I can get in my high-horse about just about anything if you catch me in the right mood, but when it comes to issues I really care about working conditions is top of the list. And while I’ve never been one to spend a lot of time worrying over this years Christmas decorating “theme” and usually just barely get the tree up in time to take it down, this year I kind of needed ornaments. Apparently the ornaments of your childhood only last so long and through so many kids, cats and dogs before 45+ years of wear and tear leaves the tree looking sort of bare.
So here is my dilemma. Most Christmas decor is made in China, which doesn’t bother me except for the fact that some of it is made under deplorable conditions. We’ve all seen the young man covered in red flocking right? I ignored my inner activist and purchased a fake tree this year. It’s even ‘gasp’ flocked, but I know I’ll use it for a number of years and after 3 years it’s paid for itself in what real trees would have cost.
But the new ‘flocked’ tree was still short of ornaments and looking pretty bare. I looked at ornaments, some of them were even on sale, but all of them were made in China and I kept seeing that young man covered in red flocking every time I looked at them. Even the ones that weren’t red or flocked.
So I decided I was going to make ornaments. Except I dare you to walk into a craft store and find craft supplies that aren’t made in china. All of those tiny bottle brush trees, ribbon, glitter and cute little snowflake cut-outs. Every single one of them made in China under dubious working conditions. Then I saw these really neat looking origami stars, and decided to give it a whirl.
I started with freezer paper (made in an undisclosed location) and after ripping off a length of it, used metallic spray paint (made in Canada) in copper and brass color to add some bling. Once it was dry I fan-folded the length of freezer paper to cut out my pentagons.
I’ve spent a couple of evenings folding while watching TV. It cuts down on the whiskey and cigarette consumption if my hands are busy. With this new tree, there are lots of ‘flocked’ branches, but they are all rather close together. It makes for a nice looking full tree, but doesn’t leave a lot of ‘drop’ room for ornaments. These paper stars fill in the gaps nicely without any hooks or loops. I just nestled them in among the branches and filled in the gaps.
The best part? Nobody got covered in flocking while earning pennies to make them.
I’m making some more complex ornaments too, but considering I just got started they may be posts for next Christmas. I like to call it planned procrastination.