Little Birds

We have a small, fake Christmas tree that I bought a few years ago. It's tall and skinny and sort of funny looking. It doesn't even try to pretend to be a real tree, and I don't try to make it look like one. We used to get real trees, but every year I'd feel so sad and terrible when it came time to take them down and dispose of them like old lettuce from the refrigerator. We try not to waste lettuce, or any food for that matter, which I illustrate at this very moment by eating leftover zughetti reheated with leftover rice for breakfast. When I think about all those Christmas trees that spend years and years growing, only to be cut down, adored briefly, and then unceremoniously scrapped, well it just doesn't seem right to me. I feel disrespectful doing it, so I bought the funny fake tree, and continue to love it year after year.

I wasn't planning on bringing it inside this year, but I had it in the studio with the lights on it. Then when we unexpectedly moved back into the house, I decided, what the heck, might as well bring it into the living room. But then I decided not to drag out all the old sentimental decorations, because I'm feeling sort of fragile and emotional and vulnerable this year. Too many changes, and not enough sleep are making me weird and weepy. I decided that since pretty much everything is different these days, we'd have a different tree too. 

When the bright idea of a Bird Tree came to me, and it was instant obsession. I like birds. Always have. I remember my Mom buying fake feathery birds to decorate the patio with in the summertime, and I adored those beyond reason. I like real birds even better, but couldn't think of a way to get them into the living room. So last night, in another hours-long bout of insomnia, I hit the internet in search of some sweet little fake birds.

I looked on Etsy, and although there were a lot of nice handmade felted birds, they weren't really what I wanted. Ebay had a lot of vintage glass birds, but that wasn't what I was after either. I wanted real-looking fake birds to put on my fake-looking fake tree. I had a vision, and would not be persuaded to compromise. 

After a while I gave up and tried to get some sleep, then, bleary eyed, got back to googling early this morning. It was beginning to look hopeless until I came across the term "mushroom birds," which were exactly what I wanted. I few Craft Supplies searches later, I found, and landed in birdy heaven. I found little mushroom birds of all types and sizes, as well as feathered birds like the ones Mom used to get. A lot of them come on little clips, but I also ordered a bag of metal hair clips to glue the clipless birds onto, so they can all perch on the tree branches without falling off and becoming dog toys. I caught Heidi-the-wiener-dog nibbling on a branch this morning. Obviously, she cannot be trusted...

Maybe now that my birds are on the way, I can relax and get some actual work done. Or maybe I'll just take a nap. I'll show you the tree when it's all be-birded. I think it will be really pretty, and I know it won't make me cry. Maybe next year I'll feel grounded enough to dig out the old decorations; the ones my kids made, and my Mom gave me that last Christmas of hers, so long ago. For now, I'll stick with the birds. I can trust them to be gentle with me, and I think they'll be really happy in the fake tree. Maybe it's my fuzzy, sleep deprived brain talking, but I'm thinking reality is sort of overrated...

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  1. With a new cat that totally loves dangly things there will be no tree at my house this year. I'll be enjoying your bird tree instead. Sounds like it will be lovely.

  2. your florist can order packages of these little birds for you also. or go to a florist supply warehouse. that's where I've found them. cheap!

  3. No sleep... Weird and weepy. Is it just a Cancer thing - or something that everyone is going through? You are loved Miss Kim!

  4. love the birdies!! remember to rest and enjoy the holidays!! love to you...

  5. Cute birdies! We have a fake tree too, for several years already now, nothing wrong with that! I bought some glass birds this summer in Lauscha, Germany, going to decorate our tree with them this week :D
    Hugs, Carolien

  6. My mom had some birds like that that had been her grandmothers'. I loved putting them on the tree every year :).

  7. It must be a cancer thing, I've got it real bad...
    You actually made me smile Kim, there's something sweet in this bit of sadness. Thanks for bringin' in the little fake tree and thinking about the little birdies(fake of course)to put on it.It's gonna be a hard holiday this year(my ma went in the hospital last Christmas and passed a couple days after Valentines)but you've actually inspired me to get in the "spirit"!!
    Thank you for helping and sharing....

  8. Can't wait to see your tree. Great idea. Wish you some great sleep. Suzie

  9. What a great idea :) We too have decided not to sacrifice a live tree this year. I'm getting a nice sized Norfok pine that will stay indoors and live happily through many Christmases. Unless of course the cat eats it.

