AKA "The Unwieldy One" or "The One That Makes Me Hate Christmas."
This is a big tree. I inherited it from my mother who must have laughed and laughed when passing on the task. (Don't worry mom, I seriously appreciate it. But you know this sucker is brutal!) First warning bells should have gone off upon seeing where it lives in the off season - not one, but TWO of these casket-sized Rubbermaid tubs:
Now I love Rubbermaid tubs, but these are too big to even carry. They don't fit through doorways, you have to carry them out in front of you 6' and the laws of physics don't permit that. It's the same principal that says if Barbie was real, she couldn't stand upright with that rack. It's impossible. And then there is the fact that this tree requires not only directions, but a WHOLE FREAKIN' MAP! No, seriously:
Each and every branch needs to be individually "fluffed" and arranged, and then attached to the center pole. There are somewhere around 2bazillion of these branches. And they are all color coded as to their various tree placement - thus the map. Thank god my mom is all crazy like and kept that thing, or it would be an exercise in futility. As it was, I occasionally skipped a row and had to take them all off and start over when I realized it.
Slowly but surely, I got all of the layers fluffed and assembled. I did this by holding the metal end against my stomach for balance while I arranged the branches out, not noticing that they left a huge rusty stain on my otherwise white sweater. Oops. Then the lights (4 strings of red, white, and green jumbo bulbs - also inherited with the tree, thanks mom!). I let hubby help when it was time for ornaments - and I think we did a pretty good job! This tree reminds me of a circus with all different jewel toned bulbs and Mardi gras beads.
BTW, these are "new camera" shots you're looking at - I'm starting to figure it out, though the lighting is confusing. This is the tree that has all of our "special" ornaments, such as the menagerie of straw animals from our first Xmas together, the ceramic bulb I made for 2005 saying "Almost married!", and last year's "New Home 2008" ornament.
Did I mention Muhammad Ali? Hubby is a fan. And the wedding dress & tux for 2006. The blue glittery star in the lower left is from Target, but it reminds me of ones on my tree growing up. I really like collecting ornaments from trips and special occasions - we have a couple Disney ones, a "Big Apple" bell from NYC, and of course gifted ornaments. The tree topper is new this year, I picked that up at Michael's yesterday - I really wanted something lighted, and this was the last one left - perfect!
I feel very relieved to have gotten this big guy up and finished, WHEW!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....