An Ombre Gradient Christmas Tree

In the esteemed words of Snooki… the party’s here!

Woop woop, the tree is up. And this year now that Clara’s a big girl who we think can handle real ornaments (well, we got a few shatter-proof ones for the very bottom just to be sure) we went with a gradient from white to hot pink to red. Booyah. Or as I’ve been saying way too often: boom goes the dynamite.

Oh and we have a bunch of meaningful/special ornaments that we love the most, but we save those for our real mini tree (we got a tabletop one last year and loved it so much that it’ll be a tradition). So we’ll post about that one as soon as we get it (don’t want it to die before Christmas, so maybe next week!).

Anyway, back to our gradient guy. We thought it would be fun to see the color get deeper as it got closer to the floor, and since we already had a bunch of white ornaments from our silver tree in 2007 and a bunch of soft pink ornaments from 2010 and homemade ones from last year’s Pinterest challenge, all we did was grab a few more hot pink and red ornaments (which only ran us about 12 bucks total, thanks to 50% off sales at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby).

Let the record state that hubster wanted it just to go from white to red with some of those silvery pink ones in the mix since we already had them, but I’m a smooth talker… so that’s how hot pink ended up in the mix.

Then we just loaded each of the four colors onto the tree in bands of color with white at the top which led into light pink, hot pink, and bright red at the bottom. Oh and we added some $2 candy canes to the mix since they fit with the color scheme.

But why tell you about it when we can show you? I love seeing Clara’s reaction to it after she woke up from her nap to see it all glowing and assembled. Maybe she thinks magic elves live here and work while she naps? I wish!

As usual we used our faux-sheepskins-from-Ikea to make a tree skirt. Oh and check out that bicycle ornament we grabbed for cheap at Target.

We also went sans topper. We’ve been waiting to buy one until we see one we totally love and that hasn’t happened yet, so wait we must.

Here she is at night. I’ve named her Glowy Glowerson.

And since I’m a list freak, here’s the rest of the stuff on my holiday wish list. I try not to be all stepford and pressure myself about it, but I can’t explain the endorphin rush that I get from crossing things off of a list. And don’t think I won’t cross things off even if I don’t do them if I run out of time, just for the satisfaction of crossing them off, because I totally roll like that.

  • set up the big tree (gradient, baby!)
  • get a live tabletop tree again (like we did last year – this year we have a new idea for the ornaments though!)
  • decorate the mantel, the built-ins, and the entryway console
  • hang our outside lights & decorate the front porch
  • shoot a Christmas picture of Clara & Burger for our annual holiday card
  • make an advent calendar for Clara? Ahh I’m behind already!
  • shop for slash make all the gifts on our Christmas list (about 50% done already, can’t wait to cross this sucker off!)

And since we’re talking trees. Here’s how we decorated ours back in 2007 & 2008 (with the same white and silver scheme):

And in 2009, we went crazy for citrus, and even dried fruit to make ornaments:

In 2010 we had green, pink, and silver shimma goin’ on:

Here’s our tabletop tree from last year complete with homemade ornaments that I whipped up for a Pinterest Challenge:

And here’s last year’s big tree with homemade paint chip ornaments and colorful ribbons (nothing that could shatter since Clara was 19 months old):

Feels kinda festive, eh? What are you guys doing to get into the holiday spirit? Or are you screaming “not ready!” and boycotting Christmas Carols until a certain magical “now it can be Christmastime” date? Are you making a list just for the satisfaction of crossing things off? Are you making anything homemade (gifts, food, advent calendars, etc)? Do tell.

Psst- Still in the mood for more holiday projects and pics? Click here for a gallery with over 25 holiday projects and ideas. 



  1. says

    Love the gradient idea — really clever! We went all out this year decorating for the holidays since we were lucky enough to be one of the homes featured in our town’s “Christmas Tour of Homes” this past Saturday. (Sorry you couldn’t make it!) It was a ton of work, but now we can sit back and enjoy the decorations for the rest of the month. :-)

  2. Kathryn says

    I like the creative idea! And the only thing that counts is that it’s what you wanted in your home at this fun time of the year and that it brings you joy (certainly seems magical to Clara!). But I have to say, I’ve just never felt that my Christmas tree is ‘decor’.

    The ornaments are dated and scruffy, the sizes and colours don’t jibe, there might a couple of new homemade ornaments per season. But when I unpack them, those ornaments that’ve stayed with me for over thirty years now, that I can see in perfect detail with my eyes shut in the middle of July, that have stayed with me thorough moves, relationships, departures of dear family; they greet me like old friends, a cherished memory in each and every one. When it comes to Christmas tree, I’m more Charlie Brown than House Beautiful. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • says

      Oh I totally know what you mean! We have a bunch of meaningful/special ornaments that we love the most, but we save those for our real mini tree (we got a tabletop one last year and loved it so much that it’ll be a tradition). We’ll post about that one as soon as we get it (we don’t want it to die before Christmas, so maybe next week!).


    • says

      Love all of your festive trees! So much fun! As for how we store it, we’ll have to do a post. We have tupperware bins that are green (halloween is clear, christmas stuff is green) and we basically group stuff together (ornaments in two of them, lights for outside in one of them, etc). We’ll have to share pics after the season’s over!


  3. amy says

    Two things:
    1. I walked into a bar in DC Saturday night and there was a girl reading your book at the bar. So I made a new friend!

    b. Did you see that used/like new copies of your book are selling for $900 on Amazon? Crazy!

    4. It was wonderful meeting you guys at the FLOR event!

    • says

      Um, that is crazy! $900? Are they really selling? Methinks they’re not. Hahah! And as for the girl at the bar- amazing! I LOVE IT! And it was amazing to meet you at Flor Amy! So much fun!


  4. says

    This is by far the cleverest (is that a word?) idea for a Christmas tree. I also love how you guys use what you have on hand without having to buy a whole slew of new ornaments every single year. Nice work! I am so proud of myself and had to share. I was actually on the ball this year, and we started our Advent calendar on Dec 1 this year (25 Christmas books to read every night, wrapped and under the tree, they are from when I was a kid, when Brian was a kid, my nieces and nephews and a few from last year’s after Christmas sales thrown in Cheapest idea ever!)

  5. Jennifer I. says

    Every year I love your tree, but this year it takes the cake! Love the ombre and you one up yourself every year. What will you think of next year?! Color me impressed (no pun intended).

  6. Christine says

    Yay for local businesses like Mongrel! I confess when I first saw the store name, I thought it was a pet store. Me = Duh.

  7. says

    Love it! The ombre effect is so fun, and I’m crazy for those bright red and hot pink! We’re going with jewel tones this year…any excuse to make new ornaments. I make an Advent Calendar every year, and this year’s is my fave and simplest yet…you could pull it off in a nano second

    It may have been 83 degrees in Big D this weekend, but cranked up the air and pretended we were up North.

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