Christmas Crackers — These were popular in France before the middle of the 1800s. The idea is to loosely wrap gold or silver paper around small candies and tie at each end with ribbon. Two children tug at the ends until the cracker bursts, scattering the candies on the floor, where the children scramble to pick them up.
Holiday Kissing Ball Craft — During the Middle Ages, villagers would wind together twine and evergreen
branches into a ball shape. In the center of this conglomeration of evergreen boughs they would place a clay figure of an infant to represent the baby Jesus. These "holy boughs," as they were called, would be hung from the ceiling along passageways in castles and big houses to render blessings and good luck to all who passed under the bough and the holy infant.
Holiday Soaps — It's a snap to make decorative soap for gifts or your own bathroom by using meltable blocks of soap, such as Soap Expressions, from a craft store. The soap can be tinted or perfumed, if desired with additives available from the soapmaking section of craft stores.
Patterned Gift Wrap — Create these distinctive gift wraps with snowflake and scalloped-circle cookie cutters on solid-colored paper. Make intriguing patterns by stamping the shapes
- either joining or overlapping - in acrylic paint on the paper.
Scented Waxed Pine Cones — Plan to make these in several colors, perhaps dark blue, Christmas green and Christmas red! White would make an interesting accent. Cinnamon and pine essential oils are great for this project.
Spice Bag Gift — Spice bags are a great way to add a holiday scent to the air or to give as a gift to a friend.