D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...I want to throw you out the window...

Sunday, December 9, 2007 7:37 PM

ChristmasTreeFiasco 
See that little thing above the gingerbread man ornament? That's Santa's hand...just another casualty in my current relationship with our first *real* Christmas tree.

We picked one up from a local lot over the weekend, and we had a stand we got from Walmart or some other store, so we figured we were all set.

One thing you may not realize about real trees compared to fake ones is that real trees do NOT grow straight and can actually be somewhat crooked or leaning. Another thing is that their base may not be level when you get them. Of course, these were things that I must have assumed in the back of my mind were issues with *other* people's trees and not my precious little pine.

So we set the tree up, we water it, and we decorate the thing...and throughout the evening (this was like Saturday), we notice that its...leaning...and leaning more...and leaning more...In an effort to help rectify the issue, we place a brick from our outside firepit on the base to keep it firmly on the ground, and attach a bungee cord from our tree to the base to keep it anchored at the back...but to no avail! It seemed that the screwes in the base used to anchor the trunk were slipping a bit (the base seemed reaaaally wet too...too much water maybe?). So I took matters into my own hands...

I pulled down the tree in a fit of mad, passionate rage! The lights were ripped from the power socket, ornaments went flying (and Santa, as mentioned above, lost his hand...the first casualty), water coursed from the base like a rushing river...I picked up my Duwalt handsaw and began to remove the soaked, slightly curved bottom portion of the trunk. Sawdust and needles flew violently as my saw screamed through the wood...only to run out of battery power halfway through. Curses...

Out comes the manual saw, and I finish the dirty work. I mount the tree in the base, ensuring that the screws line up to the main area of the tree this time. I pull the tree up and stand back to observe my work, presents and ornaments and green needles surrounding me.

The @#$#@'n thing is still crooked.

So now I have a tree that is looking more straight than before, but still has a brick on the back of the base and has a bungee cord running from the upper trunk to the base.

The moral of the story:

- Go to a place that will provide a base with the tree AND will balance it for you, so you don't have to fiddle with any of that on your own

or

- Boxing Day is coming...get yourself a great fake tree on sale, where you know that it'll be level and green for years to come.

Merry Christmas!

D




Feedback

# re: Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...I want to throw you out the window...

Smith family secret (we always had a real Christmas Tree)... Stand the tree as best you can then run 2 lines of fishing line to either side and tie them to hooks in the ceiling, or curtain rods if you're mounting the tree in front of a window. Adjust the tension to straighten the tree the last couple of degrees with the line instead of using the base. You'll never get it perfect with just the base. For best results have the tree leaning slightly away from where the two lines tie down so that the tree always has some tension on each line. It's also really useful if you have small children or pets.... it seems cat's have a thing for climbing Christmas trees and kids grab for the decorations, this way the tree is secured if someone tries to climb to the top of the tree (provided the fishing line is strong enough).

Cam 12/10/2007 2:27 PM | Cam

# re: Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...I want to throw you out the window...

The problem was not so much with the tree as with the stand. With a Real Tree, you need a sturdy stand that holds lots of water. (Some trees drink 1 - 2 gallons of water per day.) Wal-Mart sells mostly cheap, ineffectual stands. At Wal-Mart, you ALWAYS get what you pay for.

With the proper stand, you want need to tether it. 12/11/2007 12:40 AM | Mr. Mike

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