Tradition With a Twist

Everyday Adventures

I might be a little behind the eight-ball getting my Yuletide mojo working, but I think we’ve got it where it counts, now!

Monday night was the 3 year anniversary of our frantic move into this house. That first year there was barely time to unpack the common areas before Christmas Eve supper with my family, much less put up a real tree, so we went with a small, table-top fake tree that I had in the garage. The next year (aka last year) we bought a real tree and set it up in pretty much the only space we had available, our dining room-cum-library. It worked, but it was a tight squeeze and it blocked the bookcases.

So this year I wasn’t really feeling the real-tree vibe. Or the decorate every inch of the house vibe, for that matter!

Todd took this fairly well, I think, and I dreamed up a compromise that would still let us hang up our festive monkey ornaments (you’d expect nothing less, right?) without sacrificing floor space or getting pine needles everywhere.

While my plan had originally consisted of concentric circles of something (later planned to be embroidery hoops) linked together by chain or ribbon and then painted to serve as our “tree,” at the last minute I had a flash of inspiration that led us on a hunt, one Thursday night, for tomato cages.

With a box of old garland I had in the garage, a little floral tape, some chain, wire, and our existing ornaments I turned a pair of these:

into a pair of these:

(with Todd’s help, of course!) for around $10 (all we bought were the cages, chain, and some s-hooks that didn’t really fit).

It was somewhat inspired by a ceiling-hung inverted Christmas tree that I saw in the Frontgate catalog many years ago–I thought it was fabulous to have the ornaments hanging down, not lost in the branches, while leaving maximum space underneath for presents!

Then, while checking my Google Reader I came across the tuTORIal: DIY Ornament Garland post on and knew it would be perfect for our unused ball ornaments that weren’t going to fit on our hanging trees this year.

It really was a simple project for maximum impact. To keep the ornaments from bumping against the mantle I left my strings a little long, but I’m thinking they need a pretty bow at each end of the garland, especially on the right where the stocking doesn’t cover up the excess the way the left one does. To do it justice I’ll need to pick up some wider ribbon, but it still qualifies as a super-frugal craft since I had everything else on hand.

This is pretty much the extent of our decorations. We’re both pretty okay with a low-key Christmas, and it’ll mean more room to move around in when we have guests over the coming week.

Now, if they’ll just get around to fixing our oven, we’ll be all set for Christmas!

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