O Christmas Tree

When it comes to Christmas, I’ve always been a traditional red & green kind of gal.

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This year I decided to do something a little different. I wanted to decorate a tree that would fit in well with the decor in our home and I knew that I wanted to buy a new tree, but struggled when trying to decide on a color and theme. I bounced back and forth between a retro themed pink tree filled with pink and blue vintage ornaments (like this) and a rustic, woodsy white tree filled with woodland creatures and metallic ornaments (like this). I chose a rustic, woodsy theme for my new white Christmas tree, mainly because I didn’t have time to search for affordable vintage ornaments and I knew that I could reuse a lot of the ornaments that I already had.

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The tree is from Treetopia, it’s their pre-lit 6′ Winter White Christmas tree. I made the garland using jute rope and strips of burlap. I Iove a full tree, so I added lots of gold, silver, white and chocolate brown bulbs and then filled in with silver icicles, wooden nutcrackers, snowflakes and fuzzy woodland creatures. Many of the ornaments came from Target; and I also picked up a few boxes of glass bulb ornaments from Michaels. The tree is filled with lots of ornaments that I’ve had for years. There’s a silver reindeer hanging out underneath the tree along with a vintage leather suitcase to keep the presents up and away from the puppies.

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I do wish I’d purchased a taller tree. The six foot tree is dwarfed by our 9′ ceilings. I knew it was too small after we’d unpacked the tree and set it up in the living room. Determined to find a creative solution that would add height to the tree, I decided to covert a tree stump into a tree stand. We purchased a stump off Craigslist for less than ten dollars. Then, Rob cut the stump down to a height of about fifteen inches and drilled a hole into the center using a spade bit. I love the new stand like crazy.

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I’m a little obsessed with our new tree; it’s still cozy but fits well with our decor, and it’s not fussy one bit. Mission accomplished.

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4 Responses to “O Christmas Tree”

  1. Patti says:

    Pretty! I love the retro look of white Christmas trees, though I can never bring myself to buy one. It’s long been established that real trees are superior to artificial trees in pretty much every way (except maybe laziness, lol); studies have found that “an artificial tree would have to be reused for more than 20 years to be greener than buying a fresh-cut tree annually. The calculations included greenhouse gas emissions, use of resources and human health impacts.” Not only are fake trees bad for the environment, they’re bad for humans: “most fake trees also contain polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which produces carcinogens during manufacturing and disposal.” So unfortunately, no amount of pretty can topple the overwhelming amount of evidence against artificial trees, at least not for me.

  2. Thanks for reading and sharing your viewpoint, Patti. The Wilderness Girls appreciate respectful discourse on different points of view, so I took a closer look at the environmental impact of artificial trees. Truth is, the Real-vs-Artificial tree question comes every year and there is not an overwhelming winner in all categories – in some ways real rules but there are some undeniable advantages to artificial, too. The National Christmas Tree Association supports real trees (www.realchristmastrees.org) while the American Christmas Tree Association supports artificial tree makers (www.christmastreeassociation.org) and both have published statements on the environmental benefits of their type of tree. Here are some of the high-level pros & cons they shared for each tree type.

    Real trees
    Pros – Real trees offer a natural carbon offset while growing – usually on land that isn’t great for other crops. Farmers generally plant 2-3 seedlings for each tree they harvest. At disposal time many municipalities will chip used trees into mulch to be used in local parks.
    Cons – Since many trees are grown with pesticides, bringing them into the home can introduce pesticide residue. Common issues are cleaning up needles and sap, coping with allergens, potential mold and increased risk of fire danger.

    Artificial trees
    Pros – Artificial trees are reusable, hypo-allergenic, generally tidier and fire retardant.
    Cons – They’re made with PVC which contributes to carbon and pollution through manufacturing and at the end of their useful life they’re generally not recyclable.

    My research indicated that the environmental and economic break-even point is around the 8-9 year mark rather than 20 years as quoted. For the record, I have a 4” artificial tree that’s about seven years old and showing no signs of wear and tear. It probably has another 10 years on it before it has to be replaced. I selected it because my naughty cat won’t leave the taller ones alone and I’m allergic to the real ones. My husband misses the fresh pine scent, but we agreed my being able to breathe was a priority. For us, artificial wins.

    In the end, they type of tree you choose has to work for your family and meet your needs. The decision you make about your tree doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it happens in concert with all of the other conscious decisions you make about sustainability and your personal environmental impact. When we make the best choices we can as often as we can, I believe we’re moving in the right direction.

  3. Jesisca says:

    I love your tree! In fact I thougt Jenny wrote this blog and sent her a text on how much I loved her tree (thinking she bought a second one) I was a little embarrased at the mixup but I still wanted to tell you how pretty it is. I always wanted a white tree but currently have a blue tinsel tree. I will eventually get a white one. Thanks for sharing!!

    • thewildernessgirls says:

      Thanks for your sweet comment Jessica! Jenny has great taste – so I’m flattered you mistook my tree for hers. 😉 go for the white tree! We’ve had such fun with ours this year. #Christina

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