O Tannenbaum……how lovely are your branches

What tune do you hum as you haul, position and light the family Christmas tree? Does the thought of the tree selection process get you singing like Clark Griswald or grumpy like a Grinch? O Christmas Tree or O Tannenbaum is a German Christmas Carol about a fir tree. A number of German musicians have been inspired to pen songs about a snow covered fir tree throughout the years. The song loses its romance after the O Tannenbaum part……”O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum, wie grun sind deine blatter” which I think means from my high school German classes something about green branches delighting us. canada-2007-3792There is no doubt the fragrance and evergreen nature of these trees draw us to them at Christmas, it’s the decision making process that creates the tension. I’ve cut, carried and tied to car roof tops my share of trees thoughout the years. At night you come home smelling like a Tannenbaum. That’s the good part, the downside is your pants is full of needles. I have always with amusement watched the family debates in the tree selection process. Every family has a perfectionist that can’t make up their mind and another person who is willing to take the first tree they see and get it over with. All the other family members are caught somewhere in the middle. The end result is a debate somewhere between Deal or No Deal and a Senate Filibuster. I end up being Howie Mandell without the girls and their suitcases. One thing you can bank on is that consensus is directly proportionate to the outdoor air temperature. If it is 20 degrees and snowing you’ll be amazed at how quickly a group of people can find agreement. That’s why I found this video to be interesting. Ever wonder how the White House selects their tree? Technically, the White House staff picks out a number of trees including trees for Camp David, Blair House, the Oval Office, etc. The official White House tree however is in the Blue Room and has to be just right. Check out the part where they practically climb into the tree……what are they looking for, “bugging” devices or is it a Homeland security procedure? Watch and learn as you watch the video……O Christmas tree O Christmas tree, your branches green delight us!

Hoe, Hoe, Hoe!

Ready to hang some “electric ivy” in your landscape? Deck the halls by lighting up the shrubs in the front yard? Well “hoe, hoe, hoe!” LED technology has provided us Christmas lights that are landscape plant and environment friendly!

LED lights are cool to the touch and friendly to those landscape evergreens, unlike those old multi color C9 lights I used to hang up. Remember Clark W Griswold and the staple gun? I would generally burn a finger or two and step on a bulb creating a loud pop! Then I had the struggle of trying to remove the remaining metal base out of the socket without cutting or electrocuting myself! LED lights are more environmentally friendly because they use far less energy than the old lights. An old traditional C9 would use 810kw if there were 600 lights burning 6 hours a day for 45 days (mid-November to January 1). LED lights would use only 14kw for the same amount of lights and days, over 90% less! The bulbs and strings will hold up well in your landscape, they are all weather and water resistant. LED lights are very durable too, many rated up to 20 years. It is estimated a string will last 35,000 hours if left on continuously, that’s running 24 hours a day for 4 years! My favorite feature of the sets is I don’t feel guilty when I string some continuous sets together. Because they use such little energy, you don’t “overload” by plugging 3 continuous strings together resulting in set fuses frying or tripped breakers in the basement with the old sets. Be an entre-manure and use LED Christmas lights, Hoe, Hoe, Hoe!