By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Deck the halls and flock the tree
loc lgp tablercolumnpic

I have my tree up and decorated. That is no less than a miracle.
For many of you, this is not a big deal. In fact, I have seen some homes on Facebook that have a tree in every room. The décor is so beautiful, I wonder what the heck I am doing putting up a large tree.
After all, I come from the tinsel-era crowd; the big colored lights on strings, and the aluminum trees as well. However, I decided several months ago to make a flocked tree with lots of white lights and white decorations with a splash of red. Since I had blabbed my plans to several friends, I was now committed. Now, this being a challenge, I knew I must begin early ... very early.
The tree was stuffed in a big box in one of our sheds. It had been three or four years since we had last used it. We loaded the box in the back of the pick up truck and transported it to our garage. Yes, it is the same garage where we raised our chicks; the same garage that held a skate board ramp of sorts; our mutual all-purpose room.
This poor scraggly thing had to be put together; then all the crushed, tangled branches had to be straightened out and fluffed up.
That project, straightening the branches and reviving the green tangle, took me about a week. No. I didn’t work on it that long, but I did devote an hour every so often to perk it up.
Somewhere I got the hair-brained idea that I wanted to flock it. I mistakenly thought that three cans of snow spray would suffice. I sprayed. My right index finger got very tired. I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed until the cans were empty. But to my dismay, this tree looked about the same as it did before I began.
I then bought 4 more cans, and then 2 more. The tree got wet; I waited for a few days and then did it again. That tree was becoming a work of art!
Finally, it was time to bring the tree inside. First we re-arranged the furniture, right? You know the routine! But when we decided to carry it into the great room through the glass double door, the right hand door wouldn’t budge. Fred found some WD40, found the screwdriver and hammer, got on his knees, hammered and oiled on the bottom slide lock, and we finally got the door open.
Whew. This event was more of a problem than I had imagined.
Carefully maneuvering the now delicate tree inside, we made another mess. Some of the snow dust ended up on the floor. Our outside cat, Belle, took her opportunity, and dashed into the house between my feet. I had tried to shut the doors with my left foot, but since I was kicking at Belle, I had to leave the door open.
Once the tree was up, Fred eyeballed the tree and remarked, “I thought you were going to spray the tree!” What? I replied defensively, “I’m not done yet. I maybe missed a few spots.”
I bought two more spray cans. How much does a pre-flocked tree cost anyway? I think I could have bought one for what I was spending on this tree.
The next day I hung 400 lights on the tree ... or maybe it was 1,000, I don’t know. But she stood as a regal lady. No one, I mean “NO ONE” likes to put lights on Christmas trees, but they sure are integral to the looks of the décor.
I had bought white decorations, some feathers, a few bulbs, lots of ornate, white, jewel-type ornaments, and I began to layer them on the tree. Ohhhh. It was shaping up. I worked on that tree, on and off, for three days.
I was in this for the completion. I had promised my bridge club that my tree would be up early; before the first of December.
I am sending a picture of the “miraculous tree” that I, Annie, made. I did it. And doing this early has freed me from the “trap” of last minute craziness. I hope.
Now I have time to do other things. I am going to enjoy inviting folks in for a glass of wine and a piece of cheese; a cup of tea, and cookies ... whatever.
I feel like the mouse that figured out the mousetrap and built a path around it.
So, here it is, folks.

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at