Blogging is a job just like any other that takes time and attention to get completed, unless you are a narcissistic, compulsive sharer and have nothing better to do. Whew, must be the former, because I’ve been procrastinating this post like its my job!
After scrapping plans for an epic, well delineated series of posts about my research of “How to get a Christmas Tree in Georgia,” sprinkled with all of the trees we’ve had, I’ve decided the only way this is going to be written is if I throw up the pictures and make inappropriate captions (I try to be funny, ya’ll, but things sound different in my head!).
So, without further ado, here is our Christmas Tree history spanning 8 years (where I shamelessly show off John’s modeling skills), including semi DIY “tree-less” trees and reviews of a couple Christmas Tree farms in Georgia:
More professional modeling and greenery after the jump!
Our first live tree! I believe it was a Douglas Fir, 6-8ft tall. We hopped into our car and drove until we hit the nearest parking lot selling trees! Such Strategists.
When we moved back to Atlanta from Austin in 2008, we crammed ourselves into a tiny condo to recover from selling our TX house (which occurred weeks after the economic nose dive) and I tried my hand at an alternative Christmas Tree made of twinkle lights.
I happened to find a ceiling hook already in a good spot, so I took my cue from there! Since it was near the wall/window, I opted for a half circle base of cardboard, which ultimately created a half o’tree–the exact right size for our small space!
I used some pieces of craft wire and attached them through notches to secure the lights to the base at regular intervals around the arc, and dropped a heavy non fiction book on the base to hold it down (the top point all comes together through a carabiner).
Finally, I finished it off by hiding the base under red fabric and more lights, hanging the ornaments and snow flakes on the lights, and of course “angel bear” was back at the top. =)
PROTIP: Be creative! Use what you have to make a meaningful experience that is the right fit for where you are! Everything used to create Xmas 2008 (and Xmas 2009) was already in my home!
The next year, we were still in the same tight space, so I went with the string lights tree, again, except v2 was a circle base mounted on a square end table. I found another hook on the ceiling and it seemed like a good enough spot.
The v2 base was made from a square piece of foam core board. I used a power drill with the tiniest bit to drill holes around the circumference, craft wire for securing lights, and tape and fishing line wrapped around the table and board to secure the base to the table.
I circled a paper chain made by Roenne to hide the base (not pictured, but it disguised it pretty well!), and a carabiner for the top point, once again.
In 2010 we were really excited to take Roenne to a “real” Christmas tree farm. Unfortunately, you don’t get to cut your own tree down at Scottsdale Farms, though it was still a really nice experience with free face painting and there was a great cafe & gift shop in a newly recreated Connecticut style barn.
We had a delicious lunch and the “happy stress” of chasing a 3 year old around a gift shop with hand crafted, aka highly breakable goods.
PRO TIP: If you have kids that are newly mobile or just plain small menaces to society, place you tree on a low table or bench! Babies, much like adults, are attracted to sparkly, bright things, so do them (and yourselves) a favor and put the glitter out of reach!
Unsurprisingly, we were trained the hard way by our very persistent first born (at age one). The upside of this (see what I did there?!) is that you can get a small (cheaper) tree and still have a lot of height!
2012 was a crazy year with medical emergencies and a water leak/damage/mold discovered in our home-all between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we were thrilled and so grateful to return home (after being away due to clean up/restoration) to our porch decked out in Christmas cheer by John’s business partners at the time (8BIT). We brought in the fake tree and added our decorations just in time to enjoy Christmas.
And that brings us to 2013–Since Thanksgiving was “late” and because we had an extended Thanksgiving stay in Augusta, GA (my home town, and where my parents and brother live), I instantly got behind with Christmas.
The plan was to use the Tree Elves, but we did not put our order in on time before they sold out of the smaller, more budget friendly trees. =( John and I also made a massive effort to tackle some home projects while the kids were sleeping over at a relative’s house…which further delayed decorating.
This ultimately led to String Lights Tree v3: clean and minimalistic! A few days ago, John, my very own tree elf (and model) and I, created the newest version of our eco chic tree, and I hope you love it as much as we do!
As I have historically done, I searched for an existing hook and went from there. The best part was that I found one where we have put our tree the past 2 years! It was on a wall, instead of the ceiling, so we went with another “half tree.” Our white lights all burned out last year, so we tossed them and brought our outdoor decorating lights in.
I love the retro, large, multi color bulbs that we inherited from from John’s parents against all the white!
To create the base, all we did was place 3m Command hooks at intervals in an arch, which went directly onto our oak floors, and I used a carabiner for the top point–we stretched the lights across the hooks and continued to loop through the carabiner and we were set! The carabiner is connected to a picture rail hook by several threads of fishing wire.
Whew. Histories…are time consuming! My conclusion, after 8 years of trying out different trees, is that I like a live tree, but since the traditional Douglas/Frasier firs don’t grow natively in Georgia, I might as well pick one up on the corner lot instead of driving out to a farm for the “experience” (incidentally, I’ve given up on the pumpkin patch experience, as well). The plan for next year is to get our order for a small tree with the Tree Elves.
How ’bout ya’ll–are you live tree or fake tree people?
Jin got her first tree last year (gasp!). She scored so good at a post Christmas sale at Home Depot–a Martha Stewart tree, to boot! So, this is her first year putting one up…or trying to. haha.
Alright, thats enough from me. Heres to the all posts the elves will write for me…Merry Christmas, Er’one!