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Welcome to the McDonald-style 'Village Christmas Tree'

By Patty Hullett
For the Mirror

In 2006, Allan and DeAnn McDonald were living in south Arlington when they purchased their first Christmas village piece, and the collection just seemed to continue to grow over the years.

DeAnn said she was frustrated because she had no good place to display their special Christmas village when they built their home in 2012 in the Cotton Creek Ranch subdivision in the city of Midlothian. So, in 2017, after the village pieces had been in storage for five years, she told her husband her plan to somehow “build” a stand for the village to be displayed on.

But, she definitely wanted her vision to be in the shape of a Christmas tree.

DeAnn says, “We discussed it for hours until we came up with a design we thought would work. After several trips to Home Depot, we finally had the right materials to work with. We just started creating the frame the way we thought it could possibly work. Once the frame was complete, I realized it needed 'more'. At that point, I added the lighting to complete our finished product.”

DeAnn says she and her husband built the frame together, from start to finish. Each level has certain places for the treasured holiday building collectibles. 

“It took us an entire weekend since we were ‘winging it’. We have only built the actual frame once, but it is made to disassemble. That means that we have reassembled the tree each year since," she adds. "It only takes about an hour for us to put the frame back together, but the actual decorating takes me a good solid day to get all the details just the way I want them."

Each village piece has sentimental meaning, and their location usually stays on the same level or theme, DeAnn continues. "I always keep my little country church on the top tier, as that is the most important piece on the tree (to me).”

The McDonald family admits that they never had any intention of creating or selling a template for the “Christmas Village Tree” stand. However, when DeAnn posted a photo of her creation last year on a crafting page on social media, it went viral with more than 95,000 shares. DeAnn says she had no idea she would receive thousands of messages asking for a copy of the template.

"Allan and I literally had nothing written down as far as our design, so this past summer we created the original template to share with others. Unfortunately, when I updated the original post to let everyone know we finally had a template, the administrator of that page (had) deleted the original post, as it went against their rules," she said. Somehow, someone else on Facebook obtained the McDonald picture and shared it; from there, it received more than 107,000 shares to date. "It is crazy, but we have sold over 500 templates at the affordable price of $10 for an emailed PDF file! I am guessing there will be a lot of 'Christmas Village Trees' to see on Facebook soon," DeAnn shares. 

Some of the templates have been sold to locations across the world, including Hawaii, Canada, Australia, England, The Netherlands, Novia Scotia, and Germany.

“This has been quite the adventure, and we are so humbled by all the love we have received," DeAnn says. "I would have never thought our tree could bring so much happiness to others." She said numerous people have told her me they are bringing their village pieces out of storage after years, while others said they had no room to display their mother’s/grandmother’s pieces -- until now -- and they have a way to honor their family memories. 

The McDonalds say that no retail businesses have approached them for their design as yet. DeAnn admits they never thought to patent their design, regretting that oversight.

Allan says, “DeAnn is continually thinking of new ideas and always crafting/building something of some sort. And I am right there to help her with her ‘visions’ – going on 30 years now. She is a very creative woman.”

Christmas is the McDonald family’s favorite time of the year. DeAnn relays, “We love this season because we can use this special time to honor our Lord and Savior. We are proud to be called children of the King!”

“Christmas Village Tree” template

To get more information or to purchase the template, there are these options:

- Venmo - @DeAnn-McDonald (0436 last 4 of phone if needed) Make sure you see my profile picture.

- PayPal - deannmcdonald2006@yahoo.com (Please Choose friend/family)

- CashApp - $LindaDeAnnMcDonald

- Zelle – 817-975-0436 (Linda)

Facebook Pay- DeAnn Todd McDonald (DeAnn says: "Please include your email address in the payment notes.")