One of my sisters-in-law always had a number of small, themed Christmas trees on display at her house. It was only later that I discovered she put these little trees away fully decorated until Christmas rolled around again. I thought it was a brilliant idea and created a few of my own. The only one I still have is a Christmas tree that is covered in miniature garden tools: hoes, rakes, buckets, watering cans, even a hand-mower. Instead of a star on top, there is a minute clay pot with a trowel and bit of Hydrangea flowerhead.
Living in Wisconsin meant that I could always find straw ornaments from Scandinavia. As you can see, they are a main element of the decoration.
I loved all the straw ornaments but baskets were my favorites and I collected a nice assortment. Alas, many of these things are now made far from Scandinavia — in China! I haven't seen any beautiful pieces like mine in quite a few years.
Among the special treasures on the tree are some small baskets hand-made of fine copper wire. You can see two of them hanging on opposites sides of the tree below. They were created by Mexican artists and each one had the name of the artist attached to it. I put those tags in the baskets where they remain. They were purchased at the wonderful Seed Savers Store, one of many memorable Monroe St. merchants whose shops I still miss.