(During this season of celebration and happiness many people are facing a tough and uncertain future. Our host for this week's Fun Monday, the Wise One over at Mommy Wizdom , challenges us to show a little love to family, friends, or strangers by performing some random acts of kindness. My approach to this assignment is not exactly random, but it is a kind gesture to some dear friends who have been absolute rocks for most of this year. They're all getting a handmade holiday wreath in appreciation. That is, if wreathmaking is like riding a bicycle, something you don't forget. . .)
Last week's Christmas Favorites Fun Monday reminded me of a forgotten holiday tradition, making natural evergreen wreaths. It's been years since I've done this, but a Christmas/birthday gathering this Tuesday evening has inspired me to try my hand again. Several of my best buddies are gathering at my sister's new apartment in a senior citizen's facility to celebrate her 72nd birthday and ooh-ah over all her holiday decorations. We'll send them home with a little token of our friendship, a handcrafted holiday wreath. If you'd like to try your hand at making wreaths, it's a simple process:
Wreathmaking supplies: hit your local tree lots and nurseries and see what they offer in the way of greenery for free (trimmings from Christmas trees) or very cheap bundles of a variety of evergreens. Here on my work table I've got hemlock, cedar, white pine and fraser fir--and holly berries for some color. You may also be lucky enough to have some of these plants growing in your own yard. Only other supplies you'll need are garden pruners, paddles of wire, and wreath forms.
Directions: get an assembly line going, especially if you plan to make more than one (I'm going for 10). Step 1 -- make small six inch bundles of greenery. Step 2-- tie one end of the wire to the wreath frame; with your right hand, lay a bundle of greenery on the frame. Step 3 -- take the wire paddle in your left hand and wrap the wire around the greenery bundle several times while holding it in place with your right hand. Step 4 -- Continue placing the greenery bundles on the frame, overlapping to cover the stems of the previous bundle. Just eyeball the wreath as you make your way around the form to be sure that it's balanced--doesn't have to be perfect. Step 5 --add the holly last throughout the wreath so that you don't knock the berries off, using as much or little holly as you like. Step 6 -- tie off the wire securely and leave enough "tail" of wire to twist into a loop for hanging. Or, if you prefer, lay the wreath on a flat surface and nestle some candles in the middle. Finally, I'll make some simple two loop red bows for these wreaths and my friends can decide whether to use them or not.
This is what my first effort of the evening looked like--a bit wobbly, but quite all right, don't you think? Hopefully, Tuesday night my friends will take these home and be reminded throughout the holiday season of how much I appreciate them. Now on Monday I'm going to be checking out what random acts of kindness other Fun Monday participants are spreading around--or what they have received. I'm sure we'll all be inspired to do more.
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.