Saturday, December 15, 2007
(N)O Christmas tree
I love my Christmas ornaments but my husband does not enjoy wrestling with the before, during, and after of a lop-sided tree that weighs more than he does. Neither do I.
So, a few years ago, I decided to find ways to display my ornaments, without a tree. It turns out they are much more visible without those pesky branches.
A recurring method has been to hang the ornaments on the meshes that are meant to be used to cover an outdoor bush, for example. These are grids of lights that are generally 4' x 6'.
In the photo on the left you can see my husband, appropriately dressed in a CSI T-shirt, tacking the bottom of the grid in place. The top is attached to standards that are nailed to the window frame.
The second photo shows the grid (actually 2 grids, tied together) fully laden with ornaments.
In case you think we miss the smell of a tree—one of the "ornaments" is a car freshener. And when we miss needles, we pull a few off the (real) wreath on the door and sprinkle them on the carpet.
Ever the teacher, I like to quiz my guests. Over the years I've given a prize to the person in each set of guests who comes closest to guessing the number of ornaments. They don't know ahead of time—at some point during the gathering, I announce the quiz. The guests then have three minutes to look over the display and come up with a number. It's not enough time to count, so players have to rely on another way of determining the number.
Now that so many expect that one, I've had to come up with different quizzes, such as how many New York ornaments are there? Or how many acorns?
Another arrangement I like is the following: Take 3 or 4 circular metal wires of different sizes. You can find them in a crafts store (they're meant to have garland wrapped around them). Arrange the circles from smallest on top to largest on the bottom and hang the arrangement from the ceiling. Hang the ornaments all around each ring. The effect is of ornaments "floating" in space, in the general shape of a tree. If anyone is curious, I'll pull out a photo from that year.
Does anyone else have a way of displaying ornaments without a tree? I'm open to something new for '08!