Wednesday, December 04, 2013
 
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Special feature from LDN's Home for the Holidays magazine

It's Christmas; there are no ugly trees

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[December 04, 2013]  We've all seen or even had that "Oh my..." Christmas tree. Maybe it's the one without a "good" side or simply one with a giant hole in one area. Believe it or not, there are tricks of the trade to fix nearly any tree problem.

Jennifer Konczyk, owner of Forget Me Not Florals and Gifts on Fifth Street, shared some professional tips on making any tree a memorable part of the family holiday season. Her floral designers also contributed, and you could tell that these ladies have a passion for their work. Kathy Bruns and Mary Heal share over 40 years of experience.

One of the early mentioned fixes was bows  lots of bows in lots of sizes, made from ribbons in any color. The ladies recommended filling in the spots by the size of the bows  larger bows for bigger gaps and smaller bows where the tree limbs are tighter.

Jennifer suggested carrying the theme to the gift packages by using the tree bow ribbon on the gifts, too, thus pulling together tree and packages in one common pattern.

Mary recommends the use of color, drawing the eye away from any imperfections and letting the viewer focus on the festive colors. She suggested using bright reds, gold and silver since these are traditional Christmas colors.

She also mentioned that it could be a family craft project, with kids making the ornaments based on their abilities. Perhaps a trip to a hobby store would lay the foundation for ornament-making.

It was pointed out that a number of people have trees based on themes. In Kathy's home, she has a tree dedicated to her bear collection. Hobby-themed trees are very popular. Is there an avid fisherman at your house? Maybe you need to raid that tackle box and decorate the tree in lures. Or is there someone who is a baker? Cookie-cutters make great ornaments as well. Any hobby can become a tree-decorating theme. Think about it and see where your imagination takes you.

Research shows that traditions are the foundation in every family, with each generation making their own.

A tree can become part of a family's history. A story was told of one family that has had the same artificial tree for 15 years. With their oldest child being 14 years old, the tree has been there for all four of their children. Mentioning that the bottom branches look a little rough triggers fond memories of all the years of family dogs and cats running through the tree. A tree like that recalls all those different animals who wove their lives into the lives of the family. Some of those pets have passed on, but a part of them lives in the appearance of that tree and in the family's memories.

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Another suggestion was a very green one, and it, too, could become nostalgic. If available, potted live trees with proper care for overwintering can be planted in the spring. The potted tree has all the benefits of a cut, live tree without the increased risks associated with a cut tree. Simply keep the tree watered, and when spring rolls around, it can be a very nice addition to your outdoor landscaping. Some families have timed this choice with the birth of a child or an addition of a pet, as a lasting memory and tribute to a monumental event.

Be they tall or small, it is Christmas and there are no ugly trees. Enjoy your traditions, and more important, share them with friends and loved ones throughout the year.

[By ROY LOGAN]


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