Making Ornaments, Publisher Contest, New Winners & Contest

I’d like to dust off an old tradition of ours and share it with you. It continues the recent Plain Talk blog theme about preparing some fun for the holidays and making great memories.

Christmas memories ~

From the time my boys were little, I loved doing craft times with them during the holidays. I’d pull out all sorts of items I’d picked up from yard sales or bought discounted throughout the year and let them create. The mess was well worth their excitement as they held up their “masterpieces.” As they grew older, their desire to do crafts began to fade, but I held on to my Christmastime tradition for as long as I could.

One Christmas craft they enjoyed for a long time was making dough ornaments. (I’ve shared the recipe below.) After the holidays, you can pack them away with the rest of the ornaments, and every year when you pull out that box of decorations, you’ll have a delightful  trip down memory lane.

When my sons were teens, they no longer looked forward to Christmas craft time. Gathering teenagers together to make memories takes an extra bit of creative thinking. My solution to extending their joy of making something Christmassy was to use food as the craft time. I allowed them to decorate their own gingerbread-men ornaments—one year it was a demolition gingerbread man with a jackhammer in its hand. Other years I let them create gingerbread houses…then let them munch on their little homes as the holidays progressed.

Whatever your kids’ ages, be imaginative and free spirited in your holiday plans. They’ll love you for it…eventually.

Dough ornament recipe:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup salt
1½ cups warm water

Mix flour and salt. Slowly add warm water. Press dough to about an eighth of an inch thick and use cookie cutters. Add ornament hooks into the top before baking. Bake at 325º until cookies are hardened. Cool. Decorate using acrylic paints. You may wish to use shellac as a final coat to help preserve them. (If your kids are going to eat the decorations, use an edible recipe and use frosting instead of paint and PLEASE skip the shellac :-))


Waterbrook Contest

“Celebrate this Holiday Season with a Heart-Warming Christmas Novella and Basket of Authentic Amish Treats!”

My fabulous publisher, WaterBrook Multonomah Publishing Group (A division of Random House), has two contests taking place ~ just in time for the holidays. One of the contests has an Amish Christmas basket which includes authentic Amish sleigh bells, a poisettia platter, chocolates, pretzels, and more! Plus the basket will contain two copies of my first holiday novella ~ The Sound of Sleigh Bells. To enter contest, click here.

AND, while at the publisher’s site, you can enter: 12 Days of Christmas sweetpstakes!

12 days of Christmas

12 Days of Christmas Sweepstakes!

Winners will receive the following: a Christmas stocking, candy canes, hot cider and hot chocolate, an advent calendar, and a select WaterBrook Multnomah book. To enter, click here.


And from me, here’s your last chance to win an autographed copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells.


Just leave a comment below (on the Web site or Facebook page) and you’re entered. Five winners will be chosen in mid-December. And after mid-December, I’ll share a new and exciting contest for those Amish quilt lovers out there. If you’re concerned you might miss it, simply join my newsletter, Plain News, and the details will come to you!

The five winners of an autographed copy of The Sound of Sleigh Bells from out last contest are:
Jaime of Columbus, Ohio
Emma of Burnham, Pennsylvania
Linda of Ontario, Canada
Paula of Leon, West Virginia
Jeannine of Richmond, Virginia
Everyone who entered the last contest through my Web site, Facebook friends, and Facebook fans was included. The winning numbers were chosen using CONGRATULATIONS winners!

Comments are closed.