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Christmas Message Tree

My little brother, John, wont be spending Christmas with us this year (or next). He’s living in Russia, serving a 2 year mission for the LDS church.

(He’s the handsome young chap with the blonde hair)

Since he’ll be all alone with only a few new friends to spend Christmas with, we thought we’d send him a paper Christmas tree.  That outta help! haha…

oh, and we also included some paper ornaments with messages from friends and family on the backs.

I know most of you probably don’t have a family member on an LDS mission. Most of you might not even be LDS!  BUT I thought this idea could be adapted for other things, such as:

-For a family member or friend who lives far away or is studying abroad.
-Christmas countdown calendar
-Christmas Scripture/ Christmas Quote Tree
-…and that’s all I got, but I’m sure there’s other things you can do with it.


To make the tree we:

-Bought some green paper from Xpedx, a local paper store. My mom free handed the Christmas tree design and outlined it in a darker green marker. For reference she looked at a clip art Christmas tree image we found on the internet.

-Bought some Christmas scrapbook paper and sparkly red trim from Hobby Lobby. It was all half off which was nice.

-Gathered messages from friends and family.  Facebook helped me reach a lot of these people.

-Typed out their messages on my Silhouette cutting machine software, inserted them inside images of ornaments I found in the Silhouette store, and then used the print and cut feature to print and cut it out on our scrapbook paper. Doing it this way we knew the words would fit perfectly in the ornaments, we also could type the words on a path (such as the circle path above), and we could cut out fun shapes in the ornaments and know they wouldn’t interfere with the words. We also didn’t have to cut words out and paste them on ornaments, the words were already printed on them.

-Then we added the sparkly red trim to the tree, and bows and glitter glue to the ornaments. (Trim and bows adhered with hot glue)

-Added a brown tree trunk, out of construction paper? and drew on detailing with brown marker.

-Added a Christmas star. It was a clip art image we found on the internet. We printed it out on yellow paper.

To send it we carefully folded it up and added the ornaments in separately, we want my brother to read the messages and decorate it himself. We also included double sided sticky scrapbook squares so he can put it together.


And that’s it!  We know he’ll just love it!   It’ll be sure to brighten his day.

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  1. Heather@Creative Family Moments

    My daughter and I love this idea!

  2. karen

    I just loved your christmas message tree and I featured it for WorkShop Wednesday! Come stop by and see!

  3. Cara

    Hi Alissa,

    My son is serving a mission in Russia right now! I saw your idea as I am trying to put a Christmas gift together for him and I LOVE it! Did it work for your brother? I also have a question, where did your brother serve? Which part of Russia? My son is in Vladivostok. I was wondering about shipping and if your brother got your packages, I’ve heard packages don’t get to Russia very good.

    Cara Hasebi

    I don’t do blogging etc…much please just email me back any comments you have. Thanks.

    1. Alissa

      Hi Cara,

      My brother went to the St. Petersburg mission, but he served in a variety of places. I didn’t personally ship any packages to him. If i remember correctly, it is a little risky shipping stuff there. We made sure not to ship anything valuable. I think he received most, if not all, of his packages okay.

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