Today seems like a good day for this post. Typically, I get my Christmas Tree up on December 1st. If I put it up any earlier, then by the time Christmas actually comes around, we are a bit Christmas-ed out.
But I was out of town visiting my parents on the 1st. My mom and I got up to some baking, which I will write some posts about later in the countdown. But heading back “home” actually turns out to be perfect, because I can sneak home our Christmas Tree… For free… And we will decorate it in the next day or two.
I did this a few years ago (2014 I think…photo above) and it was my favorite tree I’ve had since I was about 14. It was a bit shabby and perfect for a farm-house or log cabin feel. It wouldn’t be featured on any magazine covers or pinterest boards, but it had some real character and I loved it.
Which leads me to my First Hack: (and what I am doing this year)
- Tie 2 or 3 smaller or spindly trees together. This basically creates an insanely full tree, that is almost impossible to find when you go tree hunting. You can trim off any branches that are in the way, and insert ones into empty spaces.
- I find 3 small trees that are all about the same height, and drag them back to the yard. Then I kind of finagle them together to look like a really full tree… You’re going to want gloves and long sleeves to get this done. You may whip yourself in the face with branches too, depending on how uncooperative the trees are being.
- Once the trees are together, tie them up tight (like as tight as you can without damaging the trees) with some kind of string or rope that isn’t going to stretch. I just use baler twine (from hay bales) that I have hoarded over the years.
- Keep the bottoms all level together, as this will make your life easier when you go to put it in the stand.
- Tie it all up, from the bottom to the top, to ease transporting it home.
My next hack is for a fake tree:
- Last year, we waited too long to find a real tree (and I didn’t have enough time off to head to my parents because I was working retail). I picked up one of those super cheap, little 3′ trees, and we stuck it up on the counter (less concern about the cats and dogs getting into the ornaments). But being that it was a Walmart special… It was a bit bare. Like really bare actually. So to dress it up, and hide just how sad looking it was, I grabbed some garland (the fake stuff to wrap banisters and stuff in). And wrapped it around the center.
- If you can, match the garland to the tree… so they look like they are one thing.
- Hide any obviously “not real” parts by wrapping the garland around the tree. You can’t add branches in, but you can bulk out the middle a bit, giving it a more “full” feel.
Bonus Hack for Artificial Trees: Grab a pine/fir/spruce scented candle, or those “scentsicles” that smell like Christmas trees. It will lend a tiny extra Christmas-y feel to your house… But I am partial to real trees and their smells, so if you don’t need real tree smell in your Christmas, you can obviously skip this.
Bonus Hack for that Christmas Tree smell… Bring in a few random pine or Spruce branches and put them around your house. In the few years where we didn’t have time to get a tree, I’ve trimmed the Spruce tree out front and put the branches into a little vase and some Christmas themed picks from the dollar store… Its a way to get a little bit of Christmas, without a bunch of the hassle and stress. OR to add to your regular Christmas decor.