Here in the US, Thanksgiving is looming on the horizon. After spending Thursday in a turkey induced comma, many people begin their long holiday weekends with the festooning of seasonal lights all over their homes. Some of them include exterior lights and in my town, there is even a contest to see who has the best lawn display.
When I was growing up, my family’s home was the only one on the block to remain “dark.” When I became an adult, I spent a long time in city apartments with no outside living space. When my daughter was 3, I bought a house with a little postage stamp of a yard. Whoa! I could decorate to my heart’s content.
After careful consideration, I purchased some balsam garlands and giant red ribbons. I draped them along the stair railings leading up to the front door. I bought a small, decorated rosemary tree, the live-in-a-pot with roots kind and a tiny string of purple flashing lights. I was in heaven.
Later, when my daughter got older, I decided this didn’t really involve her enough in the holiday spirit. I continued with the balsam boughs and ribbons, (still do that now) but dispensed with the potted plant. Instead, we made our own decorations. Here are some links to a couple of her favorites.
Watercolor paper chain garlands http://ohhappyday.com/2010/12/watercolor-paper-chain-garland/ Pick your favorite colors or seasonal ones for the holiday you celebrate in your home.
Popcorn and cranberry strings http://artesprit.blogspot.com/2010/12/simple-art-of-making-popcorn-chains.html
Click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Email your colored image (less than 1mb) to coloringpage (at) handcraftedpagan (dot) com and I’ll post it to my blog!
Speaking of cranberries, this is my recipe for a unique and tasty cranberry relish. Much better than the glop from the can.
1 bag of fresh cranberries, water, sugar, 1 large pomegranate, 1 small can of mandarin oranges, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla extract and a package of unflavored gelatin.
Follow the directions for the plain cranberry sauce on the back of the package of cranberries. This uses just the cranberries, water and sugar. While the cranberries are cooking and popping open, slice the pomegranate in quarters and pick out all the seeds. This is a fun (if really messy) task to do with your kids. Make sure you get the BIG pomegranate so the little ones can eat some of the seeds will making a pile of the rest.
Follow the directions for the unflavored gelatin to dissolve in water. By this time the cranberries should have all popped open and removed from the heat to cool. (When they are cooled slightly taste test them to see if they are sweet enough for your family. I like mine tart, but if you want a sweeter relish add a bit of honey.) After they have cooled for 10-15 minutes, add the dissolved gelatin, 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp each of the nutmeg and allspice. Stir well and let cool some more. While the mixture is cooling, rough chop 1/2 cup of walnuts (skip this step if nuts aren’t your thing), open the small can of mandarin oranges and drain of the syrup.
Gently mix in the nuts, oranges and pomegranate seeds into the cooling cranberry mixture. Transfer to a nice covered serving bowl and refrigerate until set. Serve with the rest of your turkey dinner. Yum.
The coloring page for this week was at the request of one of my young fans. When her mom told me what she wanted, I asked why the turkey was dancing, wouldn’t it make more sense if it was running away? She replied the child was too young to connect the image of the bird with the cooked one on the table and didn’t realize the turkeys got eaten.
Enjoy the coloring page! If you are in the US, enjoy the holiday. And most of all enjoy the crafts and time spent with your children.
See you next week!
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