Until last year, I had never found a really satisfactory way to display Christmas cards we received. I had tried various methods — putting them in decorative baskets (pretty presentation, but zilch in the “display” category), hanging them around door frames (Looked okay on the wide woodwork in the kitchen at the farmhouse, but didn’t feel right in our new house. Cards weren’t “showcased” — just became part of the decorations.), standing them on a mantle or buffet (only the front ones are really “see-able,” and if you knock one down, they can easily become “dominoes” and ALL fall down).
Enter Home and Garden Network. Last year, about this time, I happened to catch a show on one of my favorite networks that featured Christmas decorating ideas. I don’t remember ever using any of the ideas from one of these shows before, but, I still watched this program, because “hope, truly does, spring eternal” and I thought I MIGHT pick up some neat idea.
Well, my ears perked up and I put down my Sudoku (my favorite thing to do while also watching TV), when they started telling about an idea for displaying cards. And, I was amazed that I liked the way the finished “product” looked, and I actually thought I was capable of replicating what they had created!
Enter, stage left, Hobby Lobby! I went to my favorite “decorating stuff” store and bought a tall (about 1 1/2 ft.) antique-looking, beautifully curvy urn (with a narrow neck, so that the branches I put in it would be fanned out, rather than straight up). To put in it, I bought some long branches with red berries on them and also some things that look like branches that have been wet and then wrapped around a pole to dry, so that they are long and “curled.” Oh, and I bought some pretty, narrow, sage green ribbon too.
I brought it all home. I set the urn on a table in front of a window and arranged the branches in it in a balanced way, as best I could (a little hard because those curly branches and the berries on the other branches sort of liked to act like “hooks and eyes” — wanted to “grab” each other). Then, I punched holes in the tops of the Christmas Cards we had already received, cut pieces of the ribbon long enough to go through the hole, tied it in a nice bow, and then hung them on my newly assembled “card tree!”
Even as I was assemblying this little beauty, I couldn’t really picture how it was going to look — or if I was, in fact, going to like it. But, I just LOVE it!
Last year we received close to a dozen cards that had photographs on them. Those I hung at the front of the tree, so that anyone who walked into the room, could walk up to the tree and easily see all the pictures we had received. I especially like this, when some people who had SENT us pictures were here, and could see their picture displayed so prominently!
I do have to say that I didn’t like the look of the tree when it got too crowded (and the branches got too weighed down,) so ALL of the cards didn’t end up being displayed the whole time. While I made sure ALL of the pictures stayed on, some of the others did get replaced if a newer one that was particularly beautiful or had an especially well-said message arrived.
So, my card tree is in place again this year, and I think it’s going to become a tradition.
One Christmas decorating problem solved — on to the next. What are we going to do with “pre-lit” lights that aren’t reliable? I’d better go turn on HGTV, get out my Sudoku book, and hope that “lightening will strike twice” and they will have a solution for THAT too.
Happy decorating — may all your Christmas decorating problems be small and “fixable!”