Decorating our tree all over again

Have you read the book Night Tree, by Eve Bunting?  It's a sweet picture book about a family who heads out to the woods on Christmas Eve to find their tree, but not in the way you might think.

They find their tree and then decorate it, right there in the woods, with a popcorn garland, apples, tangerines, and balls of seeds and honey.  They spread out a blanket and with cups of cocoa to warm them, they sing Christmas carols and wait for any woodland creatures to come upon their tree.


We took our tree down just a day after Christmas.  The pine needles were falling off and Mark and I were ready for it to go, but our kids were disappointed.  Audra, in particular, was sad to see all the ornaments and lights taken down and wanted to keep it decorated.  It was then that she remembered the book above, which we'd recently read, and had the idea to decorate our tree all over again, but this time-- outside!

Mark stood our tree up in the garden and we set to work, stringing popcorn, and stringing dried apple slices and craisins, and we made our own seed balls by rolling apples in peanut butter and then in bird seed.  And then we ran outside and quickly decorated the tree-- it was cold out there, and we were still in our jammies!-- and ran back inside to wait and watch from the windows.

It was the neighborhood squirrels who found our tree first, crunching into our popcorn with delight.  Then, slowly came some Dark-eyed Juncos, and some Varied Thrushes, some House Sparrows and some Chickadees.  A Robin eyed the whole affair from a nearby tree but decided against it.  A Woodpecker flew overhead but didn't alight.  It was such a fun little activity that I feel sure we'll do it again!

A Varied Thrush, interested in the popcorn the squirrels had tossed to the ground.

A Black-capped Chickadee, pecking at another seed ball we hung on another tree.


  1. Oh, this is just the BEST idea, Stacy! We had to take ours down early in order to decorate (and make space for) an early birthday celebration for M. We are SO going to do this! They are calling for snow (!!) here over the weekend, and I think that this idea would be a perfect part of our winter fun. Please give Audra a big hug for us and thank her for the inspiration :) Hugs!

    1. Oh, Quinne~ I'm so delighted that you want to do this! It really has been so fun to peek out at our tree and see who is visiting. We've had so many different types of birds to watch over the past few days!

  2. This looks so special :) We didn't even have a tree this year - they were just too expensive. I really love the reuse of the tree, the nature connection, and a book -- ::swoon::


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