The Lover’s Tree: How a Christmas Pin Item Is Being Rebooted

Sandra Di Carlo Valdez looked at her Christmas tree in January and felt a wave of sadness. One week into 2022 and almost two years into the pandemic, the tree is a source of joy; she’s not ready to take it down yet.

So, Miss Valdez, 46 years old, a manicurist and blogger in Miami with almost 30,000 followers on Instagramdecided to try something she’d seen on social media: She’d keep the tree up but redecorate it, swapping out decorations for the organza and the holly for the heart.

Her Christmas tree, now covered in pink and red baubles, has become a love tree.

Taylor Swift can leave her Christmas lights on until Januarybut online, pictures of dumplings (real and fake) decorated in candy hearts and pastel tinsel have popped up in February, mostly at certain crafty angles. Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest.

Ms. Valdez redecorated her tree using supplies from the Dollar Tree: heart-shaped clips, which she glued to the branches; wooden heart, which she drew; and items like pins and red and pink fabric that she turned into homemade gnome decorations.

Likewise, Jennifer Houghton, a bloggersa designer and housewife in Dallas, uses discount store items for her plants, including oversized chatty hearts that she transforms into decorations.

When she decorated her first Valentine’s tree five years ago, she was just delaying the inevitable.

Mrs Houghton, 54, said: ‘I was so tired of Christmas, and I just wanted, ‘Ugh, I don’t want to take it down!’.

This year, she has three Valentine’s trees: one wrapped in red roses and stencils spelled out “love”; a droplet with pink color of X and O; and one covered in those pastel chatty hearts, with pink ribbons and ladders and candy canes climbing either side.

“Especially with the pandemic, people crave anything that brings joy to their home,” Ms. Houghton said. “We are spending more time in our homes, so this needs, this wants, to make our homes as fun as possible.”

Retailers, looking to cash in on the Hallmark holiday season, have caught on to the trend. Decorations for Valentine’s Day are for sale at Walmart and Targetand by a lot of people on Etsy.

An rep reported that their best-selling tree this past holiday season wasn’t doing well. It’s pink.

Amber Dunford, a design psychologist and style director at Overstock, says that in times of stress, people naturally gravitate towards so-called transitional objects. “We are in such a normal situation right now, so we want that object to be comfort,” she said. “Trees are symbols – they are elements we gather around.”

Bobby Berk“Queer Eye” star and interior designer, said he’s seen several Valentine trees on social media and understands why people might want them.

“Your holiday decorations bring a lot of warmth to your home and a lot of fun,” he said in a phone interview. “I can understand why people, especially right now, stuck in our home, for the third year, want to extend that time.”

He notes that a few of his friends still have Christmas trees in their homes. “I’m always like, ‘Girl, take it down,’ he said. “But now I think, ‘Actually, no, don’t take it down, let’s move it to a Valentine tree.’”

During the past three years, Monica Burt, an interior designer in the greater Chicago area, made that transformation in her own home. “I love Christmas,” she said. “I have about 10 trees a year, and it’s sad to have to take them down.”

This year, Ms. Burt, 39, has four Valentine trees: a hot pink tree in the family room, decorated with fuchsia and red; a white one in the upstairs hallway that she decorated with pink decorations; and two little pink ones, one for each of her daughters, which she keeps in her bedroom and decorates herself.

Sami RiccioliAn interior designer, there are three this year, including an ombré at the base of a grand staircase at her home in Lower Gwynedd, Penn., handcrafted from several thousand fake roses.

She doesn’t plan to take down her tree after February 14. Instead, she said, she’ll be reusing it for St. Patrick’s Day, then Easter, Halloween and all through Christmas.

Ms Riccioli, 37, said: ‘After making that first Valentine’s tree, I said, ‘This isn’t just Valentine’s Day. “‘I’ll keep the tree here and continue to decorate it.” The Lover’s Tree: How a Christmas Pin Item Is Being Rebooted

Fry Electronics Team

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