sweet, white ornaments from the twigs, and use the remaining corn for a different decoration. String a lot of the flower-like kernels with a large needle and strong thread, loop the strands from branch to branch, and the snowy ropes will lighten up the foliage beautifully (Fig. 20).”  FROM: “CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS, Good to Eat & Good to Look Upon”. From “The Delineator” December 1901.

ORANGE BASKETS > “Yellow is a color which stands out well in the midst of the dark-green foliage of the fir, and oranges are near enough the hue to be used with advantage. A few may be hung to the tree by means of ribbons; others can be made into pretty little baskets and filled with the candied sections of orange. Tie a piece of tape or any kind of band around an orange as a guide to cutting the rind evenly; stick  tow pins on each side to designate the location then, with the small blade of a knife carefully cut the handle, keeping it the same width all the way from side to side. Next cut the rind along the edge of the tape (Fig. 7). Remove the skin, in bits if necessary, to avoid any likelihood of tearing the handle or edge of the basket. Work the inside juicy fruit free from the remaining rind and take it out of the basket.  If there is difficulty in doing this, cut the fruit out in pieces, that the basket may be saved from breaking (Fig.8). Pass a narrow ribbon around under the basket and up over the handle. Tie the ends, then bind them around under and over the middle of the handle, finishing with a bow-knot on top. The ribbon strengthens the handle, and without it the weight of the basket when hung on the tree would cause it to break from  the handle and fall. Fill the orange basket with sections of the fruit, which have received a brittle coating by being dipped in clear, hot, home-made sugar candy (Fig. 9).” FROM: “CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS, Good to Eat & Good to Look Upon”. From “The Delineator” December 1901.

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