Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cinnamon Spice Ornaments

Since having Jameson I have been excited to start traditions in our family that will carry him throughout his life. He is finally old enough where he is noticing the lights, the goodies, all the toys in the stores, and he enjoys helping me "cook." I found a project that look easy enough that even we could do it: Cinnamon Spice Ornaments. Simple! 1 cup ground cinnamon, 3/4 cup applesauce, mix until a dough consistency forms, roll out, use your cookie-cutters to make shapes, bake at 150 F for a couple hours until dry.

Simple enough. My first sign that this was not going to go as planned should have been when I was unable to find cookie cutters. What!?! They have tiny linzer cookie presses, but no cookie cutters. Fine, we will free-form them. It will be art.

We had a great time! Jameson loved mixing the dough, adding the cinnamon, rolling it out and patting it down. I formed hearts, Christmas trees, kind of sad looking stars, a candy cane, a wreath, an ornament and then I got the genius idea to trace his hand and cut that out. A keepsake from Christmas 2009 that smells yummy. I had visions of Jameson measuring his hand against it for years to come, just like I used to do each year when our handmade ornaments came out of the box.

I baked them, and the house smelled like a cinnamon stick! While we baked them we headed down to the Christkindlmarkt at Schoenbrunn Palace for an hour. Whew! It was FREEZING cold, but we got hot chocolate to warm us up. Jameson got to run around with the big Christmas tree lighting his way, and I got to look at all the Christmas decorations.

When we got home I took out the ornaments only to realize that the majority of our ornaments were much too thin and broke while I tried to pick them up. Bummer! I managed to save a few and strung them with yarn. I was most happy about the hand, it came out perfectly. With his initials JDA and 2009 engraved in the palm. Happy sigh.

Cut to this morning. It had all the makings of a beautiful winter day. Big snowflakes were falling outside while we ate breakfast. I had plans to make some eggnog and sugar cookies so we could PROPERLY decorate our Christmas tree tonight. While getting out my eggnog making supplies: Eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg...don't all good eats begin with these things? Jameson kept opening our freezer door. It is just his height and has a weak seal, so he loves opening it and just standing there. (I see him as a teenager standing in front of the fridge in my mind's eye.) As I was moving the cookie sheet of our cinnamon spice ornaments out to the family room to finish their drying I tried to close the door with my other hand while telling Jameson not to open it again. Yes, even at the moment I knew I was attempting one too many things with my "steel-willed child." He braced himself against the door pushing back on me, and I tripped and the cookie sheet went flying. My precious baby's hand hit the floor first. Is it bad to admit that I yanked Jameson out of the freezer and closed the door and told him too loudly not to open it again? While mourning over his cinnamon spice hand, I forgot his chubby little REAL hands are much more precious, especially since he was patting my back as I was picking up the pieces. His hand is either giving me "the bird" or telling me to "hang loose." I think I prefer the "hang loose" version, especially since we have a few changes on the horizon that are stressing our family out a little.


Patti said...

Okay, that picture of the hand ornament after you broke made me laugh out loud. You have to keep it forever. What a great project!!! And for the record, I think the hand is saying "hang loose" vs. the "bird". Hahaha.

P.S. Thank you SO much for the encouraging comments regarding my post yesterday, it really meant a lot!!

krista said...

What a fun activity :) I am sorry that the precious ornament broke :( Thanks for all of your blog comments- I love it. I vote for hang loose too.

Alison said...

OHHHHH how sad :( you need to make a new one!! I used to make them with my mom too and my kids in Japan and I made them last year! :) I have another craft if you want to do it - it's similar to this one, but with paint (and two foot prints instead of one) Enjoy your Christmas

Jennifer said...

What a fun activity...with a "fun" result!

Lauren said...

Sounds like you're building a lot of great traditions for your family and making lasting memories. You're a great Mom, and I agree that you should definitely make a new ornament!

Alison said...

I realized I never gave you the link for my painting craft...dork!