If Halloween is a tribute to candy and costumes and Thanksgiving is all about food and football, how would you characterize Christmas? You could focus on Christmas cards, holiday parties or gifts, but I am all about the holiday decor. With Thanksgiving in the bag, it’s time to forget about dressing the turkey and think about dressing the tree.

Although I have enjoyed many a tasty Christmas meal and lots of cool holiday gifts, none of those memories stick with me like the joy of decorating the tree. Long after the food is eaten, the clothes are worn out and the toys are broken, the tree ornaments will live on to adorn the tree every holiday season. And the kids are likely to best remember the things they made themselves, so be sure to include some DIY tree decor for the whole family every year.

Instead of stringing ordinary Christmas lights on the tree or the mantle, it’s easy to dress them up with three-dimensional cubes cut from clear plastic. Transparencies (use 81/2-by-11-inch size) are available at any office supply store and are perfect to cut into 3-D cubes. Decorate the cubes with clear or vellum stickers before cutting a tiny circle with a small hole punch. Expand the hole with an X cut with scissors to make it easy to poke a white LED light through the opening. When you turn off the house lights and plug in the LED lights, the transformation is stunning.

Another tree ornament the kids can help create is made with 12 to 15 half-inch strips of colored paper and two brads. Simply punch a tiny hole at the ends of each paper strip, stack them into a pile and connect them with a brad at each end. Fan out the strips with your fingers to create colorful, paper ornaments that look great hanging from the branches of your tree.

The real bonus is every year, when you pull out the holiday decorations, you and your kids will enjoy the memories associated with each of the ornaments they created.

Contact Sandi Genovese and find free video demonstrations of more photo projects at

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