December 15, 2009

The Tree (Day 2)

This might  be the longest it has ever taken us to get our tree up and decorated!  It is typically a 2-day event... the first day we hunt for it, bring it inside and get the lights on it.  The Husband is a stickler about lights - gotta be perfect!  And he's good at them too.  But, it does take him several hours (like, six) to get it done to his satisfaction.  As this takes up most of the night, Day 2 is when we finally get to decorate it.

Well, this year, Day 2 was lights day.  We brought it in the house yesterday (as you can see a few posts down), and tonight, The Husband strung it up with lights.  It still sits, in the middle of our living room, unadorned of ornaments.  Tomorrow we shall put them on, the son and I, saving specific ones for when the girl-child returns this weekend.

However, progress MUST be documented and thus, here is our tree, after lights and garland have been draped upon it:

The Hubs always strings plain white lights inside the tree, close to the trunk, so that it is brightly lit within.  This really highlights the ornaments that we place deeper into the branches.  Then, six more strings of colored lights, some slowly blinking, some steady, are wrapped around.  Lastly, the garland gets spiraled around.

The photo doesn't do it justice.  And so, I do have to ask all of you photographers out there, what is the best way to take a photo of a Christmas tree to capture the lights without it being too dark and too fuzzy?  I have a P&S camera, so don't get all techie on me with lenses and metering.  Well, you can mention metering, but please, explain it in simple, one-syllable words, if at all possible. 

And later, I simply must share with you my Christmas Tree Quirks!  Trust me, I'm a little weird about my tree's ability to "breathe".

And now, some shout-outs:

Photographing Mom asked what kind of tree this is.  It is a White Pine.  Growing up in western NY state, my father would select only Austrian Pine trees as Christmas trees.  The Austrian Pine is an awesome tree.  It does NOT drop it's needles, no matter how dry it gets!  The downside is that it has needle-sharp, stiff needles, causing many a piercing wound when I was decorating it as a child.  Since moving to the midwest, no one out here seems to have heard of an Austrian Pine, but since I grew up with them, I'm extremely partial to long-needled trees.  The White Pine has the longest needles of the trees they sell in our area, but they are soft and bendy.  Not stiff at all and never will it poke into you.  The tree almost looks fuzzy, like a fuzzy, stuffed bear.  While I love the look of the White Pine, I miss the Austrian's sturdy branches and needles.  You could hang an ornament off a single needle and it would stay for the entire holiday.  And I really miss the no dropping of needles.  But, well... you have to work with what you get here, and White Pine it is for me!

And Cheri - thanks for not running screaming from my blog because of my mutant tree's "excess" branches (LOL).  The spider plant has a temporary new home for now, but it's not as safe in its new location from kitty teeth.  So I have to watch it a little closer. 

Unrelated to my tree saga, a shout out to Maria who keeps me inspired to keep working on Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas.  I just received in the mail better reds and a black alcohol ink so I can make my plaid paper more traditionally Christmas-y.  I might have to redo my Santa tag!

Happy Tuesday!


  1. It's BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Thanks for answering my question. :o)

  2. I hope you get the answer to the tree photographing question. I'm also using a point & shoot. I know to turn OFF the flash, but beyond that???? I'm having a really hard time getting good photos of individual ornaments.

  3. lights trick is to wrap each branch completely...and then I put big gold ball-style Christmas ornaments at the trunk on every branch. They reflect all the light...the custom and quirky ornaments go on the garland, tinsel or ribbon...just more ornaments than I usually have branches to hang them on...I've been collecting since I was a child and have now started a collection for my son.


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