I love the smell and look of a real tree, but space constraints and a lovely skin allergy (think welts and hives) to evergreen sap means that we go the fake route. Our tree is tall and skinny, and I kind of love it. It’s pre-lit with white lights (though I confess to preferring big, cheery colored bulbs), and we add some big bubble lights of our own.
My favorite thing on our tree is the vintage Bradford star, passed down to us from Seth's parents, who inherited it from a friend's parents. It has a little tin-can type thing inside it (with colored cellophane inserts) that fits over the bulb. The heat from the bulb makes the can spin, throwing crazy colored squiggles and W's on our walls. LOVE.
I’ve never been much into themed trees, choosing instead to accumulate ornaments over the years and not worry whether they match or not. Hey, if nothing matches, then everything does, right? Or something.
Anyway, this philosophy has resulted in some wonderful ornaments, and some not-so-wonderful ones. One of my favorite ornaments ever is this totally hideous thing made of plastic-wrapped satin floss that Seth’s kooky aunt and uncle gave us the year we got married.
- Wacky 1982 hair? Check.
- Cheesy sipping of brandy snifters in front of the fire? Check.
- A properly supportive bra for the lady? No check. Tsk, tsk.
Sorry, I got lost in the beauty of the ornament there for a second.
Big packages of glass ornaments are the cheapest way to liven up any room, tree or no tree. Inspired by a Martha Stewart Living cover from two Christmases ago (apparently this was an alternate cover, so sorry for the image. It was hard to find even a blurry image!), I like to hang ornaments in my kitchen window.
Martha suggested fastening eye hooks into your window casing, but my old, rickety windows have enough issues without screwing extra stuff into them. Therefore, I use a tension rod. This is a little more awkward-looking, but I like to think no one notices it because they're distracted by the ornaments. The ornaments are hung on pieces of ribbon collected from gifts, and strands of beads snipped from a roll of bead garland that we used on our Christmas tree a few years ago.
The best thing about the tension rod is that I take the whole thing down--rod, ribbons, ornaments and all--fully assembled, and just hang it in the attic until next year. All I have to do is give it a good dusting when it's time to re-hang it.
More cheap and cheerful uses for ornaments to come soon! Pin It