I wanted to share with you a “song” that I had heard on the radio last year. This one ranks right up there with “The Christmas Shoes”! It makes me cry every time I hear it! The first time I heard it, I was on my way to the grocery store and let’s just say that it’s kind of hard to drive when your eyes are blurred with tears! I had to sit in the parking lot for a while to get composure of myself before I could head into the store!! It’s very touching!
The poem, “A Soldier’s Silent Night” was written by Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt in 1986. It was recorded by Father Ted Berndt, a priest at Bread of Life Charismatic Episcopal Church in Dousman, Wisconsin and who was also a Marine and a WWII Purple Heart recipient. His stint as a radio host in the 40’s attributed to his succession in recording the poem in one take.
To listen to the recording, turn off the music on the bottom and then click here and then click on “A Soldier’s Silent Night” highlighted in blue.
I love the smell of fresh pine at Christmas. And since I can’t get that scent from an artificial tree, I like to make fresh arrangements.
They’re pretty easy to make. Years ago, when I was involved in our school’s PTO, we had one of our monthly meetings at a local nursery and were taught to make an arrangement. Every year since, I’ve made a few. I buy bunches of cedar, silver fir, variegated orgonia/boxwood and pine roping from my local greenhouse/nursery and use a few sprigs off of my Norway spruce from my backyard. You can use whatever greens you like or have on hand.
Here’s how you can make your own:
Container for arrangement
Wet/Fresh floral foam – do not use dry foam that’s used for artificial flowers
assorted fresh pines – cedar, white pine, silver fir, boxwood, spruce
embellishments – candles, berries, glass ornaments
I made my arrangement in an old box. Since I need to keep my foam wet, I put the foam in an aluminum loaf pan. If you’re using a waterproof container, you can omit the use of the pan.
Place the foam in the pan and thoroughly soak your foam by running it under the faucet until it is saturated.
I start with using the cedar first. Cut little sprigs off and stick into the wet foam - going all around your container. Try to push them in sideways, not straight up, at this point.
The next layer, I used Silver fir. Placing it randomly.
Next, I used some white pine. Just take apart some pine roping and cut a few sprigs and also place randomly.
Then I added some variegated boxwood/orgonia.
I’m adding a candle to this arrangement. I never like to have an open flame around fresh greens, so I place my candle in a mason jar.
At this point, add your glass container and keep layering until you reach the desired effect.. If you choose not to have a candle, just keep layering the greens until your container is filled in. Go back and fill in nooks and crannies wherever needed. Sprigs of White pine and boxwood are great fillers
Embellish by tucking in sprigs of berries, glass ornaments, etc.
I usually have enough greens to make a couple of arrangements, plus have some for tucking in here and there.
Here, I stuck some greens in a couple of crocks. I placed some wet foam in plastic cups and set in the crocks.
Depending how dry your home is, water every 3-4 days. Mine have lasted well into January. I change out the red berries with white ones and have little snowman heads on picks that I tuck in to replace the candy canes.
These are so fun to make!! For the first couple of years after I learned how to make these, I had fresh arrangements EVERYWHERE!! I went a little crazy!! Now I’ve toned it down to just a couple. lol
Now don’t hesitate to try this on your own!! You can do it!! If you make an arrangement, please email me a picture of it. I would love to see all of the different creations!!
I’m just about done with my Christmas decorating. Now that I have my arrangements made, the final pieces are falling into place. I’ll share more pics with you in a couple of days.
So Until Next Time . . . .Kris