Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas in the Caribbean - Theming the Tree

I think it's important that the Christmas tree blend in with its surroundings. A traditionally decorated room should have a traditional tree with colors reflecting those that already exist in the space. However, with fun spaces, such as entertainment rooms, family rooms, play rooms, bedrooms, etc., trees can be creative and fun.

The basement tree is all my own. I picked out the 7.5' tree from Target, as well as the ornaments, and I have decorated it all by myself.

Our basement has a beach house feel to it. It's very light and airy, which is rare for a basement. White cabinetry and light-colored furniture with blue accents helped achieve this (my personal favorite aspect of the basement is the entertainment center with bamboo countertop and cabinet doors). So, since we had put so much thought into keeping the basement soft and bright, the tree and Christmas decor needed to reflect that.

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The 7.5' tree I picked out looked pretty in the store. And it looked pretty when we set it up in the house. However, it was massive. It's a really thick tree, and very wide at the base. There's alot of branches to it, which contributes to its fluffy appearance, but also makes it somewhat overwhelming to work with. Some of the branches are coated in a shiny, sparkly material, and others are just plain white. I found that the shiny branches are not as bendable and do not support as much weight as the plain branches. This is a nuisance, considering that this tree has alot of heavy glass ornaments.

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I use two different color garlands with the tree. This is mainly because the tree is so big, and the majority of it is blue. A single garland looks lonely on the thick tree. After I put up the second garland, I am still not satisfied. However, once the branches are filled with ornaments, the garland no longer looks pathetic and crooked.

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The garland itself is quite a challenge to hang. I take four stools and put them around the tree. I then stand on the stools and rotate around the tree while hanging the garland. It's definitely not safe, as I have to hop from one barstool to another, but it works. I start from the top and wrap one color garland clockwise and the other color counter-clockwise. I try to vary the lengths that the garland drops from the branches. Although I'm never happy with the garland alone, once the tree is complete, I actually like the crooked-hanging garland.

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This tree has alot of ornaments. I use varying shades of blue, lime green, and silver balls. Then, I have a few unique ornaments, such as the chandelier-like disks, scuba Santa, swimtrunks, and other tropically-themed ornaments.

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The tree took me about 6-7 hours from start to finish. My dad set this up, so this does not include assembly time. However, I did have to fluff the tree. Unpacking the ornaments took almost an hour. The garland alone took about two hours.

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I also think that when decorating, it's important to have a sense of humor.

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The beach-dressed Beanie Kids are tanning underneath the tree. The tree skirt is white felt covered with a lime green fishing net from Oriental Trading Catalog.

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The gifts under the tree are actually empty bags coordinating with the tree.

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How's that for Christmas in the Caribbean?