Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas 2014 - Norfolk Pine Tree

It is only a week left until Christmas, and today is my last day at home in Hawaii. We are going up North for Christmas, all the way to snowy Canada.  Since we would not be home, my initial inclination was  not to put up a tree at all. Family voted me down... - as a compromise we decided to do "only some minimal" decorating.  

One of the new ornaments for this year: I picked this cute rocking horse up in Amsterdam

After we got home from Scottsdale (I will post some more pictures of that trip) we did not waste any time going out to the only Christmas tree farm on the island of Oahu: Helemano Farms in Wahiawa.  You can check them out at

It was a beautiful Hawaii day, not a cloud in the sky, and there we were, roaming around the forest of Norfolk pine trees, trying to find that "perfect" one. After about half an hour of getting on the poor tree guy's nerves (it's too small- it's not full enough- it has a large gap- it is crooked- it looks ok, but could we keep looking just a little more) my daughter Rhiannon spotted the perfect tree. Lucky for me, since I was about to acquiesce and settle for a somewhat-better-than-ok-looking tree. 

 I was saved by Rhiannon having found what is now our Christmas tree. Of course it was a bit larger than what we wanted: at 10.5 feet tall we knew there would be no chance of getting it into the living room.  Out ceiling is a little shy of 10 feet. 

Patient tree guy cut the tree for us (apparently cut your own does not actually include cutting) and Nicholas -my oldest- kindly hauled it to the checkout and then to the car.  At home of course we ended up having to cut over a foot off its height, but hey, overpaying and then cutting it smaller is perfectly acceptable when having found the perfect tree.

Finally being able to fit into the living room, the tree sat there undecorated for a few days. I think it looked gorgeous even without the ornaments. This was the first year we decided on a Norfolk pine, in the past having bought noble fir trees that get shipped in to Hawaii from Oregon in refrigerated containers. This year our tree was truly fresh cut.

The only thing our beautiful Norfolk pine lacks is that lovely Christmas tree scent. It is pretty much odorless (which is of course preferable to a not-so-good smell) and I have been using some scented candles to create "that Christmas feeling". However, I am staying away from fake pine smells, opting for other scents instead.

We found this ornament at Stirling Castle in Scotland

In the colored vs. white lights debate I am definitely a white lights person, though I like colored lights well enough too.  No matter their color, the most important thing about putting Christmas lights up is to pile them on. Lots and lots of lights.  This tree took less strands than the noble fir did, being so airy - which makes the ornaments much more visible.  

We like to pick up ornaments wherever we travel, and this year we have added three new ones to the collection.  The horse from Amsterdam, the lion from Scotland and finally this Frank Lloyd Wright design we picked up in Taliesin West in Arizona.

You might have noticed that there is no topper on the tree. That, as well as some other old an cherished ornaments, stayed in their boxes.  Since we will be gone and the dogs stay with a house sitter, we did not want any possible tree mishaps damage our most precious ornaments.  I think the tree looks fantastic even without those.  We will probably keep it up well into the new year. 
How is your Christmas decorating going? Are you all ready for Christmas Eve?

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