Ahhhh, it’s that time of year again. The holidays. A time when in theory, we are meant to gather and be thankful, celebrate one another and reflect on the past year. And in theory a time when we come together and create ritual in the name of hope, love, joy and peace. Well, it seems to me we have forgotten all that and in the last, say, 25 years or so in the age of mass consumerism and technological advancement Christmas or the holiday season has morphed into stressful, endless rat race of want, desire and waste. As a matter of fact in the United States alone our waste out put between Thanksgiving and New Year’s increases by roughly 30%, yes even in these though times.
I wrote my book, I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas, as both a reminder of the true spirit of Christmas as well as a guide for a less wasteful Christmas and holiday season. I truly believe that if we re-prioritize and reconnect to a deeper sense of community and sharing we have such a wonderful opportunity to create meaningful and lasting traditions. It is not necessary to purchase my book but I invite you to remember or create your own crafts, recipes and projects that use less and mean more. Whether you are pregnant or have a young baby or are a seasoned parent keep your traditions going. They will create a lasting impression of good memories for your children. One of my favorites as a child was making salt dough ornaments. I share with you here a tradition I have continued with my children. Please share yours with us.
Salt Dough Ornaments
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling the dough
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutters (various shapes and sizes)
- Cookie sheet
- Used yarn or ribbon, cut in 3- to 4-inch lengths
- Nontoxic glue (optional)
- Gold and silver glitter (optional)
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the water and stir until the dough is well blended, until no traces of flour remain.
3. Knead the dough on a flat surface until smooth, about 8 to 10 minutes. Do not let the dough get too rubbery.
4. On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Using the cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Use the toothpick to make a hole at the top of each ornament, large enough for the yarn or ribbon to fit through and bake for 2 hours.
5.When the ornaments are done, let them cool, slip a piece of yarn or ribbon through each hole, and knot.
6.If you like, draw glue designs on the ornaments and then cover them with glitter. Allow them to dry, then shake off the glitter.
Anna Getty, Founder Pregnancy Awareness Month, author, cook, educator, and mother