Friday, December 4, 2009

The Best Christmas Tree EVER!

My mother has always had a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, sometimes 2 full size trees. This picture just doesn't do it justice. The flash takes away the magic of it. Here are two photos of her trees from long ago. She has since perfected the art of dressing a tree and her lip color.

Mom and I may be the only two women who consider where to put the Christmas tree when purchasing a new home. We take our trees quite seriously. So when I got married, I tried each year to achieve the same greatness as hers. It took me 10 years. Last year was the first year that I thought, "This is it! I've finally done it!". I think I cried.
I wish I had a photo with the angel facing forward but my tree is in a rotating stand and it's a difficult shot to get. That's my cutie nephew Jack popping up into the picture. He was playing with the train underneath the tree.

Now I like a tree with lots of color, sparkle and memories. If you prefer a simply dressed tree I can't help you but if you want to wow your holiday guests we can do it together!

1. Choose a tree with LOTS of pre-strung lights, if you're buying a new artificial tree choose the one with the most lights that stay lit even when one goes out or becomes loose. We use a rotating tree stand from This really makes everything sparkle and is unexpectedly useful keeping babies and animals from grabbing ornaments as they pass by to quick to grab. My dad made us a wooden stand as well because the tree limbs fell so low that no one could see the presents underneath. It also adds another foot or so to the height of the tree and is covered with a tree skirt.

2. Take the time to "fluff" the limbs. This is a very tedious and annoying task but must be done. Fluff by pulling the limbs up and apart with some branches going slightly down. I've heard that the next "new thing" in artificial trees are they don't require any fluffing. Nice.

3. Garland. This is also an annoying and tedious task but so worth your time. Most people don't bother with this which is why it'll look that much more polished when you do. Mom made this easier by using paper clips. First use the paper clip to join all the lengths of garland end to end. Next use the paper clip as a hook to join the garland to the end of the tree branches slowly going around the tree trying to make the loops pretty even and level with each other. When you're done it will not look great but have no fear. Your ornaments are going to cover any flaws. My 7 1/2 foot tree took 12 strands of garland.

4. Glass Balls are next. These need to be tucked deep into the branches spreading color evenly. You want to use the premium hanging spots on the tree limbs for your special ornaments. You will be tired of doing this but you're almost to the fun part! If you can stand it, do steps 1-4 without the kids. I later learned that Mom would rearrange just about all the ornaments that we hung after we went to bed.

5. All your unique and special ornaments are next. The kids can help with this and it will still look good. I don't think I've ever seen a tree with too many ornaments.

6. Tuck in some "picks". This will add that special decorator's touch to your tree. These don't require any hooks, they just lay or stick out of the branches. These are usually found in bins at the craft stores and are super cheap. Buy lots and buy those with lots of sparkle!

If you feel your tree just hasn't reached that greatness, I am guessing you need to buy more ornaments, picks, balls, and garland. After Christmas of course! No need to spend a lot of money for a gorgeous tree.

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