Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Very Thrifty Christmas

Ohhhh, Ahhhhh

This is my first Christmas in my own place. Of course, my family lives just up the road so it isn't too different. We get a tree every year (not too fat, flat back to put against the wall) and set it up in the parlor. It's become a tradition for the three sisters to decorate the tree together (I will not do the garland...nor the lights-I am only in it for the glory of the ornaments). I will be back one evening this December to grab the boxes from the attic, fight with my sisters, and hang my favorite ornaments.

But this year, I am not home every night to sit in the parlor by the tree. My sister has a little tinsel one she offered to me for my apartment, but I decided against it. In a rush of post-Pinterest adrenaline this weekend, I decided that I wanted my own, real Christmas tree.

My requirements for a tree were that it had to be small (my apartment is teeny-tiny) and inexpensive. *Shakes fist at Sallie Mae*

Like any adult in her very own place, I did the independent thing I drove right back home and had my dad help me with this project. We live in the country and have some fields and forests in our graaaand domain. I figured we could pick out a pine in the woods.

 Let me tell you, we were very well equipped for this adventure. A lot of blogs have DIY projects with the message that "anyone can do it!" Well, you can't get a tree the exact same way I did without the following items:

1. A golf cart (because tramping in the woods is sooo last year)
2. A crazy cool chain saw thing that looks like a big set of scissors
3. A cordless Honda generator to run said set of jacked up scissors
4. Powertools
5. Rubber washers, a long screw, a tuna can, and a piece of plywood about 10" x 10"
6. A dad to do all the work

We set off and found a good little hemlock tree (don't drink the sap, Socrates), cut it down with aforementioned awesome scissors, trimmed it up, and brought it back to my dad's shop in the golf cart. He took a tuna can and drilled a hole in it. Then, he put a washer on either side of the drilled hole, placed a piece of plywood below, and the tree above. One zip with the power drill up through the plywood, past the tin can, and into the tree trunk and a big screw held the whole thing together. Voila!

I tossed the tree in the car, gave my dad a hug, and head down to a local thrift store where I scored some old glass ornaments, retro big-bulb Christmas lights, a piece of fabric to cover the base, and 2 stockings to hang with care (I also found a Christmas apron, a chunky red scarf, some unused bows for gifts, and the kitchen sink)-all for $17. For the crowning glory, I cut out two star shapes from a cereal box, painted them with Mod Podge glue, sprinkled glitter, and adhered them to either side of a clothes pin with a hot glue gun.

Like a Martha Stewart project...done by 3rd graders

 I also painted two temporary hooks with glue and glitter for the stockings.

One for me, one for me

All in all, this Christmas tree and assorted sundries cost me $17. But I had the advantage of a handy dad, a personal tree lot, and a really awesome thrift store. You might be able to emulate this somewhat by shopping at a thrift store for your decorations. However, I would not suggest poaching a tree if you don't have some country space of your own. Also, you can't have my dad and his cool power tools.

Oh my goodness, it's adorable.

I am so excited about my first Christmas tree. No matter how you come by it-whether you pick it out in a lot, cut it down yourself, or dig it out of the ground a la Clark Griswold- finding and decorating a tree is such a special way to herald in the season.

Where do you find your Christmas tree?

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