Merry Christmas, Charlie Zielske

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life68 Comments

As we close out our third month of a home remodel project, our house is anything but in the holiday décor way. We've had to squish a lot of stuff into spaces not designed to hold said stuff, and the Christmas decorations have stayed squarely in their respective boxes.

There was even discussion of not getting a tree this year, much to my horror.

We bandied about the idea of a small table top tree. We considered buying a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree replica. But in the end, I just wanted something a bit more substantial. Nothing grand, mind you. Just a little Charlie Brown tree of our own.

And we definitely found it.


It's not big. It's not fancy. It doesn't even really have that many branches. It's shorter than almost everyone in the family, too.



The best part? We only had to walk out the back door to find it.


We've had a poorly planned and placed blue spruce growing in our yard since we bought our house in 1993. Dan has been trimming it back every year to keep it from colliding with the big pappa tree that towers above it. This year we decided why not just top it off, and bring it in? So that's what we did.


It has the sharpest needles I've ever seen or felt on a Christmas tree. It doesn't smell as good as a fresh cut tree from a tree farm might. It's thin and spindly and completely asymmetrical.

But it's just about the most perfect little tree you could hope for.


All it needed was a blanket and a little love.


Cathy ZielskeMerry Christmas, Charlie Zielske

68 Comments on “Merry Christmas, Charlie Zielske”

  1. #6
    Tammy B

    It’s a beautiful tree Cathy! If we had no other decorations, there would always be a tree! Have a very merry Christmas!

  2. #8
    Heather Hykkonen

    Dan cut that down with a hacksaw? Give that man some lovin’ for sure! I’ll bet he will be sore after that!

  3. #12

    When I heard it was a spruce, I thought “ouch!” They are very pokey!! Beautiful trees though & yours is especially lovely, lighting up your house with it’s Christmas cheer. We have a true fondness for spindly trees — Christmas bushes that have been trimmed painfully into a stiff triangle cone just are not allowed in our house… Merry Christmas!!

  4. #15
    amy j.

    OMG that made me choke up Cathy, lol.

    There’s a children’s book…I think it’s called The Littlest Fir Tree about a tree that dreams of becoming a Christmas tree. It lives with big trees that all get chopped down to become Christmas trees and lives under a bigger tree that talks to it about how special being a Christmas tree is!!

    Sniff, sniff. Now I want a little spindly tree to make pretty!!

    I gotta go find that book!! : )

    Merry Christmas!!

  5. #16
    Mary Mitchell

    So funny that you plucked one from your yard. My oldest son had suggested doing the same thing….to my horror !!! The tree he was refering to is what we call the “anniversary tree” It was planted in honor of when my husband and I got married.

  6. #24
    Kelly in Canada

    oh my goodness, cathy, it looks like our tree which started its life as a tall christmas tree, fell over and broke many of our ornaments, unceremoniously had it’s bottom third (with crap-o-matic tree stand still attached) cut off, was re-installed in a brand new heavy duty steel tree stand and now stands all crooked and perfect in our living room. christmas without a tree just wouldn’t feel like christmas and who really has the energy for perfection anyway! enjoy.

  7. #27

    Love it! I SO miss having a Christmas tree but I share an apartment with my youngest sister and her 2 cats, one of which would eat the needles along with any ribbon, fabric, or plastic. And the other cat would be climbing up and down it non-stop. So the only decoration we have is courtesy of DCWV’s vinyl Wall Art!

  8. #28
    Sally Paxton

    That tree is adorable. And I love where it came from, too. I guess we know now why there aren’t many blue spruce at tree farms and Christmas tree lots!

  9. #29

    When I saw your tree I thought Charlie Brown was exactly what it reminded me of. When I saw the last photo of the decorated tree I was amazed. Who would of thought a little tree with not many branches could look so festive and Christmasy. Great job! It just goes to show once again that some see beauty where others do not.

  10. #30

    I’m tearing up. It reminds me of the ones my grandparents used to get when we were younger and had our big Christmas with all the family. They always looked just like that, but once we got all the ornaments and the stingy silver tinsel on it was beautiful. Just like yours! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

  11. #31
    Patty N

    That last picture brought forth a spontaneous “Awwwwww”- what a transformation! Love, indeed. I had one of those little CB trees in my classroom at school, and the kids loved it. Merry Christmas, Zielske family!!

