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Creatively Themed Christmas Trees

Updated on November 16, 2011

Christmas is right around the corner. Each year our family decides on a theme for our Christmas tree. I like doing this as opposed to just slapping a bunch of ornaments together. It makes the tree different every year and it’s fun to find unique ornaments. We are on a budget, so I am always very conscious about how much money the new theme will cost. I am also careful to make the new theme include our old ornaments, or at least some of them. Here are a few theme ideas that can change up the usual, boring Christmas tree.

  1. Whimsical – Last year our family decided on “whimsical” as the theme for our tree. It started off as “Alice in Wonderland”. I was riding high on a kick from our matching Mad Hatter and Alice costumes from Halloween. It turns out there are not a lot of “Alice” ornaments out there. I found some on Ebay that were overpriced and decided to go with whimsy instead. I purchased a top hat tree topper at a craft store for very little. Our tree consisted of feather arrangements from the craft store, clip on bird ornaments, brightly colored glass balls, and beaded garland. The tree was a masterpiece. It’s my favorite to this day.
  2. Arts & Crafts – This year’s theme is arts and crafts. I’ve found myself at the craft store a lot this year and came up with the idea after purchasing Martha Stewart’s party crafting template at half off. I purchased cardstock and made several lantern-type ornaments over a matter of a few weeks. The key is buying the cardstock on sale. I’ve spent no more than $20 on cardstock making these lanterns. The best cardstock is double sided. Alternatively, I have painted the white side with glitter craft paint, or made the lanterns one-sided instead of the way it is shown in the instructions, gluing another lantern on the opposite side. The only problem with this is that you do double the work for one lantern. Still, this has proven to be a success. I love all of my ornaments. In addition, we are making cardstock birds with feather flower stems from the craft store to go with the clip-on bird ornaments purchased last year. My kids craft ornaments are always on the tree no matter the theme, but this year they will go nicely.
  3. Fire & Ice – This is an easy theme made with red and silver. Buy bows, ornaments, feathers, garland and lights in these colors. Use a bright, silver bow for the tree topper. For more coverage make your own bow with wired ribbon, and have the ribbon trailing down the front of your tree in a wavy pattern. Icicle ornaments and white or red lights go well with this theme.
  4. I Want Candy! – We used this theme one year. The candy ornaments went well with our whimsical theme, also. Many craft stores have a huge selection of candy ornaments ranging from small to huge. String popcorn to go with the theme. We purchased a S’mores tree topper as well.
  5. Family Photos – Create ornaments from family photos with small frames or mount them on silver paper or cardstock. Display them all over the tree along with traditional red and green ornaments and white lights. This is especially great if you’re planning an extended family Christmas this year.
  6. Vintage – Does your mother or grandmother have a bunch of old ornaments collecting dust in the attic? Clean them up and use them all to decorate your tree vintage-style. You can find others at local flea markets and garage sales for next to nothing. Bronze clip on and hanging ornaments will also go with the vintage look. It will give you a chance to live your childhood Christmas all over again.
  7. Snowman – My grandmother always had a white Christmas tree which I never really understood, but here’s a unique way to dress it up. You can decorate it as much or as little as you wish. The one thing you will need is a Frosty the Snowman head which can either be made with paper-mache or purchased. Alternatively you may use a large white, Styrofoam ball from the flower section of the craft store. Add a silly hat, and black ornaments for Frosty’s buttons and silver or black, artificial stems from the flower section of the craft store, for arms. Use a red scarf or red ribbon for Frosty’s scarf.
  8. Patriotic – Are you feeling patriotic this year? A red, white and blue tree is easy to make with handmade American flags, red star tree topper, and white lights. Use all of your red, silver and blue ornaments to complete the look.
  9. Gifts – I know that Christmas is supposed to be about family, but most of us think about the gifts, too. Decorate your tree with gift ornaments, or create your own gifts easily. Wrap small jewelry boxes or other boxes you can purchase at the store, in brightly colored wrapping paper. Attach a bow and voila! Instant ornament. Place them in between branches or attach an ornament hanger to the bows.

I think of Christmas as a festive time of year to be with family. The decorations just bring out the holiday spirit a little more. Get creative! It doesn’t cost a lot to create a themed Christmas tree.


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