happy non-electronic holidays to you!

My kids are all home, most schools have let out for the holidays…it’s  great to have a little extra time to enjoy one another.  Whether it’s with your kids, grandchildren, nephews and nieces, or a needy child you’ve chosen to  love… preschoolers or adult children…I’m here to commend  non-electronic celebrations. 

Here are 10 simple ways to enjoy the season together:


1.  Play a board game.

2.  Take a walk.

3.  Cut paper snowflakes.

4.  Bake gingerbread men.

5.  Write and illustrate a snail-mail letter to someone you love.

6.  Play charades.

7.  Have a family slumber party.

8.  Snuggle up and read books together!

9.  Make salt-dough ornaments. 

 Mix 1 cup flour with 1/2 cup salt.  Add 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil and stir in up to 1/2 cup of water to form a nice stiff, non-sticky dough.  Knead it a few times.  Roll out about 1/4 ” thick and cut with Christmas cookie cutters, or cut out shapes with a table knife.  Remember to poke a hole in the tops if you want to hang them — either with a drinking straw, or by using a toothpick to make a hole about the size of a straw –the hole tends to shrink while baking.  Bake at 250 F for about 15 minutes until hard.  Cool and paint.

10.  For those of you enjoying a c-o-l-d Christmas…make a lovely ice lantern. 

 There are lots of complicated instructions for these.  Here’s the simplest way.  Pour water into a bucket or a large coffee can.  Stick it outside in freezing cold temperatures for at least 12 hours.  You want it to freeze most of the way, but not quite all the way.  The top and sides will freeze first.  When it seems quite frozen, dump it out of the bucket — you can pour a little warm water on the outside of the bucket to loosen it.  You should have a small well on what was the bottom of the bucket, which will now be the top of your lantern.  That’s where the votive candle goes.  Gorgeous!

Merry Christmas from Orange Marmalade!! 

 I’m signing off here for the next few days to enjoy my own non-electronic holiday.  I’ll be back on Monday with a list of…five warm-hearted books about giving.  See you then!