The Christmas Cheer Garland {Haul Out the Holly}

Haul Out the Holly,Gwenny Penny,Christmas tutorialsToday I am thrilled to be sharing with you as part of Haul Out the Holly, a Christmas crafting extravaganza hosted by my awesome friend, Gwen, of Gwenny Penny. She's lined up 3 weeks of fantastic and talented guests (and then there's me...) to share fun holiday craft ideas with you, so be sure to pop over and check out the amazingness there.

And so, I present, The Christmas Cheer Garland

This garland is as inexpensive and easy as you want it to be, and it's sure to bring a smile to everyone who graces your front door this holiday season. Why? Because, as much as I hate to disagree with Buddy the Elf, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is NOT by singing loud for all to hear (especially if you sing like I do), but by spreading treats far and near...

I learned this truth (along with many others) from fantastic friends of ours. Every year at Christmastime, they bake up a huge batch of sugar cookies, decorate them, and then hang them on their Christmas tree. Every guest who comes to the house then gets to take home a cookie from the tree.

I loved this family tradition of theirs and decided this year to start it with my own family. There were only two problems:
  1. Our (fake) tree is only 3 feet tall.
  2. My husband hates (most) sugar cookies.
So, with a little improvising, we ended up with the Christmas Cheer Garland: individually wrapped treats strung up on the garland by our front door so that each visitor can take a little bit of Christmas cheer (and holiday calories) home.

To get started spreading Christmas cheer, you'll  need:
  • a pine garland
  • decorations for your garland - this is a great place to put the ornaments that just don't fit on the tree anymore!
  • your favorite holiday treats
  • cellophane roll/bags, ribbon, etc to package your holiday treats
  • ornament hangers
  • (optional) glue gun and glue sticks
My total cost for the garland (minus the treats) was around $6 -- 2 dollar store garlands; cellophane, ribbon, and ornament hangers from the dollar store; and inexpensive ornaments from the dollar section at Target. Obviously you can use whatever you have on hand or whatever supplies you prefer. :)

Put up your garland. Make sure it's secure because you are going to pack it with yummy treats and you'd hate to have Aunt Joyce taken out by falling toffee from the garland around the door. :) I doubled up my dollar store garlands to get a fuller-looking garland.

lovin the swirly ornament hangers from the dollar store :)

Add the decorations. I used mostly the classic "glass" ball ornaments and the other ornaments that didn't make the cut for the tree, but use whatever you have! Ornaments your children (or you!) made in school, ornaments collected from traveling, your annual entries in the ugliest ornament contest:
yup, that's a bride and a groom. given to us by my sister the Christmas before we got married. I think she won the ugly ornament contest that year :)

Or make your own -- I'm have some of Andi's sequin jumbo lights in the works, and I think I'll try this cute and easy photo ornament from Crafterhours and these fun sparkly cardboard stars from Muffin Tin Mom.

Make/buy your favorite holiday treats. For our first round of treats, I made chocolate chip cookie sticks and peppermint swirl cookies, but as our garland needs replenished, I plan on adding mint ritz cookies, white chocolate mint brownies, and oreo truffles. My husband plans on taking a trip to the store and adding Mother's iced oatmeal cookies and Reese's peanut butter trees. :)

Put in a movie (I recommend Elf :) and start wrapping! Be sure to attach an ornament hanger to each goody. For sugar cookies, use a straw to make a hole for an ornament hanger before baking. For other treats, a small dab of hot glue will hold the ornament hanger in place on the cellophane wrapping and is easily hidden by the ribbon curls.

Hang the goodies on the garland, with care. :)

Spread Christmas cheer by sharing treats with everyone who comes to your door!


Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

This is a really cute idea, Lorene. I love that guests get an unexpected treat to take home :) I'D love that! Thanks so much for joining Haul Out the Holly again this year.

chris said...

Anything with candy has my vote! :

Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

I think this is such a fun idea for having something on hand to give to carolers or other spontaneous visitors. I'm not sure my kids would leave their hands off it long enough to share with anyone else though. (not to mention my husband) :)
Thanks for sharing Lu!

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Very sweet project and I love your reference to Buddy the Elf. We are HUGE fans of Buddy. Merry Christmas!

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