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Christmas Table Centerpieces

4 Marvelous Christmas Table Centerpieces – To Make

Marvelous Christmas Table Centerpieces - To Make
Christmas is a time to pull out all the stops, a chance to create a wonderland of Holiday decor in your home!  However, these festive decorations can get expensive so in this article we will discuss a four quick, easy, and best of all inexpensive Christmas Centerpiece ideas!

The Christmas dinner table should be dressed in all its majesty for this special meal – Here are a few quick ideas to lay the foundation for your magnificent centerpiece.

First Steps to Make Your Christmas Table Centerpieces

  1. Begin with a solid color fabric tablecloth, White, Taupe, or Beige is best but Christmas Red, Forest Green or Gold will work just as well.
  2. Drape a smaller colorful print tablecloth or hemmed fabric across the midsection of your table; set the cloth in the opposite direction of the tablecloth.  If your table is rectangular, drape the cloth in the middle with corners pointing toward the floor and walls.
  3. Place crystal, silver or gold candlesticks at each side of the centerpiece (or where it will sit) these should not be higher than your centerpiece, even with candles in place.

You are now ready to choose your project; what follows are four ideas and instructions for creating the perfect Christmas centerpiece quickly and with minimum cost!

  • Faux Gift Box
  • Jingle Bell Bowl
  • Lemon/Lime Lace &      Lovely
  • Santa’s Candy Cane Vase

Faux Gift Box Christmas Centerpiece

Faux Gift Box Christmas Centerpiece
Begin by finding up an empty box, with separate lid.  It should be square, around 8 inches tall.

Supplies for Faux Gift Box Christmas Centerpiece:

  • Gold, silver or other shiny gift-wrap
  • 3 ft. gold, sliver or other flocked ribbon
  • 3 ft. printed Christmas ribbon
  • One 6-inch diameter bow
  • Scotch tape
  • White tissue paper

Directions for Faux Gift Box Christmas Centerpiece:

  1. Wrap the box with shiny paper, tucking the edges over the rim and secure with tape.
  2. Wrap lid in the same paper, tucking edges under and securing with tape.
  3. Wrap the box with the ribbon, using two pieces cut to fit just up to where the lid will sit.
  4. Wrap box lid with ribbon to appear connected to ribbon on box.
  5. Secure large ribbon bow on lid with tape or use hot glue gun or self-adhesive bow.
  6. Rumple 3-4 pieces of white tissue paper and place in the between the candlesticks where your centerpiece will sit.
  7. Place your beautiful pretend gift in the center of your table.  Arrange tissue paper to resemble piles of snow around package!

Jingle Bell Bowl Christmas Centerpiece

Jingle Bell Bowl Christmas Centerpiece
This is a simple, simple, little arrangement — but it’s very beautiful!

We all have pretty clear glass bowls in our china cupboards or hidden away for safekeeping.  Pull yours out and use it in this quick and easy design.

Supplies for Jingle Bell Bowl Christmas Centerpiece:

  • Large deep 10′ or 12′ inch clear glass bowl, punch bowl or pedestal (Trifle) bowl
  • 24 small silver jingle bells
  • 24 small green jingle bells
  • 24 small red jingle bells
  • 12 medium sized white Christmas bows

Note: These bells can be found at any craft store.

Directions for Jingle Bell Bowl Christmas Centerpiece:

  1. Simply pour the jingle bells into the bowl in layers.  Begin with the red bells, arrange in a single layer until you run out of bells.  Repeat this with the      other color
  2. Toss as many white bows over top of the bells as you desire, that’s it!  Your cute jingle bells centerpiece is finished.  Set on your table and enjoy!

Large bells can be substituted for all or part of the bells layers for added festive effects!

Lemon/Lime Lace Lovely Christmas Centerpiece

Lemon/Lime Lace Lovely Christmas Centerpiece
This project begins at the florist shop.  Purchase a few Lemon leaves and you’re on your way.

