365 Days of Christmas is keeping the spirit alive
all year to enliven your world.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

25 Days of Friend's Christmas Trees - Day 10

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Unity by Karen

Monday, September 29, 2008

25 Days of Friend's Christmas Trees - Day 9

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Snowman Tree by Sandy

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Crafting for Christmas

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This week's scrapbooking goal is to finish the altered advent calendar I started yesterday. Here is what I have so far.

25 Days of Friend's Christmas Trees - Day 8

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Victorian Rose by Barbara

Saturday, September 27, 2008

25 Days of Friend's Christmas Trees - Day 7

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Love Is Eternal by Barbara

Friday, September 26, 2008

Around the Christmas Net #4

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Holiday Round Up

If you are in the holiday crafting mood, then check out the Holiday Round Up. Whether you are looking to make your own Christmas ornaments, holiday cards, or just need some photography tips to take that perfect Christmas photo, you will want to visit the About.com Holiday Round Up.

Around the Christmas Net #3

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101 Homemade Gift Ideas for Christmas

Homemade Gifts are easily the best gifts you can ever give to anyone to express your heartfelt wishes during the Christmas season and all year round. Gifts, whether from your kitchen or from your craft desk, will always be appreciated by everyone who receives them. The personal touch and effort you lend to the gift adds to the warm feeling.

25 Days of Friend's Christmas Trees - Day 6

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Family Tree by Karen

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Around the Christmas Net #2

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The Black Friday site and forums are officially open to the public for this year. There is plenty of discussion already going on in the forums, and so be sure to join the conversation.

Having covered Black Friday extensively for the past five years, the Black Friday site is in a better position than pretty much anyone else to offer predictions for this year. Over the years there have been various trends in the deals offered by the major retailers and the Black Friday site offers a glimpse into what they believe will be the 2008 Black Friday deals and hot items. To check out this year's predictions, click here.

25 Days of Friend's Christmas Trees - Day 5

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Limealicious by Melody

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Around the Christmas Net

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There are FREE Christmas Ornament classes offered by ARTchix Studio. Belinda Schneider offers various classes with pictures and directions.

If you make one of these ornaments, please share the link so we can ooh and ahh over your precious ornaments.

25 Days of Friend's Christmas Trees - Day 4

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Gingerbread Tree by Sandy

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

25 Days of Friend's Christmas Trees - Day 3

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Black & White by Kirsty

Monday, September 22, 2008

The ABC's Of Christmas

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A - Add More, Angel
B - Bows
C - Candles
D - Decorations
E - Encourage Each Other
F - Finds (like the great sale at the store) or Fillers or Friends
G - Garland, Go Go Go (during the busy-ness of the season)
H - Holly, Ho Ho Ho
I - Icicles
J - Jesus
K - Kris Kringle
L - Love of Christmas
M - Mistletoe, Merry Christmas
N - Noel, Nativity
O - Overabundance, Open House, Ornaments
P - (Be) Prepared, Poinsettias
Q - Quantity (fill the tree as much as possible with ornaments)
R - Rest (after a job well done)
S - Star, Santa
T - Tasting, Trees
U - Under the Tree
V - Velvet Bows
W - White Christmas
X - X is for Christ
Y - Yule
Z - Zzzzzz (on Christmas night)

Christmas Flowers and Decorations This Season

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Christmas Flowers and Decorations - What to Look for in Flowers, Wreaths and Garlands This Season

Thinking about a plain pine wreath or skimpy garland with some little red bows? Think again. Plain is definitely taboo. “This year, floral fashion is all about rich textures, new accent colors, and lots of detail,” says Don Phillip of Phillip’s Flowers in Chicago. “It’s about stretching the boundaries of traditional themes by layering on fresh new perspectives and a touch of personal flair. It’s about luxury, ornamentation, and opulence. It’s about more, not less.” So, let yourself go. You can turn “ordinary” into “extraordinary” with the right materials, colors, and accessories.

Go to Florists Supplies Guide for all the "ins" of this Christmas season.

25 Days of Friend's Christmas Trees - Day 2

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Angel Tree by Kirsty

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Handprint Snowman Ornament

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Paint child's palm and fingers white. Carefully have them hold the blue ball to create the five snowmen. Use a paint marker to make hats, faces, and scarves.

