Every Christmas season for over fifty years,
my father would walk across the pastures on his farm
and cut one of the small cedar trees that dotted the landscape.
It was almost always the Sunday before Christmas.
While my dad untangled the Christmas tree lights
and wove them over and around the prickly branches,
my mom, brothers, sisters, and I would string popcorn garlands
using needles and long lengths of thread.
We'd also make candy airplanes for tree decorations
to go with the frosted cut-out sugar cookies we had made the day before.
photo courtesy of morguefile.com
The idea for candy airplanes came from a magazine article
that my maternal grandmother had once read,
and it became an integral part of our Christmases.
They are super cute, quick, and unusual,
so for those who want an old-fashioned tree, here's how to make them:
Lifesaver candies for wheels
flat sticks of Wrigley's gum (Juicy Fruit, Spearmint, or Double Mint)
stick peppermint candy
Take 2 Lifesavers; place them side by side as they are in the package.
Thread the elastic band through the "wheels,"
bring each end of the band up
and run a stick of the gum through the loops.
This makes the wings.
Then slide the peppermint stick under the gum at a right angle.
Voila! a candy airplane.
We always hung them from the tree with ribbons.
I don't have any of my own photos for candy airplanes,
but there are some good images of them on a blog called
"Darling Darleen: My Daily Obsessions":
Tomorrow, a few more Christmas tree tales.