When you hear “Christmas tree” or “ornaments” at this time of year, what do you think of? Maybe strings of lights (multi-colored or white, it’s really your preference), or ropes with bells. Maybe popcorn chains or candy canes. Maybe funny little figurines that hang from the branches next to their glass bauble cousins, all underneath the shining star at the top.

A very pretty picture, it’s true, but if you come on down to the American Museum of Natural History any time between now and January 10th, 2016, you’ll see a very different type of decor on the museum’s Origami Holiday Tree!

So, Are We Folding A Tree, Or…
Nope! Don’t let the name confuse you. It’s not the tree we’re folding but the ornaments, which are made out of paper. The Japanese art of Origami (literally, “folding paper”) involves folding paper (go figure) into the shapes of different objects and creatures. In the case of the tree at the museum, all the ornaments, instead of the traditional baubles, figurines, and so forth, are made from works of origami. This combined effort of the museum and OrigamiUSA has been around for more than 40 years, and everyone loves it.
Origami Tree 1
What’s There?
This year, the theme of the tree is Mighty and Microscopic Life. From the tiny to the enormous, different life forms that have a presence in the museum are giving inspiration to the makers of this year’s holiday tree. From microbes to the Titanosaur, this tree can give you a peek at the museum’s exhibits.
Origami Tree 3
How is it Done?
A team from OrigamiUSA starts planning as we move into spring. That’s forethought for you! They begin combing the museum for sources of inspiration, working with the museum’s own designers of the Tree. Once a theme is in place, in April, things are ready to get moving, and volunteers from around the world, both children and adults, begin folding new creations. In late September, the pieces begin to arrive, and the team is left with the task of deciding which ones to use, and of decorating the tree. All the pieces are treated with love and care, and soon the tree is fully decorated!
Origami Tree 2
Whether or not you like origami, the Origami Holiday Tree is worth seeing — it provides a very interesting contrast to the normal type of tree decorations you’ll find this time of year. So go take a gander, and make your trip on Seastreak! Our ride is so smooth you can fold pieces on the way there. And who knows — the tree might even inspire you to do some decorating of your own!

Sea you Soon!
The Seastreak Family



Filed Under: Origami Holiday Tree