An Inexpensive Redneck Christmas Tree: Ornaments from Recycled Materials

We call it the “beer tree”, and if my sister, Deborah, is correct, ours may not be pure Redneck (see Gifts for the Redneck on Your List), since we prefer Natural Light to Budweiser. I figure I out to know how to do it since Natural Light was good enough for our redneck wedding. But either way, the Anheuser-Busch® products sport a nice Christmas color theme with the red, wintery blue and shiney sliver.

My other sister, Julia, said I had to give her credit, and credit she deserves. I like to have a real tree for Christmas, but Mama gave me an old hand-me-down artificial tree, and last year my husband said, “We need to have a tree in the garage.”

Elvis Bow Makes a Lovely Topper

You Might Be a Redneck If...

This might be a redneck thing. We tend to hang out a lot in the garage. We have a couch, a television, the stereo, and of course an extra ‘frig for the beer. Now that we don't have space for a real redneck party, the garage is our “party space,” in part because we don’t smoke in the house, and let’s face it, who cares if beer gets spilled on the concrete floor? Much better than on my carpet!

In spite of the lack of carpet, we have painstakingly decorated the garage interior. Two life-size Richard Petty cutouts flank the refrigerator, and the walls are covered with various NASCAR paraphernalia, North Carolina fishing citations, OBX license plates, an Elvis calendar and a black and white poster of the Man in Black, Johnny Cash.

Natural Light Inspiration


A few days after Ken’s suggestion, he was at work and Julia was visiting. We decided to put the artificial tree up in the garage. Naturally, Julia and I had a Natural Light or two to enhance the holiday decorating spirit. (Was that pun too terrible?) I had lots of extra lights for the tree, but it wasn’t until Julia’s first “empty” that inspiration struck. She bent the little tab up, perpendicular to the can, and lo and behold, that tab makes a mighty fine Christmas tree hook!

The next night, I started brainstorming. I was sure I could put the empty Natural Light cartons that had piled up next to the trash can to some kind of good use. First, I flattened a few cartons and fashioned a respectable tree skirt. Then I grabbed a pair of scissors and my stapler, and before long I had an impressive paper chain for garland.

Throughout the holidays, various guests added their own touch – an empty cigarette pack here, a stray brand of beer can there. We topped the tree with a big bow made from some cool Elvis-patterned ribbon I had stashed. It's the perfect place to plop those redneck Christmas gifts!

Tipsy....I Mean, Finished!

Embarrass the Kids

When my sixteen year old daughter came home and saw our Redneck Christmas tree for the first time, she was mortified. “Did you have to put it right in front of the door?” she cried. But within a few days, she, too, was converted. When she hitched a ride home with her teenage friends from school, she made them get out of their cars to come see the tree.

A few weeks ago, the mother of one of my daughter’s friends stopped by for a visit. She’s a fellow-smoker, and as we settled onto the couch in the garage, she asked if we would have the beer tree again this year. Apparently the kids thought it was quite funny.

A New Tradition

Of course we will have the tree again! I’ve already started on this year’s addition to the decorations. We’ve saved our beer tabs, and I’m stringing them on red fishing line for a new garland.

Author's Note: I'm so upset I can't find last years photos to add to this hub! But, we'll be putting the tree up Friday, so I'll add illustrations this weekend.

Update 12/3/08: My sisters have promised to email last years pictures. I've loaded this years. The blur is because I'm not used to my new camera phone. Yeah. That's what it is. The camera phone, not the photographer :-)

Copyright Dineane Whitaker 2008 - Please do not copy and paste this article, but feel free to post a link using this url:

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Comments 11 comments

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 8 years ago from United States

I really, really wish I could see the pictures. Happy holidays to you and yours!

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 8 years ago from Central North Carolina

My kids crack me up!

dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina Author

I know, Tom! I'm so frustrated that I can't find them. But I'll have new ones soon.

Ha Ha, Mama :-p

julia 8 years ago

this was the best tree ever so many comments and we had many great nights decorating it this was one of my greatest decorating experiences i ever had

barbie doll 8 years ago

Our 17 year old decided to have a redneck tree this year. As I decorate the upstairs with our cowboy and western theme items, he is busy downstairs decking the halls redneck style...with reservations...none of us drink, so the beer cans have been replaced with Mt. Dew and RC cola cans. We're trying to keep this a secret from the rest of the family until the unveiling later this month. I wrote a redneck version of "The Night Before Christmas" to be read at the party. The tree ornaments are big red and white fishing bobbers with assorted colorful lures, his collection of model semi and pickup trucks, a model tractor or two, strings of tiny red lantern lights, used shotgun shells hanging from strings, and some deer antlers wired into the tree. Along with a few Nascar items, some country music ornaments from Opryland and woodland animal ornaments, it should be great. For a tree topper do you think that a pregnant Barbie doll bride is too over the top? Well, maybe. The party treats? Yeah, it has to be Moon Pies! Merry Chrismas y'all and to all a YeeeeHaaaaw!!

barbie doll 8 years ago

Twas the night before Christmas in our old country house, when good Bubba son says, "We're as poor as a mouse! How can we deck the place with good cheer?" We counted our money and plopped it down. We've got just enough! Let's head into town! We warmed up the pickup after doin' the chores. "To WalMart" we cried, "One of our favorite stores!" We shopped all the aisles stocked with holiday bliss, and when we paid up, it come out like this.... Lures and bobbers remind us of an old fishin' place. Them red & white colors puts a smile on my face. The antlerrs are hung in the tree way up high. You 'spose Santa's deer really know how to fly? The models of semi-s are all works of art. They'll bring a warm feeling to our truckers-at-heart. The glass balls and doodads are there just for show. Keeps our mind off the job of shoveling the snow. The lanterns all glow with a light so warm. It makes us be grateful to be down on the farm. Now have a fine time folks. Round here it's the law! Merry Christmas y'all and to all a YeeeeeeHaaaaw!

dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina Author

barbie doll, I LOVE IT! Actually sounds much better than my tree! And the Moon Pies are perfect ;-)

You should post your redneck version of the night before Christmas in a Hub of it's own! I'm honored to have it here in the meantime. Thanks!

barbie doll 8 years ago

I know I'm a redneck because I have "ammo" on my Christmas wish list. I know my husband is a redneck because he spelled out N-A-S-C-A-R with Christmas lights on our roof. I know that my kid is a redneck because he left out squirrel jerky and pickled eggs for Santa. I know my sister-in-law is a redneck because she served the turkey on an old hubcap. I know my relatives are rednecks because they shop for presents at the truck stop. I know that you're a redneck because I saw in the paper that you had been busted for running through town dangling a sprig of mistletoe over your head with nothing on but your work boots.

dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina Author

you're cracking me up!

RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

That sounds like something my cousins would do.

By the way, it is your job to embarras your kids :)

Michael Willis profile image

Michael Willis 6 years ago from Arkansas

Great Hub! Love the Christmas Tree decorations idea.

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