Eatable Teddy Bears Decorations

For each bear you will need: two large and seven small marshmallows, water, brown sugar, toothpicks, peanut butter, raisins, and ribbon.

  1. 1.

    Moisten marshmallows with water, then roll in brown sugar and let dry.

  2. 2.

    Insert two toothpicks into flat side of one large marshmallow. Push rounded side of other large marshmallow onto other ends of toothpicks for head.

  3. 3.

    Add ears, nose, arms, and legs with toothpick halves (see illustration).

  4. 4.

    Cut pieces of raisins for eyes and mouth, and stick on with tiny dabs of peanut butter.

  5. 5.

    Decorate bear with ribbon (see illustration).

    Eatable Teddy Bears Decorations

Stamp Art Gifts

To make stamps, you will need: pencil, paper, scissors, Styrofoam egg carton lid, wood blocks, glue, and ink pads with different color inks.

  1. 1.

    Draw simple design on paper and cut out. Here are some shapes that work well: heart, Christmas tree, candy cane, holly, star, moon, sun, rainbow, goose, rabbit, worm, apple, football, boat. Names, greetings, or initials can also be used.

  2. 2.

    Place pattern on egg carton lid, trace, and cut out.

  3. 3.

    Glue design to wood block. Let dry.

  4. 4.

    Press stamp on ink pad, and start designing a gift.

  5. 5.

    A stamp kit would make a nice gift, or you can have fun making some of the gifts illustrated. Be sure to use permanent ink for washable items. Try designing wrapping paper and cards too.

    Stamp Art Gifts

Reindeer Gift Bag

You will need: paper bag, scissors, pencil, black crayon, pom-pom, lightweight cardboard, tape, ribbon bow, and straight pin.

  1. 1.

    Cut top of bag, and fold over to form head (see illustration). With crayon, draw eyes, then glue on pom-pom nose.

  2. 2.

    With pencil, draw two antlers on cardboard and cut out. Cut two slits in back of sack, insert bases of antlers into slits, and tape in place inside bag.

  3. 3.

    Place gift or goodies inside bag, and secure head with bow pinned in place.

    Reindeer Gift Bag

Baby in a Manger

You will need: 8″ x 12″ (20 cm x 30 cm) piece of heavy aluminum foil, straw, scissors, 8″ (20 cm) square of soft fabric, felt-tip pen, and tissue.

  1. 1.

    Fold aluminum foil in half the short way. Bend sides up to form manger, then add straw. (see illustration).

  2. 2.

    Loosely roll two parallel sides of fabric to middle, leaving about 1″ (2.5 cm) unrolled, then fold in half. Pull out two corners of top half, bring corners around to back, and tie (see illustration) so that corners become arms and knot is back. Draw eyes, nose, and mouth (see illustration).

  3. 3.

    Wrap baby in tissue blanket and place in manger.

    Baby in a Manger Baby in a Manger

Skier Ornament

You will need: corrugated cardboard, scissors, ruler, colored felt scraps, glue, wooden bead, yarn, two pipe cleaners, three tiny pom-poms, two toothpicks, two twister ties, fine-tip colored markers, and string.

  1. 1.

    Cut three triangles from cardboard with 1″ (2.5 cm) sides and 1 1/2″ (4 cm) base. Cut small inverted V in middle of base of each piece. Glue pieces together for body (see illustration).

  2. 2.

    Cover body with felt, cutting inverted V in felt to define legs. Cut out boots from felt scraps, and glue to body (see illustration).

  3. 3.

    Glue yarn on wooden bead for hair, then cut hat from felt, glue on top. Glue pom-pom to pointed end of hat. With markers, add eyes, nose, mouth. Glue head to top of body.

  4. 4.

    Wrap one pipe cleaner around neck for scarf and glue pom-poms to ends.

  5. 5.

    Cut two 1″ (2.5 cm) lengths from pipe cleaner. Poke hole in each side of body, and insert pipe cleaner ends to form arm/hand loops. Slip toothpick ski poles through loops and glue in place. Cut two small round circles from felt and attach to end of ski poles.

  6. 6.

    Curve ends of twister ties to form skis, align under boots, and glue in place. Tie string loop at top of hat for tree ornament.

Spool Santa Ornament

You will need: scissors, empty large thread spool, pink paper, glue, red and black felt-tip pens, cotton, red yarn, red felt, ruler, and string.

  1. 1.

    Cut 1″ (2.5 cm) square from pink paper for Santa’s face. Draw eyes, nose, and mouth. Glue to top of side of spool (see illustration).

  2. 2.

    Glue cotton hair around face.

