Christmas Workshop


Baby Jesus Ornament

To make this ornament for your Christmas tree or wall, you will need: one pink eraser, about 2″ (5 cm) long; one strip of lightweight, light-colored fabric, 8″ x 4″ (20 cm x 10 cm); one medium-size safety pin; a black pen or marker; and ribbon or string, 8″ (20 cm) long.

  1. 1.

    Lay the fabric strip lengthwise and place the eraser 2″ (5 cm) from the left edge of the fabric (see illustration A on page 9).

    Christmas ornament
  2. 2.

    Fold the top edge of fabric down so that it hangs over the eraser about 3/8″ (1 cm). Fold the bottom edge of fabric up over the eraser, too.

  3. 3.

    Fold the left edge of fabric down against the eraser, and then pull the fabric across the eraser (see illustration A). Hold this fabric in place with your finger while beginning the next step.

  4. 4.

    Wrap the right strip of fabric once around the eraser, twisting a little as you go and leaving one pink section of eraser showing. The pink section will be Baby Jesus’ face.

  5. 5.

    Use a safety pin to secure the end of the fabric strip under Baby Jesus’ chin.

  6. 6.

    With the black pen, draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth for Baby Jesus.

    Jesus' face
  7. 7.

    Thread the string or ribbon through the safety pin and tie the ends together.

  8. 8.

    Hang the ornament on your wall or Christmas tree, or place it in the wooden manger (see below).

Wooden manger

Wooden Manger

After Jesus Christ was born, Mary wrapped Him lovingly in swaddling clothes and placed Him in a manger to sleep. Usually, a manger holds food for animals, but your manger could hold your Baby Jesus Ornament (see above). To make this Christmas manger, you will need: fourteen wooden craft sticks, 4 1/2″ (11.5 cm) long; two long, thin rubber bands; shredded yellow paper or real straw; and glue. You will make each side of the manger, then put the sides together with the rubber bands.

  1. 1.

    For the first side of the manger, lay two wooden sticks 2 1/2″ (6.5 cm) apart (see illustration).

  2. 2.

    Spread glue on the top half of each stick, then lay five other wooden sticks crosswise on the glue, with their sides touching.

  3. 3.

    Repeat steps 1 through 3 to form the other side of the manger. Let the glue dry.

  4. 4.

    When the glue is completely dry, pick up both sides of the manger and hold them, smooth sides together.

  5. 5.

    Line up the legs of the manger so they are next to each other but not on top of each other (see illustration B).

    Manger stand
  6. 6.

    Loop a rubber band around each pair of legs and slide it up as far as it will go.

  7. 7.

    Open the manger and stand it up. Fill it with the shredded paper or real straw.

Pop-up Portrait Card

To make this gift card, you will need: one piece of white paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″ (21.5 cm x 28 cm); one piece of white paper 1″ (2.5 cm) longer and wider than your photo; one piece of construction paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″ (21.5 cm x 28 cm) or bigger; scissors; markers; glue; and a small photograph of your family or just you, no taller than 3″ (7.5 cm).

  1. 1.

    Fold the large piece of white paper width-wise, and make two, 1 1/2″ (4 cm) cuts into the fold, about 3″ (7.5 cm) from each side of the paper (see illustration).

  2. 2.

    Fold up the flap formed by these two cuts, crease it, then fold it back down.

  3. 3.

    Open the piece of paper and bend the flap inward, creasing it so that it folds into the card (see illustration C).

    Pop up portrait card
  4. 4.

    Reopen the piece of paper and color the inside. You could draw Christmas items or things that remind you of the person the card is being made for.

  5. 5.

    Lay the photo in the center of the small piece of white paper. Trace around it. Set the photo aside while you color the paper around where the photo was. This becomes a frame.

  6. 6.

    Glue the photo in the center of the frame, then glue the photo and frame onto the lower half of the paper flap inside the card (see illustration). Don’t use too much glue for this step, or your card will stick shut. Close the card.

  7. 7.

    Fold the construction paper in half, width-wise, and decorate one half. This will be the front of your card.

  8. 8.

    Spread glue on the outside of the folded white paper, then slip it into the folded construction paper so that the folds line up. Press the completed card flat and wait for the glue to dry before mailing or giving the card to someone. Your picture will “pop up” when the person receiving the card opens it.

Assembly of card

Cooking at Christmastime is especially fun. With an older person’s help, you can prepare these Christmas foods for your family and friends. Making and delivering the Caramel Crunch Turtles to neighbors would make a great family home evening activity.

Angel Hair Pizza

1 package (7 ounces/198 g) angel hair pasta

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 jar (14 ounces/397 g) spaghetti sauce

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

pepperoni

green peppers, in thin strips

  1. 1.

    Boil the pasta according to the package directions; drain.

  2. 2.

    In a large bowl, beat the egg, then stir in the milk and salt. Add the drained pasta and stir well.

  3. 3.

    Spread the pasta mixture on a 14″ (35.5 cm) greased pizza pan and cover it with spoonfuls of the spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle cheese over the sauce and add the pepperoni and green peppers to form holly berry clusters (see illustration).

  4. 4.

    Bake at 325° F (160° C) for 20–25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

  5. 5.

    Cut the pizza into triangular slices and serve.

Christmas Tree Salad

6 cups washed and chopped dark, leafy greens (about 1 head of romaine lettuce)

12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 long carrots, peeled and grated

1 small can (11 ounces/312 g) mandarin oranges, drained

1 can (15 1/2 ounces/439 g) kidney beans, drained

white, creamy salad dressing (blue cheese or ranch)

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Form a thick triangle of greens on the foil, then copy the picture to design your own Christmas tree salad.

Caramel Crunch Turtles

42 pecan halves

12 caramels

1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted

  1. 1.

    Spread aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Arrange twelve pecan halves (the turtles’ heads) evenly on the waxed paper, flat side down. Ask an older person to cut the remaining pecan halves in two, lengthwise. Arrange five pecan slices around each “head” to form the legs and tail.

  2. 2.

    With your fingers, flatten the caramels slightly, then place one at the center of each group of nuts.

  3. 3.

    Bake at 250° F (120° C) for about 10 minutes, or until the caramels begin to melt. Remove the pan from the oven.

  4. 4.

    Over low heat, melt the chocolate chips in a small pan, stirring constantly. Spoon the melted chocolate over each caramel.

  5. 5.

    When the turtles cool, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for an hour, then peel the turtles off the foil. Wrap them in gift boxes between layers of waxed paper, or deliver these Christmas treats on plates.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Dick Brown

[photos] Photos by Kelly Larsen