Acidental Inspiration

How the tie-dye Christmas tree was inspired.



4/15/20242 min read

Accidental Inspiration

The tie-dye Christmas Tree is a fond memory around our house. For years, we had an artificial, white Christmas tree. Each year, after Christmas, we would stuff it back into its box and store it in the attic until next Christmas.

One spring, while my wife and daughter were out at garage sales, my wife found a seven-foot-tall artificial green tree for very cheap. She bought it. It would replace the older white tree.

The next Christmas, my daughter wanted to put the white tree up in her bedroom. They pulled the box down from the attic and started assembling the tree and found that some of the white fronds had turned yellow. It had become a blotched white and yellow tree. My daughter was bummed. But, my wife is a very talented and crafty person. She suggested, "Let's try spray painting it."

They tried painting it white, but the yellow just faded back through the paint and made it look even worse. I arrived home as the final decision was made to trash the tree.

As a note of clarification, my daughter was born after her designated era. She is a sixties flower child born forty years late. She loves tie-dye, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, etc.

My wife asked me if I had any thoughts about the tree before they tossed it out. How could they turn it white again? One look and I realized it was a lost cause. I made the fated comment and jokingly asked, "Why don't you spray paint it tie-dye?" Thinking that would be too much trouble and they would trash it. But they loved the idea.

A quick trip to the store produced cheap cans of purple, pink, blue, and green cans of paint. The tree was set up in the backyard and after several minutes of giggling, laughing, and spray painting, the tie-dye Christmas tree was introduced.

Never underestimate the value of an idea. Accidental inspiration can create something different that someone else will love. That tree contributed to Christmas joy around our house for several more years until the artificial fronds became brittle and most of them fell off the tree.

Don't hesitate to ask for ideas when you get stumped. Someone's crazy comment may give you the accidental inspiration you need to finish a project. I appreciate inspiration of all kinds, especially accidental inspiration.

Have an inspiring week,
Tony C. Franklin