Christmas Gifts


Gumdrop Deer

You will need: 3 large and 8 small gumdrops, 5 small peppermint sticks, 2 small candy canes, 2 raisins, and toothpicks.

Fasten two large gumdrops together with a toothpick to make body. Poke four small gumdrops on four peppermint sticks for legs and feet. (To fasten the peppermint sticks to gumdrops, make a small slit in the gumdrop and insert the peppermint sticks.)

Stick two candy canes in other large gumdrop for antlers. Attach two small gumdrops on each side with toothpicks for ears. Add raisins for eyes and small red gumdrop for nose.

Use a peppermint stick to hold head and body together. Add small gumdrop for a tail.

Candle Holder

For a different, easy-to-make Christmas candle holder, tie three candy canes to a candle with a bright red ribbon, as shown in the illustration.

Pomander

You will need: 1 firm apple, box of whole cloves, and ribbon.

Rub apple with a little salad oil and then press cloves into apple until completely covered. Leave apple in cool place to season for several days. This kind of perfumed apple is popularly known as a pomander. Tie a ribbon around apple and hang it in the closet for a pleasant spicy fragrance or tuck it in the corner of a drawer for a sachet.

Santa Popcorn Jar

You will need: a glass jar (wide-mouthed mayonnaise or fruit jar or large peanut butter jar), scraps of felt or other cloth or colored construction paper, paste, and a white or red stocking trimmed with a contrasting fringe ball.

Place a stocking on top of jar for Santa’s cap. Then decorate glass jar to look like Santa Claus (see illustration).

Pink Popcorn

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

red food coloring (one or two drops, depending upon shade desired)

Mix all ingredients together in a pan and cook to a firm ball stage or 230º. Pour slowly over 6 quarts of popped popcorn, stirring to coat all the popcorn. Spread popcorn out on wax paper to cool.

Bottle Gifts

Wash odd-shaped bottles in hot sudsy water until the labels come off. Cut pictures from old magazines or holiday cards the shape of the labels that were removed, and paste them in the same spot. Decorate bottle lid and then tie a colorful bow around the neck of the bottle.

Fill decorated bottles with small candies, nuts, or even bath salts. You’ll be surprised how many different gift ideas you can create.

[illustration] Illustrated by Phyllis Luch