O Christmas Tree

By , December 15, 2010

We had to delay putting up and decorating a Christmas tree this year, but I think it has been worth it. After a few transitional years, I think we finally found the Christmas tree for the homestead.

Last year I wrote about the ongoing debate between artificial and live Christmas trees, and outlined the various Christmas tree strategies we’ve employed to bring this essential seasonal decoration into our tiny home each year. My ideal has been a decently real-looking artificial tree somewhat under 6.5 feet (okay, ideally? Exactly 6.5 feet—as tall as our cabin allows!) with pre-strung, LED lights.

Michelle and I have been happily married for more than 28 years now. I attribute much of this success to two “discoveries”: learning how we best string Christmas tree lights, and pre-lit Christmas trees.

The homestead's Christmas Tree 2010

Our new, 3-foot Christmas Tree (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

We learned to set up the tree and string the lights the first day, then walk away from it completely, waiting to hang ornaments until the next day. That “cooling off period” made the whole process much more festive. Pre-lit trees were even better.

Several of the past Christmases, like this one, coincided with a trip to Juneau. While we try to buy locally, Christmas tree shopping, for our specific needs and budget, is (should be) far easier in the bigger town. Each year we went, we returned empty handed, until this year.

The end of the successful tree hunt actually began at one of Haines’s grocery stores, where we found LED Christmas lights. We’ve had LED sets in the pasts, but the bulb shape and size has been strange to us, and the colors just a bit different. The new sets are precisely the shape and size of “fairy” or “twinkle” lights, and their colors match what we think of as traditional. We bought a couple of sets for our windows.

In Juneau, we found a couple of small trees. We started with a 2-foot tree that came with its own battery-powered LED lights. Eventually, we traded that for a 3-foot, undecorated tree. Stringing the lights was easy—Aly set the string while I lifted and spun the tree.

It’s only slightly smaller than last year’s Christmas branch, but far more stable, and, being 3-dimensional, allows for more ornaments. I’d love a bigger tree, but this one fits our cabin better. Of course, the first Christmas present to arrive was almost as tall as the tree!

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