As I unpacked our artificial Christmas tree late last month I realized that it was just taking up space year after year. We had been given the tree as a bridal shower gift from my old roommates since we were married around Christmas (just had our 5 year anniversary!). But we didn't need it. In fact, I didn't want it anymore. So, after this Christmas I'm thinking our tree will be the next to head out the door. Not to the dump, but hopefully to a home where they don't have a tree or wouldn't mind adopting ours.
I am really excited to reinvent how our family celebrates Christmas, not drastically, but by implementing thrifty, homemade skills infused with nature. Christmas is definitely about celebrating the birth of Jesus! But I also think that it is a wonderful time to celebrate the beauty of the winter and the Lord's creations. What better way than to bring the outside in with its bright greens and reds, its rich and piney smells. So, next year I'd like to either cut our own, small Christmas tree or buy a live potted tree. The live tree is the most environmentally friendly tree, which you can plant when you're done with it. It's nice if you have the land to do that. If you cut your own tree, I also really like the idea of once you're done with your Christmas tree, you can sit it outside and decorate it with birdseed ornaments as a winter treat for the birds. The ornaments provide food, but the tree itself provides shelter for nervous little birds who still want a treat without feeling exposed by feeding at a naked deciduous tree.
I'm also really excited to pare down on our store-bought ornaments and replace them with ones that I make with our kids. I remember my mom doing that with us. She had a box full of old Christmas cards. She helped us trace circles on the part of the picture that we liked, cut it out and then pasted it back to back with another circle. She threaded a string at the top and we had a pretty, 2-sided, custom-made ornament!
Here's a fun homemade idea. Besides the traditional popcorn-cranberry garland, here's a really fun idea for a felt ball garland from Jordan Ferney that you can bead yourself instead of having the standard metallic tinsel rope. I'm totally planning on making one of these!
Here are some more homemade ornaments from our very own tree that are easy and fun to make with kids.
Felt ice skates with paper clips for the skate part:
Beaded Wreath made by my talented step-mommy:
Pasta Angel - one of my favorites as a kid:
Cinnamon "Cookie" ornaments - mix equal parts Elmers Glue and ground cinnamon into a dough. Roll out between plastic wrap, cut with cookie cutters, gently press in beads if you like and let dry! Mmm! Nice and spicy!:
Baby Jesus in a milkweed pod covered in glitter:
Paint your own homemade 1st Christmas ornaments! They're inexpensive -less than 99 cents at Michaels:
Drum made from Q-Tips, Milk bottle caps, yarn and that plastic grid stuff you can sew yarn into... whatever it's called!:
Clothespin reindeer with googly eyes:
Playdough Picture ornament (yes that's 5 year old me!):
Yarn Sheep made from a cardboard body, clothes pin legs and white yarn:
What are some homemade ornaments that you've made?