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Cherry Blossoms and Snowflakes

When growing up my mother used to read an Advent Calendar book to my sister and myself. On the fourth of December it was the day the characters int he book found out about Saint Barbara. Since the 12th Century the 4th of December has been Saint Barbara day (in the orthodox church it’s on the 17th). I recall the story of Saint Barbara being like a fairy tale, reading about the story, made me shiver. It is often romanticised in it’s description, and telling you what I read on Wikipedia does not fit into the christmassy joys of this calendar.

Still even if Barbara’s story is rather gloomy, there is a beautiful tradition that was established in her honour. It is so beautiful, that I want everyone who can to try it out.

So what is this tradition?

Well if today on the 4th of December you cut a branch from a fruit tree, such as cherry or apple, but also from a forsythia tree and put it into a vase or a glass of water, it will most probably bloom on Christmas Eve!
It’s also a great reminder that if you want to prune your cherry tree this should be done when the tree is dormant in the winter months.

When I was little there were cherry trees in our neighbourhood, so we had fun experimenting with that, and it worked! I was already wondering how I could go about it this year, the nearest cherry trees are in a public park, I was already imagining how I would have to explain my uncivil actions. Well it won’t come to that this year. Earlier this week I was quite shocked to see four or five cherry trees blossoming (not a real spring blossom like on the photo in my header), they don’t need my vase to be blooming on Christmas!

So, if where you are the cherry trees are not blossoming, then cut a branch or two and see if this experiment works for you! And don’t forget to let us all know once Christmas has come around.

Global warming has me shaking my head. The last time we had a true winter was 3 years ago, and it was a tough one. Now two Christmases and winters without the white sugar coating have me longing for a white Christmas and a proper winter.

I am trying my best to get there through the crafting of paper snowflakes. And I want to share the directions with you so you can decorate at no cost at all and can have a seemingly white Christmas!

What you need:

  • a piece of paper (square would be best, but if you have another format like I do then that’s ok too)
  • a pair of scissors

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What you have to do:

Start here if you don’t have a square piece of paper:

  1. If the paper is not square and only rectangular, you have to cut it into a square format. You can do so by folding one of the shorter edges onto the longer edge, it would look something like this: IMG_3872
  2. Then proceed to cutting the left over paper. Unfold and voilà you have a square! IMG_3873

If you already have a square piece of paper, then start here:

  1. Fold your paper in half.IMG_3874
  2. Then in half again, you should now have 4 layers of paper.IMG_3875
  3. After that proceed to fold it into a triangle, with the folds/bindings touching one another (I am not sure if I am clear here)IMG_3876
  4. Then you fold the three remaining folds/bindings onto the large fold/binging (it is the longest edge)
  5. Now you have something resembling and ice-cream coneIMG_3877
  6. Cut the cone bit at the top! (very important or else you’ll have a square snowflake) IMG_3878
  7. Start cutting out paper bits, go crazy, cut on all sides (on the top the point, the sides) just be careful to not cut too deeply and risk breaking your creation. IMG_3879 IMG_3880
  8. When you have lots of holes everywhere, take a deep breath! IMG_3881
  9. Then slowly unfold the paper.
  10. You have a unique snowflake!

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© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

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23 thoughts on “Advent Calendar Day 4: Cherry Blossoms and Snowflakes

    1. Oh thank you for the invitation! I am not sure if I can, but I am sharing some of my favourite traditions and those of many others for the first 24 days of December.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am two left-handed (or in my case two right-handed) when it comes to craft. Therefore, even if I think your idea of snowflake is wonderful, I won’t risk myself to something so sphisticated!
    But as we live in the country with an orchard and a shrubbery, I shall probably risk myself later to cut some forsythia and cherry branches. A very good idea. Thank you to share it with us.
    (I never like sainte Barbe or Barbara) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should try it anyways! I did it a few years back with my cousins to pass the time before the presents and they were 9 and 10 at the time I think.
      I do hope that you’ll have some flowers for the 24th 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Gulara! I know you do always love reading my memories.
      Maybe you’ll cut branches one year with your children and make it your own family tradition 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Huh… We’ve never had any cherry or apple trees around us for me to try this, even now, but it sounds quite fascinating! I wonder why the branch blooms before Christmas when it’s it in a vase. *wants to get all sciency about it* :p

    Yay! Paper snowflakes! ^.^ We used to do this all the time when I was little as crafts for school and girl scouts, but we don’t do it much anymore. (probably because we usually have so much snow anyway). Though, perhaps I will have to do this. The snow doesn’t look too keen on sticking this year… :/ And I could really use some white on Christmas.

    Last Question: Why cherry blossoms? I always thought that cherry blossoms bloom in spring. What connection do they have to the Christmas season? (Or should I read the story to understand?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It should take 20 days for a branch to bloom. Why cherry blossoms? Well they are beautiful and bring light into the dark season. Now with electricity we don’t realise how bleak it must have been inside of houses in the past only lit with candles and often the walls weren’t perfectly white either.
      Maybe if you do make some the snow will feel invited to stay around.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oo! Very true! When you said ‘dark season’ I went ‘what?’:p I don’t picture it as a dark season, but I guess with all the glowing lights and festivities, it really isn’t a dark season anymore.
        Haha! The snow has to come first. :/ It’s been too warm for it to snow at all. I mean, it rained last week. *sigh*

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well as it is the dark season, humans did everything to make it a season where we celebrate light!
          Hows the snow coming along? I managed to make my blog snow so that’s a step towards a festive white Christmas! ❄️

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey, we usually get too much sun for our Australian Christmases and are looking for a cool, dark cave to runaway and hide. Not so much this year though. It’s quite a pleasant temperature and we’ve had rain after Christmas. It’s been such a relief as it gets so sticky with the rain hanging in the air! xx Rowena

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  3. Craft projects are so cool, expecially for the holiday season. I love anything that doesn’t involve too much stuff to buy. I used to make snowflakes with my kids too. I actually kept some an still put them in our tree every year. Another lovely post, Solveig. See you tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I attached two to the window the other day.
      I remember making collages with snowflakes in the past, I think some were gifted. I think it’s great when kids apply themselves for presents and don’t spend money on presents.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shame I didn’t read your post before Christmas as I would’ve got the kids making snowflakes. They’ve been staying with their grandparents since and get back tomorrow. I might try and get them to it tomorrow. I’ll even try to have a go myself.I expect a few mutant snowflakes on my part! xx Rowena

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