Attach a tag with this poem:
These aren't just five snowmen
As anyone can see.
I made them with my hand
Which is a part of me.
Now each year when you trim the tree
You'll look back and recall
Christmas of 2004
When my hand was just this small!

25 Days of Friend's Christmas Trees - Day 1

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Holiday Wine by Barbara

Barbara's description: This tree is just part of the overall burgundy theme for this bathroom. It's a 3' unlit wall tree to which I added 20 battery-operated lights, and the topper is a burgundy poinsettia print ribbon, which is repeated elsewhere in the room. The bottom is covered with a solid gold ribbon bow.

Easy Ways to Decorate Your Home for Christmas

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Christmas is coming and you've got a million things to do! I'm here to help. Here are ideas that are simple yet classy and they'll add some Christmas cheer to your home.

  1. Create a charming display of teddy bears dressed for the season. Gather three or more teddy bears together. Arrange them on a table, on the floor in a corner, under a tree, or in a basket. Dress the bears with scarves and mittens. Place candy canes in their hands or tie bows around their necks. You can even wrap up some small, empty boxes with Christmas wrapping paper to place in the bears' hands.
  2. Make simple bows from Christmas ribbon and pin them to your curtains.
  3. Display a collection of nativity scenes from different cultures.
  4. Hang a collection of Christmas stockings on your mantle, a shelf, a wall, or the stair banister (even if you don't stuff them). The more the merrier.
  5. Cut snowflakes from heavy-weight white paper and hang them in all of your windows or over the tree or from the ceiling over the dining table.
  6. Use red and green 3-dimensional fabric paints to trace simple Christmas patterns (like stars, bells, Santas, stockings, etc.) on a white tablecloth.
  7. Buy a clear plastic shower curtain. Use a hot glue gun to attach Christmas decorations to the outside of the curtain. Don't use breakable ornaments.
  8. Dress up your house plants by hanging a small group of Christmas lights or small Christmas ornaments on them.
  9. Tie a red ribbon around a tall, slim drinking glass. Fill the glass with candy canes or other Christmas candies. Display on a shelf or side table.
  10. Use a group of tall, slim drinking glasses filled with tea lights to create a centerpiece on any table.
  11. Fill small glass bowls or decorative Christmas bowls with small cones and display on end tables, shelves, buffet tables, etc.
  12. Purchase plain green or red place mats and attach Christmas ribbons, bows or small wooden ornaments with a hot glue gun.
  13. For quick ornaments, hang Christmas cookie cutters with ribbon. Hang them in a window.
  14. Decorate plain red, white, green, or gold candles with 3-dimensional fabric paint. Draw stars, bells, angels, snowmen, etc. (If you make a mistake, let the paint dry and peal it off, then start again.)
  15. Create a cookie wreath centerpiece for your table. Just arrange Christmas cookies in a wreath shape right on the table cloth. No need to attach them to anything 'cause everyone will want to nibble at them. If you like, place a pillar candle on a small plate in the center of the wreath.
  16. Pile a collection of Christmas books on a side table.
  17. Cut a Christmas silhouette from a piece of plywood. Using screws, attach your silhouette to a short post that you can drive into the ground. You'll want the silhouette to stand right a ground level several feet away from the wall. Position a spot light on the other side of the silhouette so that it will shine on the silhouette and project a large shadow on the wall.
  18. Wrap indoor Christmas lights around a railing or banister. Secure periodically with chenille wire/pipe cleaners.
  19. Add color to a room with vases of red and white flowers. Use roses, carnations, mums, daisies, etc. Or, float the flowers in large crystal or glass bowls.
  20. Wrap an assortment of medium to large sized boxes with Christmas wrap. Attach ribbons &/or bows. Pile the boxes in a corner from floor to ceiling.
  21. Sew scraps of Christmas fabric into a patchwork tablecloth. Simply cut your fabric into square pieces and stitch together. Hem the entire cloth.
  22. Cover an end table or a shelf with white paper. Arrange cut evergreen boughs on top on top of the paper. Place tall tapered candles in glass candle holders on the table top. Before lighting candles, be sure that the greenery is not close enough to catch fire.
  23. Use pliers to bend coat hangers into a simple wire-frame tree shape. Wrap a string of outdoor Christmas lights around the frame attaching with electrical tape or duct tape. Stick the decoration in a flower bed or on your front lawn.
