Saturday, December 22, 2007

Making Cinnamon Ornaments

One of our favorite advent activities was making cinnamon ornaments. We made enough to give as gifts to family and friends. Here is the recipe we used:
Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments
Fill your house with the delightful scent of cinnamon! These homemade Christmas ornaments make wonderful gifts for everyone on your Christmas list, and they're very easy to make. You can even use different cookie cutters to make other shapes (like hearts for Valentine's Day) to be used throughout your home all year long!

1 c. ground cinnamon (cheap at the dollar store)
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 c. applesauce
2 T. Tacky or Elmer's white glue
Cookie cutters
Paint, if desired for decorating (fabric paint works great!)
Red, green or white ribbon

Combine first 5 ingredients until stiff dough forms, kneading well with hands. Roll dough out onto cinnamon dusted surface, about 1/4-inch thick, then cut with desired cookie cutter shapes such as teddy bears, hearts, Christmas trees, snowflakes, stars, candy canes, gingerbread boy (or girl), angels, etc...

Lay ornaments on a sheet of waxed paper and cut a small hole in the top (a plastic straw works well), then put in a safe place for drying. Depending on how dry your home is, it can take about 2-4 days for the ornaments to dry completely (or Bake ornaments on cooling rack in oven set at 150-200 degrees for 2 hours.)

Other comments or suggestions to consider:
I think some people "freshen" their ornaments with a bit of spicy essential oil after years of use. Remember that cinnamon can "cloud" when shaken or stirred, especially in large quantities, so adults should mix, letting kids help in other areas. Don't let anyone rub their eyes while working with the dough!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Festivities

The kids were done with school on December 6th, so we've had lots of time together to do fun holiday activities. I made an advent calendar with mini muffin tins that has magnetic doors. Behind the doors I've been placing a small treat and a note with a new holiday activity. Here are some of the things we've been doing:

  • Decorating a gingerbread house
  • Setting up the nativity scene and reading the nativity story
  • Attending the neighborhood horse-drawn carriage ride
  • Reading Santa Mouse and having a mouse hunt
  • Attending the Parker Carriage Parade
  • Making cinnamon applesauce ornaments
See more pictures here!