Perfect Tree - How To

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Ever wanted the perfect Christmas tree?

Several years ago I did extensive research into how to decorate a tree to make it picture perfect. Sounds corny I know, but there really is something to it. But before I get to that I'm going to talk about tree selection.

Finding the right tree is actually easy if you know what to look for. To do this you will need to actually cut down the tree yourself. Stay away from any parking lot style, or road side place selling trees.

The key here is to get a tree now, not close to Christmas. There are a few things your going to be looking for. You'll want to pick a tree that is fairly narrow at the bottom. Think I'm crazy, wait till you get home and it take up more room than expected. Think about the height of the tree. Remember that once you get home, put it in the stand and put the ornament on top the tree will be close to a foot taller. You'll also not want a tree that is super bushy. If it's bushy, it's difficult to decorate, and IMO will never look right no matter how hard you try.

Quality. Obviously look for a symetrical tree. But get down low and pull the branches back. Are there tons of dead needles in there? If so you may want to move on. No need to increase the chances of a fire.

BEFORE YOU CUT! Look at the trunk of the tree. I made the mistake once of buying a tree with a large trunk. I wouldn't fit in the stand. Whoops!

** AT YOUR OWN RISK **

Ok, you have the right tree and you have it home and in the stand. ( invest in a good stand that handles tall trees ) Time for decoration. Remember how I mentioned not to get a super bushy tree, it's to get those lights in and create depth to the tree. I start by winding lights up the tree on the inside near the trunk. Then I grab another set and do the same but a little bit further out. I keep doing this till the tree is full of lights, usually about 6 sets of lights. I find alternating light sets between white and colored works well,

** AT YOUR OWN RISK

** I AM NOT A LIGHTING EXPORT

** I AM NOT A FIRE EXPERT

** AGAIN AT YOUR OWN RISK

Ok let move on now that we have those disclaimers for lights out of the way,

Bulbs, Nothing looks tackier than mis matched bulbs. Break the bank and spend 20 or 30 bucks on matching bulbs. Myself I have red and gold. I also have a matching tree skirt. Matching bulbs and tree skirt is important to achieving a perfect tree. It's good if you can get the packs of bulbs will different sizes. Small one on the top branches, large on the bottom.

Ok, were almost done. Yes there is more. Go to Costco and buy wired ribbon. You'll want a sheer ribbon. The lights will shine through and create diamond effects on the ribbon, yes quite nice. Again, matching colors.

Ribbon is tricky till I found this secret. Start at the top and unspool 5-7 feet and give it a couple of twists and start walking around the tree. Continue walking around the tree unspooling ribbon and twisting it. It's going to lay loose with twists and work it's way down to the bottom of the tree. ( hint: don't cut the ribbon when your down, just lay it down behind the tree so you can use it next year no matter what size tree you get. )

Finally put on your christmas top ornimate! Ok sounds simple and it is. Let's refresh.

Not too bushy

Narrow base

Narrow trunk

No dry needles

Add lights of your choice

Matching bulbs, ribbon and tree skirt

Go all the way with matching wrapping paper.

Ok, I know everyone has their own style and way. Just wanted to share mine. I'm not saying I'm the best or my way is the only way, but not a year has gone by without people being wowwed by my tree.

I'd take a pic by my digital cam is broken,

Merry Chistmas Everybody!!!

 
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lol thanks for posting. I would love to see photos of such a beautiful tree. I myself love matching things - I'm the master of matching things! so of course, I heartily approve of your scheme!

 
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mom is the official master of tree decoration, i'm her assistant. setting the tree is my dad's job (though my mom decides where to put it). for the wrapping paper, we use a brown one, i don't know where my parents got it, they already had some when i was a baby. we put a small creche under it, mostly by tradition as we're not into religion.

to decorate the bottom, we add some snow. only a small quantity, it can become quickly a mess.

*NOOO! GUIZMIE GET OUT OF HERE !!! DON'T TOUCH THAT !!!! LEAVE IT ALONE!*
make sure your cat doesn't get in your way. i don't know if it's christmas spirit, but my cat is all excited and loves, adores, a decorated tree. so many shiny things to touch and break


a good tip when you bought a natural tree : make sure you know where you put your broom, because when all the needles fall on the ground...it's a BIG mess lol.

 
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Sorry - no pics digital camera is broken. I think I have a photo from a couple of years ago. I'll try to dig that up.

Oh and one more cool thing. Put the lights on a slow twinkle and the colored lights to slowly shift from color to color. If you turn on the colored light effects as the same time it's kind of cool to watch your tree slowly rotate throught the color.

Has anyone been able to find programmable lights anywhere, cause I can not find any and mine are getting old.

 
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Thanks for the tips! I know about getting too big of a tree!! Once the branches fall after it's been inside - holy crap! LOL!

 
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I learned a neat lighting technique from Martha Stewart (don't remember if it was the show or a book). Wrap the lights around each branch instead of just spiraling around the whole tree. It uses up a lot more lights of course but it looks sooo nice! (It also takes a long time and is kind of a pain to do but worth it in my opinion)

 
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