  24. Hang mistletoe everywhere.
  25. Wrap your doors in Christmas wrapping paper and attach large bows.
  26. String a ribbon from one end of a wall to another. Attach the ribbon to the wall (at each corner) with thumbtacks. Clip Christmas cards to the ribbon with clothespins. If the ribbon is too long, the weight of the cards will pull it off the wall, so tack it here and there with more thumbtacks.
  27. Purchase a large glass plate. Paint the underside of the plate with gold craft paint and let dry. Place the plate on a table and fill with several white or off-white pillar candles of varying sizes.
  28. Make basic sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies. Before baking, make a hole toward the top of each cookie using a straw. Bake and cool. String a ribbon through each cookie and hang them on the tree.
  29. String popcorn, cranberries, cereal, beads, etc., and hang the garlands everywhere.
  30. Glue ribbon to pine cones for hanging on the tree.
  31. Make paper chains.
  32. Frame old Christmas cards and postcards. Hang on the wall or create a grouping on a table.
  33. Wrap a lampshade with translucent Christmas tissue paper. Put the paper on the outside of the lamp shape, overlapping the edges just a little and tape the edges down on the inside. Be careful that the tissue paper doesn't come too close to the light bulb or it may catch fire.
  34. Replace your fish tank background mural with a piece of Christmas wrapping paper or a collage made out of pictures cut from Christmas cards.
  35. Tape a doily to the outside of a glass canister or clean glass mayonnaise jar. Spray the outside of the container with artificial snow and let dry. Remove the doily. Fill the container with cookies, candy, ornaments, etc.
  36. Wrap photos and other wall art with Christmas wrapping paper.
  37. Make a gingerbread house. They make wonderful centerpieces or decorations for any table top.
  38. Use a child's Christmas pop-up book as a centerpiece. Just open the book up to a desirable picture and place the open book in the center of your table.
  39. Hang a large December wall calendar on your wall. Count down the days to Christmas by gluing a brightly-colored bow on each passing day.
  40. Tie five or six cinnamon sticks into a bundle using red ribbon. Create a bunch of these bundles and display them in a bowl, on the tree, or tuck bundles into nooks and crannies on shelves.
  41. Get out your old toy trains. Run the track around the perimeter of the Christmas tree.
  42. Paint the inside of a glass white to simulate milk. Display the glass along with a plate full of cookies and a hand-written Santa's wish list. It looks great if you take a bite or two out of one cookies.
  43. For easy Christmas tableware, tie red, green, or gold ribbons to the stems of wine glasses or the handles of cutlery.
  44. Cut pictures from Christmas cards and Christmas wrap. Decoupage the pictures to the inside of a serving tray. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the tray. Once all the pictures are in place, cover the entire inside surface of the tray with one or two more layers of decoupage medium.
  45. Print your favorite cookie recipe on Christmas stationary. Roll each recipe up like a scroll. Tie the scroll with ribbon. Place the scrolls in a basked by your front door so you can give them to departing guests.
  46. To add a lot of color to a room quickly, use red or green towels or blankets.
  47. Display colored glass ball ornaments in bowls, on a cake stand, or in baskets.
  48. Wash and dry half a dozen small jars (it's better if they're all different sizes and shapes). Fill each jar 2/3 full of water and add a couple of drops of red or green food coloring to each jar. Stir. Place one sprig of evergreen in each jar and display the jars in a group on a table or line them up in a row on a shelf or window sill.
  49. Use children's bath crayons (for coloring in the bathtub) to draw Christmas decorations on your mirrors and windows.
  50. Using a small brush, paint the tips of pine cones with gold craft paint. Place on a rack or piece of waxed paper to dry. Display cones in bowls, vases, or cake stand.
  51. Create an easy wall hanging using a piece of sheet music for a Christmas carol. Cut a piece of Christmas wrapping paper or red paper a few inches larger than the sheet music and glue the music sheet to the center of the paper. Use a hot glue gun to glue a small sprig of artificial holly to the top right-hand corner of the sheet music.
  52. Turn an old chest into a treasure chest. Place the chest on the floor against a wall and open the lid. (Prop the lid up securely if it's prone to closing by itself). Line the inside of the chest with fiber fill to create the illusion of snow. Drape strings of beads and white indoor Christmas lights over the chest. Fill the chest with wrapped presents or wrapped empty boxes. Sprinkle with gold-wrapped chocolate coins.
