Step 1: Make the Tree.
You can definatly get a real X-mas tree and set it up, but we just had a big ice storm and lots of branches fell down in our yard. We figure, why waste them. My husband jammed them into an X-mas tree stand, tied them together and screwed the base to the deck.
Step 2: Bird Cookies
Make some toast, cut it into shapes with cookie cutters, spread on some cricso, and cover with bird seed. Feel free to use lard, or suet, but we're vegetarians, and I couldn't think of anything grosser than melting down some suet and spreading it on toast.
Poke a hole through your ornament, and put some twine through the hole.
You can also do the same with pinecones, apple, or anything else lying around that you think the birds might like.
DO NOT USE PEANUT BUTTER. I've read that bird can choke from peanut butter because they don't have saliva. I don't know if this is true, but why risk it?
Step 3: Popcorn Garland
Step 4: Decorate
Now sit back and enjoy the nature show.
Do this in the AM!
I made the mistake of decorating in the evening, and when I woke in the AM, the tree was bare. I think some racoons enjoyed the treats, which is fine, but I wanted to see the animals. Decorate in the AM, so you can see the bids and squirrels get them.
You can also make more ornaments and enjoy the show again and again.
Note: this is not a project for people with bears in the woods, unless you want bears on your deck.