It’s not yet Thanksgiving, but this Sunday, we put up our Christmas tree! Considering that we almost skipped the tradition entirely last year, this makes it the first time we’ve done so before slicing into turkey. (Also a first? Holiday music in November. I’ll take it!) Although it’s the earliest we’ve been on the Christmas ball, we wanted to share our tree’s newest addition before the long weekend – for those of you that are equally weird about tree skirts.
What, just us?
We’ve donated every tree skirt we’ve ever bought together. In a four pet household, skirts have always been overly fussy. Messy. Hair magnets and kitty toys. That’s not to say all skirts are bad (some are quite cute!); they’re just not for us. Most years, we’ve left the chintzy aluminum stand to our artificial tree to be free, which while not good, has always been less obtrusive than a kitschy skirt and less time consuming than re-fluffing and re-centering a so-so loop of fabric.
This year, I did a quick search for an alternative to the skirt. Something with clean lines, like a bucket? Or a basket? Yes, yes, a basket!
You can most definitely purchase a tree basket online (and maybe in stores, although we’ve never seen them out in the wild), but there were two things holding us back: ONE) price and TWO) time. With a booked up guest room and friends in town for the upcoming weekend, we just wanted to get it done!
I found this super, super easy tutorial, and after showing Scott, we decided to give it a go. Since larger baskets can really add up, Scott suggested we stop at a local produce market (Stanley’s, for those in Chicago) to see if they had any round fruit crates we could purchase, but we were surprised to find a large collection of baskets lining the refrigerator section! Ours is not quite 2′ wide at the mouth and cost $15.
I used a pair of wire snippers to cut the handles loose, making sure to only snip the reeds that were holding them in place:
My inspiration tutorial suggests removing the entire bottom of the basket, but because our tree is fake (and therefore, not as full as a real tree can be), I only removed the small section in the middle for our pole to fit through:
For extra credit, Scott suggested I use our touch-up stain pen to coat the raw weave, although a tan marker or brown sharpie could work just as well!
We had to modify our tree’s base just a bit for it to fit within the confines of the basket (the basket wasn’t quite wide enough by a few inches), but Scott quickly scrounged up scrap wood and used our hole saw to keep things nice and sturdy; this will be different for everyone.
We love a simple DIY – especially one that clocks in well under $20! – and we loved the basket as-is. Of course it could always be painted, trimmed or pom-pom-ed, but this year, the no frills look feels good.
Aside from the basket, our tree is the same as it has been, year after year. Nothing new or inventive was done, and that’s okay! It makes the holidays that much easier, don’t you think? We kept up our own tradition of reminiscing on the stories behind each ornament, we sang along to our growing Christmas playlist, and we watched Elf. It was a slow-down-day that was so, so needed, and it felt good.
For all of you celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, we wish you a happy one! We’ll be in Chicago as always, baking desserts, dining with friends and taking in the displays downtown. We have a fun, affordable gift round-up to kick off next week, but for the early bird shoppers, we encourage you to support Small Business Saturday this coming weekend!