Monday, December 21, 2015


Christmas parades can be seen in cities and towns nationwide. The parades help usher in Christmas.
Christmas parades can be small with just a few floats, and a couple of bands, or very large with a lot of floats, several bands, clowns, assorted groups, and cars carrying important people from the community. But whether the Christmas parades are small or large in size doesn't matter, it's what is at the end of the parade that makes all the difference and that would be Santa Claus! Seeing Santa Claus means the Christmas season is here!
Christmas parades have been going strong for 90+ years. When Christmas parades first started it was more of a way for people who lived in small towns to get together and socialize with each other while watching a very short parade. The parades were something the communities looked forward to every year.
One such Christmas parade in California started in 1928. It was one of the smallest parades ever. There was only one actress and Santa Claus with his live reindeer. This Christmas parade was named "The Santa Claus Lane Parade", and it kept that name for many years.

Early years when it was Santa Claus Lane Parade

The Santa Claus Lane Parade was and is a located in Hollywood, California. The parade went down Hollywood Boulevard. This street was decided on because the city wanted to attract families and shoppers to this area during the holiday season. That idea worked out very well and is still the route for the Christmas parade today, which is 81 years later.
During the 1930's, 40's, and 50's, the Santa Claus Lane Parade really grew. There started to be a number of Hollywood movie stars that were part of the Christmas parade and helped support it. Some of the early stars to be in the parade were Bette Davis, Gene Autry, Mary Pickford, and Angie Dickinson, just to name a few.
By the 1960's and into the late 70's, the Christmas parade was getting quite large. There were more and more movie stars and athletes riding in the parade. There were more floats, bands and clowns than ever before. There was even a variety of animals that graced the parade route.

Larry King and Newest wife

In the late 1970's, it was decided that there needed to be increased excitement surrounding the parade and the glamour of Hollywood needed to be brought to everyone. This was done in three ways. First, the name of the parade was changed from the Santa Claus Lane Parade to "The Hollywood Christmas Parade". The second this to happen was the broadcasting of the parade on station KTLA, so that people could watch it from home. The third thing was the parade route was lengthened to include Sunset Boulevard. These were all great decisions as they are still working today.
Today, "The Hollywood Christmas Parade" is star studded. There are more movie stars, athletes, and entertainers then ever before. There are equestrians, lots of bands that come from all over, numerous floats and of course Santa Claus, to finish up the parade and start the Christmas season.

Santa and friend

The Hollywood Christmas Parade, even though it's fun to watch and is very magical and glamorous, it still has educated the public about Hollywood and the interaction Hollywood has with the people of the United States.
Here is something to remember. Gene Autry wrote the famous song that was named after the Santa Claus Lane Parade. So, every time you hear the song "Here Comes Santa Claus", you will know it's about The Hollywood Christmas Parade and the children wating to see Santa Claus.



Ornament Hanger How-To

Some of you may have seen ornament or suncatcher hangers and said, I can do that! Some of you may have seen them and said, How do I do that? This tutorial is for you. This is for a simple ornament hanger you can make all by yourself with a few tools and wire!


Wire Cutter
Round Nose Pliers
Wrap-N-Tap pliers (large)


18 gauge silver-filled or silver-plated wire

1. Start by flush cutting a 3" piece of wire with your wire cutters. Notice I used the ever-popular dinosaur ruler we got in a shoe-store many moons ago!

2. Using the round nose pliers, place your wire 1/3 of the way down the plier and make a loop. If you are making lots of hangers, you may want to use a sharpie to mark the place where you want to wrap the wire if you want them all uniform in size.

3. Finish the loop all the way.

4. Place the loop in the Wrap-N-Tap plier on the first round. If you want larger loops for your hanger, you should cut a larger piece of wire. Make sure the loop is secure in the plier and in the direction you want it to go!

5. Using your thumb, wrap the wire around the loop of the Wrap-N-Tap plier all the way. Remove it from the plier, and you will have a hook with a loop on one end at this point.

6. Using the bottom 1/3 of your round-nose pliers, make another loop, which will be bigger than the first loop. 

7. Finish shaping if you need to. At this point, you can work harden with a mallet if you like. I prefer to tumble mine because in addition to hardening the silver, it makes it all nice and shiny!!!

You can also embellish them with wire and beads!  Here, I used thin gauge copper wire and blue seed beads.

Below is an ornament I made with one of my baroque lampwork beads, bronze wire, and a chandellier part!

This is a suncatcher I made with a set of three baroque beads and a vintage chandellier crystal. 


 I can think of many other ways you can embellish the hanger, or add interest to the wire, can you?


Christmas Photo Booth Props – Free Printable

 Every good party needs a photo booth, and props are a great way to make sure your guests cut loose and get silly. Simply print these patterns, glue them to foam core, cut them out with an exacto knife, and add a stick! Then you and your friends can get snapping! Happy Holidays!
*** UPDATE ***
A friendly reader just noticed that the ‘Naughty’ & ‘Nice’ arrows were missing from the original pdf. This has now been updated. Thanks Jenni!

ChristmasPhotoBoothProps Christmas Photo Booth Props   Free Printable

8.5×11 paper
Foam core
Spray Adhesive
Exacto Knife

Step 1: Click here to download the free printable and print out pictures of the props.
Step 2: Spray each piece with spray adhesive and mount to the foam core.
Step 3: Using an exacto knife cut out the shapes of the props.
Step 4: Tape the dowel to the backside of the prop.
Step 5: Get Snapping!