Topiary Christmas Tree

Topiary Christmas TreeWhy not create a smart gem of a tree based on the topiary art of orna­mental gardening where trees are trimmed into fancy shapes of a highly stylized design?

Place a dowel stick 3/4" thick x 40" long in a small tub of sand. Sink to a depth of 5". Paint tub and stick chartreuse green.

Cut three sets of circles from 1" chicken wire: two 12" in diameter; two 9" in diameter; and two 6" in diameter. Place a 2" layer of
sphagnum moss between the two pieces of each set of circles. Bind together with wire; moisten the moss in order to keep the greens fresh when inserted.

Place these circles at regular intervals on the dowel stick following the drawing. Wire fast.

Make 4" cuttings of anyone of these evergreens: yew, arborvitae, cedar or boxwood. Cut the stem ends on a sharp slant and insert in the moss.

Decorate with chartreuse balls of graduated sizes and chains of small chartreuse beads. Group the balls in clusters and drape the chains gracefully to suggest a continuation of the looping from one section of the tree to the other.

Fashion stylized birds from Radiance. Place one on the top and others on the surface of the tree. Remember that simplicity and clean­ cut design are of the utmost importance.

Christmas Tree for the Birds

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 02:  A bird sits in a tr...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The people of Norway and Sweden have for centuries observed the quaint custom of preparing a Christmas tree for the birds. It is made from a sheaf of choice grain which has been carefully stored from the time of the harvest. The day before Christmas, the grain is tied to the end of a long pole, carried into the yard, and placed near the house to attract the birds who, they believe, bring happiness and good fortune to those within. No family would consider celebrating its own Christmas until the birds had first been provided for.

Could you and your children find a more delightful way to express the spirit of Christmas than to follow these customs?

I am sure that the children and even Dad will want to help make the trimmings and set up the tree. Don't be surprised if fixing the birds' tree becomes as happy a time as Read more

Christmas Traditions from Around the World

Each culture has their own set of Christmas Traditions that were started long ago.  You can learn about them at our other website - www.VintageChristmasIdeas.com.

Finding the Origins of Christmas

Folk tale depiction of Father Christmas riding...

Image via Wikipedia

Tracing the Roots of Christmas

It is a long road back to the first Christmas. The route is not direct, nor free from obsta­cles, nor is it clearly marked. Many will stand at the crossroads and beckon us down strange and Read more

Mini Christmas Tree Craft

This type of mini-Christmas Tree is made from a cone of chicken wire filled with slightly moistened sphagnum or wood moss.  It is easy and fun to make.  Fun for home use, the office and even to Read more

Christmas Tree Ornaments from Aluminum Foil

These are easy and fun to make Christmas Ornaments & Christmas Decorations using aluminum foil and some creativity.  Great Christmas project for Read more

How Many Days of Christmas Are There?

The Adoration of the Magi. Fresco in Lower Chu...

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"How many days of Christmas?" is a question which might be answered in various ways, like that of the nursery pilgrims, "How far is it to Babylon?" It all depends on your position and whether Old World customs are still observed in the home or community. Christmas of old was a much longer season, with many special days both before and after December 25, but here in America it mostly begins on Christmas Eve and ends with a New Year's celebration. However, many people, even those who do not observe it in any way, have a certain wistful sentiment for Twelfth-night, and often keep their Christmas trees in order to enjoy their beauty and fragrance a few extra days.

Candlemas, the feast of the Purification of the Virgin on February 2, and Christmas are linked in an old Scottish weather forecast,more romantic than the one we are familiar with:
"If Candlemas Day be bright and fair,
The half of winter is to come and mair:
If Candlemas be wet and foul,
The half of winter's gone at Yule."
Children love to follow the tradition of forecasting weather for the coming year. It is said that whatever the weather on each day of the Twelve Days of Christmas, so will be each of the succeeding months in the coming year.

With the workday world demanding constant attention to practical affairs, the long Christmastide of forty days is out of the question for most of us, but twelve days out of the year are few enough for the feast of peace and good will and  merrymaking, so, if at all possible, plan to have at least "Twelve Days of Christmas."

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