This year I've streamlined many of our traditional activities and I don't think it's even going to be noticeable. Taylor and I decorated one real tree, I put my mini-tree on the dining room table, put out my Nativity, probably no baking and shopping was mostly online.
I do have some crafts I'd like to share. Mostly mine, but this time I am "borrowing" some other ideas as well that I like. Please look in the index for holiday posts and ideas from last year too!
This might be something "anyone can do" but it took me several years to get around to finishing it! Not hard, but time consuming (and a bit painful.) The complete directions for the "original" wreath are available at marthastewart.com.
Basically, you wind red binding around a floral styrofoam wreath. Then paint tiny nail heads (pins are too small) with red nail polish (pun intended.) This is easier if you poke them into scrap styrofoam and do a bunch at once. Martha used glass beads of different sizes for texture. Not only were faceted glass beads hard to find, but expensive and heavy! So, I used three sizes of plastic ones and it still looks nice.
Next you slide a bead over the nail and push it through the binding into the wreath. This is the part that hurts. Maybe a little hammer would work better. You just keep filling in (the back is flat and just covered with the binding.) In 7 or 8 years, viola! I had a wreath!
I wanted to do something different than cards this year, so I made a few paper stockings instead.
Another tradition is running over to West Liberty, OH for a Marie's Candy run. It's in an old train station and is always decorated like Santa's Workshop (well I guess not always. It's cute at Easter also.) I love the peppermint chews, but I only get 1/4 pound as they are gone by the time I get home! Audra loves the chocolate and carmel coated pretzels.
They do a lovely job of wrapping the boxes of candy so they are "eye candy" as well under the tree. As we were leaving we saw a candy train station. I had Taylor take a pic with his ipod.
Really cute! You can order online at mariescandies.com (not the this, but the candy!)