Many of us celebrate holiday traditions without giving much thought to their origin. Why is it that every December why we feel the need to chop down a tree, drag it from the furthest point of the woods and strap it to the top of a car that is 2 feet shorter than the tree? While the internet offers various explanations regarding the Christmas tree’s origination, we know that they’ve been around in the US since the 1700’s. These days, Christmas trees serve as a focal point in the home during the holidays. Looking for a way to make this year’s tree the biggest and baddest yet? Here are some themed Christmas tree ideas to get your wheels turning.
Patriotic: Show your American pride with a patriotic tree. Lights can be red, white or blue or a combination of all. (Strings with all 3 colors are easily found around the 4th of July.) The tree can be decorated with coordinating bulbs or stars in patriotic colors. Wooden, tin or GI Joe figurines can also be added, as can camouflage ribbons.
Food Themed: Candy canes are a natural fit for this type of tree as are mini kitchen utensils and cookie cutters. Homemade ice cream cone ornaments can be made by wrapping a styrofoam ball in yarn and placing it on top of an ice cream come. Lighting stands come in lots of designs including those that look like peppermint candies, M&M’s, Lifesavers, gum drops, etc. For a classic touch string popcorn or cranberries. Creative tree toppers can include a gingerbread man or candy canes arranged in a star formation.
Charlie Brown: Since the mid-1960s, Charlie Brown and his Christmas tree have been a favorite TV special for American families. Embrace this tradition by making your own Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Start by picking a tree with several bare branches and limited needles. Place in the stand so the tree leans to one side (but not so much that it will fall over and injure someone). Sparsely decorate with ornaments (red bulbs if you want to stay true to the original Charlie Brown Christmas tree which had only a single red bulb.) Wrap the tree stand in a light blue blanket to get the full effect.
Frosty the Snowman: The concept behind this tree is to make it look like an actual snowman. For the “body” use a white tree. Use black bulbs as Frosty’s buttons and garnish with snowflake ornaments throughout. Use silver branches attached to the mid-section of the trunk to create arms. For feet, place black boots at the bottom. Attach a head (papier mache bought from a craft store or made on your own) to the top of the tree and wrap a scarf around it to mask how it was attached. Keep the lights to a minimum on this type of tree or it will look too busy.
Ode to the Outdoors: Avid hunter or fisherman? Used shotgun shells can be strung together and used in place of tinsel and bobbers & lures can double as ornaments. A camouflage, hunter green or blaze orange tree skirt finishes off the look nicely.
Cabin: For a more rustic feel, decorate your tree with a cabin theme in mind. This look can be achieved by using wooden ornaments, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, raffia, and wooden beads.
Traditional: Go back to the basics with a traditional tree. String with white lights and follow up with a layer of tinsel. Traditional ornaments include red & silver bulbs, jingle bells and those made by family members. Top with a star or an angel.
Vintage: If there’s a Red Rider bb gun under the tree and a leg lamp in the corner, a vintage Christmas tree is in order. Utilize shiny glass bulbs, wooden figurines, felt & crocheted ornaments. Use a traditional angel or star tree topper and incorporate an antique tree skirt and stand.
Colored Christmas Trees: Some homeowners are turning to colored artificial Christmas trees because if the tree isn’t real, why try and fake it? Colored trees come in variety of colors including, red, pink, white and blue. You can also find multi-colored artificial trees. To decorate, select ornaments with graphic designs and bold colors like purple fuchsia & lime green. You don’t have to embrace crazy colors in your normal home décor to decorate a vibrantly colored tree.
Memories of Christmas Past: Start a tradition of picking up ornaments that commemorate life events. Some couples buy ornaments from every year of their marriage. Let your children pick out an ornament every year that symbolizes their achievements (think mini pom-poms for making the squad or a mini electric guitar for their first rock concert.) Picture frame ornaments are also a great way to display memories.
Jolly Old St. Nick: Much like the snowman tree above, you can design your entire tree to look like Santa Claus. Again, this type of themed tree is going to work best when you’re working with a white base. Start by wrapping the tree in white lights. To replicate the bottom of Santa’s jacket, wrap the bottom of the Christmas tree in white boas. For the red, in Santa’s jacket use shear fabric and wrap it around the rest of the tree. In the middle, wrap a large black belt with a gold buckle. Sprinkle red ornaments on various spots on the tree. Black boots can be placed at the base of the tree.
Kids: Let the kids have their own tree this year! Fruit Loops can be strung in place of tinsel, as can paper chains or silly string. Go wild with blinking lights in flashy colors. Kids can make their own snowflake ornaments. Slinkys can also add a fun touch. The tree topper can be a paper angel or a top hat similar to the one used in the Cat in the Hat books. Allow kids to take ownership of the tree and don’t worry if it’s not something that would make the front cover of Better Homes & Gardens.
Victorian: Embellish your tree with elegant hand-blown glass ornaments. Wrap strands of pearlescent beads around it. Other items to include can be silver tinsel, ribbons, snowflakes and gold-colored pine cones. Small candles can be added but we do not recommend that you light them. Handcrafted ornaments made from gingerbread, paper and lace can also be added.
Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard is a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.