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A Christmas Essential

Essay by   •  December 7, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,554 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,079 Views

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Notice the rich forest green of the needles then close your eyes and focus on the subtle hint of pine. Gaze at the gleaming lights, feel their warmth on your bare skin and allow you're your eyes to fall out of focus. Watch closely as the reflected light dances across nearby ornaments and surrounding walls. Stand in admiration of the metallic globes, handmade reindeer and candy canes that dangle from each branches edge. Is there a more lovely sight than a well decorated Christmas tree? From choosing lights to hanging ornaments, putting decorations on a Christmas tree is a time-honored tradition for most families. A Christmas tree is a creative collaboration; there is no right or wrong way to decorate. Not sure where to start? Follow these easy steps to choosing and decorating the perfect Christmas tree.

The first step to decorating any Christmas tree is to simply pick one out. There are multiple types of trees available during the holidays. Some popular types are: Fraser Fir, Noble Fir, Douglas Fir, Grand Fir and Balsam Fir. Although it's an entirely personal decision, there are specific characteristics to look for when choosing a Christmas tree. You want to consider the softness of the needles, strength and spacing of the branches, height, and overall fullness of the tree. Soft needles are essential for small children; strong branches allow more decorations to be hung; the spacing of the branches keep ornaments from getting clustered together; and the height of the tree depends on where in your home you plan to display it. Keeping these helpful tips in mind, choosing a tree will become a simple decision.

Although real trees are available, artificial trees are an alternative option. There are so many different types of artificial trees to choose from such as: realistic, slim or full, lit or unlit, multicolored, and flocked or trees that are artificially snow covered. There are also multiple heights ranging from twelve feet to just under two feet. Contrary to traditional pyramid shaped Christmas trees; some are even made upside down. And for those unique individuals artificial, Christmas trees come in black, red, pink and even white. Artificial offer the chance to break tradition and give you yet another option in the variety of trees that are out there.

Once you've chosen your tree it's time to pick out the lights. If you have an artificial tree with pre-hung lights you can skip this step or add extra if you feel your tree is lacking. Most lights come on either green or white stands so the wires are hidden among the matching tree branches. There is a wide variety of lights to choose from; incandescent lights are the most popular. LED lights are a more modern type of lighting. Unfortunately they are more expensive than incandescent lights and not as bright. You might want to consider LED lights as a safer alternative to incandescent lights if you have small children because they do not give off heat and are fire proof. With so many different sizes, shapes, and colors you have a lot of options when choosing lights.

Don't skimp on lights: For every vertical foot of tree, you should use a strand of one hundred lights. So if you have a six foot tree you would need six hundred lights. Also, don't be afraid to mix and match; there is no right or wrong choice when choosing lights.

Choosing garland is the next step in decorating a Christmas tree. Garland comes in strands similar to lights and there is a wide variety of garlands to choose from such as: beaded, tinsel, and novelty shapes. Garland length ranges from three to nine feet. You need about one or two strands of garland for every vertical foot. Beaded garland comes in all different styles and colors ranging from wooden to purple or red. Tinsel is a traditional choice because its metallic color reflects light well. Novelty shapes are very popular with children because of their wide variety of shapes like candy canes or snowflakes. Garland can add an extra element to any tree but it is not a requirement. Remember to consider the height of your tree when buying garland.

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