My last posting showed you how to make shine an active presence in your Christmas decorating. Now, for something different. How about a natural tree, bedecked with simple ornaments and glittering white lights instead? A tree that, while holding its own, is in sync with its surroundings and fits into the room without fanfare. If you seek a tree that harmonizes with your existing décor, incorporates natural elements, and isn’t an exclamation point in search of the right sentence, then here’s an idea for you.
A classic Christmas tree in a classic room creates its own music. Its natural approach fits into the existing scheme, yet brings in every element we think of in seasonal decorating. The tree, instead of being a huge presence, fits into the space between two chairs, not receding into the background, but becoming part of the room. One advantage a live tree has over its manmade counterpart is that live ones have boughs that aren’t uniform and contain plenty of space between. While we may love the symmetry and fullness of manufactured trees, they don’t become a part of existing décor as well as a real one can.
A natural tree also won’t impede traffic flow. While you might think you need to buy a smaller manmade tree for a smaller space, you don’t have that much of a concern if the tree is real. And it’s a softer, welcoming presence.
Decorated with natural elements—handmade cardinals perched on branches, circles of dried orange slices suspended by slim red ribbon, punctuated by pine cones, and lit simply—the tree is almost dreamy in its appearance. An added bonus is the architectural detailing around the door behind, which almost frames the tree. A tartan tree skirt forms a contained pouf at its base. While tartan is what we think of when we think ‘Christmas plaid,’ it also fits perfectly into the traditional setting of this room.
Dried orange slices are the primary decoration of this tree. Held by thin red ribbon, which is worked between the rind and sections, they are translucent, as well as providing a good punch of color. And you can’t beat pine cones to underscore the natural aspects of its decoration. You can dry citrus slices yourself, or buy them already preserved. And they still have that great citrus scent.
Tiny birds and Christmas seem to go together, don’t they? In keeping with the simplicity of this tree, redbirds were used, and provide a whimsical touch perched on the ends of branches.
If you aren’t one of those people with boxes full of ornaments in the attic that you use every year, and fill the tree to bursting, then maybe this idea is for you: Limit your decoration types—like the three items used here—and use as many as the branches will allow. Strength in numbers, yet a limit on ornament assortment. The same tree-trimming philosophy can apply, no matter whether your tree is natural or manmade.
You can bring an all-natural approach to your tree and accompanying décor, which will ‘wow’ your guests every bit as much as something enormous and gleaming. Sometimes, we all seek a bit of quiet and serenity, and this tree provides just that. And another fun bit about using a live one is that you get to bundle up and go to the tree lot, and find that perfect, yet individual, tree for your space. Oh, and then there’s that Christmas smell that you won’t find with anything out of a box. You can’t beat that.
Live Life to the Fullest and Happy Holidays,
Chris H. Olsen