Archive for Christmas decorating

Decorating The Christmas Tree – From Start to Finish!

I am a self proclaimed Christmas tree fanatic! I look forward to decorating mine each and every year. Each ornament has special meaning to me, and it’s like greeting old friends when I pull them out of storage. It seems everyone has a different method, but here’s my process for the Christmas tree, from storage to fully decorated.

I have the type of tree where all the branches fold up for storage, so it takes up very little floor space in the storage room. I leave it in the stand, and covered in a plastic drop cloth to keep it dust free.

The next step is unwrapping it from the drop cloth, and opening the branches. This is really the most important step, “fluffing”, “zhuzhing”, and lighting- no shortcuts here!

Take the time to fluff out each little branch. I like to get them pointed in all different directions. It fills out the tree and gives it a natural appearance.
Next up are the lights! I prefer to use strings of lights, instead of a pre-lit tree. A tip for how many lights to use is 100 lights for every foot of tree, for an amazing glowing tree. In my case that is 800 lights. For a beautiful effect, wind them in and out the length of each branch. Follow safety tips, and don’t plug more than 4 strings of lights together. Now we’re ready for the ornaments, although I love the look even with just the lights! To make turning the lights on easy, we use a power cord with a toggle switch. An even easier method is a remote controlled plug.
When it comes to ornaments, I have to confess, I’m a more is more kind of girl. I love them all! To me, they represent many different generations and are symbolic of every aspect of the holiday. I could look at friends’ trees all day long and listen to stories behind the ornaments. It’s a wonderful time of the year for reflecting on the past, and remembering those who aren’t with us anymore. It brings them close again.

With that, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy new year!

Merry Christmas to one and all-


Countdown to Christmas

It seems that this Christmas season I have been playing a little too much catch up with the leaf raking. I feel like taking a moment to relax and sharing a few photos of Christmas this year at our home. Much like years past, I used lots of fruit in the Williamsburg style. There are candles and wreaths in each window, and garlands with cranberry chains around the door, stair railings and candle post. It is simple, but fitting to the history of the colonial style of architecture in this area of the east coast. And of course, I love it!

I hope each and everyone of my cherished readers has a warm and happy Christmas, and a healthy new year!  I’m looking forward to next year’s gardening, and planning for some interesting new plants to try. May you enjoy each and every new day in 2016!

The front door at night, with a Williamsburg style this year.

The front door at night, with a Williamsburg style this year. Lots of fruit and cranberry chains.

The living room tree all aglow!

The living room tree all aglow!

Here it is in a daytime shot so you can see the ornaments a little better. And this year my tree is celebrating it's 21st birthday!

Here is the tree in a daytime shot so you can see the ornaments a little better. And this year my tree is celebrating its 21st birthday!

The entry foyer with amaryllis flowers and my favorite Santa and angel chimes.

The entry foyer with amaryllis flowers,  my favorite Santa and angel chimes.

And to me the crowning touch is always Christmas bows!

And — to me — the crowning touch is always Christmas bows!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!


How to Keep Your Real Christmas Tree Fresh Longer

I guess everyone knows that the tree hugger in me thinks of cutting down a tree for Christmas like the way vegetarians think of eating meat, but I admit there is nothing like the scent of a real Christmas tree in the house. Although I am a convert to artificial trees, I want to help all my friends who celebrate with a real tree have the freshest, most fragrant tree possible. I have had this recipe for many years, and if you use it, your tree will draw in eight times more water than it originally held! Really! This will make your tree safe and fragrant for weeks. So, without further ado — here it is:



One beautiful Christmas tree
2 gallons of hot water
2 cups karo syrup
1/4 cup clorox
2 tablespoons of epsom salts
1 teaspoon of borax

Cut 1 to 2 inches from the bottom of the tree. Soak the tree in the mixture for a couple of days, then cut off another inch before you put it in its stand. Save the mixture to add to the reservoir in the stand.
I highly recommend this and used it for years. You will be able to enjoy the tree for much longer, and it even helps to keep the deep green color. This is also great for the wreaths, garlands, and pieces of evergreen used in decorating, too. Just soak them in the mixture before using them. Enjoy!

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