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A Merry Little Christmas Tree

December 6, 2012

Our Christmas Tree is up!! We used to have a little green one but had to get a new one last year because bumblebees used it for a nest/hive when it was stored in my shed. Really. They later moved out, leaving a few dead bumblebees and a bit of comb-stuff, but the tree wasn’t something I really wanted to use after that. Of course, I had been wanting a black tree, anyway, and the bumblebees provided the excuse to get one 🙂

We always make our own decorations, and  the back-story for our home-made decorations goes like this:

Back in 2005, I’d just got back to my home town and had only just found a job and was still getting myself out of credit card and overdraft hell, thanks to my time in expensive Wellington doing expensive art at expensive art school. I’m not moaning about it– it was the best 18 months of my life. I am just rather allergic to credit card interest (freeload, everyone, freeload!!) and I’d never had an overdraft before (or since). So, that first year, we got a real Pine Tree and a couple of cheap packets of origami paper, found some beads and fishing wire and made ornaments for it. They were cheerful colours like orange and blue and green and yellow. Here is 2005’s tree (please excuse the photo quality) (see the goldfish? I made that):

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They were pretty hideous, really, but they were cheap, and satisfying to make. We planned to be a bit richer the next Christmas and make new ones out of prettier paper. We kept some of our fiddlier (but sturdier) originals, though, and these I painted to match our new colour scheme.

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We also got a fake tree, which is simpler with the cats and the small space and the ants. Side note: we discovered that one cannot hang candy canes on the tree in this city. The ants discovered them– even though they’d never been seen in the lounge before– and then ate their way into the canes and got stuck. Or perhaps they were in carb comas. When we discovered them, the candy canes were studded with black things sticking out all over. Truly gross.

Moving on…

We got our ideas out of library books and internet sites. Here are a few examples:

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A couple of our creations weren’t strong enough to survive storage gracefully– paper will only put up with so much. I had larger editions of these but they looked somewhat mashed so they had to go 😦 These ones will have to be retired soon, as well.

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We also discovered that double-sided tape is no good in the long-term. These guys had to be retired this year.

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Another time, I’d use glue. We also made some fairly random things, like a cresent moon, just for fun. The only thing on the tree that we didn’t make is the angel– we got that from Trade Aid. One day, we’ll get inspired and make one…

This is our black tree this year.

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The bronze paper doesn’t show up well, and with  the retirement of a few more decorations, it’s high time we made some more. At the moment, we’re thinking beads and buttons and wire to add to all our paper and bead creations. They’ll be more durable, anyway.

Do you make your own tree ornaments? We’re still looking for ideas, so feel free to share 🙂

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