Monday, December 16, 2013

Bend the branches outward for a more natural look - or how much Christmas joy can $10 buy these days?

Coming from Germany, I am used to real Christmas trees. You know the ones that always have one side best turned towards the wall, with sap running in all the wrong places and needles, that despite your best efforts, keep falling way too soon and make moving the tree from the living room on Epiphany a treacherous journey, sure to remove the last remnants of Christmas spirit, because mom sees hours of cleaning to get rid of all the needles, while dad is reassuring mom that he really makes the best effort to avoid banging the tree into obstacles and does try to limit the needles falling all over the house.

While I still enjoy the smell of a real pine tree or Douglas fir, I have plenty of mature trees in the backyard and so now I too settle for the convenient three piece self-assembly Christmas tree, prelit and all. This year, I decided to spruce up the loft space with a smaller Christmas tree to add extra color to the house. I saw a special sale of a 3ft white tree for $10 and figured to give it a try. If it turned out to be really bad. the tree could always be used as a gag gift at a holiday party. I figured it would be more useful than the girdle that made the rounds for years at a gag gift swap in Iowa. 

So today was the big day. A longish box, one end half-open awaited me at the door. In the box, I saw white feathery structures of metal and plastic (?). I opened the box and pulled out the structure - see image number 1; the tree right out of the box and I did not include the picture of the box because the shape of the tree gives you a pretty good impression of the size of the box.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - the "tree" (?) structure right out of the box, stand already assembled
I put the stand together and looked the structure. Long and narrow, not quite the tree shape I recollect from pines in Germany. But instructions were included for the clueless - so there is hope yet!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - now we are getting somewhere on our journey for a realistic Christmas tree
Okay, so I am kidding, I could have figured it out by myself that I am supposed to shape the tree into a more realistic tree-like structure. But I love the fact that the card is included and the explanation includes the words "natural look" because my sparkling white tree with sparking white stand that forms a perfect triangle will not look very natural to me, no matter how much bending outward of branches I do.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - here is properly bend, natural looking Christmas tree
So after much bending and turning of the tree to make sure that I had minimized the bad site to the amount absolutely unavoidable, I put the tree in the loft space and used some red lights for extra Christmas decor. Below is the final result and you know what, for $10 - this tree is not bad, especially when viewed in the correct light. This means, turn off the regular lights, wait until it is dark outside and let the Christmas lighting take care of the rest.
copyright Durhamonthecheap- with the right "mood" lighting, no one can tell that this tree was just $10!

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