Old-Fashioned Christmas Tree Decorations - Orange Baskets
Favorite Christmas decorations in the 19th century were ornaments and trimmings made with fruit and candies. Yellow is a color which stands out well in the midst of the dark green foliage of a traditional green fir Christmas tree, and oranges are near enough the hue to be used with advantage. A few may be hung to the tree by means of ribbons; others can be made into pretty little baskets and filled with the candied sections of orange.
Things you will need: tape, sharp knife, pins, ribbon, candies, and treats.
Wrap a piece of tape or any kind of band around an orange as a guide to cutting the rind evenly.
Next stick pins on each side to designate the location of the handle.
Then, with the small blade of a knife carefully cut the handle, keeping it the same width all the way from side to side. Next cut the rind along the edge of the tape. Remove the skin, in bits if necessary, to avoid any likelihood of tearing the handle or edge of the basket.
Work the inside juicy fruit free from the remaining rind and take it out of the basket. If there is difficulty in doing this, cut the fruit out in pieces, that the basket may be saved from breaking. Pass a narrow ribbon around under the basket and up over the handle. Tie the ends, then bind them around under and over the middle of the handle.
Finish with a bow-knot on top. The ribbon strengthens the handle, and without it the weight of the basket when hung on the tree would cause it to break from the handle and fall.
Fill the orange basket with sections of the fruit, which have received a brittle coating by being dipped in clear, hot, home-made sugar candy. Another option is to fill basket with candies and trinkets.
[Drawings FROM: "CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS, Good to Eat & Good to Look Upon". The Delineator, Dec. 1901]
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