The month of December is my all-time favorite month, and decorating my Christmas tree is something I look forward to doing with my family every year. This year we decided to decorate early, so I put together a rustic tree trimming party where we got together with family, ate treats and drank hot cocoa, then decorated our Christmas tree.
I’m thrilled to share with you all the details of our tree trimming party!
Why a tree trimming party?
I have fond memories of decorating our Christmas tree as a child with the family and making a fun night of it with cookies, Christmas music, a cozy fire, and treats.
Now fast forward years later to when my oldest children were young. We used to have tree trimming parties at my husband’s grandparents’ home. They had a HUGE tree and hundreds of decorations, so we would all go over and help decorate the tree, then watch Christmas movies and have treats together.
I want my kids to have those same happy memories that I have as a child and as an adult.
Decorating the tree
The first part of our tree trimming party was to decorate our Christmas tree. I bought some rustic wood buckets with handles, then filled them up with our favorite ornaments.
We used wooden Santa balls that were hand-carved from wood and hand-painted, vintage style Santas with German glass glitter, vintage-style rustic wood ornaments, German glass glitter snowflakes, and bottle brush woodland animal ornaments.
I stationed all the ornaments near the Christmas tree so they were easy to reach for and hang on the tree. Everyone, from the oldest adult to the youngest child, was excited to help decorate the tree.
Many hands make light work, and in no time at all our tree was filled from tallest branch to lower bough with colorful, sparkling ornaments. The tree was just perfect!
Before the tree trimming party even started, I made some easy pinecone ornaments for FREE using supplies that I already had!
You can see one in the photo below hanging on our tree. Isn’t it pretty?
Pinecone Ornament Tutorial
- Pinecones (store-bought or freshly picked off the ground for free)
- True Snow (an artificial snow product in a jar sold at craft stores)
- Kosher salt, Epsom salt, or clear glitter
- Glue gun
Step 1. If you’re using store-bought pinecones, skip ahead to step 2.
If you’re using pinecones you collected from the wild, be sure to bake them in a 200 degree oven for 45 minutes to kill any bugs and/or larvae that might be hiding inside the pinecones. Don’t skip this step. 😉
Step 2. Use your a paintbrush or your fingers (fingers worked best for me) to “paint” on the fake snow product to the pinecone tips. Add the product where snow would usually fall, on the top and the tips, one section at a time.
After completing a section, sprinkle kosher salt, Epsom salt, or clear glitter over the wet product to add a snow-like glisten and some added thickness and texture to the pinecones. Let dry for 24 hours.
Step 3. Once the “snow” on the pinecones is completely dry, use a glue gun to attach a small loop of ribbon to the top to hang the pinecone ornaments. I used white satin ribbon.
Now they’re ready to hang! These make really easy, inexpensive decorations and gifts. They’re so pretty, especially when the salt glistens in the tree lights.
Party food and hot cocoa bar
I had a little area set up with food for the hungry decorators at our tree trimming party. All the food was arranged beautifully on mercury glass platters and wood serving platters and trays.
We ate fresh fruit that included red and green pears (my son is a pear lover and was obsessed with the red pears), apples, and mandarin oranges. An assortment of mixed nuts was placed in a long wood serving dish), and guests could crack and eat their favorite nuts.
Cheese and crackers were a hit, as were the small sausages that the kids loved since they were the perfect size for their little fingers. I hung a wreath right above the food area to add a festive feel.
I also set up a hot cocoa bar for guests to help themselves and make their own hot cup of cocoa. I wanted the tray to be near our beautiful lit tree, so I set it all up on a portable wood serving tray in the living room.
Our hot cocoa bar included large mugs with everyone’s’ initials on them. Hot cocoa mix was placed in a glass container for spooning into the mugs.
Guests could garnish their hot cocoa with soft peppermint chocolate pieces, chocolate peppermint wafer cookies, and candy canes and peppermint sticks.
Everything was absolutely delicious and made us feel so cozy and warm.
I’m so grateful for wonderful family and friends and look forward to creating new memories with them this holiday season.