It’s Beginning to UnLook Like Christmas…



So…. While taking down the Christmas Tree, I decided to blog about how we put the tree together. I know that some day, I’m going to get to the point where I will feel like it’s too much work to do the tree the way I love to do it. Soo…. Before I get too old and senile, I better write this down NOW… before my memory is gone! (and it seems to be leaving a little bit, every day haha)

The first thing we do is, get the tree out of the shed that’s in the backyard, just to store our Christmas Treasures. I found this particular tree about 10 years ago at my favorite store, Zinnias, here in Scotts Valley. It wasn’t for sale. It was used for displaying ornaments that were for sale. However…. I fell sooo in love with it (particularly because it has CLUMPS of snow, and not just sprayed with flocking.)

I asked the owner, several days after Christmas, if she would consider selling it. She actually seemed kind of relieved that she didn’t have to store it, so she said yes. She was happy and I just bought me a beautiful $1200 tree for $400! I was also very, very, happy! HUBBY??? Not so much. He swore we would NEVER own a fake snow flocked tree… SOOOO…. I just bought it when he was out of town, and then asked for forgiveness. The next year when we put it up, he forgave me, as HE loves it too!

It IS very messy (hence all the work to put it up and take it down) but it is ohhh…. So worth it! The clumps of snow in the branches makes it look so real!

Hubby has always been in charge of putting on the lights. Through the years, every time he’s done, I would stand back and say MORE! It always needs more lights! Even thought this tree came pre-lit, he adds TONS of more lights. Makes a huge difference!

He puts the lights on inside out… putting large sized twinkle lights down the middle of the tree. He then wraps the tiny little white lights around each branch. It takes him a long time, but again…. It’s oh so worth it! Some years like this year, he’ll wrap a garland of lights spiraling down the tree. I love this, as it gives a nice focal spot for the eye to go to. The little hint of twinkle adds movement, but not too much. I’m not a fan of flashing lights at all. We use the individual twinkling lights. Only the best for our tree!
4- garland lights

One of the tricks that he’s learned through the years is, he hides a Power Strip in the middle of the tree. I try to hang a certain ornament (this year it was a large clear, glass ball) next to where the strip is. It’s fairly easy to find if you look for the red button, but doesn’t show when you stand away from the tree. This works well, as there’s only one button to push to turn on all the lights.
6 switch

Once the lights are done, it’s my turn. Now it’s time to fluff. I fluff all the branches to make sure it looks all full and pretty before I start with the ornaments. (Did I say how MESSY this part is? Do NOT… I repeat… do NOT wear a sweater while fluffing a snow flocked tree. Trust me on this!!!)

One thing I’ve learned is, it’s better to decorate the tree during the daytime so you can make sure it’s pretty even when it’s not dark out. I usually start with my beaded and sparkly garlands. If you put the garland and beads on after the ornaments, sometimes the ornaments get in the way and the garlands and beads will be in front, and I like to have them behind the ornaments for the most part.

When adding beaded strands, I prefer to braid them into a chain loop braid (like what you’d do with your long extension cords to keep them from getting tangled). It makes them short, but thick and sparkly. Adds another focal point so the tree doesn’t look like it was just scattered with stuff. This also makes a huge difference! If you like the look of swagged beads, double the strands to make them thicker. This will also give you more sparkle.

Once the garlands and beads have been added, I then start with my largest ornaments. Every year I have a color scheme. This was the first year that I just went with white/clear. I LOVE the look! (hubby wants to do it again next year… but I like to change it up from year to year) Last year was red and pink, the year before was blues and greens and the year before that was purple and red. Whatever your color scheme is, use only 2 or 3 colors. It’s fun to change it every year and I do take pictures for my Christmas Traditions Scrapbook. Even when I’m using colors, I always add my huge clear glass balls as filler because the reflection of the lights adds so much sparkle. They are usually put towards the inside of the tree, and down towards the wider part of the tree since they’re so big. Large ornaments on the narrower part or top of tree just doesn’t look in proportion to the tree. (these little things really do make a difference!)

I then just start adding whatever ornaments I have chosen to use. I love shiny and sparkly balls, but I also LOVE drippage! I collect ornaments that are hanging beads, that I put on the outside of the tree so it looks like it’s dripping. The nice thing about using a fake tree is you can move branches out of the way so you get free dangling movement. Makes a big difference!

I also put my most special, prettiest ornaments on the very edge of the tree, so when you’re looking at it, they gets noticed more.

Another little trick is to cluster same kind of ornaments into groups of 3. What this does is it gives another focal point and makes the smaller ornaments look bigger and gives a bigger impact.
2 cluster balls

Years ago, my tree’s looked so boring, but I didn’t understand why. Now, looking at those photos, I realize that there was no interest in the tree. The whole tree basically looked the same because I spread everything out so every angle looked the same. Now I can see that there’s interesting areas to look at on my later trees. Makes a huge difference!

The last thing I want to point out is that hubby added lights under the tree with minimal twinkling lights and it totally lit up the area under the tree. I LOVE this! He also clustered some small trees next to the tree and it made the tree look bigger. The tree also was raised on an old coffee table. We have a super high ceiling, so this works for us.

I already have a color scheme for next year. I found some GORGEOUS Teal sparkly balls at Zinnias after Christmas Sale, so that will be the color for next year. I possibly may add Lime Green. I think that will be a pretty combination. Until next year….