This Christmas craft idea for kids turns an ordinary miniature Christmas tree into a family tree, a loving reminder of family or friends who are spending the holidays with you in spirit if not in body. Breaking out the box of Christmas craft supplies helps children to while away the seemingly eternal days before the final arrival of the big day.

To make this special tree you will need:

  • A miniature Christmas tree, with or without lights
  • Fine yarn, thread, or pipe cleaners that have been cut to 2 inches or so depending on your tree
  • Construction paper or other heavy stock craft paper
  • Pictures (make sure that they are pictures you don't mind having cut up)
  • Glue stick
  • Carols playing in the background (okay, this is not needed. It is fun though.)

You will need to determine how large your ornaments should be. Given the variance in the size and shape of miniature trees you will need to decide this for yourself and find any household object of the correct size to trace onto the construction paper or other heavy stock craft paper. Cut circles of the desired size out of the craft paper.

Once you have gathered photos of all the people you want to place on your miniature Christmas tree (ensuring the pictures are either duplicates or ones you don't mind having chopped) cut the images slightly smaller than the craft paper "ball ornament." If you would like to replace these ornaments each year, home printing works really well. You don't need to use special photo paper or ink, just print up proof size pictures - they are usually a perfect size for this kids craft - on regular paper. The pictures can be cut into similar circles or contrasting triangles or squares.

Glue the pictures onto the construction or other craft paper. Using a pencil or toothpick poke a hole through the paper part of the ornament that is just large enough to thread your piece of yarn, thread, or pipe cleaner through. Tie off the material. This will be the make-shift hook you use to hang your portrait ornament on the tree.

Sparkle glue pens, glue and confetti, or markers can all be used to spruce up the construction paper that shows as a frame around the pictures. Small similarly sized ornaments such as tinsel, skinny garland, and mini ornaments are welcome additions to a picture tree. Let your kids imaginations go wild in crafting these ornaments that will turn your miniature Christmas tree into a keepsake family tree that will be treasured with each glance.

Don't forget to sing along with the Carols as you create!