That ONE thing

What is your one go-to holiday decoration? You know, the one that the seasonal decorating is incomplete without? I have a couple of ornaments for the tree that, without them, it would be incomplete.. but my #1…

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Yup, you guessed right. Mistletoe, of course! I finally purchased a ‘kissing ball’ after a few years of searching without many quality options (note, if you’re looking, I’d recommend Amazon!).

According to Wikipedia (the most accurate reference of all),

European mistletoe, Viscum album, figured prominently in Greek mythology, and is believed to be The Golden Bough ofAeneas, ancestor of the Romans. According to the 13th century Prose Edda, because of the scheming of Loki, the god Baldr was killed by his brother, the blind god Höðr, by way of a mistletoe projectile, despite the attempts of Baldr’s mother, the goddess Frigg, to have all living things and inanimate objects swear an oath not to hurt Baldr after Baldr had troubling dreams of his death. Frigg was unable to get an oath from mistletoe, because “it seemed too young” to demand an oath from. In the Gesta Danorum version of the story, Baldr and Höðr are rival suitors, and Höðr kills Baldr with a sword named Mistilteinn (Old Norse “mistletoe”). In addition, a sword by the same name appears in various other Norse legends.

In cultures across pre-Christian Europe, mistletoe was seen as a representation of divine male essence (and thus romance, fertility and vitality). According to Pliny the Elder, the Celts considered it a remedy for barrenness in animals and an antidote to poison.

When Christianity became widespread in Europe after the third century AD, the religious or mystical respect for the mistletoe plant was integrated to an extent into the new religion. In some way that is not presently understood, this may have led to the widespread custom of kissing under the mistletoe plant during the Christmas season. The earliest documented case of kissing under the mistletoe dates from 16th century England, a custom that was apparently very popular at that time.

Whatever the origins of this custom, I’m on board. Now to just make sure a cutie lands under my doorway this holiday season….

What’s your favorite decoration for the house during the holiday season?

xo SA

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To kick off the holiday season…

So obviously if you ask us, the best part of the holiday season would have to be the parties and the crafts. I mean, yeah yeah, gifts/Santa/snow/traveling a million miles to see your family.. all dandy of course. But let’s get in to the truly fun stuff…

So I’ve seen this recipe on about a half million blogs, but alas, had to try for myself and possibly add a bit of a spin to it. Here’s the general gist of the recipe, though, to be honest I know I just kept adding each ingredient until the stupid thing stuck together.

Cinnamon Dough

  • 1c applesauce
  • 1c cinnamon
  • 2 tbps white glue

For a full tutorial on the dough you can check this video out here. You basically need it to be study enough to have it somewhat resemble cookie dough so that you can roll it out. I also threw in a bit of nutmeg and ground clove to make it smell especially wonderful.

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Warning: Nobody tells you that your hands HURT after rolling out a million and two of these guys! There’s a reason they say cinnamon is quite the exfoliant. If you’re making about 4 dozen of these guys like I did, I suggest checking out a Costco/Sam’s Club for cinnamon in bulk. Pretty easy to find this time of year and MUCH cheaper than the grocery store’s little containers.

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I had to leave mine out for a few more days to dry to ensure they were totally stable, but afterwards I just threw on a thick layer of gold shimmery paint and strung red glittery ribbon through the hole to complete it. Once the paint is dry you can also totally take a sharpie or paint pen and write on it.. I’ve contemplated putting the year or people’s names on some of them.

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Aside from gifts and the obvious tree ornaments, I’m giving them out as party favors for an upcoming birthday/holiday extravaganza. More details on that to follow…

Happy Holiday crafting!

xo SA

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