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Wreath in the Making

December 14, 2011

Growing up my family hunted wild Christmas trees in the woods like the real Alaskans we are, and every time I pay Lowes $40 for the privilege of warm fingers and toes and not walking through the woods for hours trying to determine how the top of that 300-foot spruce would look in the corner our living room and OMG who forgot to grab the chainsaw from the truck, a little piece of my soul dies.

I used to have a fake Christmas tree when I lived in Fairbanks and was pretty broke - the tree was a gift from a friend, well used and smelling of cigarette smoke - so on the other hand at least the trees I buy from Lowes smell like real tree with real sap that get all over my fingers and real needles that the dogs like to eat.

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Once we get the tree home we always trim the bottom of it and remove some of the lower limbs to even things up and insure the tree sits straight(ish) in the stand. I hate to let these wonderful boughs go to waste, so this year I turned them into a wreath for our front door.

1. Start with a bunch of random boughs cut from your pretty and fragrant (purchased or free-range) Christmas tree.

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2. Look around your garage furtively for an appropriate tool like pruning shears and fail. Grab a large set of bolt cutters instead and trim the boughs into smaller, manageable and pretty sections.

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3. Toss the ugly parts aside and stack the smaller sections up nice and neat on the floor of your garage. Make sure you're wearing your husband's zippered hoodie while doing this because you don't want needles poking into your small and feminine sweaters. Roll up the sleeves of the hoodie so it fits you better.

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4. Pull out the rest of your tools: an 18" wreath frame that you couldn't find at the craft store and almost pitched a hissy fit that you'd have to make do with a stupid puny 12" wreath frame until your 6'2" husband arrived to fend off any and all hissy fits and noticed they were all on the very top of the aisle instead of hanging where they were supposed to be; a spool of floral wire; and a small pair of pliers.

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5. Lay the boughs out on the wreath frame one at a time and wire them down, using the pliers to insure the wire is tight.

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6. Move around the frame, overlaying each new bough over the others and wiring each down until the entire frame is covered. Pick up the frame and check for any drooping spots - then wire those suckers down too. Fill in any thin spots. You're aiming for a nice roundish yet natural shape that's pretty secure.

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7. Once you're happy with the shape and density, lay out some decorations. I selected some "scented" pine cones (supposedly cinnamon, but they hardly smelled like anything other than pine cone) and some fake red poinsettia flowers. Wrap some wire around them and secure those suckers down.

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8. Display the wreath to your family and dogs. Son: "Nice." Husband: "Hey that's way nicer than I expected!" Dogs: *attempt to eat the fake flowers* Hang that sucker on the door as a notice to the whole neighborhood that you have the Christmas spirit, dammit.

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9. Forget to unroll your husband's zippered hoodie sleeves, resulting in a comical moment the next time he tries to put it on and doesn't know whether to blame the son, you or the shitty Twitter app.

1 Comments

Well, Shitty Twitter App is why you rolled up the sleeves in the first place. You'd have never noticed it didn't fit you right if it weren't for Shitty Twitter App.

Nice wreath. :)

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Hi, I'm Valette

I'm a photographer based out of Anchorage, Alaska. I've recently become a wife, a stepmother, and a homeowner. Life is pretty awesome. You can email me anytime. Learn more...

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