O Christmas Tree (and a Reusable Wrapping Project)

This is the first year we’ve had a Christmas tree in our house. Its sharp, sweet scent is like the ghost of Christmas past, not bringing specific memories but a deep inhalation of many Christmas seasons that came before. At the same time, having a decorated tree in our living room also keeps me firmly planted in the present as Amos turns the colored lights on and off several times a day. He can’t resist taking ornaments off and re-positioning (or sometimes throwing) them every few minutes. As far as toddlers and trees go, though, we have been lucky, at least in the few days since we put it up.









The small projects we’ve been doing have been, mostly, fun. Making salt dough ornaments was by far the most enjoyable for me and Amos loves playing with dough. Unless you have absolutely no concern about messes, painting fabric with a two and a half year old is probably a little ambitious.

My idea for making reusable bags for gift wrapping did not go completely smoothly, but in the end I am very happy with the results. We used fabric paint to cover a large white sheet, that I found at Goodwill, with dots, lines, splotches, and some trees and stars. When we were done painting, the sheet definitely did not look like it could ever become part of a nice looking gift. But, once cut and sewn the messy abstract colors seem festive and fun. Each basic square bag can be closed with a drawstring or wrapped up with ribbon.








Brown paper is what I use most often for wrapping gifts and beyond that I have very little interest or skill in wrapping. In my eagerness to start family traditions this year, I wanted to have reusable bags on hand for gift giving and very simple wrapping. They look nice enough to give away as well as for gifts under our tree.







The tree, the making, the wrapping, planning and attempting our own traditions also has me thinking of Christmas future. Not in great detail but the hazy knowledge that next year there will be two little ones admiring the tree. One who will hopefully have outgrown throwing ornaments (wishful thinking?) and another who might be just learning to sit up and look around at big brother and the twinkly lights. I’m sure Christmas next year, with a baby in the house, will look very different than this one so I am trying to enjoy and make the most of what we have now, while looking forward to that time ahead, too.


  1. jenn atwell

    December 29, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    I just found your blog via In Jennie's Kitchen. I have enjoyed reading about your life. I live in California. I'm happily amazed at how the internet can connect 2 people from coast to coast. Have a Happy New Year.

  2. Anna

    December 29, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Thanks for visiting and for saying hello, Jenn! It is so great when the internet can bring us positive connections.

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