Monday, November 5, 2012

christmas decorations

i know, i know.  you are thinking it is way too soon for Christmas decorations.  or are you?  i could have sworn there was a lovely little holiday between halloween and Christmas. it's called thanksgiving, right?  however, as i look around, i am wondering if i am either
A. mistaken
B. slept right through november and woke up in december (because i could use that much sleep)
C. people are so excited about Christmas, they have decided to treat poor old thanksgiving like a red headed step child and skip right over it
it can't be A; i got a note home from school today about hadley's upcoming thanksgiving feast.  and it can't be B; see reason negating A and the calendar on the computer tells me it is, in fact, november 5. so i guess we are only left with C.
saturday, jay pointed out a neighbor of ours has already put wreaths on her windows.  then later in the weekend, a surprising number of friends fessed up to being early decorators and on the way home from car pool this afternoon, i noticed even the city of meridian has begun decorating!  i am so not there yet?  are you?
please, don't get me wrong!  i LOVE decorating for Christmas and think it is never too early to start planning but i usually reserve actual decorating for after thanksgiving has come and gone. 
i am a planner at heart (though my current state of life would not suggest it) and it is never too early to start thinking about decorations.  so i thought i'd share one of my favorite little Christmas "crafts" with you so there will be plenty of time to whip them up and put them on the porch November 23! i shared these last year but i am not crazy with the way i laid out the instructions so i will try again.  i am very much a visual learner, probably to a fault so i will do my absolute best to put this in words! 
   
that is simply a tomato cage, Christmas lights and decor mesh!  oh and cable ties; you can't forget the cable ties.  well you could do it without them but why?  they are just fun.  you can totally dress these up with ornaments and what not or leave them plain.  mine are obviously green but i have made them in gold, red, etc.  let's get started!  i promise it is simple...
1.  turn up the Christmas music!  it has nothing to do with the actual construction of this little beauty but it will make the project all the more enjoyable.
2.  get your tomato cage (generally 3, 4 or 5 feet high), lights (i suggest 100-150 for 3', 150-200 for 4' and 250ish for the 5') and 1-2 rolls of decor mesh (the 21" wide rolls) but i like lots of lights; i am sure you could survive with less. 
3.  cable tie the tip top of the cage together to keep the tree shape.
4.  cable tie the plug end of your lights to the bottom of the cage (so you will be able to plug it in).
5.  wrap those sparkly little lights all the way to the top of the cage. i found that the lights don't move around too much but you can hold in place with cable ties if you need to.  i generally only cable tie at the bottom and top and then at any place you join two strands of lights. 
6.  you should have a lovely little "tree" of tomato cage metal and tiny sparkling lights. 
7.  cable tie (can you tell i LOVE those little guys?) one end of the mesh and then cable tie that little "tail" to the cage.  get it all secure and start wrapping it around the tree; working your way from bottom to top.  i leave it on the roll so it doesn't get all tangled and messy.  i let some of it "open" the full 21" and allow some of it to curl back on itself.  varying it like that will help give it some "body" and keep it from being "flat"... to join 2 rolls, just cable tie them together and tuck that little mess inside the cage and keep on going!
8.  once you get to the top, tuck the mesh down inside to leave it looking all pretty. 
9.  plug the darling little tree in and enjoy!
if you have any hesitation about this, don't "secure" it until you have the whole thing done...i found the more i worked with mesh, the easier it got.  so if you are doing more than one, the others may turn out looking a bit better than that first one and you may end up wanting to make some adjustments. 
happy holidays!  (i don't say that to "forget Christmas" but it is only november 5, remember?)

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