No money for a Christmas tree this year? Maybe it’s not a cash-flow problem but you just don’t have the floor space for a tree. With two major auto repairs in the last month, there wasn’t any money for Christmas this year, so we weren’t going to put up a tree or anything, but the lack of decorations began to bother us. Gifts or no, we felt the need for Christmas decorations.
No money for Christmas
When we went looking in the attic for our Christmas tree and decorations, we remembered that the tree and almost all of our decorations were destroyed in a storm this spring. We hadn’t had an opportunity to replace them yet. We weren’t going to be able to put up a Christmas tree this year after all. No gifts and no tree. It was pretty disappointing. Then I had an idea. I could make a Christmas tree of sorts, and I thought it would look good. Here’s how we decorated our home for Christmas with just the few things we still had on hand, and how you can do the same.
What you will need:
- One or two strands of clear lights (we used two of the 100-light strands, and the tree is about 10 feet tall and five feet wide at the base)
- Push pins or another way to secure the lights to the wall
- A lighted star or other tree-topper
- Lightweight ornaments of any kind
Make your own Christmas tree
We started by pinning the middle of a strand of lights to the wall where we wanted the top of the tree to go. Then we pinned the lights in a tree pattern: laterally out and down at an angle, pin the two spots; straight in toward the midline a few inches, pin. Repeat to make a tree shape. Make sure you leave enough of the strand to meet in the middle at the bottom.
Plug in the lights and see what you think. You can leave it like this, with just the outline of a tree, if you want. If you only have one strand of lights, there’s your tree.
Ours is not symmetrical, and I think that makes it even better, more realistic, perhaps—though how “realistic” can a tree made out of lights really look? Doesn’t matter. It’s beautiful to me.
If you have and want to use another strand of lights, use it in a zig-zag motion, push-pinning as you go, to fill in the outline. This is another point at which you can decide you’re finished, if you like the way it looks.
If you have and want to use any ornaments, hang them from the strand of lights or pin them to the wall if they’re too heavy to hang on the strand. I recommend only lightweight ornaments for this. We used the standard glass ball ornaments, and they were certainly lightweight enough to hang directly on the strand of lights. Paper ornaments you make would work, too.
For just a few dollars or what you already have on hand, you can have the beauty of Christmas lights and a tree. Don’t let a dire financial situation keep you from having the joy and beauty of Christmas. It’s not about the gifts or having or spending money. It’s about the Light. May you feel the love and joy this and every Christmas season.
Here’s our finished Christmas tree.