  12. #32
    Stefani M

    now you need to decorate the left-over stump. I saw someone who did this recently, it was the weirdest looking set of lights I’ve seen recently (especially in the dark when you couldn’t see anything else around it:)

  13. #33

    Love and a blanket. Yep, that solves it all. Those funky little trees have a special character that make them stay in the memory for a long, long time.

  14. #36
    Kay Gregory-Clark

    I had to send this to my son, who had a tree that looked very much like this when I was there recently. He and his little girl had gone to cut one down at a tree farm and that was the best they could find. My daughter-in-law and everyone else gave him such a hard time about it. I felt really sorry for him. If only they’d had a blanket and the love.

  15. #38
    Sandi D

    We are in our 4th week with no kitchen or master bath. I waited until today to put up the tree because there was just too much dust and clutter around. Finally I had to put up some decorations because it just did not seem like Christmas without a tree. We are hoping to get our appliances installed on Wednesday. I am praying that I will be able to get out of my basement for Christmas Eve.

    I am ready for Move More Eat Less!

  16. #40

    This is totatlly unrelated to the tree, but info I thought you MIGHT want. I took MTAV and know you are into vampires. DA Font has a free “true blood” font. Check it out.

  17. #43

    It’s perfect and pretty and just right. How cool that it came from your yard. This will make a great page for “layout on Monday” in the New Year.

  18. #44

    I love the Charlie Brown tree. I too have had my fair share of these. With Christmas moves and babies interferring with the christmas decorating. I love the memories of these trees. I know you will have fun scrappin’ this tree.

  19. #49

    Happy Holidays to you Gina!

    Hey, I made one of your chilis last week, in the crock pot. YUM. : ) Thanks for all the great recipes you continue to put up!

  20. #52

    It’s beautiful!

    My favorite tree we ever had was the one the year we were first married. We didn’t think we could afford a tree at all, so just a couple of days before Christmas my dad took me to the nursery to find one. They were all out except one little guy about 4′ tall. Someone had cut his top off to use as a little tree in their kid’s room. They gave us that poor little leftover, and we just stuffed some trimmed branches in the top to fill in the hole. We decorated with old fashioned cranberries on string and a few little ornaments we had collected. I still have the dried up cranberries and place them on our big beautiful tree!

    Thanks for the reminder of what makes a Christmas tree special!

  21. #54
    Tammy M.

    Love it! Best part it was free, right?? and you didn’t have to go far. See, sometimes just what we need IS right in our own back yard!!

  22. #55

    every time i water our spruce my arm gets all bumpy from it brushing against the needles. we are not getting this type of tree again (the other two options were not substantial branch selections) and i haven’t watered our tree in about two weeks. i also have 3 kids 4 and under. they touch the tree often. needles are covering the tree skirt that it is almost not visible. 🙂 but i still love the tree until this sunday.

  23. #58
    sandra m.

    It’s only the best tree ever! What a great story–way to remember the pics of the happenings too.

  24. #59
    Kim L

    Ok, so we did the same thing this year – well sort of. My family was all – no, not the big tree with all the kids decorations, AGAIN. (Can you tell I have teenagers?)They all banded against me and wanted a Charlie Brown type. so guess what? I caved and bought the cutest little three foot tree with white lights and ……I love it!
    Here’s to changing up the Christmas traditions and still loving it!

  25. #61

    I think it’s pretty cute. And the fact it’s from your yard makes it even more special. Be sure to do Elizabeth Dillow’s trick and cut a little piece off the base to save as a memento for Christmases to come.

  26. #63

    Now why did that make me get all teary? Must be hormones. What a sweet story. Merry Christmas, Zielskes!

  27. #66

    So busy with Christmas – just now getting back to checking all my favorite blogs. Love, love, love the tree. Perfectly beautiful.

  28. #67
    Andrea Johnson

    your post was a scene from two of my favorites Christmas shows. First love love love the Charlie Brown Tree!!!

    Second, seeing your hubby on the ladder cutting off the top of the tree makes me think of little Kevin cutting the tree for himself in Home Alone!!

    Hope you had a Merry Christmas!!

    Andrea J

  29. #68

    Love the tree! Adorable! Can you tell me the name and brand of your gold paint? I’m looking for a new gold paint and yours looks great! Thanks so much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *