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All-Natural X-Mas Tree is a Fun Family Project
Several years ago a Wisconsin couple that loves the outdoors threw away all their Christmas tree lights, tinsel and ornaments and decorated their tree "the natural way" with pine cones, berries, bird feathers, shells and other natural "ornaments" they fmd in their travels.
Each year Betty and Lawrence Janssen, Green Lake, Wis., add colorful new treasures to their tree. "We both love the out-doors and I'm an artist so it combined our interests. We look for new things to add wherever we go and when we decorate the tree at Christmas time it brings back wonderful memories of places we've been and people we've met," says Betty. Because Lawrence is a missionary minister, they've had the opportunity to collect natural ornaments on their travels from California to Texas to Florida to Washington and many other areas.
Some of the most colorful items on the tree are orange bittersweet berries, red coxcomb, peacock feathers, and red macaw feathers. Wild turkey feathers, which were given to them by a rancher in South Dakota, are among their most favorite ornaments. Holly berries are placed on top of the tree in place of an angel or star.
Other natural ornaments include teasel seed pods from Michigan, cotton bolls from Texas, Spanish moss from Florida, eucalyptus balls from California, and pine cones from local Wisconsin woodlands.
Wild flowers and weeds are also candidates for the Janssen tree. "We consider anything that's colorful or unique and that grows outside. The tree changes every year. We're never finished," says Betty, noting that the tree helps keep the spirit of Christmas alive all year long. "We're always looking for colorful new additions to the tree. It's a fun year-round project."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lawrence H. Janssen, The Cedars, Rt. 2, Box 336, Green Lake, Wis. 54941 (ph 414 294-6754).

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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #6