Every year we decorate a tree in our yard as our ‘outdoor Christmas tree’. This tradition has gone back to when we were very young. Now that I am an adult with a child of my own I let her help me decorate the tree.
If you want a tree decorated for the birds, or what we call our nature Christmas tree, it is pretty simple to create.
Have your kids string popcorn on to yarn. The birds can eat the popcorn and then use the threads in the yarn to warm up their nests.
Next take a bagel cut it in half brush on oil and then let the child shake the bagel in a zip lock bag filled half way with bird seeds. Use yarn to hang the bagel on a branch on the tree. You can also use peanut butter instead of oil. You can also use a pinecone and cover it with peanut butter and then roll it around in bird seed and hang it up on the tree.
Along with the strand of popcorn on the tree you can do a strand of cheerios or fruit loops. Have the children string the cereal onto the yarn and then wrap the strand around the tree.
We also use grapefruit halves. Just cut a grapefruit in half eat out the portion you would normally eat, leaving some juice in it is ok, and the birds need something to drink. You can fill one half of the grapefruit with bird seed and they other half of the grapefruit with water.
You can also slice oranges up into thin circles and hang them on the tree.
As far as lighting the tree I would recommend a spot light shining up at the tree. Light attracts insects so there will be even more for the birds to eat. If you want to use outdoor Christmas lights on the tree just be aware that the wires might get pecked at our chewed on. That can be hazardous to the animals and the tree if it were to catch fire.
If you are going to go for a less eco-friendly tree and a more traditional look consider these tips.
If you have a large tree use large light bulbs such as C7. Use LED outdoor rated lights because they burn cooler.
For decorations there are a lot of options to choose from. Some things you need to consider is how the weather is in your part of the world. I live in KS and there is a lot of wind so light weight outdoor decorations don’t do well where I live.
If you have kept your fall leaves bagged up, you can glue the leaves together onto a white round outdoor table cloth. Put a couple pinecones on there spray painted in silver or gold and use this table cloth as a tree skirt for your outdoor tree.
If you have a large tree you should also try to find large outdoor ornaments to put on it. Lowes has a large selection of outdoor ornaments for your trees. You can get a 16″ red spiral glass tree topper for $15.97. You can also find an 82 pack or red and gold shatterproof Christmas ornaments for only $29.97.
You can also get creative and make your own outdoor ornaments out of wood. Wood carving, wood burning, or simply using a cookie cutter to trace out a Santa on a piece of plywood. Cut it out with a jigsaw. Paint Santa and then hang him on the tree.