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CHRISTMAS CENTERPIECES

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LETTER FROM SANTA
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THESE ARE JUST SOME CUTE DECORATIONS FOR YOUR HOUSE FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!

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Cinnamon-Apple Wreath

Adorn your door with this festive holiday wreath and welcome your guest with apples, cinnamon spice and everything nice.

6 small apples, 2 1/2 inches in diameter

Lemon juice or Lemon-lime soda pop

Wire rack

Spray varnish, if desired

6 cinnamon sticks, 10 inches long

Straw wreath, 10 inches in diameter

2 yards 3/4-inch ribbon

or

8 (3 1/2-inch) cinnamon sticks

Glue gun and glue sticks

Silk leaves

1. Heat oven to 200║F. Cut apples lengthwise from stem end through core into 1/4-inch slices. Dip apples into lemon juice to prevent browning; place on wire racks. Carefully place wire racks on oven rack. Bake 4 hours.

2. Remove wire racks from oven and place on heatproof surface. Let apples stand about 2 hours or until completely dry. Place dried apples on waxed paper. Coat each side with 2 light coats of spray varnish, following manufacturer's directions.

3. Tie 10-inch cinnamon sticks together. Attach to front of wreath with 6 inches of the ribbon. Glue dried apple slices and 3 1/2-inch cinnamon sticks to front and side of wreath, using glue gun. Attach leaves to ribbon on 10-inch cinnamon sticks. Make a bow with the remaining ribbon, and attach to wreath. Attach wire hanger if desired

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Fill a Vase

Fresh fruit adds vibrant color and fun shapes to this memorable centerpiece. This intriguing recipe is from the award-winning Betty Crocker’s Best Christmas Cookbook.

1 bag (16 ounces) fresh cranberries

1 clear glass vase

1 medium orange, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 medium lemon or lime, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Bouquet of fresh flowers

1. Place cranberries in vase. Fill vase 3/4 full with water.

2. Place orange and lemon slices in vase between cranberries and side of vase. Arrange flowers in vase.

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Santa's Candy Sleighs

Oh what fun it is to make a Santa’s Candy Sleigh! Hey!

Glue gun and glue sticks

8 candy canes,

6 inches long

4 bars (2.07 ounces each) chocolate-covered peanut, caramel and nougat candy

4 packages (1 1/2 ounces each) raisins

4 foil-covered chocolate Christmas trees (1.3 ounces each)

or

12 foil-covered chocolate gift packages

4 foil-covered peanut butter or chocolate Santas (1 ounce each)

1. For each sleigh, pipe glue along sides of 2 candy canes (in wrappers); attach to either side of candy bar to make sleigh runners.

2. Glue raisin package to top of candy bar.

3. Glue tree and Santa to top of raisin package.

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Candy Cane Planter

'Tis the season to get crafting! Make an attractive holiday planter from candy canes and an ordinary food can.

Glue gun and glue sticks

40 individually wrapped candy canes, 6 inches long

1 empty food can, from tomatoes or fruit (28 to 29 ounces)

1. Pipe glue from hot-glue gun along back of 1 candy cane (in wrapper). Attach to can so that hook of candy cane is at top of can and curves away from can.

2. Repeat with remaining candy canes to cover side of can.

3. To give as a gift, add a 4-inch potted plant, such as Norfolk Island pine, poinsettia, rosemary, ivy or Christmas cactus.

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Kumquat and Bay Leaf Tree

It’s aromatic and colorful! You’ll want to make lots of these table decorations!

3 pounds kumquats

Round toothpicks

1 package (1/2 ounce) fresh bay leaf

1 green florist's foam piece in pyramid shape, 12x4 inches

1. Push each kumquat onto end of toothpick; spear bay leaf with other end of toothpick.

2. Push toothpicks into foam pyramid (with bay leaves against pyramid), starting at top and working downward in spiral fashion, until pyramid is completely filled.

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Chocolate Truffles Topiary

Did your mother ever say, "Look with your eyes, not your fingers"? It’s next to impossible with this chocolate lover’s centerpiece!

1 round florists' foam topiary with dowel and base, 5 inches in diameter

Flowerpot to fit topiary base, about 6 inches in diameter

Rocks to weight flowerpot

Toothpicks

36 to 48 chocolate truffles with firm centers, about 1 1/4 inches in diameter

Plastic wrap or aluminum foil

2 to 3 cups fresh raspberries

1yard 1-inch-wide white and gold ribbon

1. Press topiary base securely in flowerpot (glue if necessary). Fill pot 2/3 full with rocks.

2. Insert toothpicks into topiary ball; push truffles onto toothpicks.

3. Line top of pot with plastic wrap; cover with raspberries. Tie ribbon into bow on dowel.

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Green Olive Tree

Pretend you’re in Italy and do pick the olives off this delicious appetizer tree!

5 jars (7 ounces each) pitted queen-size green olives, drained

3 cups olive or vegetable oil

1/2 cup shredded orange peel

1/2 cup orange juice

1 cup orange marmalade, melted

1 cone-shaped florists' foam topiary with dowel and base, 8 inches tall

Flowerpot to fit topiary base, about 5 inches in diameter

Rocks to weight flowerpot

Toothpicks

Tissue paper

2 cups honey-roasted peanuts

1. Mix olives, oil, orange peel, orange juice and marmalade. Cover and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours to blend flavors.

2. Press topiary base securely in flowerpot (glue if necessary). Fill pot 2/3 full with rocks. Insert toothpicks into topiary cone; place olives on toothpicks.

3. Line top of pot with tissue paper; cover with peanuts.

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Holiday Candy Trains

Choo-choo! Holiday Candy Trains can brighten as well as add fun to any buffet or table arrangement.

Glue gun and glue sticks

4 sixteen-inch lengths 3/8-inch-wide red or green ribbon

16 packages chewing gum, (5 sticks each)

12 packages (1 1/2 ounces each) raisins

64 round peppermint candies

4 rolls ring-shaped hard candies

4 foil-wrapped Kisses« milk chocolates

Assorted foil-wrapped candies

12 miniature candy cane sticks

1. For cars of each train, glue end of 1 ribbon onto wide side of 1 gum package, 1 raisin package, 2 more gum packages and 1 more raisin package, spacing cars about 1/2 inch apart. For wheels, glue 4 peppermint candies onto sides of gum packages and 2 candies onto sides of raisin packages.

2. For engine, glue roll of ring-shaped candies onto first ribbon-topped gum package. Glue 2 foil-wrapped candies onto top of engine.

3. Glue additional candies, candy canes and raisin packages to train cars as shown in photo or as desired.

4. Repeat to make remaining 3 trains