When I told my adult children my decorating theme, “It’s All About the Manger,” they had questions.
“Will you be decorating the tree with animals?”
“Or will you use hay and poop?”
“Are you going to spray it with the scent of poop?”
They are always so helpful. I skipped the all three ideas! I used a few manger scene ornaments, birds, nests, wooden candy canes, and a lot of pine cones!
Manger theme ornament.
When I finished, I was frustrated because the tree seemed to lean at the top and there was a hole on one side. No matter how I adjusted it, I could not get it to stay straight.
Then I remembered a tree my uncle cut at his farm. It was full and lush, but the trunk was bent and it really leaned. It kept tipping over, and in frustration, he wired it to the wall!
We have not had a real tree because of my allergies. In fact, this tree has to be assembled in the garage and my husband blows all of the dust off of it with a leaf blower before bringing it into the house. (It is a pencil tree and it fits easily through the door.)
I try all sorts of tricks to make my tree look real:
- Since branches grow up toward the light, not horizontally, I bend each branch toward the light. (As my room is small, I bend all of them up to keep the tree from taking much floor space.)
- I take a long fake evergreen garland and loosely wrap it around inside the tree to camouflage the metal prongs that hook the branches into the trunk.
- (New for 2012) I took the center of a roll of wrapping paper, (not the tube, but the rolled butchers-type paper), and taped it to a table. After Thanksgiving dinner, I had the artistic guests draw knot holes on the paper and we colored it a variety of colors to resemble a tree trunk. I cut it to fit between the tree stand and the bottom row of branches and wrapped it around the tree trunk. I cut the rest to fit the spaces between rows of branches and pulled it tighter as I went up the tree trunk to make it appear to get smaller in circumference.
- One year, I left one of the larger branches off of the tree to make a hole. I put a large Christmas ornament in the hole. Most real Christmas trees do not have perfect branches.
- When I put the tree together, I noticed the top seemed to lean a bit to the side. As real trees do not grow straight up, I left it alone.
Once again, I decided to just let it lean.
My manger themed, leaning Christmas tree, 2014.