Here's a simple, old-fashioned holiday craft to keep boredom at bay over the holidays. You'll need fresh, thick-skinned oranges, whole cloves, toothpicks and ribbon. You're going to make pomanders.
Pomanders arrived in Europe from the Arab world and are first mentioned in literature in the mid-thirteenth century. Ladies and gentlemen wore them around their neck or waist to ward of bad smells (people didn't wash much in those days) and also in the belief that they protected from infection. Early pomanders were perforated gold or silver balls with fragrances and herbs inside them. Later, pomanders were round balls made from resins and fragrance. Clove-studded oranges were given as Christmas and New Year's gifts starting in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Nowadays, the word pomander is often used to describe a fragrant bouquet of flowers shaped into a ball, most often seen at weddings.
To make your own pomander poke a pattern all over the orange with a toothpick. Push a clove into each hole. Tie ribbon around the orange, leaving long ends to create a hanging loop. You can cover the entire orange with cloves, make swirly shapes or a smiley face.
Orange pomanders will dry out slowly and can last for years. Hang them in closets as an air freshener and moth-deterrent.