1)First of all, you have to buy a sub-standard christmas tree. You know, something kinda small, straggly, sorta unloved and unwanted looking. Mr Beeper went to our local tree lot and requested a "Charlie Brown christmas tree"--and they knew just what he meant and led him to a special part of the lot where they kept these little ugly, unwanted trees. Bonus is that they are way cheaper than the grander looking trees.1) String some colorful gumdrops (a damp washcloth and long sturdy needle come in handy here--you will need to periodically wipe off the thread and needle with a wet cloth otherwise the gumminess will begin to thwart your efforts at stringing).2) Loop together some paper chains from old scraps of colorful paper you have laying around the house--Beeper loved this activity and was as proud of the chain as a new papa.3) String a garland of popcorn and licorice (we chopped up the licorice strands into bite-sized pieces and alternated 3 popcorn pieces to one piece of licorice--again, Beeper loved helping with this and as an unplanned academic bonus: it allowed him to practice counting and keeping track of his numbers) 4) Add some gingerbread men--we baked ours from the recipe here. And poked some decent sized holes in the dough before baking so we could thread our red strings later.
5)We also made the little plushie ornaments--I drew a crude animal outline for Beeper and he colored them in with Crayola fabric crayons (found here) and then I ironed the drawing (place piece of paper or fabric over the drawing before ironing or risk ruining your iron forevermore) to "set" the drawing--later I sewed the image to a piece of felt backing--sewing in a loop of string to hang it from, stuffed it, and clipped around the edges with a pinking shears.6) Then we topped off our tree with our handmade angel--not made by us, but by Holly McKnight. She is a local artist who works with glass who gave it to us a couple of years ago on Christmas when Beeper was very sick and in and out of the ER with pneumonia and RSV over the holidays--it was meant to protect us. So, the little angel always goes atop our tree.
And that is how we made our children's tree this year. I think we may never go back. Happy belated Christmas to all.