Supplies for Lemon/Lime Lace Lovely Christmas Centerpiece:

  • 20 lemon leaves
  • 8 smooth skinned lemons
  • 4 smaller, smooth skinned limes
  • Shallow clear glass bowl or decorative short pedestal platter, at least 6 inches wide
  • 3-4 yards pretty lace
  • 3 festive small tassels or thin Christmas ribbon curls

Directions for Lemon/Lime Lace Lovely Christmas Centerpiece:

  1. Place the lemon leaves in the bottom of the shallow bowl, clear glass works best so the leaves will show.  Allow some of the leaves to overlap the edges of the bowl.
  2. Position lemons and limes in bowl in a relaxed fashion.
  3. Intertwine the lace in, around and under various lemons and limes.
  4. Place the tassels so they hang over the edges of the bowl, these look good grouped together and left hanging over the front edge.  Use  your own instincts here.
  5. Add one or two curls of ribbon in and then you are finished!

Place this fun, tangy arrangement center-point of your Christmas table.

And now last but by no mean least is this fantastic, colorful and dramatic centerpiece.  Its fun and goes together in a snap, literally!

Santa’s Candy Cane Vase Christmas Centerpiece

Santa's Candy Cane Vase Christmas Centerpiece

Supplies for Santa’s Candy Cane Vase Christmas Centerpiece:

At least 24 individually wrapped red and white striped candy canes.

  • 1 empty coffee can or vase that is not taller than the candy canes
  • 1 large thick rubber band
  • 36 inches of wide red ribbon
  • 1 medium sized red ribbon bow
  • 1 roll double-sided scotch tape
  • Small tightly bundles grouping of red or white flowers

Directions for Santa’s Candy Cane Vase Christmas Centerpiece:

  1. Begin by purchasing a small bouquet of red or white mini-roses or a bright bouquet of pine boughs, holly berries and leaves.  This bouquet should be no more than 8 inches tall including the tightly bound stems, and as wide as the vase or more, 6-8 inches wide.
  2. Place a long strip of double sided tape around the outside top edge of the vase or coffee can.
  3. Position rubber band on vase/can situating it about half way down; this is going to hold the candy canes as well as the tape in place.
  4. Insert enough candy canes under the rubber band snug against the next and with crooks out, to completely cover the outside of the vase/can.  Make sure there are no spaces for the vase/can to show through.
  5. Place another piece of tape around candy canes, over the rubber band.  Measure ribbon around diameter of vase/can, cut and place this ribbon on top of the double-sided tape to secure the ribbon. Secure medium sized bow to ribbon at seam.
  6. Carefully pour a small amount of warm water into vase, place your pretty flowers in the vase!

You have completed this terrific centerpiece.  Place in the middle of your prepared table.  This centerpiece has that “Wow” factor you are after, step back and enjoy it!

Whichever you idea you choose to decorate your Christmas table, your guests will be awed at the beauty you created!  These ideas are inexpensive to make, but look exquisite; adding that undeniable glow under the candlelight and the warmth of the Christmas season; relax now and bask the radiance!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

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Christmas Office Party Pies

Pies to Make and Take To Any Office Christmas Party

Being asked to bring a pie to a Christmas party is a nice compliment. Apparently, the host or hostess has great confidence in your culinary talents, so you must present a magnificent Christmas pie.  The choices for what pie to take are as varied as can be, so choose cleverly.

The following suggestions might offer motivation to reach far back into the pantry for those extra-choice ingredients that will create a splendid Christmas pie.

Christmas parties are usually well-organized and often are “potluck” fashioned. So with that in mind, here are some fun and appetizing Christmas party pies.
Dreamsicle Pie

Dreamsicle Pie:

This is a fun flashback to the past. Creamsicles were ice cream treats sold in the 20th Century and were a delicious combination of orange sherbet surrounding a core of vanilla ice cream. (A truly luscious and fun treat!) The Dreamsicle Pie is just that – luscious and fun – and it’s simple to make.

