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MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:12 AM Dec 2012

A GREAT Christmas gift for friends &/or family if you have VERY little money to spare:

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In 1981, following a horrendous motorcycle accident, I was unable to work for several
months -- essentially bed/couchbound until my leg healed enough for mobility with
crutches.
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So no money -- right around the holiday season -- and I hit on a gift idea that people
absolutely loved -- asked me in subsequent years if I were going to do that again.
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It takes time -- but that time can be TV-watching time (which is what much of mine
was).
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Popcorn/cranberry garlands.
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Heavy sewing thread (and I found it wise to double that over). A relatively large
sewing needle (too large and you start splitting the popcorn). Cranberries (and
they usually go on sale seasonally for about 99 cents for a 1 lb bag). And generic
stovetop/airpopped popcorn.
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I've found that two cranberries/two popcorns/two cranberries/two popcorns, etc. etc.
is the nicest looking ratio.
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A simple and elegant (and CHEAP) gift.
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You can include a little card letting them know that you thought about them a lot while
you were making their gift.
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EVERYBODY loves a home-made gift -- and that is one of the reasons. I did have one
fairly materialistic and shallow co-worker who, on finding that another co-worker had
made a very cute (and very much ADORED by the recipient) birthday card for his wife,
commented with -- "What... he couldn't spring two bucks for a Hallmark?"
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When the season's over, every website I went to recommended hanging them outside
for the birds to chow down on, but I'm not entirely SURE about that (I seem to recall
that the popcorn is empty calories for them -- though the cranberries are EXCELLENT
nutritionally).
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10 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
A GREAT Christmas gift for friends &/or family if you have VERY little money to spare: (Original Post) MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 OP
What a great idea! dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #1
When can I expect mine? ohiosmith Dec 2012 #2
Also, get a thimble! We do this every year for our tree... Phentex Dec 2012 #3
A thimble is a good idea -- you have to exert some pressure sometimes and you can... MiddleFingerMom Dec 2012 #6
Oooo - I have half a bag of cranberries left from making sauce last week. kcass1954 Dec 2012 #4
Unwaxed floss LoveMyCali Dec 2012 #8
I think I'll make some for the animals. Baitball Blogger Dec 2012 #5
thumbs up! handmade34 Dec 2012 #7
How sweet is that MFM. applegrove Dec 2012 #9
Hope you have fully recovered, MiddleFingerMom Iwillnevergiveup Dec 2012 #10

dixiegrrrrl

(60,010 posts)
1. What a great idea!
Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:23 AM
Dec 2012

I happen to have

a very old bag of cranberries that has sat in the freezer for too long...check
and have popcorn and popper.....check
and have hungry birds....check
We do not have indoor christmas trees because of our fur children.
The dog tries to "fetch" all the balls and the cats love to climb the tree.
So we use the cedar just outside the deck.

Wonder if old fishing string would work?????

Phentex

(16,329 posts)
3. Also, get a thimble! We do this every year for our tree...
Sat Dec 1, 2012, 10:27 AM
Dec 2012

It IS a labor of love. We usually watch tv while working on it. Each person makes as long a string as they can manage and we lay them on the kitchen table. Then after five or six strands are done, my husband will tie them together and start putting it on the tree. Takes more than you think for a regular sized tree but it always looks great.

Orville reddenbacher white popcorn pops up nicely. We have used the cheap stuff too but it can be hard to string if you don't get enough fluff to put the needle through.

Great idea, mfm!

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
6. A thimble is a good idea -- you have to exert some pressure sometimes and you can...
Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:54 PM
Dec 2012

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... poke yourself easily. Also, I learned to get at LEAST the heavy duty sewing thread and double
THAT over -- as regular sewing thread did break a lot and it's very frustrating to see 4 or 5 feet
or more slide off the line.
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Orville Redenbacher popcorn IS easier to string -- more expensive but pops up lighter and airier.
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Some Orville trivia -- my BIL was a marketing exec in advertising and when in L.A. in charge of
the Orville Redenbacher account (also Mattel -- he used to be able to bring the COOLEST new
toys home).
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He made his first fortune in chickenshit (he sold fertilizer). He worked on finding the best hybrid
of popcorn in his spare time and reportedly tried out thousands of them before settling on the
eventual winner.
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His trademark shirt and bowtie look? Sometimes the marketing people had to upgrade his clothes
from his customary farm Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes to get his trademark "hick" look.
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He was a HARD drinker. Once, MiddleFingerMomSis and my BIL were taking him to the airport
after spending a week with him shooting commercials and he was so hungover that he was
literally shades of green. They seriously worried that he was going to die in the back seat of
their car. They got him on his flight and asked the crew to keep a careful eye on him. He was
alright.
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He was married to his first wife for 48 years until her death in 1971. He remarried that year and
was married to THAT woman for 20 years until her death in 1991. He and his secretary, who had
"loved him from afar" for decades started a romantic relationship only after his second wife died.
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My BIL said he was a very nice man -- much the sort of person you saw in his commercials.
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He died of a heart attack in his Jacuzzi at the age of 88 in 1995.
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His popcorn is EXCELLENT!!!
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kcass1954

(1,819 posts)
4. Oooo - I have half a bag of cranberries left from making sauce last week.
Sat Dec 1, 2012, 10:42 AM
Dec 2012

I just need to get a small bag of popcorn when we go shopping tomorrow.

I've done this with regular thread before, and ended up chasing cranberries all over the living room. Sewing thread and machine quilting thread are 50 weight, and they break fairly easily. I now use hand-quilting thread, which is 40-wt and has a glaze on it for strength.

This will look great on our "tree". For the last few years, we've been dragging the ficus in from the front porch.

handmade34

(22,753 posts)
7. thumbs up!
Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:33 PM
Dec 2012

having been the queen of homemade gifts many years past I recommend homemade garlands...


as well as "Orgami Crane Mobiles"

Iwillnevergiveup

(9,298 posts)
10. Hope you have fully recovered, MiddleFingerMom
Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:04 AM
Dec 2012

and thanks for sharing an enchanting holiday idea. I'm going to give it a whirl. The birds thank you, too.

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