I always feel like our Christmas tree is a miniature version of the one I grew up with...I'm sure as our ornament collection grows over the years, so will our tree. Many of our ornaments are ones that hung on my family's tree when I was a kid and hold such special memories to me. Isn't that one of the best, yet bittersweet parts of Christmas...all those memories? The exciting thing is that now we have the chance to make memories with our own children...some new and some borrowed from our own childhoods. I feel like our Christmas tree is just that!
My parents' Christmas tree still dons the garland my brothers, sisters and I made when we were kids some 20-30 years ago. If you make it right and store it well, it will obviously last a very long time.
One of the most important tips is using plain popcorn, popped in a hot air popcorn machine. Also, if you plan ahead and have the time, letting your popcorn sit overnight and become slightly stale helps in stringing it...it won't break as easily. To string the popcorn just use a piece of thread (or dental floss) and a sewing needle. You don't have to make one super long string at once, make 4 or 5 foot long ones and tie them together.
When storing the popcorn, first start by adding a bright ribbon to both ends of your garland. That will make finding the end easier next year. Find a medium-large container and coil it around inside the container, much like you do a garden hose. We use a plastic tupperware-like container, but a large popcorn tin works very well too.
If you're like me and like a homey, vintage looking tree skirt you don't have to look far. I bought this cheap Christmas blanket one year at a thrift store and we wrap and fold it around the bottom of our tree. I do wish it was actually a quilt and not a look-alike-quilt, but nobody would ever know the difference and it achieves the look I'm going for. You could do the same with a table cloth or any large piece of fabric.
Don't be afraid to use a non-traditional tree topper. I love decorating for Christmas, but even more I love adding magical little twists to our decorations...keeping things unpredictable and slightly quirky. I found this glittery butterfly clip at a local floral shop years ago and attached some florist wire to the back to help secure it to the tree. So much fun!
Happy decorating everyone!