Friday, December 19, 2008

Guiding Light

A Christmas Tree just isn't right without a star adorning the top stem. For me, a star symbolizes everything that constitutes what Christmas is. When Christ was born it signified His birth, the very birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ; it led the shepherds and the wise men to Him; and it is today representative of His guiding light and wisdom. The first year Gabriel and I were married, we didn't have money for ornaments or decorations, much less a star to light the top of our tree. Instead I stitched together a little homemade star, and sewed a small loop on the back out of yarn. 6 years later, this is what happened to our star...:


In this photo, Scooby Doo is representing Tipsy our 1 year old Lhasa Poo who should be aptly named for the untold amounts of mischief she conducts... or so I thought, until this morning when I found our star hiding below a smattering of ribbon rolls. I was elated! I hope that this star will last as long as we can perch it atop our tree. It is representative of our marriage, a shining beacon of what celestial glory we can attain as we place the Lord at the helm of our lives.

I love Christmas! In our home, decorating the Christmas tree lasts as long as the season itself. Of course we have one big trimming party to kick start the festivities, but like much of the rest of the season I just can't get enough of it. Plus of course, as the season progresses items are placed on sale, especially whole cranberries, and nothing is better than red strung cranberries on a green Christmas tree.

Starting with our first Christmas together we have retained, not only our tradition of keeping our scratch made star, but our tradition of scratch and earth made ornaments for our tree. The smell of fruit and pine couldn't appease my senses more delightfully. In addition to strung cranberries we slice lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges sprinkled with a little bit of sugar. We leave them to sit overnight, and hang them to dry on the tree throughout the season. The tree lights shine through them and cast a beautiful glow upon the room. You can see a bit of a grapefruit ornament behind Scooby.

For fun, I kept a few limes whole and whipped up a lime tart, but then I ate it just as quickly so I don't have any photos!

Tart: Lime
Topping: Whipped Cream

(Crust courtesy of Ginny Johnson)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 cup butter

Cut ingredients together until they resemble small pebbles and then press into tart pan.

Whip together:
4 eggs until they turn light yellow
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice (2)
Grated limes (2)

Pour into crust. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes. Remove and cool.

This year, I don't know how I came up with it, I brilliantly thought of wrapping tee balls in my own fabric. I tried for many hours, and then commissioned my husband, and then bought a new hot glue gun to wrap the balls tight with fabric-like store bought ornaments. I now believe that is impossible, so I settled for wrapping them up and tying them with ribbon; I'm thrilled with the results.


Fortunately, I also had on hand a delightful assortment of ribbon including Christmas ribbon. Some of the ribbon is polka dotted as you can see, the striped ball has cute little chickens on it, below the yellow ball has gorgeous cupcakes on the ribbon, but most of the ribbon says, "Ho Ho Ho", "Merry Christmas", "I've been good", or Santa is Coming". No glue, tape or staples are involved, so if you like you can unwrap and reuse for alternate purposes.

4 Sweet Talkers:

Fahrenheit 350° said...

Thanks! Now I'm trying to come up with an idea for my primary kids - I've been teaching them for 3 years in a row and now they moving me to a new class and I want to give them a token of memorabilia. Any ideas?

Breanne said...

So cute. I saw a cute homemade ornament idea at Hand Picked Daisy, a Visiting Teaching site. They were super cute. You could fill them with a little treat, opr really just leave them empty, they are adorable. Here is the site: http://handpickeddaisy.blogspot.com/2008/12/christmas-ornament.html

Heather said...

oh catherine, you amaze me! for real! honestly girl! you are soo creative, and i am soo thrilled that i get to see all these yummiest treats of yours. you are awesome! i am sooooo glad that you are bloggin this!

oh! so, sorry about your star! you are too funny. and, OH MY GOSH, did you get a pic of your WHOLE tree!???? i have to see it, it sounds like it was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!
love love love the fresh fruits oh my gosh! how divine that aroma must have been!!!!

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