Homemade Christmas Tree for the Budget-Minded
There is something intrinsically magical about a Christmas tree. Maybe it’s how out of place it is, a forest figure transplanted into your living room, carrying on its branches whispers of moss and gnomes. As a girl, I brought my My Little Ponies downstairs and hid behind the tree to play. Lighted boughs were a richer backdrop to the drama of a pegasus than the brown carpet in my bedroom. And the times we’ve carried a tree home to our apartment in Brooklyn and strung it with lights, the magic happened when we could sit on the couch, quiet with a glass of wine in hand and a Christmas record on the turntable and feel as transfixed as if we had a new fireplace in the living room. The tree cast a bit of majesty, and in its presence we could just be.
We didn’t get a tree this year. The prices seem to creep skyward each year, and we could use $40 on something else. But I couldn’t help but wonder if not having a tree was affecting my holiday spirit. Channeling Maria’s curtain playclothes ingenuity, I decided to try to make a tree substitute. Besides, I told myself, isn’t it really the lights that make us most happy?
A nearby florist was selling bunches of white branches for $2 each, but you could just as easily grab some free fallen branches at a local park (and spray paint them white, if you’re so inclined). I put the branches in a vase anchored with lots of spare change and then twisted the lights all around. Easy as pie.
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