Just in time for the holidays…

I’m back. Yay!

I still have presents to wrap and some cooking to do, but I wanted to drop in here and share some projects I did last week for Christmas.

Historically my Christmas tree has been a “no touch” affair. One of my favorite collections is my crystal tree ornament collection. For about 15 years now I’ve been collecting Christmas tree ornaments, mostly Waterford, but there are a few Swarovski in there. With white lights and silver accents I think they make a stunning tree. NEWSFLASH TO SELF: You have a 2-year-old and there is a train under your tree…you can NOT have an entire tree full of breakable things. Can. Not.

So this year, the ornaments stayed in their gorgeous, satin-padded box…and we covered the tree in (mostly) handmade ornaments and other not-easily-breakable things. I’m quite smitten with it.

One of the projects was making some big red and green ball ornaments to go on the tree.  Because, actually, I didn’t have very many kid-friendly ornaments outside of the ones they have made at school.

Yarn wrapped around small balloons, dipped in glue…hang to dry, pop the balloon. How fun are those?

I found the instructions on Pinterest. And if you aren’t addicted to that yet, by all means, click through and prepare to waste an hour or two. My boards can be found here. And the link to these ornaments is here.

A little tip: the more you cover the balloon with yarn the easier it is for the balloon to “pop” after it has been covered with glue…it will kind of stick to the yarn of course. I tried to use water balloons because I thought they would be the best size, but I couldn’t blow them up. Seriously. So I just used regular balloons, barely filled. And a pair of tweezers will come in handy to get the balloon pieces out.

Here’s my favorite handmade ornament – my oldest made it in his preschool class last year:

I’m pretty sure it is a plain glass ball covered with glitter and tissue paper. Lovely.

My youngest’s ornament from last year…hand-print snowmen. Those teachers are so clever.

Of course, we must have the requisite photo ornaments:

And there is always a selection of memorial ornaments:

Periodically we add a memorial ornament for our first son and last year our oldest wanted matching ones. He placed them on the tree this year insisting they be grouped "because we are brothers."
And our precious pups...one gone last year and one this. This is the first year in more than I can remember there won't be any rawhide under the tree!

As much as I adore my fancy-schmancy ornaments, I really loved having a tree totally decorated by my boys…and not caring that 90% of the ornaments were bunched on the bottom third of the tree!

If we make more of these yarn ornaments next year, I’m going to add silver yarn into the mix. And who knows, maybe we’ll string popcorn and cranberries, too. It might be awhile before my crystal sees a tree again.


8 thoughts on “Just in time for the holidays…

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      Merry Christmas to you too! (I sat down three times yesterday to call you…today I’m going to actually do it.) Have a great holiday – miss you guys!!

  1. Aunt Lolly

    I’m so proud of the boys’ decorating ability….wonder where they get that from? ;) It’ll be a number of years before we see that crystal tree again but the yarn balls are pretty cool!
    Merry Christmas,
    Aunt Lolly

  2. Jennifer Rieck

    I love all my “special” hand-made family ornaments — they are always the most meaningful.

    I really like the yarn balls — they are pretty!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family Jen!

  3. Selena

    The “because we are brothers” comment might just be the sweetest thing I’ve heard in a long time. <3
    Do you have the memorial ornaments made somewhere or those are homemade? Great idea…
    Merry Christmas to you and the boys!

    1. gatheraroundthetable

      I make them…usually at our December MISS group meeting where everyone has a chance to make memorial ornaments if they want. You know, that whole “giving people permission to do something that others in their life are judgmental about” opportunity…I don’t like to pass those up. :)

      Happy Holidays to you, too!!

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