Wednesday, December 26, 2012

O Christmas Tree

This year, with our home's post-deluge renovations, I made some major changes to our Christmas tree: Out with the wine and rose-colored ornaments; in with white, silver, and gold decorations. Before I began, I studied Christmas trees in New York City.

and in Washington, DC.

From my observation, there are basically two Christmas tree styles. The first is the over-the-top design where ornaments completely hide the evergreen. A second style of tree trimming, and my personal preference, features the fir.  Ornaments merely adorn, not obliterate, the tree.

Probably the most famous opulent styling uses ornaments produced by the Christopher Radko company.
"As the legend goes, the Christopher Radko Company started with the falling of the family tree. After more than 1,000 vintage mouth-blown glass ornaments were broken to bits, Christopher tried to replace them by looking far and wide in the United States and by scouring Polish glassware markets. His quest did not produce even one replacement ornament...Christopher enlisted a Polish glass blower and together they went to work, trying to recreate his family’s lost heirlooms...Today, after a quarter century..., the Christopher Radko Company has produced more than fifteen million fine European glass ornaments."

Here is a snapshot of a Radko tree found in Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC.

The flagship store also displayed trees a little more simply dressed with branches visible.

After seeing New York's trees, we went to Washington to tour the White House. Interestingly, the rooms of the "people's house" feature both styles.  Here is the official White House tree gilded completely.
Each year this tree features ornaments from around the country. This year the decorations were made by families of deployed troops.

However, in other rooms green firs were center stage with ornaments merely enhancers.  
photo from Michele Obama's bloodspot
After studying the trees, it confirmed my preference for the more simple version. Here is the Christmas tree in our home.
So, whether your Christmas tree features ornaments or the evergreen branches, it does not matter.  Stylists aren't definite, so you can trim your tree anyway you like.

But don't forget the reason for the season. In New York City, angels at Rockefeller Center herald the coming of the Savior.

And the East Room of the White House features a beautiful creche depicting the Christ child's coming.
Aren't you thankful for the foil of Christ's pure light against the darkness in this world?  As you sit and enjoy your twinkling tree this holiday, be thankful with me.