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Christmas Ornaments


 I had a hard choice to make.  Either I could get this blog up before Christmas so it would be timely fun for all, or I could spend the week playing Monopoly and Crazy 8’s with all the family visiting.  If you are looking at the date this was posted then I guess you already know I made the selfish choice, so hang on to this idea another 12 months so I don’t feel so bad, eh?

For Christmas Stephen and I like to entertain ourselves with a homemade ornament. It’s not about pretty, so if your tree has to look like it belongs in Macy's, then perhaps you can add a suction cup to your string and let it be window art.   We like to hang our polymer clay ornaments along with the pretty store bought ones.  As we pull them out we read them and remember the good times of previous years. 

                                               One year we made a circle that said Stephen's brother Aaron bought his first car, his sister Nikki was in the Honor academy and Stephen had a week long sleep over in Albuquerque NM.  Wow, what a year.   
Then another that reminds us that Nikki was off in the Navy, and Aaron was in Az and Stephen went to Disney World.  

This year with so many people spending the holiday with us, we were especially excited to memorialize our moments together, so first thing we did when we woke up- you know, at around 11:30 am or so- we gathered around the kitchen counter to create this year’s memory ornament.

But first, back to the 11:30 crack.  You know when you have family in all you want to do is stay up all night and visit.  That’s great for the adults who need the extra time to reminisce all the wacky stories they’ve already shared every year before, but the kids who haven’t yet acquired such stories really shouldn’t be hearing most of them. 

 And that’s why I am a firm believer in bedtimes for short people.  Sometimes I make it up randomly and sometimes I play fair and alter the clocks as it suits my needs.  It's called "distorting time".  So with Stephen and his cousins bursting with excitement and not looking to wind down anytime soon, I felt a little quiet reading would help settle them down.  Clocks stating the necessary time I called, "Ha, Ha! Off to brush your teeth.  You can crawl into bed with a good book."

But Stephen must have already overheard a few of the stories.  As I was shooing him off to bed, he stalled out in the hall then turned around and said, “I’m staying up another three hours.”

“Excuse me?”

“Well, I heard it’s always five o’clock somewhere.  I’m running on somewhere time right now.”

 Needless to say I had to remind him it was also midnight somewhere and accordingly, he was already running late. 

Now, back to the ornament.  This year we got to have the best memory of all.  Nikki surprised us with a visit from the Navy- arriving at our door in a wrapped gift box that our neighbors brought over!  And we had our visiting family sign the ornament!  Every year we pull that out I will remember all the fun we had this year.

So here’s what we did:   

  • We pulled out the polymer clay we picked up at Hobby Lobby and we rolled it flat (with an old glass bottle) to about 1/8 thick.  
  • Then we cut out the shape we wanted.  
  • We used a paperclip to write on the surface.  
  • We got all our extended family to write their names on it for an extra special memory!
  • We cut out decorations for it and added a loop of clay to hang the string from.  Then we put it in the oven to bake at 275 degrees for thirty minutes.
  • Then we pulled it out to cool, added string and hung it up.  Ta’da!
When we started this, I had no idea how much fun decorating the tree would be with all these extra memories attached to it.   So go store up some polymer clay.  This is a idea I hope all of you get to try every year.

Happy Holidays, from our family to yours!

  Please visit our children's book website: HoustonChildrensBooks

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