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 attempted to cut the tree shape out of sandpaper, his blue eyes (they’re green now) looking at me quizzically as he tried to figure out why this paper was so scratchy. And then running back to his Thomas the Tank Engine trains because he was far too busy to sit for long making crafts with his mother.
Each of our kids has a small bin to store their ornaments, so I’ll tuck Andrew’s little tree in with his others: Baby’s First Christmas, a Green Bay Packer Snowman, a drum kit, and all the homemade treasures he’s been given over the years. I hope every Christmas he’ll feel what Cynthia Rylant expresses so beautifully in one of our favorite books, Christmas in the Country: “Each ornament reminded me of my whole life.”
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
- Christmas-y cookie cutters (or your own designs, if you’re good at drawing)
- 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.