O, Christmas tree Excuse me for a moment while I get my keyboard and swivel chair all readjusted and comfy. I have just returned from performing some very important research at a local floral shop. And no … I wasn’t there to place an order. Not today. Let’s just say I needed a little, or rather a lot, of professional decorating advice. It’s our Christmas tree. “Sad” is the word that immediately comes to mind when I think about our poor tree again this year. I’m seriously thinkin’ the boys have probably dragged our scrawny artificial stick from down the attic stairs for the very last time. It was my hope, heck who was I kiddin’, I was actually praying, that Laura, at Flowers of Kingwood, could provide me with some heavenly inspiration to gussy up the old Frantz family Christmas tree for just one more year. Like Tim Gunn says every week on Project Runway, I was determined to “make it work.” It was not just the actual Christmas tree that bothered me. Sure, a couple of the fake branches were missing in action, and its posture, well, it was seriously lacking. An emerging case of scoliosis immediately comes to mind. But when hubby retrieved the silver and gold garlands from the storage box after their long summer nap, we both sniffed. Geez … they kinda smelled funny. Counting on fingers and toes, we figured they had to be at least 30 years old. Mold with layers of thick, crusty dust suddenly sprung to mind. There could be major lung infection spores in that old garland just waiting to explode. Alas, the limp and lifeless garlands, without shaking or stirring, were marched immediately outside to the trash bin. And the lights, well, after so many years they are practically non-existent. I seem to remember we used to have a gigantic ball of tangled strands of lights … some colored, blinking and not. Oh, and lots and lots of little white lights. Over the years, the working strands of lights have become fewer and fewer until suddenly we were down to a measly two. Obviously, our tree was not exactly making many points in the “sparkle” department. Laura, my new floral goddess, sympathized with our family plight offering what seemed like a simple strategy to save our tree. She had great suggestions like themes, lots of brightly colored bows, beaded garland and brightly colored picks that could be purchased from the local craft store. “If, for example, you want to add artificial red berries, just purchase lots of one kind and scatter them throughout your tree. You might want to add that same touch throughout the room to bring everything together,” said Laura. I agreed they were all creative ways that could certainly put a big yellow smiley face on our Christmas tree. I was guessin’ my feeble attempt of adding two boxes of candy canes was not going to be enough. Obviously, I was going to have to reach out far beyond the universe, and my comfort zone, and actually set foot inside one of those large intimidating craft stores. I can never find anything in those places. I’m always the one wandering around for hours with an empty basket. Laura also told me about some exciting decorating trends this year. While she admitted the shop catered to more traditional Christmas trappings, there were also lovely hints of the latest Christmas fashion statements in the shop. “This year there are gorgeous silk poinsettia wreaths, all shades of green (including lime) and red ribbons, chocolate brown-colored ornaments and peacock feathers,” Laura added. My left eyeball locked on the poinsettia wreaths hanging in the middle of the shop. They were the prettiest things I’d seen in decades. All fluffy and full, and yes, oh so beautiful. Geez, I thought, hubby has been saying for years that I should replace the old Christmas wreath above the fireplace. Yep, he says that every year right after another hot-glued trinket falls off it. But that is another story. Laura was indeed an inspiration. It is why I’m off to the local craft store to see what treasures I can find to perk up the old Christmas tree. And I’m not coming back until my basket is full. All I gotta say is it is a good thing I only write every other week. This could take a while. Merry Christmas to all! Dixie Frantz is a Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past decade. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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