Many people believe the holidays have become too commercial. They don’t like the glitz and electronics that have overtaken the holidays; they may even dream of old-fashioned celebrations. While you can’t change everything about the holiday season, you can make these old-fashioned holiday crafts to bring back some of the feel of yesteryear.
Old books, television shows and movies present a romanticized idea of winter time celebrations. Families may not have had the money for elaborate gift giving, but there was a sense of peace and love which isn’t always felt in families today. How do you recreate that impression for your own home?
Having a live Christmas tree may begin to create the atmosphere you’re looking for. There’s nothing quite like walking into a warm home and the aroma of pine hitting your senses. In the past they didn’t have artificial trees, so having a live tree can help bring back the wonder of Christmases old.
There also weren’t electrical lights for the tree. Old-fashioned candle ornaments are a fire hazard so it’s best to leave that tradition in the past. You can, however, use only ornaments you can make yourself this year rather than using ones which were store bought.
Purchase some whole cranberries and pop some popcorn. With a needle and thread, you can string the berries and popcorn to create an old-fashioned holiday garland to place on the tree. Air popped popcorn is best, to keep it from being oily. You might also prefer to use waxed dental floss rather than normal thread. This is an activity everyone in the family can help with. Of course, the more people you have stringing, the more popcorn you may need, since people have a tendency to eat and string.
As a variation to the above, you could also dry apple and orange slices. Cut the fruit into slices. Soak the apples in water with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Spread the fruit in single layers on a cookie sheet and bake them for 6-8 hours at 150 degrees. Turn them over halfway through the process to ensure they’re properly dried. String the dried fruit with the cranberries and popcorn. Once the holiday is over, hang the garland outdoors for the animals to enjoy.
Paper chains were also common in homes in the past, since store-bought decorations were often too expensive. Families decorated with what they had and even making paper chains could have been elaborate. Cut the paper (use red, white and green construction paper if you have it) into strips. Make a chain by alternating between the colors. When the chain is as long as you want it, hang it around the tree or across doorways and windows.
Cinnamon ornaments may also help with the ambiance you want to create. These are made by mixing 3/4 cup applesauce with one 4-ounce bottle of ground cinnamon. Make stiff dough and roll it into a thin layer. Cut the dough with cookie cutters, poke a hole in the ornament for the hanger and allow them to dry for a couple of days.
Decorate the rest of your home with as many natural things as possible. Find empty bird’s nests to place in the tree. Make wreaths using grapevine or pine boughs. Place ribbon, pine cones and berries on the wreath to dress it up. Use your imagination to think of things which may have been from days gone by. These old-fashioned holiday crafts may not actually bring back the good ol’ days, but they can make them feel like they’ve returned.