Since 2016 has been a wonky year from day 1, this Christmas was the perfect time to do something equally wonky: Wander into my yard, chop off a pine tree limb and construct my very own DIY Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
Over the past 11 Christmases, Mr. Smith and I have put up a tree twice. The first time, we only inserted half the branches of our wobbly, fake tree, then pushed it up against a wall and bent the branches around Christmas cards since we didn’t have ornaments. The second time, we put in all the branches and hung ornaments, half of which were knocked down by the cat. So of all the different types of trees one can have (mini, flocked, aluminum, fresh) a wiry, humble Charlie Brown tree was definitely more our style. Here’s how to craft your own…
DIY Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
YOU WILL NEED:
- Large branch pruners
- Handheld pruners or sturdy pair of scissors
- Bud vase with narrow mouth
- Canister or jar with straight sides
- Smooth stones or play sand
- Burlap or festive fabric
- Safety pins
Step 1: Cut a small limb from an evergreen tree.
In the event you do not have an evergreen tree on your property, ask a friend or sneak into a park late at night and snip a wee limb using your large pruners. Just don’t tell the police I sent you.
Step 2: Trim yo’ limb.
A bud vase is great for holding your DIY Charlie Brown Christmas tree in place.
You might have to trim back a few small limbs and needles using your handheld pruners to get the stem to fit in the vase, though.
Don’t forget to give your tree a drink!
Step 3: Secure the tree within a canister.
To keep the tree from toppling in its vase (due to a curious kitty), place the vase in the center of a tall canister with straight sides. Next, fill the canister with smooth stones, marbles, play sand, or, if you have neither of these items, pecans.
Sure it looks hokey as hell, but no more wobble!
Step 4: Add a skirt.
Cover up those ghastly pecans by wrapping a strip of burlap or festive fabric around the canister and securing at the back with safety pins.
Step 5: Time to decorate!
Such a small tree requires only the most cherished ornaments. Here are some of my favorites…
The sweet little nutcracker ornament I bought at a Christmas market in Heidelberg, Germany in 2004.
A colorful rocking horse from Mr. Smith’s childhood:
And, of course, the highly-fanciful ornament Mr. Smith gave me our first year of marriage:
Confession: This ornament is the true reason why I decided to have a tree this Christmas. 2016 has rocked our relationship more than ever; there have been tears, difficult discussions, even shouting. With each explosion, I’ve come to realize just how much I dole out the very same behavior I hate receiving. I share all this to let you know that I am a human and a pretty shitty one lately (or shall I say a “blockhead”). So if you, too, feel shitty or awkward or like you’ve accidentally put your personality on backwards, I’m with you. The coming new year presents a challenge to delete what I am calling “bad code” from my brain; the negative quirks that wait in the wings to cause a malfunction when I least expect it. In the meantime, this ornament represents another year/fire/test Mr. Smith and I have withstood. It gives me hope in the same way Linus’ words give me hope:
I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.
Once my DIY Charlie Brown Christmas tree was all dressed up, it was time to find the perfect location. Since we don’t have central heat, we rely on energy-efficient heaters, and we really enjoy our cosy, fake fireplace–it puts out great heat and the glowing embers make the room feel even warmer!
It’s also the perfect perch for our little tree.
Hope you all have a merry season. May your trees and your love shine brightly!
Also, may your cookies be tasty! (And you thought I wasn’t gonna mention that blasted cookie ebook.)
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