When my children were very small, we didn’t have a lot of money. One year I bought a $20 artificial tree and ornaments. The problem was that once I got the tree home, I realized that the decorations were too heavy for the tree and the tree topper was more of a tree toppler! What was I going to do? We had only enough to buy gifts for the kids at the dollar store; I had no ornaments that were light enough for the tree and a couple of children who were excited about Christmas.
I may be showing my age, but I LOVED watching the A-Team on TV when I was young. There was always some crazy mission, followed by a hair-brained scheme, a monkey wrench thrown in for drama, incredible improvisation culminating with the catchphrase of the show, “I love it when a plan comes together!” That’s what this experience felt like. So I began planning. What material could possibly be light enough for these weak branches? What did I already have? So, prepped with scissors, glue gun, paints, pipe cleaners, glitter, lacy material, yarn, string, photographs, and a few bucks for Dollar Tree and the craft store, I commenced my hunt.
I Love It When A Plan Comes Together!
Pretty soon, there were foam snowmen with cutout bellies filled with the smiling faces of my children. There were balsa wood painted and glittered snowflakes, stars, penguins, painted foam balls, and half balls with pictures on the flat side adorning the tree. The only thing remaining was to figure out what to do with the top. And then inspiration struck – an angel – my angel. I found a small foam ball, a few pipe cleaners, a foam cone, black yarn, white material, and gold glitter.
Armed with my glue gun and a needle and thread, I began making a glorious angel gown with leftover material and lace. I fashioned wings out of a sheet of foam, painted it gold, & added pipe cleaners for structure. After cutting out my baby girl’s face but making sure to leave some of her curly black locks, I cut black yarn for the angel hair and glued it to the back of the foam ball. I trimmed the front and attached her face. On top, I placed a golden pipe cleaner halo. My angel stayed on top of the tree for years.
A New Twist On An Old Tradition
While we decorated the tree this year, I found the remaining bits and pieces of the broken angel tenderly wrapped in paper tucked inside a little metal box. Only the head was intact. Over the years, we substituted the angel with several different homemade stars, but this year we got another angel. It’s made of wooden twigs, artificial pine needles, and ribbon. I filled with fairy lights, but it still isn’t as bright as my little girl’s face.
The beautiful fir tree is filled with glass ornaments, heavy pewter ornaments, bells and bows this year. But, interspersed with all the sparkly new ones are still the foam and painted wood ones the children and I made all those years ago for flimsy tree. Now there are also some of my mother’s favorites and a few of my father’s. You don’t throw away your past , you incorporate it. This year – the tree is extra beautiful and full of love.
I wish you the very best this season. I wish you love and peace, and may all your Christmases be bright.