Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

....you smell so lovely! 

Because you are a real live tree! Cut down from a real tree farm!

Ok, enough with the signing, let's get down to business!

1- Choose the type of tree you want.  Mr. Jones (my family has been going to The Jones Farm for over 15 years!) has Florida Sand Pines and Virgina Pines for "hunt and cut" out in the field.  Those two species are nearly identical but the Florida Sand has longer needles and is native, so it's always my personal choice. Mr. Jones also has Frasier Furs and some other "fancier" pre-cut trees too, but I like cutting down my own tree.

2- Pick your victim....err, the tree of your holiday dreams.  A few tips:
  • First off, don't fret about height, my family needs a 10ish foot tall tree, but Mr. Jones is in a "regrowing year" so he had mostly 12-14 footers, or under 8 footers. So, we started looking at the taller trees, but mentally lopping off the bottom 2-3 feet. This is really easy to do, just make sure that none of the limbs are growing "up", in which case a hole could be created.
  • Ensure that your tree is "centered."  Some farms use pre-set machines to groom their trees, and if the "comb" is not centered you will end up with one side of your tree being very heavy with branches. This leads to the dreaded tree crashing at home, and no one likes that. (PS. did you know that most species of pines used for Christmas Trees grow 3 times a year, so they have to be groomed and shaped after each growth)

 Our winner for 2010! This baby was over 12 feet, so Dad started the cutting process about a foot up from the ground.  After about a minute of sawing, success!

 Shaking out some of the dead pine needles.

Mr. Jones then gave our pine-y friend a trip on the shake-rattle-roller to remove even more needles. You can't tell from this still shot, but that thing vibrates like crazy! (For my fellow science nerds, its like a vortex on crack!)

After a 20 minute ride home in the back of the truck (there are some benefits to living in the boonies. Mr. Jones farm would be about 1.5 hour journey if I lived in Gville proper!) Daddy was on light and garland duty, Mum and I add the ornaments and then Mom also adds tinsel to the tree at the end, in spite of my yearly tantrum objection to the fake, plastic silver strands. For a run down of my favorite ornaments, check out my decorating post from Christmas 2009.

Since I rent from my Dad, and live just down the hill from Mom and Dad's house in my abarnment, I opted not to do my own tree this year. But of course I had to bust out a few holiday decorations. 

Enjoy the winter spender:

 Living room window: My bird lives on the sill year round, but she got some snowy, holly greenery with pinecones for company and a little holly wreath on the window.

A reindeer ornament graces the little kitchen window. 

My favorite: I picked up this vase from the discount isle of Target back in September for something like $6 and I make it seasonal specific with different flowers, feathers and thistle.  For a winter scheme: a third piece of the greenery from the living room windowsill and a pretty little sparkly cardinal.

My salt and pepper birdies enjoy foraging for holiday mini-bows under my mini-silver fiber-optics tree (a find at Boarders last year) on the dinning room table.

The mix-match reindeer herd kicked out the pumpkins and gourds that have been hanging out on my sidetable/sewing machine all fall long, and brought some more mini-bows with them! 

I love the pink/black one the most (also from Boarders, circa 2009), but don't tell the big silver guy, ok?

My most cherished item is this beautiful German wall/window hanging that Abigail sent me from from Germany during her winter holiday last year. I love it. I wanted to you really see the detail, so enjoy the couch shot, too!  It normally hangs on my dinning room sliding glass door.

Last but not least, my two favorite March of Dimes holiday animals are chilling in the leaf dish on the coffee table. So cute and a throw back to my dorm days, as Mom used to send me a seasonal care-box with one of these guys every year to spice up the space.

Love to all,
~the little holiday decorator gal, Jess

PS. I added a string of white lights to my living room window and I'm loving it.


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I love your decor! My mom used to always use the tinsel, too...it makes such a mess! Especially if you have animals. I've not had a real tree since the first year I was out of my parents' house, but I used to work at a tree farm and really appreciate the real trees!

Marry Christmas!

The Hollywood Memoirs said... Best Blogger Tips

This is so pretty! I especially love the reindeer!

I'm so relieved you're still blogging. For the last couple of days, when I have click on your link, it has said that your blog had been removed. And I was very sad.

But all is right with the world again!


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