Months ago, I saw this bottle tree in the yard of a son's neighbor and it brought back memories of childhood. Ladies who canned and preserved always had a bottle tree of sorts for drying out empty jars. My grandmother told me of having railroad spikes in a tree to hold the bottles used for making root beer. I like the story about the root beer exploding best, but I remembered spikes in a tree to dry long necked bottles. When I saw this art festival style bottle tree in this yard, I wanted one.
A few weeks later I went to an art and craft fair in my hometown and saw bottle trees half the size of the one I desired and priced at $90 to $125. I was floored. a couple pieces of steel or rebar spot welded and that cost the best part of $100? I mentioned to my son, since he had welding ability, that the bottle tree craft might make him an extra dollar or a great Christmas present. Hint! Hint!
Today, I got a bottle tree of my very own. It made me very happy and gave me pause to think, home made is the way to go and Christmas is coming. Christmas is ALWAYS coming! To make a gift that means more than the combined cost or sentiment of the material is the long term prepper's way. Spend a few dollars on material, assemble, add love and thought and you have a gift a credit card can't buy.
This year the family has agreed to purchase shiny new things only for the young children. Our grown ups are planning a Make It, Bake IT, or Take IT gift exchange. The take it part covers re-gifting. If you have something in the closet from a past occasion, new in the box but unloved, pass it on. Other than that, there will be preserves and cookies and things we love made by hand. I am hoping for a second bottle tree !