Traditions…It’s that time of the year again! The holidays…A time when in theory, we are meant to gather together and be thankful, celebrate one another and reflect on the past year. In theory, also a time when we come together and create rituals in the name of hope, love, joy and peace.
Well, it seems to me like we have forgotten all that and in the last, say, twenty-five years or so. In this age of mass consumerism and technological advancement Christmas and the holiday season has morphed into a 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 the New Year has increased by roughly 30%. Yes, even in these tough 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 will have such a wonderful opportunity to create meaningful and lasting traditions.
It is obviously 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 so much more. Whether you are pregnant or have a young baby at home or are even a seasoned parent…keep your traditions going. They will create a lasting impression of wonderful memories for your children. One of my favorite holiday activities as a child was making salt dough ornaments. I share with you here a tradition I have continued on with my children. Please share your favorite traditions 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)
1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.
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
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