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Genius mum’s inspired Christmas tree goes viral

Genius mum’s inspired Christmas tree goes viral

A Sydney mum has left thousands of Facebook users in awe over her “outstandingly genius” Christmas tree.

While most people choose to use fancy ornaments and tinsel to decorate their trees, Marissa Velarde came up with a unique idea - she used 200 family photos, which immediately caught the attention of social media users.

The mother-of-two said she didn’t know just how popular her tree would be after it racked up 5000 likes and hundreds of comments on Facebook.

“I was so surprised. Oh my gosh. I just didn’t think people would react that way,” Ms Velarde told news.com.au.

The process took five days to complete as she looked through family albums to pick out images to cut up and hang on to her tree.

After hand-picking 200 images she then saved it to a hard-drive and printed it off at her local Kmart.

“I had 6 X 4 photos printed in Kmart, then I cut them to the size I wanted,” Ms Velarde said.

“I also bought gold and light brown cardboard paper, cut them both up a bit bigger than the picture, and stuck them on top of each other.

“I glued gold ribbon between the photo and cardboard paper.”

The 50-year-old said the main reason she decided to hang up photos on her tree was due to a recent health scare.

She also has not been able to visit her extended family in the Philippines due to coronavirus restrictions.

“A lot has happened health wise for me since last year. I had a stroke and have had a few operations since then where they had to insert a defibrillator into the left side of my chest,” Ms Velarde told news.com.au

After suffering from a stroke last August, doctors came to discover that Ms Velarde had Cardiomyopathy, a hereditary disease of the heart muscle.

“So they put in the defibrillator to jolt me if my heart stops,” she said.

Ms Velarde said if it wasn’t for the stroke, she wouldn’t have known she had a weak and enlarged heart.

“I wouldn’t have known I had a heart issue because I never felt anything, I actually didn’t realise I was having a stroke,” she said.

“I have been in and out of hospital and I thought, oh my gosh, with COVID we can’t even go anywhere and visit our family overseas which we do every year at Christmas.

“So I thought maybe I could do this (photo Christmas tree) and have them ‘here’ with us,”

Since posting the photo of her tree, Ms Velarde has received hundreds of comments praising her for the idea.