  10. What a great idea to have a "new" old tree - the real fake decorated with birds in a way that will bring you much happiness and comfort this year. Enjoy. Will enjoy seeing your blog with the pics up.

    Hope your holiday season is wonderful!


  11. Oh yeah, it makes me really sad when all those gorgeous LIVE trees get chopped down just so we can keep tradition. Fake trees for me...all the way!

    (36 year old fulltime RVer living la vida loca with a cute-butt husband and a stink-butt dog!)

  12. I'm bettin' the birds will look so wonderful that even if you get out all the other decorations next year, the birds will find a place among them too! Polly Anna

  13. I used to have a little collection of mushroom birds. My cat ended up eating them. So keep them high up and they should be safe from your dogs :-)
    Happy Holidays
    Julie K.

  14. Aww- sweet little birds on your tree - why not? Christmas is often a hard time for some - glad you're getting moved in slowly but surely.

  15. Glad I am not the only one feeling the holiday blahs this year... Your idea - a new/old tree... Sounds like a great idea. I think I'll take a nap though, before I start looking for some tree decorating inspiration! God bless, and take time for you!

  16. Love the birds and thank you for the suggestion, as I am struggling too with the Holidays this year.
    Best wishes to you.

  17. I haven't seen our christmas tree ornaments for about five years. We go down to San Diego for Christmas and don't put up a tree here. Our home decoration has been a humongous poinsettia from COSTCO. Last year's is still alive and well on the coffee table. Guess I won't get another.

    I have a fake chicken I'd love to send you. Also some little birds for your tree.
    send me your address!

  18. Love the bird idea. The past few years I've just decorated our tree with lights. The lights are my favorite part.

    Hope you are feeling better soon. I saw your new hearts and they are beautiful!

  19. What sweet little birds; I was tempted to get some and then I read Julie's kitty warning. My decorative tree collection includes glass trees, ceramic trees and curly wire trees - none more than 18". Tiny glass ornaments on the wire trees are very satisfactory. Wishing you a good meditation and/or nap, Kim. Norine

  20. I surely agree with you about the trees. Like your idea of the little birds, can't wait to see the pictures. Peace to you Kim

    Ruth on the Oregon coast.

  21. Hi Kim,
    I really like this quote from Victor Marie Hugo and thought that you might also.....

    "Be like the bird in flight...pausing a while on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, yet sings knowing yet, that she has wings."

    Diane in PA

  22. I love the idea of a bird tree. My husband & I breed birds and have a bird rescue. He never throws away the feathers and must have 5 huge bags full of feathers. You have given me another idea I have no time for and that is to make ornaments out of the feathers. A friend of ours gave me one she had made from the feathers we gave her. If I can figure out how to send a picture of I will , Beth

  23. Why buy stuff from China when you can make your own ornaments? Get some pinecones, dab white paint on the tips to look like snow, or spray paint 'em gold or silver. Another idea is to make the paper snowflakes like we did in grade school - easy, cheap, and fun. And voila - a no-Chinese-made-by-low-paid-labor tree!
    Or - hang some of your beautiful beads - I bet they would catch the light and be just magical.. .

  24. Love the bird-tree idea. After all what else belongs in a tree!
    Sara in FL

  25. Last year, we found an end of the season sale on a pre-lit Christmas tree that we couldn't pass up!
    Hallmark started a bird ornament collection a few years ago. Every year, I buy my mother-in-law the new one...They are very cute, also.
    "Happy Holidays!"
    Thanks, Cindi

  26. I love the idea of a theme tree. And it would be the perfect thing to keep watching for to add to each year. Like a special little bird ornament each year to hearken the season. Thanks for the link I will check it out!
    Enjoy the day!

  27. Sorry to hear you are feeling out of sorts ! I just so excited to see your bird tree. I used to have a flower shop and used those mushroom birds every chance I got. Your Tree will be fabulous ! Can't wait to see it. Plus I am sending you some good vibes wo help you out of the blues ! : ) April

  28. I just moved back to NM this summer and my Christmas tree and ornaments did not make it on the truck (they currently reside at my Mom's in CT). So I bought a new prelit tree this year and a few ornaments so it wasn't bare. I missed not having my "sentimental" ornaments and then my boyfriend found a couple of bins with some of my ornaments in them - I was thrilled! Can't wait to see your bird tree. Linda Gregory

  29. The mushroom birds have long been a favorite of mine! I've gotten into the northwoods/nature thing during the holidays lately; they fit nicely in little tree branches and are fun any time of year. Thanks for sharing!
    Barb C.


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