I didn’t grow up with a real tree. As an Army family, we carried an artificial tree with us in case we were posted to a country where it was hard to find people selling pine trees. Well, that and the fact that I was allergic to trees, pollen… just about everything except cows (seriously. The Army pediatrician told my parents I could have a cow as a pet. He sounded hopeful.)
At any rate, we now have the citified tradition of finding a Christmas tree lot and picking out a beauty. We waited a bit too long and could only find a 9 footer that was sort of full enough. Now the fun begins. Putting the lights on the tree. We were smart enough to store them wrapped around strips of cardboard last year. So they remained untangled. But putting them up has always been a hassle, tangled or not. Until I heard about a window dresser’s secret to lighting the tree.
So for those of you who haven’t bought into the pre-lit artificial tree world (there are some beautiful examples of artificial — I think the Polo Mansion in New York uses one…) I offer the easy and elegant lighting solution:
Instead of wrapping your lights around the tree in concentric circles, start at the top and drape them in straight lines. Push the lights deep into the foliage, plug in another strand and run them back up to the top. Taking them down is even easier and less time-consuming.
Now if I could only remember to separate the blinking and non-blinking strands…