Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Holiday Fun with Popcorn

Last weekend I attended a Christmas party with a decidedly different twist—a historical theme—early 1800s to be exact. The hostess was a friend of mine who writes Christian historicals and loves to resurrect  recipes from the 1800s. We had gumbo made from an 1833 recipe she’d found, played several Colonial style games, and even had a craft made by the ladies attending the party. The men declined to help, choosing instead to chat. I guess that hasn’t changed much since Colonial times. LOL While we made our old-fashioned craft, the ladies chatted about everything from upcoming retirement dates, grandchildren, food, and the wild creatures like wolf spiders, mice, and snakes, that somehow make it into our homes on occasions. Humm. Guess that hasn’t changed much since Colonial times, either.
Anyway, here’s a picture of what we made—a popcorn and cranberry garland.

I’m sure at some point in many of your lives you’ve tackled a handmade Christmas garland like this, although  probably not at a Christmas party.  I guarantee the shared camaraderie, stories, and laughs that passed around the table as we strung popcorn, cranberries, and strengthened friendships  will not be soon forgotten.
 Here’s what you’ll need to make a garland:
·       Cotton thread—cotton crochet thread works well
·       Heavy, metal craft needle
·       Air popped popcorn (preferably a day old)
·       Fresh cranberries (my friend froze hers then thawed them so they would be a bit softer and easy to get the needle through.)
·       Several friends or family members to pass the popcorn and cranberries along the thread so it doesn’t get tangled.
·       Some fresh popcorn to snack on while you work (air popped so you don’t get grease on your garland)
·       Measure out a length of string that is long enough so everyone can work on the same garland.
·       Double the strand, making sure all the twisted loops are smoothed out.
·       Thread the needle through a single strand of the string, pulling it until it’s in the middle of the string, then tie the ends of the strands together.
·       Start stringing your popcorn and cranberries using a pattern such as 5 pieces of popcorn and one cranberry (or any other pattern you choose.)

·  When you’ve completed the strand, cut off the needle and tie the loose ends together. Then hang the strand on your Christmas tree. This would also be a great treat to hang on your outside trees for the birds.
 This holiday season, consider taking the time to string some memories and make some special garlands for your holiday decorations. Make a game of it with your children or grandchildren. For each cranberry strung between the popcorn tell a short, amusing story from your life, or theirs; or sing a Christmas carol; or say a prayer for someone. The possibilities for fun are endless.
What about you? Have you ever made a popcorn garland for your Christmas tree?

Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.
Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist, a 2014 EPIC finalist, and the winner of the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award and the 2014 RONE Award.


  1. When I was younger, I made garland for the tree from popcorn and I made those construction paper rings to hang on the ceiling. Thanks for sharing. I really should do this with my grandchildren.

    1. We used to put the construction paper ring garlands on the tree too. Thanks for dropping by.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What a fun filled day you all had. I love the old fashioned decorations on a tree with the popcorn/cranberry garland, construction paper rings children makes and cinnamon oranments that are baked before hanging. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas.

  3. Stringing the garland with friends was fun as we're the Colonial games we played. Thanks for commenting and Merry Christmas to you, too.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I have made garlands but none out of popcorn.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. The popcorn can be tricky to string. I broke almost as many as I managed to string. Thanks for dropping by.