Making a Christmas Tree for Your Childs' Room
Show your little ones some Christmas love...
A year or so ago my beloved god-daughter asked me to create a Christmas tree for her little one to put in his room using his collection of miniature cars for ornaments. She envisioned something small to sit on his dresser. The request itself intrigued me because it was unique (which I totally love) and a challenge. But at the same time it was daunting since I'd never seen or done anything like that before. Below are pictures of the tree with lights, lights and topper and finished.
As I do with every challenge I prayed over this request. I also spoke to the little one (he was 4 years old at the time) explaining what his mother wanted me to do and asking him what he wanted on his tree. To my surprise he was quite specific about the colors of his ornaments (blue and gold) and the topper that he wanted (a star with yellow, blue and red.) The cars on the other hand were a different matter. He started with five and we ‘negotiated' until we reached what I thought would be a good number (20). He selected the cars from his collection and handed them over without complaint or whining, completely shocking his mom. :-)
After searching the internet, I found a 48" tall, prelit, predecorated tree on clearance for $19 free shipping. Some gold ornaments came with it and I found more gold and blue ornaments at eBay. The size of the tree went from dresser top to floor standing and fits perfectly in a corner of his bedroom. The size and number of cars themselves dictated the size of the tree which is 4 ft tall and 36" wide. The cars were added by inserting a 14" flat black plastic cable tie underneath and between the left and right front wheels. I used black because the color is less obvious when placed on the tree and I could not find green cable ties. The only way to know for sure if a car can be hung is to hold it sideways up to the light. If you can see straight through both sides you can insert a tie. The stiffness of the ties enables him to remove the cars play with them and put them back on the tree.
The blue and gold ornaments are 3” unbreakable Styrofoam. Clear cord and green twist ties were used to secure all of the ornaments and the light strands so that if he accidentally knocked it over nothing would fall off. Light strands set back near the center of the tree so that they were not near the cars, ornaments or where he could touch them. I added a brass Nativity with a hole in the bottom so that a bulb from the tree could be inserted and illuminate the baby Jesus. I want him always to remember that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and He should never be forgotten.I did not use:
- Anything breakable
- Too many lights (1 strand of 50-100)
- Lights placed on the outside branches or near the bottom where he could touch or play with them.
I did use:
- Unbreakable ornaments
- About 20 miniature plastic or metal cars
- Extra flat cable ties in a small bag tucked inside the back of the tree
- Ornaments large enough not to be a choking hazard
- A brass Nativity with a hole in the bottom w/lit bulb placed front and center on the tree.
- A bell so that his mother would hear him fiddling with it unnecessarily
- A personal note for him to read when he gets older
- A cover for off-season storage
- Clear fishing strand ties on every ornament
- Green twist ties on the light strands to make sure they are secured to tree branches
- Everything secured so that if (being a rambunctious boy) he knocked it over, nothing would fall off.
He was delighted with the tree - describing it over the phone to his other grandmother, his aunts, his dad (who was hospitalized at the time), and his friends. His mom made a video of him marveling over each item on the tree and sent it to me. I just love, love, love that kid!
This idea can be adapted for use with any type of hang-able, unbreakable toy, which is not a choking hazard that your child, nephew/niece or grandchild collects. I would encourage you to do the same for a beloved child in your family. They will never forget the tree, your love or you. :-)
Several years in the hands of (now 2) little boys who refused to take it down, kept it lighted all year long, knocked it over a coupla/6 or 7 times and the tree was in desperate need of refurbishing. Some of the cars were gone, several ornaments were broken, lights not working, the topper was broken and askew. Ornaments they made in school were casually placed. Plus, I had given them a set of miniature, occupationally attired teddy bears to (hopefully ) encourage them to think about their future vocations.
I added a few more cars, took off the broken ornaments, added more unbreakable ornaments, and made ornaments from what was left of the original tree topper. The original topper had colored 4" plastic panels on both sides of a lighted insert. Rather than throw them away, I heated one tine of a small carving fork, used that to poke a hole in the top of each one then, used a clear fishing line for the cord. Lights were changed to colored - apparently white lights on a tree are "not cool" anymore. (Who knew??) Personally, I am not a fan of multi-colored lights on a Christmas tree. But, the things you do for love!! There is a hidden plug for the tree topper on the tree but they did not see it at the time. Photo of the refurbished tree below - as it appears in its natural setting - a boys' bedroom. (If you love a boy, you will understand. :-)
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