Let’s talk trees. Christmas trees, that is. In many ways, your Christmas tree sets the tone for your holiday decorations so it is important to identify your preferred Christmas tree style.
There are Christmas tree styles? Yes, Glam Pack, there are. Now, get out your tablet and pull up Pinterest. It is time to study the vast multitude of tree styles. I never said being glamorous was going to be easy. But the payoff is worth it.
Are you like me? I go to the tree lot and feel like I should know what I’m doing but really have no clue what the signs for the varieties mean other than some types seem to be more expensive than other types. Well, apparently you and I are not alone. A quick search online for Christmas Trees turns up a lot of articles written to help readers make wise choices.
Here are a few things I learned about “real” trees:
- There are about 35 different types of evergreens grown in The States for use as Christmas trees. Your region plays a big part in determining which trees you will find at your local tree lot but the most popular trees are balsam fir, Douglas fir, noble fir, Scotch pine, Virginia pine, and eastern white pine. This article from Better Homes and Gardens has nice pictures and descriptions of the different types of trees.
- Different varieties serve decorating styles better than others. If you like big, bold ornaments, then a Noble Fir is the type of tree you want to get. Do you like to keep your tree up for a long time and cover it with lots of decorations? Then a Scotch Pine, the most popular tree variety, is ideal for you. This article from PickYourOwnChristmasTree.org gives details on the varieties of trees and their best uses. (It also provides information on where to buy trees straight from farmers)
- You have to plan ahead if you want to get a live tree. Every year, The Mister and I talk about the possibility of buying a tree that we can plant in the yard. Sometimes we do (and for several years, we used a potted tree) but the trees never seem to thrive in the outdoors. You see, we were doing it all wrong. According to the same Better Homes and Gardens article linked above, we needed to prep the hole in the fall and we needed to give the tree time to adjust to warmer air before taking it into the house and then cooler air when we were getting ready to plant it. But, the greatest mistake we made was keeping it inside for too long. We should have only kept it inside for 7-10 days.
But real trees aren’t the only game in town. Artificial trees have their appeal, too! In fact, The Mister and I spent one Christmas (and our anniversary two days later) at a swanky hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, and took a small artificial tree with us to put in the room. I’m not sure what the bell hops thought when we arrived in The Mister’s pickup truck, covered with mud and road salt residue (it was snowing when we left New Jersey), and we pulled that tree out of the back and plunked it onto the cart with the rest of our luggage! But isn’t that part of the fun of it all? Doing the unexpected?
When it comes to artificial trees, the sky is the limit. There are trees that look lifelike and there are trees that don’t even attempt to look lifelike at all. Perhaps this is the year that I’m finally able to talk The Mister into buying an aluminum tree and rotating color wheel.
Finally, and this is where Pinterest comes in handy for ideas, consider the overall style of your tree and holiday decor. Does vintage Shiny Bright ornaments appeal to you or are you more of an old-fashioned popcorn and garland type? Will you have a big tree in your foyer with classic decorations and a smaller tree in your family room with decorations made by your children? Will your ornaments all be one color? How about your lights, if you have them? Will they twinkle? Flash on and off? Be white or colored? Will your tree be flocked? If so, what color (I saw a pink one at the home improvement store the other day)? Decorating a tree is an opportunity for you to let your creativity and personality show through.
When we were first married, I always wanted to emulate the elegant trees I’d see in the nicer department stores. But our budget was tight so we’d use ornaments that I either made or bought from the five and dime store (shows you how long ago it was!). Over the years, friends and family would give us ornaments that they’d made or bought with us in mind.
My Christmas tree style is very simple and homey. It isn’t elegant. But I don’t need it to be anymore. I prefer the tree filled with symbols of my life with The Mister.
What is your Christmas tree style?