Nothing gets me jump-started in the Christmas mood like setting up our tree. Although I must warn you – our Christmas tree is sooo easy that you will want to go out and buy one just like it immediately. It takes a TOTAL of 5 minutes to set up. I know…you are colored wintergreen with jealousy right now. I would be too if I were you.
So here was our den prior to tree setup…
Now everyone start your stopwatches….AND GO:
See, less than 5 minutes. The best part is…wrapped it with lights three years ago and haven’t had a problem yet. I thought we had a strand go out this year so I got out a spare and started wrapping…only to discover that it wasn’t plugged in all the way. So our light count went from 3200 to 3600. That is how we do lighting here in the dirty south – BURN-YOUR-RETINAS-BIG.
And for all you people that are wondering, each branch that hangs down is individually wrapped…and then I plug it into a couple power strips that are attached to the main stem. That way – we just reach into the center of the tree and push the button on the strips to turn on all the lights at once.
After we had it set up and fully lit…I decided that I wanted to do a classic white, silver and gold color scheme again. Last year I did this and loved it. Plus, it would look simple but elegant for any potential house-buyers that toured the place (plus, it isn’t visually distracting from the room features like the fireplace. Hey it’s hard to be a distraction when you can partially blind people!).
The first thing I did was the ribbon. I like our tree but sometimes it looks a little tall and skinny to me…so I add horizontal ribbons to make it a little heftier. This year, I did LOADS of horizontal ribbon….alternating between silver sparkly and semi-see-through golden with glitter.
Then I just covered the entire thing with our silver, champagne and golden ornaments. I love how super sparkly the entire thing is….it is like a visit from Tinkerbell.
We did our disco ball tree topper again. This might be the last time we can use this thing since we hook it into the ceiling to hang it and the new house has taller ceilings so it wouldn’t work. We just loop a piece of ribbon into the giant ornament’s hanger and then create a big ole poofy bow (here’s a how-to video on bow-making) to the cuphook in the ceiling.
Some of you asked about taking photos of your tree and how I do it. Well, I turn on all the lights in the room and on the tree and take them during the day. Then I make sure my white balance is set to tungsten. My f-stop is usually around 3.2 if I am doing a full-shot so that I can get all the details in. Then I just adjust the ISO and shutter speed accordingly. If you have issues with not getting enough light…this is when it is a good idea to whip out the tripod.
I love the different sparkly ornaments – the smaller disco balls, the glittered ornaments, the plain silver and the mini mercury glass ornaments. I am obsessed with mercury glass this holiday…if only we weren’t thinking of moving….I would be up to my eyeballs in mercuryballs.
Of course, we have some ornaments that are super sentimental…like this old bride & groom one we got as a wedding present. A guest used it to jazz up the outside of the wedding gift…isn’t that a cute idea? And last year we got a letter B that we painted white and hung up to represent BOWER & BABY & BOY & BAHAMAS (some of the big events of 2009).
Of course, we have a special ornament for this year that we’ll be sharing later. Plus a few homemade ones that we crafted up in our spare time 🙂
Do you guys celebrate each year with a special ornament? Perhaps each kid gets to pick out their own? Or maybe you buy one for someone special each holiday season? Oh and because I wanna see each and everyone of your Christmas trees – I thought I would take my girl Sarah’s lead over at ThriftyDecorChick and create a little linky party. This way we can get in the ornamental-mood together 🙂