Directions for Dreamsicle Pie:

  1. Combine one (3 oz.) package of orange Jell-O with a (room temperature) 8 oz. package of cream cheese; beat well, then add 1 cup of orange juice and 1 small package of instant vanilla pudding.
  2. Whip this into the cream cheese mix.
  3.  Fold in 2 cups whipped topping, and then scoop it into a cookie or graham-cracker crumb crust.
  4. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least two hours.

Havarti Party Quiche:

This is a great potluck or office party pie, it has great flavor and bakes into a pleasant side dish to offer the guests, and it is easy to transport to the party.  It goes together very quickly and has a classy, gourmet touch because of the Havarti cheese and uncommon wild rice base. Any cook can make this delicious pie because it’s made with a mix and a frozen pie shell.
Havarti Party Quiche

Ingredients for Havarti Party Quiche:

  • 1-frozen deep-dish pie shell (thaw and prick the thawed crust with a fork and pre-bake for 6 minutes at 400oF before using.)
  • 1 box of Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice mix, prepared according to package directions.
  • ½ cup of finely cut green onions
  • ½ cup of diced bell peppers, in a mix of colors.
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ tbsp. mustard
  • 4 well beaten eggs
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Havarti cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Havarti Party Quiche:

  1. Stir the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl to combine.
  2. Pour into the par-baked pie shell, place in a preheated 350oF oven and bake until nicely browned on top and a knife blade inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  This (Christmas) Quiche can be served hot or cold.

Nutty Peanut Butter Pie
No doubt there will be children at a lot of the Christmas parties so make a pie that they will love.  Most kids love peanut butter so why not tempt them with a quick and easy, no-bake peanut butter pie?  Here it is!

Nutty Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients for Nutty Peanut Butter Pie: (for two pies)

  • 1 package of Nutter-Butter cookies, made into crumbs and pressed into a 9-inch pie plate
  • 16 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • One 8 oz. tub of Cool-Whip, thawed
  • 4 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped into small chunks
  • Hershey’s chocolate syrup

Directions for Nutty Peanut Butter Pie:

  1. Mix the first five ingredients together on low speed of an electric mixer.  Add Cool-Whip and fold gently, then stir in the candy chunks.
  2. Scoop into the cookie crust and smooth the top.
  3. Cover with cling-wrap and put in the freezer and allow at least 2 hours for the pie to set up.
  4. Cut into child-sized pieces and serve with a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Christmas parties are always a good time to pull out all the stops and make the party a celebration with fabulous food. So – if you are asked to “bring a pie” just whip up one of these Christmas pies for an enchanting, dramatic presentation.

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Christmas Tree Skirts

Christmas Tree Skirts-Make It Yourself

Christmas Tree Skirts-Make It Yourself

Wonderful (Green) Inexpensive Christmas Tree Skirts-Make It Yourself!

A Christmas tree skirt is a useful, decorative tool under almost every Christmas tree, covering a multitude of tree-stand imperfections. Chances are we are all using the same tree-stands every year. This common and sometimes old, cumbersome, eyesore may need to be hidden!

So here in this article we will discuss creative ways to make the needed Christmas tree skirt. If you put some thought into it, you can come up with lots of great, clever ways to disguise that beat-up stand, or you can use one of these suggestions–a couple even qualify for “Green” ideas!

Cowboy/Western Christmas Tree Skirt theme:

Go to any fabric store and hunt up the cowboy, western, and country patterned, flannel cloth. This is a heavy cloth that is used in making PJs and warm shirts, etc. Well, it can easily become a Christmas tree skirt.

Supplies for a Christmas Tree Skirt:

4 yards of 45″ wide cowboy, western, or country print flannel
4-1/4 yards fringed trim (if desired)
Fabric glue

Instructions for Christmas Tree Skirt:

Lay cloth on a worktable, right side up.

