“Christmas Workshop,” Friend, Dec. 2002, 40–41
14 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nuts of your choice
1/2 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit, such as currants, raisins, or chopped dates or apricots
Place the popcorn in a very large bowl; set aside.
Combine the margarine, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat; boil 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla, nuts, candy, and fruit.
Pour over the popcorn and toss to coat.
With greased hands, carefully press the mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ (23 cm x 33 cm) baking pan. Let cool, then cut into bars.
To make a star to hang in a window or on a Christmas tree, you will need: newspapers, acrylic paint, old plastic lid, paintbrush, 6 craft or ice-cream sticks, glue, and string.
Cover the workplace with newspapers.
Pour some paint into the plastic lid. Paint one side of each stick; let dry. Then paint the remaining sides; let dry.
Glue three sticks together to form a triangle; let dry. Repeat with the remaining three sticks.
Lay one triangle down. Place the other one, facing in the opposite direction, on top of it, forming a six-pointed star (see illustration). Glue the two triangles together where they touch; let dry. Attach a piece of string for hanging.
To make gingerbread people to decorate packages, cards, or a Christmas tree, you will need: gingerbread people cookie cutters, medium sandpaper, pencil, crayons, a cookie sheet, an oven (use with an adult’s help), and a hole punch and string for hanging (optional).
Place the cookie cutter on the back of the sandpaper and trace around it. Repeat until the paper is filled with traced figures, then cut them out.
Pushing down hard with the crayons, color the details and decorations on the gingerbread people until the sandpaper barely shows through (see illustration).
Place them right side up on the cookie sheet. Ask an older person to heat the oven to 250° F (120° C). When it is heated, place the cookie sheet on the center rack. Keep the oven door open and watch for a few seconds as the crayon melts. Have the older person remove the cookie sheet from the oven, then let your gingerbread people cool.
If you are going to hang them, punch a hole near the top of each head and attach a piece of string.
To remind you of the story of Jesus’ birth (see Luke 2:1–20; Matt. 2:1–12), make this garland. You will need: glue, heavy paper, scissors, a hole punch, a 4′ (1.2 m) length of narrow ribbon, and a ruler.
Glue this page to heavy paper.
Cut out the figures and punch holes where the Xs are.
Arrange the figures in a line. Starting with the shepherds, thread them onto the ribbon, leave a 13″ (33 cm) tail of ribbon to their left, then tie them in place with a loose knot.
Thread Mary onto the ribbon and space her 4″ (10 cm) to the right of the previous figure, then tie her in place with a loose knot. Repeat with the remaining figures.
Hang your garland on a door, a bookcase, or a Christmas tree.