  53. Create personalized gingerbread men as place cards for your dining table. Use colored icing to decorate each gingerbread man with a guest's hair color and usual clothing and then using the icing print each person's name across the chest of the gingerbread man.
  54. Trim door frames, window frames and the edges of mirrors with Christmas garland.
  55. Strong jute cord from one end of the hall to the other end and clip mittens, gloves, and scarves to the jute using clothespins.
  56. Purchase small bells from your craft store. Tie each bell to a piece of ribbon between 6" and 18" in length. Gather all of the ribbons together and knot together at the top. Drape the bells over a door knob so that they ring when someone enters or exits.
  57. Poinsettias are a beautiful way to add Christmas color to a room but don't just stop at one. Create a stunning display using, at least, six plants of all different sizes. Group them together, larger plants in the back. Tie a large gold fabric ribbon around the whole group of pots. Sprinkle the plants with gold glitter.
  58. Wrap a large empty coffee can in Christmas wrapping paper. Place on the floor, add some water, and fill with evergreen branches. This looks wonderful on its own, or you can hang ornaments or Christmas cards from the branches.
  59. Replace your usual curtain valence with a large piece of Christmas fabric draped over the curtain rod.
  60. Tie bows around door knobs.
  61. Create an easy wreath. Tear Christmas print fabric into strips. Wrap a Styrofoam wreath with the fabric or ribbon.
  62. Wrap a table in Christmas wrapping paper.
  63. Purchase cork place mats or coasters. Using Christmas stamps and red/green/gold stamp pads, stamp shapes onto your coasters and place mats.
  64. Put some color into your bathroom by displaying red and green glycerin soaps, bath gels, and oils.
  65. Make a snowman. Better yet, make a whole snow family.
  66. Wrap your front door in plain white paper and decorate with a large bow. Place red and green pens by the front door and have guest sign the door as they leave your home.
  67. Create an red and green display in your kitchen using a collection of standard food items. Jars of olives, sun dried tomatoes, pickles, red peppers, cans with red or green labels.
  68. Create another easy wreath. Use a glue gun to attach nuts or wrapped candies to a Styrofoam wreath. Attach a large red ribbon.
  69. Paint nuts gold with craft paint (use a variety of nuts of different shape). Line a large bowl or basket with Christmas greenery. Fill the bowl with oranges, apples, and the gold nuts.
  70. Display a large collection of photos from Christmases past. This makes a sensational conversation piece.
  71. Put a Christmas screen saver on your computer.
  72. Wrap your plant pots in red or green foil wrap. You don't even have to remove the plants first.
  73. Create a display by your front door with unused boots. Assemble a group of boots and fill them with wrapped empty boxes.
  74. Purchase an inexpensive mail box. Spray paint it red or green. Attach ornaments, pinecones, greenery, etc., with a hot glue gun. Set outside the front door.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Make a Fresh Pine Wreath

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The best things about holidays is the smells that waft through the house and evoke memories of family gatherings past. Easily one of my favorite smells is the smell of pine boughs - from the Christmas tree, garlands, and wreaths. Wreaths were a favorite project - they are easy to make, fit in your budget decorating, and can be easily embellished with other items that enhance the aroma (like clove pomanders and cinnamon sticks). If you want to make your own wreath this Christmas, here's how.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Official National USA Christmas Tree

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In 1924, Charles E. Lee visited what was then General Grant National Park, and found himself standing by the Grant Tree with a little girl. As they admired the huge tree, the girl exclaimed, "What a wonderful Christmas tree it would be!" The idea stayed with Mr. Lee, and in 1925 he organized the first Christmas program, held at the Grant Tree at noon on Christmas Day. Mr. Lee wrote to President Calvin Coolidge, who designated the General Grant as the Nation's Christmas Tree on April 28, 1926. The 'trek to the tree' is still held on the second Sunday of December, with a ceremony and the decoration of the tree with a wreath. The park is now known as King's Canyon National Park which is in Arizona.