Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.

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So what if instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.
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Winter Fun

Kids’ Craft: Smelly Christmas Ornaments

When we were decorating the tree this weekend, I found a long-forgotten ornament hidden under some tissue paper. It’s so simple—just a tree cut out of sandpaper with red yarn looped through—but it made me smile because it reminded me of my earliest days as a mother. I can picture Andrew’s blond head bent over his work as his chubby hands attempt to cut the tree shape out of sandpaper, his blue eyes (they’re green now) looking at me quizzically, trying to figure out what this scratchy paper is. And then running back to his Thomas trains because he’s far too busy to sit for long making crafts with his mother.

And isn’t this why we go through all the craziness of decorating trees and stringing lights and baking piles of cookies? As Cynthia Rylant says in one of our favorite books, Christmas in the Country, “Each ornament reminded me of my whole life.”

So. These smelly Christmas ornaments are great for the preschool crowd. You might have to help with the cutting, but they can have fun rubbing the cinnamon stick on the sandpaper.

All you need is

  • sandpaper
  • Christmas-y cookie cutters (or your own designs, if you’re good at drawing)
  • yarn
  • a hole punch
  • a cinnamon stick

Trace the cookie cutter shapes onto the sandpaper and cut them out. Punch a hole in the top, then let your little helper rub the cinnamon stick all over the ornament. Loop some yarn through the hole, tie, and hang the ornaments on your tree.

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  1. Stephanie says:

    That’s sounds lovely. I’ll use some nutmeg too – they sell them whole in France in little jars with a tiny metal grater so you can produce your own ground version.

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