  1.  Working in small 6-inch sections, spread a 6″ line of fabric glue onto cloth
  2. Place 6″ fringe along glue line, pressing as you go to adhere the fringe to the cloth.
  3. Repeat this step until you reach the end of the cloth. Cut fringe.
  4. Leave one inch of the attached cloth, turn, and glue end down.
  5. Allow glue to dry for 4 hours.
  6. Arrange the cloth around the tree stand. If no trim is desired, just skip that step.

If you like, you can find cowboy, farm, western-themed Christmas ornaments to adorn the cloth, using the same fabric glue to attach.

Faux Fur Christmas Tree Skirt

This is a fun and fabulous idea and faux fur is very inexpensive and when added under the tree creates a certain warm feeling in the room. The faux fur fabric comes in a rainbow of colors and textures. Brown imitation mink is very glamorous! This fabric creates limitless possibilities in a fertile mind!

Purchase 4 yards of the fabric; no need to add to it, it’s dramatic as is. Simply arrange the fabric under your tree in folds to add that classy, special something to your holiday décor.

Light and lovely lace Christmas Tree Skirt (Go Green)

Have you ever gone to a second-hand store, such as Goodwill, and seen hangers and racks full of beautiful lace curtains and tablecloths? These are great to purchase and use for beautiful Christmas tree skirts. No sewing involved in these quick and easy skirts!

These sheer curtains are available in any color, with or without patterns, and they supply the creative mind with a multitude of possibilities. As you will see, some are made of silks, satins, and even lovely pastels; they are more than willing to become your new tree skirt.

  •  Simply purchase a few in the same pattern or texture and gracefully lay them under your tree in a pretty draping fashion.

Tablecloths make a Christmas Tree Skirt-From that same second-hand store

Lacy, crocheted, and open-weave patterned tablecloths work best for this project. These older tablecloths may have a few light stains and are past their prime for use on a table-scape, but arranged under the warm glow of your Christmas tree lights, they receive the gift of salvation and become useful and beautiful once more!

  • Simply purchase a few of these vintage or antique tablecloths (if you are really lucky) in the same pattern or texture and gracefully lay these under your tree, simply wrapped around the tree stand.

Anyone can create drama under the Christmas tree and do it without spending much money. In these times of economic pressure, and at this time of year, saving money is of utmost importance; try one of these simple ideas under your tree this year.  You will be the only one who knows from whence that lovely and creative Christmas tree skirt cometh.

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Christmas Card Art

Christmas Card Art-Two Beautiful Ways

Christmas Card Art
What can you do with the Christmas cards received this year!  Recycle them of course!

I have a plan — I can’t stand to part with even one of the greeting cards I get, ever!  So I have to be creative in my hording or stashing away of these precious cards.

Christmas cards can be beautiful and elaborate, foiled and embossed with majestic script and detailed artwork on the fronts; how can we possibly toss these into the trash?  If you are like me, you can’t!  So then they will have to be reused, much like re-gifting only in a lesser way.

I got a lovely card the other day, it was a big one and not fancy, but it spoke volumes to me.  On the front were two sparrows; I love sparrows! The birds were perched on the branch of a tree, the winter branch had no leaves left but the two were sitting there, looking into each others eyes, can’t you just hear them peeping?  In red were the words “I Love you” plain and simple.  I plan to frame this card, it touched my heart so.

Here’s how to frame Christmas cards:

  • The card front is 8” x 5” take a pair of fancy pinking shears that make a delicate scalloped edge and cut the edges of the card, then cut it away from the back.  (I’ll talk about the back later.)

