In 2020, I finally exceeded the carrying capacity of the Geek Tree. This has happened before, and will likely happen again (there are no beginnings or endings to the Geek Tree… ) but this time I couldn’t simply upgrade.
The Geek Tree is a 9-foot tall narrow artificial tree. We don’t have space for an equally tall, normal diameter tree in addition to our Family Tree … and the Geek Tree replacing the Family Tree isn’t an option (or at least, not an every-year option; we’ve done it once before).
So instead of going bigger, I’m going focused. Last year, as I was putting away the Geek Tree ornaments, I decided to go with a Star Trek-themed tree. It’s fitting in many ways – The shuttlecraft Galileo is the first geeky ornament I ever received and inspired all those I collected or received afterward. After more than three decades of ornament collecting, Star Trek ornaments account for a significant percentage of my geeky ornaments, perhaps rivaled only by Star Wars in quality.
Going with a Star Trek-themed tree gives rise to some new opportunities. With far fewer ornaments on the tree (others may consider this a “normal” amount of ornaments, but why be normal?) there are opportunities for additional ornaments to augment the familiar ones.
- Star Trek origami Paper ornaments are staples of many trees so why not the Geek Tree? The biggest drawback here is time; I’ve tried origami in the past, and while it’s fun, it’s not fast.
- Star Trek: Paper Universe – Lots of paper Star Ships including options like a Klingon bird-of-prey, a Cardassian battle cruiser, and the good ol’U.S.S. Enterprise herself.
- Origami Resource Center: Star Trek – Features instructions for the Enterprise, Reliant, Defiant, Borg cube, and Klingon Battle Cruiser
- Planets: Colored glass ball ornaments were always a critical part of the Geek Tree. They were critical for reflecting light and adding depth to the Geek Tree, but they were always in the background. With a Star Trek-themed tree, you need strange new worlds … so why not add planet ornaments?
- University Games 3-D Planets in a Tube Glow-in-The-Dark – Not actually ornaments, but they look like they could be easily tasked for that purpose. Plus, they glow in the dark!
- Scout Life: How to Make a Model of the Solar System – Meant as a quick and easy STEM project for scouts, these planets could easily be re-purposed for ornaments.
- The Frugal Homemaker: DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments – A post detailing how to make mercury ornaments (like the metal, not the planet). The end result is potentially geek tree worthy.
- Nebula: The Mutara Nebula featured prominently in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and I’m tempted to try and recreate it on the Geek Tree for my Enterprise and Reliant starships. Something involving pulled cotton and purple/pink lights might work. It might also just look like some sort of giant space blob (which could also work…)
- Galaxies: Swirling starscapes are an essential part of Star Trek, so a few ornaments that evoke that would fit the Geek Tree nicely.
- The Sweetest Occasion: Deck the Halls with Glittery Galaxy Inspired Homemade Ornaments – These glitter-based ornaments feature blue and black swirls of color, with hand-painted white stars. I could also see doing these with black/purple/pink colors to evoke nebula colors.
- Tree Topper: My normal Geek Tree topper is a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who … but that’s not going to work with a Star Trek tree. There is an Enterprise tree topper from Hallmark, but at $150, it’s way too expensive for me. I’m contemplating taking one of the two Enterprise model rocket kits I have and re-purposing one for the Geek Tree, though doing so might take more time than I have.
- Shuttlecaft Galileo (1992, string powered)
- U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D (1993, powered, string powered)
- Klingon Bird of Prey (1994, string powered)
- Romulan Warbird (1995, string powered)
- U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656 (1996, string powered)
- U.S.S. Defiant NX-74205 (1997, string powered lights)
- U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-E (1998, battery-powered lights)
- Borg Cube (2000, string powered)
- Deep Space 9 (2001, batter powered base, sound)
- Delta Flyer (2002, string powered lights and voice)
- U.S.S. Enterprise NX-01 (Metal, 2002)
- The Scorpion (2003, string powered)
- The City on the Edge of Forever (2004, string powered, sound seems to be failing)
- U.S.S. Enterprise NCC- 1701-A (2005, battery-powered,)
- Locutus of Borg (2005, powered, strong powered) – Sound synthesizer appears to have broken, so it makes a buzzing sound. Very sad.
