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 tthe 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 afterwards. 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 quanity.
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 familair 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 cruise, 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/pin 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 a 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.
Have ideas for the Star Trek-themed Geek Tree? Share them in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.