Decorating Decisions


Dear Austin’s Acre,

I’ve noticed that you offer Christmas advice each year concerning present purchasing and holiday happenings.  I would like your thoughts on a sticky issue that faces our family every year.

Our tree is never straight.  What do we do?  As you can see from the attached photo, our tree is leaning nearly out the window.

Any thoughts?

Yours truly, Plumb Bob.

Dear Plumb,

This is a common problem for all holiday decorators.  Keeping the holly hanging straight is one of those dilemmas that every reveler faces. Christmas Trees are particularly tricky.  But I have several solutions to your problem.

1)  With the use of several 2 x 4 planks, sheet rock, and some screws you can rebuild the surrounding walls to match the angle of your leaning tree.  This might require a contractors’ license and some local building permits.  In my community, the approval process for structural changes must include Property Owner’s Association.  Unfortunately, this is often a stopping point for any home improvement processes.  By the time you get the wall approved and angled to match your tree, it will be November of next year and you’ll have a new tree that leans the other direction and the application process will have to start all over.

2)  It appears from your picture that your live tree is doing what comes naturally to all living plants:  It is growing toward the sun.  By placing your pine next to your windows, it is seeking the life-giving source of light.  You have two options.  First, you black out all the windows in your home.  Construction paper or black sheets will keep your tree upright and straight.  Second, you can move the tree to the closet during the day and bring it out at night.  A little extra effort on your part can make for a festive holiday season. 

3)  The final option available to you is to wear a different shoe on each foot.  Based on your photo, I would suggest a nice flat sandal on your right foot and a high-healed boot on the left.  When you walk into the room, you will be at the same angle as the tree.  Slugging back some rum-laced eggnog will also help you perceive the tree as straight.

4)  Get a fake tree.  They are always straight.  It’s like they are made that way.

In short, there is no good answer to your vexing problem.  However, with a little flexibility, some creativity and a lot of Rum, you can make it through this time of year with a straight looking tree and a smile.  I hope these simple suggestions can make your season merry and bright.