The Christmas Tree As Family Art Project

Remember way back when, when kids actually made ornaments to decorate the tree this time of year?  In my day, we strung popcorn on thread and made chains of brightly colored paper rings.  There were the clay ornaments brought home from school shaped and colored by each child’s hand along with cut-out and colored paper snowflakes and macaroni-and-too-much-glue works of art.  Perhaps it is, once again, time to restore crafts and art to das tannenbaum.  After seeing this tree, I think I’m sold.

Ranging in height from 24″ to 52″, these recycled cardboard Christmas trees arrive as flat pieces that are then put together to form the tree.  Before that happens, however, the crayons, markers, and paints come out to turn the tree into a unique, completely personalized work of holiday art.  Add glue and glitter (or the aforementioned macaroni) for even more stunning decorations.  From the sweet video on the website, it seems that even elementary school kids can put the trees together on their own, but it seems to me that the real value is in making a family project out of it, with every member of the household chipping in.

The other advantage of these trees is that they are not only recycled but recyclable.  Although, I wonder how many will actually end up in the bin and how many will end up in the attic with all the other mementos of an artistic childhood.  These trees aren’t exactly cheap, but they aren’t any more expensive than the sort that leaves pine needles all over your house for the next three years.  They also have the advantage of being unlikely to crush small children if (when) they get knocked over.

The trees are available in three colors — white, green, and brown with green print (if you just want the eco-friendly part without the DIY part).  I’d definitely go for the white one so we could end up with a technicolor work of art.  I am definitely partial to the traditional holiday look, but I figure that can wait until the kids are grown and gone; for now, let the colors explode in a celebration of the season.

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