jimenez2010
jimenez2010

11 Pop Culture Christmas Wreaths

jimenez2010
jimenez2010

Even the standard evergreen wreath can be a blank slate you can decorate to show off your personality, your interests, or even your geeky obsession. Here are a few that show the neighborhood your favorite movie, TV show, or literary world.

1. Doctor Who Wreath

PandoricaCraftsBox sells several Doctor Who items, including a Weeping Angel tree topper. The artist, Michelle, also has this Doctor Who wreath decorated with small TARDISes, miniature figures of the fifth, ninth, and eleventh Doctors, a couple of daleks, and blue lights to illuminate it all. It's especially appropriate if your house is bigger on the inside!

2. Zombie Wreath

You’ve probably seen wreaths with skulls and zombies over Halloween, but this one is red and green for Christmas! The Zombie Christmas Wreath from Etsy seller CREEPYSTUFF has skulls, eyeballs, bones, and body parts in festive shades to welcome guests at your door. It can be a reference to The Walking Dead, or just a macabre interest in the undead.

3. Cthulhumas Wreath Creature

Maika Keuben, who started making a Cthulhumas wreath when we published the Cthulhu Christmas post, just finished her festive Cthulhumas Wreath Creature. It’s got tentacles, LEGO octopuses, Christmas balls, and lights. The details are in this imgur album. Don’t miss the captions- they are delicious! It’s one of several Cthulhu holiday projects Keuben is working on.

4. Superhero Wreath

Sheila G pinned this image of a superhero wreath to Pinterest. Recreating it would be as simple as adding DC action figures to an existing (but plain) wreath.

5. Game of Thrones Wreath

Redditor horsegal301 made a wreath for her door with lots of symbolism from the HBO series Game of Thrones. She planned to use dragon eggs, but they were too heavy, so there’s a raven in the middle instead. The Iron Throne is symbolized by the swords piercing the top, and the banners below contains the sigils of the various houses in contention for it. They are appropriately blood-spattered.

6. Frozen Wreath

Many crafty folks will incorporate Disney characters into their Christmas decorations, but the blockbuster movie Frozen has the added touch of a snow and ice theme. The Etsy store PrettyHomeCreations has this Frozen wreath for sale, made of white, blue, and turquoise mesh, accented with blue poinsettias and snowflakes and the movie’s snowman Olaf sitting among them.

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas Wreath

The man-eating wreath in the film A Nightmare Before Christmas is a fun one to recreate. You can focus on the teeth, like jimenez2010, who made the wreath shown above (with arms, too!), or you can go a step further.

DeviantART member SteveRGR went all out to illustrate the danger of his wreath. That thing is hungry!

8. Star Wars Wreath

In a post entitled “Why I blog,” Good Girl Gone Grad explains that one of the reasons is “I come from a family full of nutjobs.” Suz is one of them.

Suz has so many ornaments that she can devote entire Christmas trees and entire Christmas wreaths to certain, very specific themes. This one is obviously the Star Wars wreath. In the words of Yoda....Think it's awesome, I do.

Think it’s awesome, I do, too.

9. Harry Potter Wreath

Among many homemade Harry Potter-themed Christmas wreaths, I found this one that was made by Alyssa Hardy of the Sidney Library in Sidney, New York, for a fundraiser last year. You can see it contains little handmade figures of Harry, Ron, and Hermione (all with striped scarves), Dumbledore, the owl, and several tiny books, appropriate for a library project. The highest bidder got a great literary Christmas decoration and also helped out the Tri-Town Boys & Girls Club.

10. Sons of Anarchy Wreath

Although the series says a final goodbye tonight, there is still plenty of Sons of Anarchy-related merchandise on Etsy. You can get the SOA wreath to show your SAMCRO pride -although you may scare off the carolers. The red and black mesh wreath is decorated with a festive skull wearing a Santa hat, a motorcycle, a grim reaper, and painted wooden letters spelling SOA.

11. Star Trek Wreath

Honestly, as long as Hallmark has been selling Star Trek Christmas ornaments, it should be easy to decorate a wreath with them and show your neighbors what a fan you are. However, if you search for “Star Trek wreath,” you will find many variations of this pun. It’s the Wreath of Khan. This particular wreath was made by cosplayer Victoria Fox, who put it together in an hour or so last year. The blog post about it also has a Walking Dead wreath made of zombie ears, to recall the necklace of such souvenirs that the character Daryl Dixon used to wear.

My wreath is a standard evergreen bough wreath with no extra decoration outside of a red bow. There was really no use in making anything more of it, since it pales behind the massive display of Christmas lights on my front porch, anyway. Maybe next year I'll get creative and do something geeky with it.

