We have power again, so I can finally post "The Making of our Christmas Tree" Yay.
But before I forget, here is a picture of the advent calendar my mom made... and our cute little handsome Joseph.
Okay. Now for the tree.
On the first Sat in December we went to the Temple. At the chapel next door they must have had a Christmas party or something the night before, b/c they had bags and bags of evergreen branches in bags by the curb for recycling. Being strong recyclers ourselves, we decided to "recycle" two bags worth of branches back into a tree. This is what we did.
First, we dumped and sorted the bags. This is one bag's worth. The branches were still fresh and boy did they smell good. (Lots of sap, though.)
Next, Nathan got out a large bamboo pole we'd once used as part of our bed frame. Lately it's just been standing in the storage room. He saw it when getting the drill and thought it would make a great base so we put it into our tree stand. (I wanted to use the hat rack. The pole was a much better idea.) He drilled four holes (N E S and W) per row and four rows into the pole. Then we got out the floral wire and he drilled holes in the branches. The idea was to string them onto the bamboo...
But, that didn't work quite as well as we'd hoped. Instead we tried the "bunch and twist" technique used in wreath making. That worked much better.
(See, I need a new hair style, don'tcha think?) Anyway we wrapped all the branches on to the pole, threading the wire through the holes in the bamboo to keep the branches from slipping down. After getting gooped with much sap and breaking up two fights over whose turn it was to cut the wire, we finally finished.
It's about 7 1/2 feet tall. With the alligator on the top it just barely clears the ceiling. It now holds 1 1/2 strands of lights, two strands of garland, dozens of ornaments, smells like a "fresh" tree, and requires no watering. Plus, we can actually see the tree skirt this year.
It reminds me of something from Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Sorry you can't see the alligator. (And sorry you can see my hair. Yes, definitely need to do something about that.)
And of course, Lil'Nathan found a use for the bag.