- U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (2006, 40th Anniversary Edition, battery-powered lights and theme song w/base)
- Future Enterprise (variant NCC-1701-D) (2007, battery-powered)
- Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (2007, voice and light with batteries)
- U.S.S. Reliant (2008, battery-powered lights)
- “The Trouble With Tribbles” (2008, battery-powered sound and motion, sadly broken)
- Klingon Battle Cruiser (2009, battery-powered lights)
- U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (2010, Kelvin Universe, battery-powered lights)
- Romulan Bird-of-Prey (2011, light up with batteries)
- Star Trek: “Mirror, Mirror” (2011, voice with batteries)
- U.S.S. Kelvin NCC-0514 (2013, battery-powered)
- U.S.S. Nemesis (2014, battery power, Star Trek Into Darkness)
- U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C (2015 battery power)
- U.S.S. Enterprise (Pilot Version) (2016, 50th anniversary Gold Edition)
- U.S.S. Franklin NX-326 (2017, battery-powered)
- U.S.S. Discovery NCC-1031 (2018, light up with batteries)
- Star Trek NCC-1701 (2019, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 40th Anniversary Edition)
- Lieutenant Nyota Uhura (2020, Star Trek, Mirror Mirror Collection, networked)
- Captain James T. Kirk (2020, Star Trek, Mirror Mirror Collection, networked)
- Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu (2020, Star Trek, Mirror Mirror Collection, networked)
The 2021 Additions
Hallmark’s current Star Trek line includes a collection of “Storyteller” ornaments that can be networked together to recreate a story. The current focus is on characters and dialogue from the Mirror, Mirror episode of The Original Series
- Ensign Pavel Checkov
- First Office Spock
The Lost Fleet
There are many Star Trek ornaments out there, including a bunch focused on various recreations of the crew. My emphasis, as the list above shows, has always been on starships. I have most of the starships released by Hallmark, though I have a few gaps.
- U.S.S. Enterprise (1991) – The original, string-powered Enterprise which kicked off the entire Hallmark line. One of these years, I’d like to get the ornament, but given that it typically sells for a few hundred dollars … this is not that year.
- Rio Grande (1999) – Amazon – I don’t know how I missed the Rio Grande when it came out; I imagine at the time I wasn’t a huge fan of Deep Space Nine and probably just missed it. If I pick up one older ornament this season, it will be this one.
- Vulcan Command Ship (2004) – Amazon – Like the Rio Grande, the Vulcan Command Ship probably wasn’t on my radar when it came out. In retrospect, it would add some diversity to the Star Trek-themed Geek Tree, which is dominated by Federation ships.
- I.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (2019, distributed exclusively at the San Diego Comic-Con) – I never had a chance of getting this ornament, which now goes for several hundred dollars online. The Mirror Universe ornament is neat … but it’s not several hundred dollars worth of neat.
- U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-D (2012, 25th-anniversary edition with base). I already have a 1701-D, and
- U.S.S. Enterprise Tree Topper (2020) – I’m tempted by the Enterprise tree topper but it has two strikes against it: the price ($149) and the size. The price is a lot by ornament standards and it doesn’t go on sale after Christmas, so it’s not something you can pick up relatively cheaply. The size is also an issue; this is an impressive, hefty ship, too hefty for the tall-and-narrow Geek Tree (at least in it’s current configuration)
Featured Image Meta
The U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-D in all of its illuminated glory, nestled in the 2020 version of the Geek Tree. Credit: Ken Newquist.
Have ideas for the Star Trek-themed Geek Tree? Share them in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.