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Animals
Want to Recycle Your Christmas Tree? Feed It to an Elephant
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

When the holiday season finally comes to a close, people get creative with the surplus of dead Christmas trees. One San Francisco-based artist transformed brittle shrubs into hanging installation pieces. Others use pine needles for mulch, or repurpose trees into bird sanctuaries. For the average person, sticking it into a wood chipper or "treecycling" it as part of a community program are all eco-friendly ways to say goodbye to this year's Douglas fir. None of these solutions, however, are as cute as the waste-cutting strategy employed by some zoos around the world: giving them to elephants.

Each year, zookeepers at Tierpark Berlin—a facility that bills itself as “Europe’s largest adventure animal park”—feed the elephants unsold pine trees. The plants are reportedly pesticide-free, and they serve as a good (albeit prickly) supplement to the pachyderms' usual winter diets.

A bit closer to home, the residents of The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee rely on local residents to take part in their annual Christmas Tree Drive. In addition to being nutrient-rich, the tree's needles are said to help aid in an elephant's digestion. But beyond all that, it's pretty adorable to watch.

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Live Smarter
5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree
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iStock

What’s the environmentally safest way to dispose of your Christmas tree? It’s hard to say. Grown, managed, transported, and recycled efficiently, a real Christmas tree’s environmental impact should be near neutral. Unfortunately, not all Christmas tree plantations are equal in their environmental impact.

The most eco-friendly way is to leave the tree in the ground, where it belongs, so you never have to dispose of it. But then you don't have a Christmas tree in your house to bring festive cheer. One thing you can do is be environmentally smart when it comes to the tree's disposal. After this festive season, why not try one of these eco-friendly methods.

1. CHIP IT.

If you’re lucky enough to have access to a big wood-chipper, you may be able to chip the entire tree. Wood-chip is great as a decorative landscaping material. But if you really want to do great things for the environment (and if you have access to a lot of Christmas trees), you could make a bioreactor to denitrify water. Nitrates are put on farms across the world to help increase crop output, but a considerable amount is washed away into lakes and rivers where it’s disastrous for fish and potentially toxic for people. A wood chip bioreactor encourages the growth of bacteria that break down the nitrates in the drainage water, reducing the amount that gets into the water supply. It's not a simple project, however. To make one, you have to dig a big trench, get the water to flow through said trench, and fill it with wood chips. More info can be found here [PDF].

2. CRAFT IT.


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If your tree hasn’t yet let go of its needles—and you haven’t yet let go of Christmas, get crafty with it. Cut off small branches and bind them around a circle of wire to make an attractive wreath. This looks even better if some of the cones are still attached. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could set up an essential oil extractor to get a supercharged Christmas scent. If you are already distilling alcohol, you have everything you need (here's how to do it). With a little less effort and equipment, you can make a weaker liquid called hydrosol, which is a fragrant condensate water containing water-soluble parts of the needles.

3. STICK IT.

Many legumes, such as garden peas, are thigmotropic, meaning that they respond to objects they touch, growing in coils along or up them. Needle-free Christmas tree branches have lots of twigs, texture, and knobby protrusions for peas and beans to get a grip on. This allows them to grow upwards strongly toward light. Simply stick a small tree branch in the soil next to each new shoot for a free, effective legume-climbing frame. Another advantage of this technique is that it makes grazing animals less likely to munch those tender green shoots, as they tend to avoid getting Christmas tree twigs spiked up their noses.

4. TREECYCLE IT.


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Come January, it’s cold, the festivities are over, work looms, and you’ve got too much on your mind to be thinking about dead Christmas tree horticulture or crafts. Fortunately, a simple solution is at hand: Most counties and municipalities now provide Christmas tree recycling points where you can take your tree for chipping. Some “TreeCycle” points will even exchange your tree for a bag of wood-chip or chip mulch. OK, this probably means that you’ll have to jam that Christmas tree into your car once more, but as long as you don’t have to drive too many miles out of your way, Christmas tree recycling is a quick and easy environmentally-friendly option.

5. DONATE IT.

After you’ve had your Christmas cheer, why shouldn’t fish have some fun? Several communities have programs in place where they’ll take your old Christmas tree, drill a hole in the base, tie a brick to it, and throw it in a lake. When humans create artificial lakes, they tend to be relatively featureless on the bottom for easy dredging. That’s great for us, but it means baby fish have nowhere to escape predators. Christmas trees provide a nice, temporary place for the fish to hide out and explore.

If, on the other hand, you’d like to see your Christmas tree mauled by a pride of lions, that’s OK too! Some zoos around the world take Christmas tree donations (but please remove all the tinsel first) and allow the animals to play with them.

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