A Christmas story of memories began many years ago when I started to decorate for the holidays and money was not abundant. An eager eighteen year old wanting to deck the halls, I had to find entrepreneurial methods of adding that Christmas pizzazz to my little home. What began as a budget conscious effort to bring the joy of the holidays into my home became an engrained and dearly loved holiday tradition. I share with you more than a simple holiday decorating tradition. I share with you the spirit of your family and an opportunity to create memories that will care forward to your future and across your generations.
Supplies needed are very simple and cost efficient. You will need a spool of thread, a needle, a bag of popcorn (the cheap stuff is fine), red and green construction paper, either a stapler or glue, thumb tacks, scissors, a bag of cranberries, and a couple of packs of candy canes. You’ll also need plenty of hot chocolate, marshmallows, coffee mugs and maybe even mom’s home baked cookies on hand to add the final touch to your family memory.
Pop up a large brown paper grocery bag full of popcorn, an extra bowl or two for eating, thread a needle with a long doubled piece of thread and tie a good sized knot in the end (to prevent the popcorn from slipping over) then just start stringing the popcorn pieces on one after another until your string is full and complete. You may not make them long enough at first (I didn’t), so then you can bring them from the corners of your living room to the center. Next arrange hanging construction paper rings as a beautiful centerpiece. Let the kids color, glitter and decorate the rings before you hang them to add an extra special touch.
Kid decorated looped paper chains of red and green can outline a wonderful Christmas card holder on the wall or even the windows. My children used to love to put the names sprinkled with glitter on the strips before we put them together. The smiles you earn for this wonderful time spent is worth more than any present you or Santa could ever bring this year. For many years to come you’ll have your own Christmas story to share as you travel through the memories of popcorn night from yesteryear.
You can use the cranberries intermittently throughout the popcorn string if your fingers can stand the pain. They are kind of hard and difficult to string but make a pretty addition all the same. My children did not care much for the cranberries simply because they were too difficult to thread and their messy too.
As years went by my children grew and joined into the fun of the holiday traditional. A simple, quiet and fun time…grocery bags (brown paper) full of popcorn, hot chocolate with marshmallows and mom’s home baked cookies all around became a standard the day after Thanksgiving when the decorations started going up inside my home. As many more years have passed we would not do the construction paper streamers or maybe the cranberries, but we always did the popcorn. A few more years and everyone became interested in the prettiness of the store bought décor or we thought there wasn’t enough time.
Now my children are all grown and I sit looking upon our tree. The beauty is still there only now it hangs full of memories with hand painted ornaments, baby’s first and such. The fun and family times of those earlier years with popcorn stringing, paper streamers, hot chocolate and cookies will never be forgotten. They are from a treasured time to which we all need to return for at least a portion of our time each year.
So this holiday message of sharing and love I bring to you today. Hoping you will travel there and find your own smiling memories. Hold tight for they take flight fast and leave you wondering. Where did they go so fast and quick, no more popcorn, streamers or Saint Nick? Though grow they do and depart from you these memories you’ll share. So pop the corn and deck the halls, but make sure the cookies are there!!!