at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Crafty Christmas Fun

As things have turned out this year, I'm probably not going to be making as many Christmas treats and goodies as I usually do.  Nevertheless, I've found a few fun and crafty things to do.  Before I share this year's adventures, however, I need to take a moment to honor some crafts of the past.  You see, as we were decorating our Christmas tree this year, I realized that I really have too many ornaments for the size tree we get for our house.  Part of the reason for this is that I have never purged my old ornaments.  And when I say old ornaments, I mean old ornaments.  Like the kind I made in third grade Sunday School.  Or the plastic ornament given by a friend from elementary school.  I finally realized that it was time to let go. So goodbye to the God's Eye I made out of popsicle sticks; goodbye to the angel made of yarn; goodbye to the pine cone that once shimmered with glitter; goodbye to the paper ornament dipped in wax; and last, but not least, goodbye plastic horse ornament and a special farewell to the 20-year-old mints you enclose.

A Couple Edible Treats

I did make a couple of edible treats so far this year.  I had to bring a dessert to a Christmas party last week, and realized the night before that I didn't yet have anything planned to make!  I opted for some quick and easy Christmas cupcakes.  I used a basic vanilla cake recipe, and added a bunch of red food coloring for some added festive-ness!  I made a cream cheese frosting, then I just smashed up some candy canes to sprinkle on top.  Yum!

I made something else tonight that I have not tried yet.  I actually stole the idea from Pinterest -- it's a pine cone shaped cheese ball!  I used my basic cheese ball recipe, then just stuck in whole almonds on the outside to resemble a pine cone.  I cut a little branch off our Christmas tree for full effect!  

Basic Cheese Ball Recipe:

- 8oz cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- spices to taste: paprika, red pepper, garlic, salt and parsley

Just mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.  Dump it all out onto a piece of cellophane and shape it within that (keeps your hands clean!).  Instead of a round ball, make an oblong shape that skinnier at one end than the other.  Stick in your almonds starting from the back and work your way to the tip of the pine cone.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve!

Some Edible Gifts

I did also make a few small edible gifts for people.  At least, partly edible.  A couple of my friends helped me come up with most of this idea.  They found these really pretty little votive candle holders -- they are kind of a crackled glass and I purchased gold, red and clear ones.  Instead of a candle inside, I packed them each with biscotti, cocoa mix and candy canes.  I tied a ribbon around the candy canes and added a little branch of berries for extra festivity.  I ended up having to tape the candy canes to the hot cocoa packets to keep everything standing upright.  And I just attached glittery gift tags to each one.

 I had some leftover cocoa and candy canes and decided that those would make a good gift for my Sunday School girls!  I just taped the candy cane to the hot cocoa packet then tied a ribbon around it.  I ended up just printing off some bible verses and taping those to the back.

The Card Tree

I think this idea needs some work, but I saw it online and thought it would be fun!  I am always trying to figure out what to do with my Christmas cards.  My mom used to always tape them to one of our doors -- I tried that last year, but I couldn't get them to stick!  So, I decided to try the Card Tree this year.  I gathered some sticks from the back yard to make my "tree" and put them in a pitcher/vase with a bunch of glass stones to keep everything in place.  I think I may need to add something else to the branches -- a few berries or maybe a few small ornaments.  I also thought about spraying the branches with glitter spray for more of icy/wintery effect.  But, alas, I haven't gotten that far yet.  So, it's a work in progress!

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!