Friday, December 11, 2009

Decking the Halls, Part 2: The White Tree

Though the week after Thanksgiving kept both Beth and me pretty busy with the gifts we were making (one of which I'd sworn to finish early enough to avoid having to pay expedited processing and express shipping fees on...), we did get back into the holiday decorating mood come the weekend.

For our second Christmas tree, we pulled out one which we hadn't gotten a chance to use since either 2003 or 2004: the white tree. I'd picked this one up several years ago at Wal-Mart on Boxing Day (when I used to brave the crowds to snatch up deeply-discounted wrapping paper, light sets, and other leftover holiday goodies), and it's been a family favorite ever since. Even our kitties loved the tree; I have photos somewhere of Moon and Neptune both perched within its branches at my townhouse in Blacksburg.

Problem is, it's massive. Though "only" a 6.5' tall tree, it's really rather wide at the base, and in our pre-decluttered days at Chateau Papillon, we simply didn't have the space to put it up. We started to put this one in our library, where the colors would work well with the teal walls and natural-tone bookshelves, but after playing the game of matching branch tip colors to the sockets on the pole, it was pretty clear the tree just wouldn't fit in the Libris Lepidoptera. Even moving it up into one of the corners and thus blocking access to several shelves of books didn't do much good; the tree simply dominated the space, with its size seeming to halve the room.

We debated several alternate locations for the tree before settling on the dining room, where we'd placed an even older (and much more slender) tree last year in one corner. After rearranging the dining room table and cleaning up several boxes of junk that had been piled next to the china cupboard for an entire year, we had the space we needed.

A few years ago, I had picked up several sets of blue LED lights after Christmas, intended for this tree but used for the first time this year. Like the Hokie Tree, several sets of colored C7s and C9s gave way to energy-efficient LEDs, and personally, I like the intense blue and white colors better than the blue incandescents we'd used previously (though that leaves us with an entire box of blue lights in need of new homes... Goodwill or Freecycle, anyone?).

Next up: a tree for the library; I found a nice, skinny black tree on Wal-Mart's Web site which we're trying to track down in stores.

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