The tree's not small,
It's just far away.
Yeah, yeah, "It's November, I don't want to hear the C word until the 24th of December" and so on – tell that to the denizens of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, England, who have been left feeling cold after the arguably premature erection of the town's Christmas tree. The yule totem was stood to attention this week by community …
In recent years I became tired of holding down my temporary outdoor Christmas tree in the teeth of the apparently more frequent gales.
Last year the problem was solved quite cheaply. A cone shape made from 9 x 3m vertical bamboo canes - with sequenced 5050 RGB LED strips spiralling round it.
Why can't our beautiful town have a Trafalgar Square type tree.
1) You don't know how to use a question mark.
2) The Trafalgar tree is an annual gift from Norway to all* the people of the UK, sent as a thank you for coming to their defence in 1940 and for supporting their resistance movement all the way through to the end of the war (which of course turned out exceedingly well for all of us, especially given Telemark). The tree the Norwegians will send us this year will be the 72nd one, and that's a damn fine tradition we can all be proud of and grateful for.
*Though I'm guessing we can agree on excluding Tommy Robinson and other pieces of neo-Nazi shit.
Size isn't everything. It's the way it's decorated. Last year the tree was larger but it looked like the lights had just been thrown at it.
Too true. Personally, I feel volume lighting is the only way to go. Lighting just the hull of the tree is simply lazy.
On my trees, I start at the trunk, pick a bough at the bottom in the back, bring the light string out along it and wrap all the branches coming off it that are large enough to hold the string without drooping excessively. Then back along the bough to the trunk, advance to the next bough at the same level, and repeat until you reach the top of the tree.
Since that takes more strings than can safely be daisy-chained,1 I drop a couple of extension cords down the trunk to different heights, so I can plug additional strings in as I work higher up the tree.
My trees are typically around 8 1/2 feet high and 5 to 6 feet in diameter at the largest point, and I get 4000 or so lamps on them. If a tree isn't bright enough to read by, what's the good of it, eh? And there's something to be said for a massive cone of multicolored lights in the parlor to really convey the holiday spirit. (I use all solid lights. Blinking ones would be a bit seizure-inducing.)
Naturally I have all this running off a dedicated circuit with GFCI and AFCI protection. We always use Frasier firs and have a stand that holds a few gallons of water, which I top off twice daily. Adequately-watered Frasiers can last a long time; the tree's still flexible and moist when I discard it after Twelfth Night. The lights don't come near the ignition temperature of the tree but they could certainly dry out one that didn't keep soaking up water, and a big pile of well-aerated kindling is not really something you want in your house.
1The incandescent tree light strings sold in the US are generally rated for up to 6 strings of 100 lamps in a chain. I play it safe and go with one fewer than the strings are rated for.
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