I don’t think that I have ever had my tree up this early! I used to like to wait until the week before Christmas and leave it up until Old Christmas Day but retirement has allowed me to do things at my leisure and without too many interruptions. I haven’t moved down most of my tree decorations yet so I decided that this year I would go with a whole new theme: salvaged and Frenchy’s decorations except for a little package of clip on birds I found at the flower shop in Liverpool. Thought I’d share the trimming as I doubt you will make it down this far to drop in and see for yourself.
Once I started decorating with popcorn and cranberry garland many years ago I have not been able to go back. Last year I didn’t have time for the stringing and used a ribbon garland and it just wasn’t the same. I love how crisp and clean it looks and the stringing is a real zen activity; it is right up there with berry picking and rowing for me. Are there tinges of autism that make me love counting to five over and over til I run out of cranberries? I had already started in yesterday when my sister Mary texted to say that you can save your garland from year to year if you leave off the berries. She used the same string for ten years, storing it coiled in a cardboard box, and then passed it on to her daughter who is still using it. She credits Orville Redenbacher and waxed dental floss for its longevity. I wished I hadn’t already started and my cranberries were a tad mushy but I soldiered on anyway. Maybe next year I will make one that I can save. For a trailer sized tree. How satisfying to see the strands pile up in the bowl.
Next were the lights. I put on even more than I did on a larger tree last year and there still didn’t seem to be enough. How many is enough? I could have sworn that Better Housekeeping (or was it Good Housekeeping or Gooder Homes and Gardens?) advised me that I needed 50 lights for every foot of tree. I complied but am not satisfied. I just rechecked to make sure and was surprised to find that for a fresh tree they recommend three one hundred light strings for every foot of tree. That’s a lot of lights and a lot of pocket change. So after calculating, given the amount of lights I used I should have purchased a one and two-thirds foot high tree. Trailer sized – it’s a sign!!
Both the lights and the garland installed with ease using my Christmas tree lazy susan which I built last year. You just spin the tree and play out the ropes. Then spin the tree some more to find the best face and make your small adjustments as necessary. Lance suggested battery power so that it could still spin when it is plugged in (he didn’t go so far as to suggest a remote control with variable speeds, maybe next year) but I declined. I can just see Sammie stepping on the control and then jumping on the stand with Baxter to run on their ad hoc, heavily decorated treadmill.
The candles came thanks to Nancy Grandy, who put them in the “free” box at work after purging her closets. The topper is a vintage ceramic and flocked cardboard caroler from Frenchy’s. Really, I am tempted to stop here. It looks so pretty as it is. But there are a couple of dozen of broken, battered and abandoned wooden characters who are just dying to come out of the box again. Hmm. We’ll see, maybe they can be used elsewhere. T’would be a pity to disappoint them. I’ll keep you posted.
(c) Judy Parsons 2013
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