MOUNT VERNON — Decorating for the holidays for many people is a longstanding tradition. Whether it is a real tree or fake, everyone has a favorite ornament or colorful garnish — be it handmade or store brought — for the special occasion. But there is no designated way to decorate one’s Christmas tree. Nowadays, everything and anything can be used to create a unique display of holiday spirit.
“Really, there are not traditions anymore, it’s whatever you want to do,” said Lexie Morr, owner of Williams Flower Shop. “People will come in to buy baby’s breath to put in their tree. Many years ago, before I got into the business, I used to put little red and white gingham bows on all the branches and I would put baby’s breath in. It was quite striking.”
Anything from feathers, ribbons, stringed popcorn and cranberries, to homemade ornaments, tinsel, teddy bears, angels, candy canes, lights, bells and miniature toys can be used to highlight a Christmas tree with a particular theme.
“I know when you go to the stores they have artificial trees that come in purple, pink and all these strange colors. I just see more and more nontraditional things as arrangements on trees,” said Morr. “I see people use peacock feathers — anything that will bring out color — and I’ve even seen people take silk flowers and tuck them in so you have flowers and ornaments. And if you use large flowers, it gives a good burst of color.”
Some people choose the more classic look of elegant bows with streamers running through the tree.
“We use a lot of bows on our trees as toppers, and we sometimes have the streamers come down through them. I know the first year the Knox County pavilion opened, they put up a tree for breast cancer awareness, and then the next year they changed it over to something else. But I had gone out there to help them put big bows on the top and streamers down and tucked into the tree,” said Morr.
“There’s no limit to what you can do,” she added.
Something to heed this holiday season is regularly watering the Christmas tree to preserve the health of the tree for as long as possible.
“There is something I’ve bought down at Glass Greenhouse and it’s a preservative that you spray on that’s an anti-transparent so the needles can’t really let the water evaporate,” said Morr. “But you want to do that before you decorate your tree and that will help.”
The Russell-Cooper House is ready for the holidays, with a Christmas tree in every public room of the house as well as a couple of decorated trees in the back yard.
“We’ve been doing this for about 15 years,” said inkeeper Tom Dvorak. “All the trees are individually decorated; the housekeeper starts early in November and we take them down at the end of January.”
Dvorak said guests enjoy seeing the tree decorations during the holiday season and well into the new year.
“We have a variety of decorations that we’ve picked up over the years, like glass ornaments, tinsel and special tree toppers that vary in appearance. I think we have a set of bubbly lights that are probably about 30 years old, so there is a little bit of everything,” said Dvorak. “We keep the decorations up because the guests really enjoy them.”