To frame Christmas cards I will need the following supplies:

  1.  1 or more Christmas cards you want to keep forever, they need not be Santa (type) if you plan to use them in your home year round.
  2. 1 frame with glass, plan for 2 inches bigger on each side 10” x 7.5 or 8”.  All craft stores sell inexpensive wood frames.
  3. Stain and clear finish for the frame, if desired
  4. Colored paper for the backing.  Again I can recycle using a piece of corrugated cardboard, stained the appropriate color using watercolors paints.  Or just leave it plain brown, that’s nice too.
  5. Gold paint in a ballpoint tube, available at the craft stores; it’s paint in a pen and very easy to use.  I will use this to outline the picture once mounted on the backing.  A thin line (or more) of this gold paint around the picture adds drama and class to the project.

Once all these things are done to my specifications I can assemble the picture.  After affixing a picture hanger on the back I am now ready to hang this picture in my guest room or anywhere it fits the décor.

I’ve done this form of recycling with used Christmas cards for a few years, replacing the pictures as often as I like.

Now, what do I do with the insides of the cards? If they are hand written and from people I love or who love me – I cut only the handwritten signatures with their words out and I have assembled these signatures into poster sized framed art!

Here’s how to make Christmas card signatures into a poster:

It’s really quite simple.

  • Cut or carefully tear the backs from the fronts and make two piles.  Then separate the signatures you are going to use to another pile.  Shred the ones you aren’t going to use, you know the ones you got from your insurance agency or the bank?  They make great packing materials to use to protect the gifts you must ship.
  • Now, you have a stack of salutations to use in your personal love and best wishes collage poster artwork!
  • Using pinking shears (that are available in several patterns making zigzag, scalloped, and wavy patterned edges and will work on any paper) cut the hand written messages out of the card backs.  These will be used in your collage.

Supplies needed for this project:

  • Pinking shears in various patterns
  • Double sided scotch tape
  • Poster sized backing, poster board, cardboard, colored paper
  • Hanging poster frame with glass
  • Various small paper, foam, ribbon or foil accents, to add color

This whole project will be done on the backing you choose.  It should be one color (part of it will show through) one piece and fit the frame perfectly.

  • Arrange the cut scraps of Christmas greetings on the backing in a loose informal way, be creative since it’s going to be looking back at you for a while after it’s hung.  Have fun arranging the accents around to create drama and glitz.
  • After you have each one set where you want it, then lift it off of its spot, affix a piece of double sided tape to its back and replace it, do one at a time so you’ll remember where it was.  Soon you’ll have all the love signatures attached.  Then you put it in the frame, put on the back and viola you have completed this terrific love poster!

Its fun also to collect the cards and signatures from only one person over the span of a few years and then using this same method, create a gift FOR that person using their own words and signatures!  This is an opportunity to be very creative, using color backings and accents.  Talk about re-gifting!

Almost every room in my own home is adorned in some way with recycled Christmas cards; in art made from these cards or just the love note signatures from the people I love the most!

This is a great way to re-use the pretty and thoughtful holiday cards you receive each year, as well as creating ways to remember the emotions of Christmas all year long, for they are there hanging artfully and

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Christmas Gifts for that Special He or She

Whether you are a HE searching for a Christmas gift for that special girlfriend or you are a SHE looking for that special gift for your girlfriend, the options are only limited by your imagination.

HE – Gift suggestions:

  1. engagement ring

    An engagement ring?

      Many jewelers offer terrific discounts on engagement rings as this time of year, what’s more Christmas Eve is the perfect time to “Pop the question”.  Getting down on one knee, bring the treasure from the depth of your pocket, opening up that tiny velvet box and watching her eyes begin to brim over with tears of joy.  “Yes,” she says, “YES!”  You dissolve into each other’s arms.  (Not for you?  Try this next suggestion.)

  2. Fluffy Blanket

  3. A cozy, fluffy blanket – a blanket big enough for two! Oh yes, any girl will love this cuddling opportunity.  Make it in her favorite color and you’ll have a sure winner.
  4. Picnic Basket

  5. Picnic Basket

    – Present her with a picnic basket overflowing with all the ingredients for a winter picnic!  1-small bottle of wine, 2 crystal goblets, and 2 sandwiches made with flaky croissants and her favorite fillings, 2 small bags of designer baked chips, 2 gigantic chocolate dipped fresh strawberries; “At this time of year, oh how clever of you to find them!” You go!

