One of my family’s Christmas traditions (we have quite a few ;)) is that we always decorate for Christmas on Black Friday. This year, however, we were planning what we wanted to do to decorate. We quickly realized that we were going to have to be creative and do things rather differently than usual this year.
Starting with our Christmas tree. You see, we realized that we couldn’t have a real tree, because of the increased allergies MCS/mold/Lymies have. But then, we couldn’t have a fake tree either. If we got a brand new fake tree it would be off-gassing chemicals like crazy! But if we got a used one, it would likely be contaminated by mold or by being in someone’s house who used bad chemicals from cleaning or from use of candles in the house, for perfume, etc.
So what to do? We didn’t think that the metal horse shoe Christmas tree that we saw at that Christmas parade was quite it (besides that fact that we didn’t see it until after we came up with our solution). Although, a metal Christmas tree is an interesting idea… however, as I said, we did something else. My sister, who is a huge Pinterest fan, began looking for ideas, and soon we had a plan! 😀
Our supplies were made up of lots and lots of green construction paper, a curtain rod, a paper plate, and a sturdy, brown(ish) glass vase. You may not have all of those supplies, they were just what we happened to have (although we did have to go to the store many times for the paper, but more on that later). Anyway, just use what you have! Be creative! If you do not have a brown vase, use a tall metal bucket for the base instead just wrap brown paper around it! 🙂
We stood up the curtain rod in the vase (1st picture), and cushioned it so it would stay in place with a kitchen rag and tape. Next, we added the paper plate (2nd picture), to help the branches stick out and not lay flat. Now for the branches. We made cones out of the paper; taping multiple pieces together to make the cones at the bottom of the tree bigger, and gradually getting smaller every layer up. Whenever we could, though, we used staples to avoid using too much tape, since tape in large quantities or up close can be bothersome. But there you go! We did about eight layers, I think.Ta da!
I was not able to make the tree, myself, as touching the paper BURNED! MY family made it, mostly, while I… errr… ‘supervised’. 😉 It also had to be a specific brand of paper, because otherwise it would bother me to breathe it. Don’t let this scare you away, just be aware! The brand that we used was Hallmark (At lesat, I’m pretty sure that was it.).
Again, using Pinterest, we were able to come up with some pretty fun ornaments!
Now, just a few thoughts on the ones above. These, were made also with construction paper, which as mentioned before, needed to be a specific brand, and that I could not personally touch. They are quite fun, though aren’t they? For the ones that have multiple loops of paper, the inner layers we just did with shorter strips of paper. We also used simple Christmas tree hook-thingies to attach them to the tree!
As for these ones, I was able to make them! We used paint chips! Which, for some reason, didn’t bother me. I’m not sure why, but it was fun to make!
A Few More Ideas
- Paper chains– I was able to make these, using plain printer paper, which did not bother me. I enjoyed hanging them up everywhere (and surprising my family with them). I must admit I was thinking of the movie ‘Elf’ when I was decorating with them. Just use staples, (not tape!), and create your own paper-chain explosion!
- Ribbons– Once washed appropriately, as you would do any other piece of clothing, you can use all kinds of fun ribbons, as much as you want!
- Ornaments (the real kind) – While your paper Christmas tree may not be strong enough to hold up real ornaments, there is nothing wrong with decorating your house with glass or metal ornaments!
- Christmas Lights – Here there is a little risk. I am able to tolerate Christmas lights in the house. At first, however, the plastic smell was quite strong. I would definitely say to off-gass them in the sun before bringing them into the house. Depending on how sensitive you are, though, after that, I would think it would be okay in small quantities. 🙂 Certainly, you can use them outside!
- Cookie Cutter Nativity – Now, I know that you can totally buy glass nativity scenes. All we had used in the past though was either handmade nativity scenes from over the years (my mom did spend time for a few years as a preschool teacher), or we also had a plastic set. We did happen to have, however, a cookie cutter nativity set. What we did is to put paper (we actually used paint chips again, here) in the back of them, and use them as out decorations! You could do this, though, with any holiday cookie cutter set.
A Closing Note: Keep in mind, that likely my sensitivities are probably different from yours. Each person is different. Make sure to be cautious, but I sure hope that you can find some way to decorate and have fun for Christmas!
Anyway, that’s all for now! I hope that you are able to decorate your house for Christmas, at least some. 🙂 Definitely comment if you have any other fun decorating ideas or traditions to share! Or even if you have a question on how to do a different decoration you’ve been missing. See you in a few days with some more Christmas tips and ideas!