An eco-friendly Christmas includes a living, outdoor Christmas tree that all who pass by can see and enjoy. An outdoor Christmas tree contributes to the family’s sense of tradition, warmth and caring about the Earth. Natural Christmas decorations for the home, for the tree, and for trees outdoors add a beautiful quality to the experience of celebrating Christmas.
Outdoor Christmas Tree Lights
Candles are an old and traditional decoration on Christmas trees, but have been replaced with electric bulbs for safety reasons. Instead of running an electrical cord out to an outdoor Christmas tree, create safe candles out of small jars and tea lights or votive candles.
Materials Needed for Outdoor Candle Lanterns:
- Baby food jars
- Wire cutters
- Small candles.
Wire used to make jewelry works well for this project. Purchase jewelry wire in art and craft supply stores.
Clean and thoroughly dry the baby food jars. Cut two pieces of wire for each jar; each piece should be about 24 inches long.
Wrap the end of one piece of wire a few times around the rim of one baby food jar, leave a long piece of extra wire sticking out. Wrap a second piece of wire around the rim of the jar leaving extra as before. The two pieces of extra wire should be opposite each other, for example, one wire at 12:00 and the other at 6:00.
Bring the two extra pieces together above the jar and tie together. The jar can now be hung from a tree branch.
Place a small candle, such as a tea light, in the jar and light with a fireplace match. Hang in the outdoor Christmas tree for a beautiful Christmas sight.
Outdoor Christmas Tree Ornaments
Offer the birds (and squirrels) a Christmas dinner and decorate an outdoor tree at the same time.
- Pine cones
- Peanut butter or sunflower seed butter
- Dull spreading knife
- Large baking sheets.
Tie long pieces of yarn around the top of each pine cone. Then smear peanut butter or sunflower butter on each pine cone with a spreader. Sunflower butter is usually safe for people with peanut and/or nut allergies.
After the pine cones are coated, pour birdseed onto a large baking sheet and spread it out evenly. Roll the pine cones in the birdseed until well-coated. Hang these outdoor Christmas tree ornaments by tying the yarn around a tree branch.
Outdoor Christmas Tree Garlands
Make safe and edible Christmas garlands with popcorn and cranberries.
- Popcorn kernels
- Hot air popper
- Dried cranberries.
Popcorn popped in a hot air popper is easiest to work with because it is non-greasy, but if a hot-air popper is not available use a minimal amount of oil and pop the kernels on the stove. To do this, pour a little oil in a pot and add kernels. Cover the pot with a lid. Turn on stove and listen for kernels to pop; remove from heat as soon as popped to prevent burning.
Thread the needle and string plain popcorn on thread along with cranberries for a tasty treat for the birds. The red cranberries add to a festive look.