These cinnamon Christmas ornaments are easy enough for toddlers, but still fun for older kids.
Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments
First, Another Hurricane Story
Our Christmas tree sat incongruously in the muddy garage, next to a soggy box and bits of wet drywall. I probably walked past it twenty times before I made myself look. I hoped to find tinsel garlands and glass balls, probably ruined but easily replaced.
Before our house flooded, I had tried to grab all the boxes of handmade ornaments and take them upstairs. We carried up load after load of I-don’t-remember-what upstairs until we couldn’t walk up another step.
After the flood, I told everyone who would listen that we had fared well because we’d carried all the sentimental stuff upstairs.
Still, my heart beat a little faster when I opened that waterlogged cardboard box.
Homemade Christmas Ornaments
Every year, our Christmas tree looks like a preschool exploded onto it. Each ornament comes with a memory that feels like Christmas to me.
I remember Liam proudly hanging Christmas ornaments he’d made at mother’s day out. I can picture a glittery paper Christmas tree with his name on the back, carefully printed in his teacher’s best handwriting.
I remember the girls bringing home their own paper stocking ornaments, this time covered in colorful squares of tissue paper and too much glue.
A few years ago my parents downsized and gave me some ornaments from my own childhood. Among them was this lovably dorky Styrofoam snowman my dad made. My heart swells every year when I pull him out of his box. I know I’m the only one who loves him, but that’s okay!
Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments
This year I created another ornament we can make ourselves. So far, only Sophie has made one. I think Isabella will probably do one when we get closer to the holidays. She may put her own spin on it, as these cinnamon Christmas ornaments are easy enough for even toddlers to do with help.
If you can spread glue with a paintbrush and sprinkle on cinnamon like glitter, you can make these. They smell better and clean up more easily than glitter though!
Reindeer or gingerbread man template
Cardstock: brown and white
Glue & paintbrush for glue
Decorations: wiggle eyes, buttons, pompoms, yarn, etc.
Ribbon or yarn
1. Cut out a reindeer or gingerbread man shape from brown cardstock, or use pre-cut shapes.
2. Lay the shape on a sheet of waxed paper, and spread with glue.
3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and shake off excess just like you’d do with glitter.
4. Let dry several hours, or overnight if the glue was thick.
5. Decorate by gluing on wiggle eyes, buttons, a pompom, etc.
6. Glue the cinnamon coated shape onto background paper, and then hole punch and tie with ribbon as shown.
Hurricane Story, Part 2
One of the reasons I want to make more ornaments with the kids this year is that we did lose a few in the flood after all. They were in that soggy forgotten box – the only box I cried over.
When I opened it I wailed and right away felt tears rolling down my cheeks. In one look I saw a clay toddler handprint ornament turned to mush and my dad’s goofy snowman stained by filthy floodwater.
I pulled them out and found a smelly wet construction paper Christmas tree with cheerful curling ribbon still attached. Then I uncovered that stocking with glued on tissue paper squares, now bleeding their dye and dripping wet.
I hugged my husband, and cried for a few minutes, and then I moved on. We know lots of people who lost so much more, and I’ve felt almost a survivor’s guilt over my one box of tears.
When I feel sad about it, I remind myself that the stuff was just reminders of memories. I still have the memories.
And I can make more, starting with our sweet-smelling cinnamon Christmas ornaments.
I’ve joined up with a creative group of bloggers who’re sharing A Month of Kid Made Christmas Decorations. For instance, I love this snow globe. Every day in November there will be a lovely new idea to refill our new box of kid’s Christmas ornaments. You may like to follow along too.