Now that I have my own children, I realize just how special that tree was, especially to my mother. All those years I thought it was all about my sister and I and showcasing decorations we made. I thought my mother hung them every year the same way we hang refrigerator art... to let our children know we are proud of them and their accomplishments. While I am sure that was part of it, I can now say that it is so much more.
I now have my own "homemade tree". Every year we hang ornaments my daughter made when she was three. When I see them, I remember her chubby little hands and her baby tooth filled smile. We have ornaments she made of beads and ornaments she made of felt. I have hand prints covered in glitter. Each one has a memory of my child's life firmly attached to it. Whether it was made in school as a surprise, or made together, each one is special and irreplaceable. So, you will never walk into my house and find an immaculate tree, covered in coordinating bulbs and ribbons. You will find however, the most beautiful Christmas tree in the world.
Cinnamon Scented Ornaments
I made these ornaments with my kiddos last year and they had so much fun. They make your house smell AMAZING and they are so sweet (Not in the eating way, in the cute way. Don't try to eat them. They would be terrible.) and simple to make.
What you need:
1 c. cinnamon
3/4 applesauce (maybe more if the dough is too dry)
1 Tbsp. glue
What you do:
Mix together cinnamon, applesauce and glue, adding more applesauce if needed.
Roll dough out to about 1/4" thickness. Don't roll it too thin or your ornaments will be fragile.
Cut dough into shapes using cookie cutters.
Make a hole at the top of each ornament with the straw. Don't get to close to the edge or you will not have a sturdy loop for your hook.
Place shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a 200 degree oven for about 2-1/2 hours, flipping every 30 minutes.
You can also allow these to air dry, but it will take a few days.
Once dry, loop a hook through the hole and hang on your tree!