babbling brooks

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Hard to find a more fun holiday party than a Tree Trimming.


If you haven't heard of them, the upshot is that the host asks the guests to bring an ornament and hang it on the tree as part of the festivities. When I first thought of this idea, I instantly realized that with an annual event, I would end up with scads and scads of ornaments in no time. I also thought it seemed kind of selfish, in a way. The twist I came up with? I placed a tabletop tree in the entryway, along with some little bags and sheets of tissue. This tree I decorated with ornaments from the previous year. When the guests arrive, they hang their ornament on the main tree. When the guests leave, they choose an ornament from the little tree to wrap up and take home with them!


Some ornaments worked for the following year, so those go on the main tree, and of course any special or family ornaments aren't for the guests. Some guests would protest that they did not attend the previous year, so didn't feel they should take an ornament home. I would only assure them that there were people who brought the year before, but did not make it this year, so PLEASE take one.


I found that people really got into the spirit of the event, and took great care in choosing their ornament and in its perfect placement on the tree. I even started to get inquiries as early as September as to the theme!


My party was always held on the first Saturday in December. Even if that is December 2nd! Weekends fill up so quickly during the holiday season, and people travel, so even though it seems early, it works out very well.


I never mentioned attire on my invitations, but dressed in fancy cocktail attire myself (I tried to match the theme a little if I could), and the guests were happy to oblige. It is fun to have somewhere to wear some sparkles! The men usually got away with chinos or slacks and a collared shirt, but several men got into the spirit with red velvet vests or festive ties.


You could always have "Tree Trimming" as a theme, but I found it fun (and my guests seemed to like it too) when we had a theme. Some of my theme ideas are below.



Tree Trimming

Sun, Moon & Stars


This was my very first theme, and so long ago that I don't have any pictures of it (thanks to the internet for letting me borrow this pic). My guests were so creative, and brought everything from Mexican Tarot Cards (El Sol, La Luna, and Las Estrellas), to a tiny mobile made from beads and a bamboo skewer. I found a tree topper in the shape of a very stately moon, and use it to this day.


I wore a midnight blue velvet gown with golden sun and star jewelry.





Kind of self-explanatory!





Music really brought out the creativity again! One guest brought a black sphere with a photo of Jim Morrison on it, another constructed a clef and notes out of pipe cleaners. We even had some real ornaments like kazoos and tiny maracas! I made a treble-clef tree topper that turned out kind of clunky-looking, but my friends were nice enough to pretend they didn't notice.



Father Christmas



All that Glitters...


A White Christmas





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