Our Christmas Tree

Josh and I are unable to be with our families this holiday season so we decided to start some new traditions. One of these is to put up a Christmas tree. We went out on Thanksgiving to do a little pre-black friday shopping and ended up getting a six foot pre-lit tree for $30! What a great deal! We also picked up the Lego Lord of the Rings video game and the Walking Dead season 1 DVD. We waited a week or two before we finally put up the tree.

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Fluffing the branches

Fluffing the branches

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The tree topper is an origami star I made for that purpose a couple of years ago. I think it is a little small but worked well this year (plus it was free! Pepper was very helpful when we were putting the tree together. She sat around watching to make sure we did it right.

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Mom and Dad were awesome with regard to the ornaments on our tree. For years my family has collected Hallmark ornaments. About 7 or 8 years ago (right around the time I finished college) Mom decided we should separate the ornaments so that when we had families of our own we would already have some ornaments for the tree. It was an awesome idea that worked perfectly! Mom and Dad went into the attic and found my box of ornaments and sent them to me.The box included some ornaments Dad made for their first Christmas tree and a bunch of ornaments my Grandmother made for me.

In addition, I had been making origami ornaments for the past few years as I planned my own Christmas tree. Two years ago I made a garland of wishing stars.

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These stars are made out of thin strips of silver wrapping paper and then threaded on some red crochet cotton with silver beads between each star. If anyone is interested, I may post instructions on how to fold these little stars. I love the effect on the tree! I was shocked at how many feet of garland you need: nine feet of garland per foot of tree! I was pretty close with the starts I had originally made but I still made a few extra feet. To be honest, I could actually use about three more feet!

I also made the origami tree topper and a bunch of paper cranes out of gold wrapping paper.

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I made a little over 100 cranes in a variety of sizes.

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I am pleased with how they look on the tree. They were simple to make and were good filler for the empty sections of the tree.

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I think the tree rocks!

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We have a great mix of ornaments between homemade and Hallmark. Though, I think Josh wishes that there were a few more masculine ornaments as there are like 20 Barbies on this Christmas tree! Mom and Dad also sent us a couple of new ornaments including this “first Christmas together” ornament. We were very appreciative!

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Last year I bought some microbe ornaments from Think Geek. They don’t seem to be selling them this year though. With a little research I did find them at Giant Microbes. They are so cute and add a little science to the tree. Plus I love that the microbe that causes mono has some mistletoe on it!

This E. coli is dressed up as a reindeer

This E. coli is dressed up as a reindeer

I was very worried about Pepper eating the tree and playing with the ornaments because she has a bad track record.

Pepper loves to try to eat this mini tree and all the ornaments on it!

Pepper loves to try to eat this miniature tree and all the ornaments on it!

Surprisingly, Pepper has been really well behaved. She did try to eat the branches of the tree until I hung up the clove orange ornament that I had made to add some Christmas smell to the tree. (Artificial trees are easy and look nice but I love the smell of real trees…)

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As for the ornaments, Pepper has attacked one or two and ate the string off of one of the wooden bears. The good news is that she has been targeting the paper cranes instead of the breakable ornaments!

Pepper chilling out under the tree

Pepper chilling out under the tree

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I hope you enjoyed a look at our Christmas tree. Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in tutorials about any of the homemade ornaments.

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