  3. 3.

    Wrap yarn around remainder of spool, gluing in place. Cover bottom with felt.

  4. 4.

    Make cotton beard and mustache, and glue in place.

  5. 5.

    Cut felt triangle with 4″ (10 cm) sides and 6″ (15 cm) base. Glue short sides together to form hat. When dry, glue hat on top of spool. Glue cotton trim around hat edge and add cotton ball on top. Attach string loop at top of hat for tree ornament.

Christmas Napkin Holders

For each napkin holder, you will need: paper; felt-tip pen; scissors; white, green, pink, and red felt; 1/2″ (1.5 cm) red pom-poms (for nose or holly berry); two 5 mm or 7 mm moving plastic eyes (available at craft stores); cotton; red or green paper dinner napkin; glue.

  1. 1.

    Copy, cut out, and then trace Santa or elf pieces onto felt; cut out.

  2. 2.

    Glue pink face in place, then glue cotton to top of head.

  3. 3.

    Attach eyes, draw smile, and glue round red cheeks to face.

  4. 4.

    Add pom-pom nose or holly berry and leaves.

  5. 5.

    Glue long tabs together to form circle, then flatten.

  6. 6.

    Fold napkin as shown and slip holder down over point of napkin.

Holiday Treats

Cream Cheese Dates

1 package (3 ounces/85 g) cream cheese

4 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon orange juice

25–30 dates, pitted

  1. 1.

    Put cream cheese into small bowl and stir until soft and smooth.

  2. 2.

    Add sugar and juice to cheese and mix together.

  3. 3.

    Pinch open dates and fill with cream cheese mixture. Keep dates refrigerated.

Raspberry Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

sesame seeds

raspberry jam

  1. 1.

    Cream butter and sugar together.

  2. 2.

    Mix in extract, salt, and flour.

  3. 3.

    Cover dough and chill one hour.

  4. 4.

    Shape dough into 1″ (2.5 cm) balls, then roll in sesame seeds. Place on greased cookie sheet. Push in center of cookie with thumb and fill with jam.

  5. 5.

    Bake at 400° F (205° C) for 12–15 minutes.

Tangy Orange Balls

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 can (6 ounces/170 ml) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 box (12 ounces/340 g) vanilla wafers

1 box (1 pound/.45 kg) powdered sugar

chopped nuts (optional)

coconut

  1. 1.

    Mix butter and orange juice concentrate together.

  2. 2.

    Crush vanilla wafers and stir into butter mixture.

  3. 3.

    Mix in powdered sugar and nuts.

  4. 4.

    Form into 1″ (2.5 cm) balls.

  5. 5.

    Roll in coconut and refrigerate until firm.

Crunchy Treats

1/4 cup butter or margarine

3 cups bite-size unsweetened cereal

1 cup toasted oat cereal

1 cup crisp chinese noodles

  1. 1.

    Melt butter in small saucepan.

  2. 2.

    Place cereals and noodles in large bowl.

  3. 3.

    Pour melted butter over cereal; mix with spoon.

Graham Cracker House

8 graham cracker squares

1 small can vanilla frosting

small candies

  1. 1.

    Spread frosting on top of two parallel edges of cracker lying flat for floor.

  2. 2.

    Press and hold second and third crackers vertically on top of frosted edges until set.

  3. 3.

    Spread frosting around three edges of two additional crackers. With unfrosted edges at top, press crackers into position between upright crackers (see illustration).

  4. 4.

    Carefully saw another cracker diagonally with serrated knife to form two triangles. Frost base of triangles, and press onto opposite sides of house to form ends of roof (see illustration). Completely frost two remaining crackers on one side, stand on end, and frost along three edges of opposite side. Press crackers with frosted edges onto triangles to finish roof.

  5. 5.

    Decorate with frosting and candies.

Christmas Stocking Cake

1 package white cake mix

1 package fluffy white frosting mix

candy, coconut, cookies

  1. 1.

    Follow directions on cake mix and bake in greased oblong cake pan.

  2. 2.

    When cool, cut cake in half lengthwise. Place pieces on separate serving plates.

  3. 3.

    Measure 4″ (10 cm) along longer side from corner, and cut diagonally to nearest corner on opposite side. To form toe of stocking, use triangle you’ve cut off (see illustration).

    Christmas Stocking Cake
  4. 4.

    Mix frosting according to directions on package; cover stocking cakes with frosting.

  5. 5.

    Decorate with candy, coconut, and any name you want on it spelled out in icing or candy. Arrange cookies at top to look like gifts in stocking.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Julie F. Young

[photos] Photos by Michael McConkie