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I have boxes and bags of Christmas decor in the basement. Every year, I spend a whole day putting out all of the decorations in pretty much the same design as the year before. Then, after the New Year, I meticulously pack it all away the way I found it.

This year, the holiday season is a bit short. That is, if you start your holiday season like I do, the day after Thanksgiving. This year, we spent half of the holiday season in the hospital with Delainie. So, we are very behind in decorating festivities. I started worrying how I would settle back into the house, get back to our routine AND decorate like we have in the past. I had a bright idea to let go of past traditions this year and embrace the idea of a “disposable” Christmas. We decided not to touch the boxes in the basement.

So, this year we purchased a box of assorted ornaments for $5, 500 colored lights, a star for the top of the tree, and we made homemade garland and baked ornaments. The goal was to minimize strees, minimize wastefulness and keep to a very modest budget. It has been tons of fun!

Instead of digging out our artificial tree, we went to Lowe’s, on a beautifully snowy afternoon and purchased a real tree. This “disposable” Christmas idea took so much pressure off of us for the holidays and helped us to find the joy and delight in the simple parts of the festivities.

The recipe I used for our homemade ornaments is one I remember from when I was a kid; my mom gave me the recipe that she and my aunt used so many years ago. We made them at home when I was little and even used them year after year as ornaments on the tree. The ornaments we made this year came out fantastic. So, I thought I would share it for those folks who may need a few extra ornaments to fill in the tree or those folks who want to do a little something different this year with the kiddos!

Recipe:

2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt (yes, one WHOLE cup)
1 cup of water

Combine flour and salt. Add water a little at a time stirring to mix. Add food coloring if you want.

Form dough into a ball (may need to add a little water).
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On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth, yet firm 7-10 minutes.

Place dough in a plastic bag until ready to use. May be kept in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters.

Bake in 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Use a drinking straw to punch holes in each ornament so you can use a string for hanging. Decorate however you like, Delainie used finger paint to decorate hers, then we sprinkled on some glitter. I used a glitter glue pen to decorate some ornaments too. Have fun!
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