One of the Sweetest Ornaments For Your Tree Is Something You Probably Throw Away Every Year
I had never had a real Christmas tree growing up, so many years ago, when I set out to get my first real one with my now-husband Matt, I was mystified by the whole process. Matt was a seasoned tree farm shopper, so he took control of the logistics. I watched him shake firs to see how many needles fell off, I heard him haggle about price-per-foot rates, and when we finally chose our little fir, chopped it from its home in the ground, and dragged it to the seller's stand, I saw him point to the stump of the tree as a burly man sawed off the bottom of my overpriced greenery.
Matt noticed my confusion and explained that "any good tree seller" cuts the bottom inch or so off a tree, straight across, for better water absorption. That's when the man held up the tiny tree stump and asked, "Want it?"
I didn't, but Matt took it anyway. It sat in our house for awhile, and as the holiday season got me more and more sentimental, I thought it'd be a sweet memento to keep, a reminder of our very first tree together.
So, I sanded the top a bit, wrote our names and the year with permanent marker, and forced in a little hook before hanging the makeshift ornament on the very tree it came from.
Ever since that first real Christmas tree, I've happily taken the wooden discs from the tree lots home with me. Many years, I didn't do anything with them, and they were recycled along with the tree come January. But some years, I'd draw on them, etch words into them, or give them to my kids to colour.
I've since discovered that my spur-of-the-moment personal tradition was shared by many. I've heard of people who cut bigger stumps and carve them into gorgeous ornaments, and on Etsy, there are countless ways to personalize your little slice of tree.
So, before you throw yours away, consider taking it home with you and turning it into one of the sweetest ornaments for your tree, by your tree. For some creative inspiration, keep reading. (And if you're not so creative, you can send your wood slice to most of these Etsy shopkeepers to have them do it for you!)