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Can you create a Christmas work of art? - Gladwin County Record and Beaverton Clarion: Community

Can you create a Christmas work of art?

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Posted: Monday, November 12, 2012 3:11 pm

It may seem a bit early to be writing about Christmas trees, but we have good reason. We believe in celebrating each holiday in its season. We don’t play Christmas music until Thanksgiving. We don’t bake Christmas cookies until December. We won’t even buy eggnog until after we have put up our Christmas tree Thanksgiving weekend. Christmas trees are a reflection of the people who decorate them. The tree itself is chosen for individual reasons. We always have a real Christmas tree, while the pre-lit artificial tree is a popular choice among many. We like to hike around our place and survey all the possible candidates for tree of the year. We have beautiful spruce, fir and pine. The prickly spruce is one of our favorite to look at with its natural conical shape and evenly spaced branches, but decorating can be a bit painful. The concolor fir is much softer but our firs are not always full of branches all the way around the tree. That problem can be fixed by putting the side that is lacking fullness against the wall. We love lots of white lights on our tree. Yet we have seen many beautiful trees with colorful lights. Once the lights have been strung the angel is perched on top of our tree and a poinsettia tree skirt placed around the base. Then it is time for the ornaments! When we travel throughout the year we look for souvenir Christmas tree ornaments. A few of our souvenir ornaments include the Mackinac Bridge painted on a porcelain ball, a red barn with See Rock City on the roof, pinecones inscribed with Hartwick Pines, a glittery cowboy boot from Texas and a pretty gold-plated maple leaf from Canada. We are captivated by interesting Christmas decorations and could spend a full 24 hours wandering through Bronners in Frankenmuth (fueled by a delicious Zehnders’ chicken dinner of course). Each year we purchase an ornament or two that catch our eye while we shop there.A variety of bird ornaments decorate our tree such as bluejays, cardinals, chick-a-dees, pheasants, roosters, geese and ducks. Other animals like sheep, cows, and pigs hang from the branches. Snowflakes of many kinds adorn our tree: crocheted beauties purchased at local bazaars, sparkly glass flakes, glitter covered flakes, as well as a few icicles. Another repeated subject is angels. We have ceramic angels Cyndi’s mother made many years ago. Silver angels, crocheted angels, cornhusk angels and even angels made from okra pods and milkweed are on our tree. When the kids were little there were always new handmade ornaments each year. Some ornaments stood the test of time and still adorn the tree. Others did not survive. We still enjoy creating new ornaments each year. We particularly like to make ornaments from natural materials including peanut snowmen, cotton boll angels, and pinecone Christmas trees decorated with colored soybeans. Since moving to Gladwin, we have been impressed by the creative talent of our community. This brought up the idea of a Christmas tree ornament contest. Open to anyone, the Gladwin County Record and Beaverton Clarion invites entries of hand-made Christmas ornaments. The ornaments must be made by the person submitting the entry and can be composed of natural or synthetic materials. Entries must be delivered to the Record and Clarion Office by December 17, 2012 with a completed entry form. Additional entry forms may be picked up at the Record and Clarion Office. Entries will be judged and prizes awarded in each of the following four categories: Youth made ornament (natural material), Youth made ornament (synthetic material), Adult made ornament (natural material), Adult made ornament (synthetic material). The youth category is defined as anyone under the age of 16 as of Dec. 17, 2012. Winners will be announced in the Dec. 19, 2012 issue of the Record and Clarion. We look forward to lots of entries on a beautifully decorated tree at the Gladwin Record Clarion Office. Stop by to enter a hand-made ornament or to look at the handiwork of your neighbors. Wes and Cyndi can be reached by email at wesalexander22@gmail.com or calexander@vt.edu.

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