  6. Kitten

    – If your special lady is an animal lover, give her a kitten!  Of course you’d have to know if she can have a pet where she lives and you will have done your homework on this project to be sure a pet would work within her lifestyle.  But – A kitten?  Oh yes, little soft paws, tiny pink nose and that cute little mewing and the Christmas bow for a collar!

SHE – Gift Suggestions:

  1. Spa Day

    –  A certificate stating the recipient will receive a “Pamper-yourself-hairstyle-nail-pedicure-day” on you and at her favorite salon.

  2. Lunch

     at her favorite Bistro, with her 3 closest friends.  (Including you!)

  3. Car Detailing

    Ask to use her car, (make up some reason, wrap it in a fib) then have her car professionally cleaned from top to bottom.  Ask for “detailed wash and wax” at your local attended carwash.

  4. Snowboarding

    Buy two tickets to take snowboarding lessons on the nearest slopes.  Most ski areas offer these lessons, board rental and all the gear for great prices.  Have fun!

Whether your special friend is a pal or a lover, they deserve the best.  Give a gift that you would like to receive, one that creates a memory; gifts that take his/her breath away and show you cared enough to make it work!

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Christmas Pumpkin Fudge

Christmas Pumpkin Fudge

Recipe for Christmas Pumpkin Fudge

During a search for one Christmas season for this year’s goodies to give or keep and guard, I found quite a unique recipe for Christmas Pumpkin Fudge to include in my repertoire.  The trouble is every time I make it (since finding the recipe years ago) I can’t seem to make this fast enough to keep up with the demand.  Once it’s made it’s gobbled up by my family!

I found this recipe in the back of a foods magazine, just sitting there quietly waiting to be discovered.  I tweaked it up a bit, simplified the whole process and have been making it the following way ever since.

Hint: I use King Arthur flavored baking chips

Ingredients for Christmas Pumpkin Fudge:

  • 2 cups vanilla baking chips
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch baking chips
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon baking chips
  • 2 tsp. candied orange peel strips, diced
  • 1-14 oz. can Eagle Brand condensed milk, not evaporated
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, not pie mix
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup broken pie crust
  • 1/2 cup toffee candy bits

Directions for Christmas Pumpkin Fudge:

Preheat oven to 300oF.

  1. Bake pie crust until quite hard, at low temperature, do not allow to brown.  This requires leaving pie crust in oven  until hard but not browned.  Since  all ovens are not the same, lower oven temperature if it starts to brown.  Once pie crust is totally dry, remove  from oven, cool and break into small pieces, about the size of a dime or  smaller.  Reserve 1 cup.
  2. Spray 9 inch square cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Line pan with quick release Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil, leave at least 4 inches on each side for wrapping fudge.
  3. Place pumpkin into a small micro safe bowl, cover loosely with cling wrap.  Heat for 35 seconds to cook and keep hot.
  4. Using a double boiler over simmering water, add condensed milk and all baking chips stir to incorporate.  When completely melted, stir to combine.  Add hot pumpkin, reserved pie crust, vanilla, diced orange peel, pumpkin pie spice, and stir together.
  5. Pour at once into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with toffee candy bits.  Allow to sit undisturbed for at least 2 hours.
  6. Using foil overhang as handles, remove fudge from pan.  Slice into 2 inch servings using a long bladed knife or pizza cutter.

Store tightly covered in the refrigerator — Keeps well for two weeks. This recipe makes a nice, firm-textured and delicious fudge.

Why not try this totally unique Pumpkin Fudge this thanksgiving as a sweet treat?  Or arrive at any holiday party with this fudge as a hostess gift; you’ll receive rave reviews for your efforts!

 

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