I was a bit concerned that we might not get a tree this year again, because a week or so ago my five year old had a little story to write that started "Imagine you are a little Christmas tree in the forrest. One day some men in a truck come along and cut you down. What happens to you next?" Well, her response totally took me off guard. When I asked "What happened to you after the guys cut you down?" She just looked at me with this half disgusted and half incredulous expression and said matter of factly "I died." As if to say "Mum, they cut me down, what else did you think would happen?!" We went for a more festive rewrite after a bit of a talk, but I wasn't sure how she would feel about having a dying tree in our livingroom for the holidays. I'm bracing myself for some seriously nutty fruitarian teenage years.
Turns out it was going to be ok, so we went to get our tree.
The kids really wanted to make a star to go on top, so I cut out two cardboard stars and gave them one each to colour in and decorate with glitter and glue on jewels. My five year old surprised me by turning her star into a sort of angel, which was very cute, because I love love love kid's drawings. My three year old was determined to copy most of what her sister was doing, down to the colours of the stripes on the cone that was going to support the star.
Here's a nice close up of the glitter for those of you that are glitterphobes. Mwah ha haaaa! Yes, it was all over the place.
When the stars were dry I hot glued around the edges of the star and cone to hold them back to back, and then we could slot it over the top of the tree, so that the point of the tree went all the way up into the point of the star and it was held securely.
Preschooler ettiquette is such that we must rotate the star each day so that everyone has a turn for their artwork to be at the front. I might go for a tradition of getting them to decorate a new star each year and keep them all because I am a sappy sentimental mum and they will store flat.
If you want a real angel to go on your tree then have a go at the paper plate angels that we made last year. They fit beautifully on the top of the tree too, or just make nice mantle piece decor. The kids just played with the ones we made like they were dollies. We haven't made any yet this year, but here is a pic of last year's...
As far as other decorations for the tree went, we had a load of mardigras beads that my friend Courtney had sent my kids last year. We draped some of those over the tree.
Courtney suggested cutting up and melting some in muffin tins to make ornaments to hang, so I gave that a go. The kids snipped up the beads and I cut up and tied on some magnet wire to hang them by. Regular string worked too, but the magnet wire was nice and hidden on the tree, without being something that would burn or melt in the oven.
Most of the beads we had were the metallic looking type, which are black plastic spray painted, so when they heated up, the paint cracked, but they still stayed shiney. I thought that we might just end up with black circles, so I only melted them at 350F for about 10 minutes, then whipped them out and squashed them as flat as I could with a metal spoon.
The few transparent coloured plastic beads that we had made much more beautiful ornaments, because they melted better, and the lights on the tree could shine through them. Very pretty!
We had the fan on and the window open to melt these beads, because I wasn't sure what kind of stink the melting plastic would make. it wasn't that stinky though, I guess because we only barely melted them.
Other decorations on the tree include some of the gift tags that we printed the other day.
Some of a set of 50 dollar store gift tags.
Salt dough ornaments from last year. Instructions here. We need to make more of these, because the kids really enjoy it.
We also hung some of the apples from the kid's play food on there. I think they were supposed to be ornaments anyway.
I asked the kids if they wanted to hang any of their little model animals on the tree, but apparently that was a silly suggestion and no one except me is into the idea of a zoo tree.