Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The More the Merrier: What to do with multiple Christmas trees.

As seen in the Home of Garden section of The Daily Sentinel, Saturday, December 4, 2010. Sorry, no pictures, from the actual article; the newspaper owns them.

A year ago I wrote a column entitled, "What does your Christmas tree say about you?" Said column brought me instant fame and glory; in Manitoba. It also acquainted me with Darrell Jones. He sent me an e-mail to inquire if he had multiple Christmas trees, what did that say about him? Multiple personalities?
When you think of someone who puts up more than one tree each year, perhaps you think are cuckoo for Christmas or a tree hoarder, and those types of people are out there, but Mr. Jones is not one of them. After visiting his home this week, I would consider him a prime example of how to do multiple trees in a classy, understated way, if decorating multiple trees in your house could be called, “understated.”
The decision process to put up more than one tree is not that different from whether or not to have pet. Can you afford it? Do you have room for it? Who will take care of it?
Speaking of pets, Jones’ dog, Jagger, doesn’t seem to mind the extra company during the holidays, when I asked Jones about it, he said that his faithful Golden Retriever never bothers his collection of trees.
Jones has nine, in fact; four trees in the house and five trees outside. He started this tradition several years ago, when he was working as a building manager and was decorating trees for the building lobby and tenants. The habit just sort of stuck. Friends, co-workers, and now columnists, appreciate his efforts as he hosts several holiday parties during the Christmas season to show-off his collection.
Jones starts out with a theme. This year, his trees are white, each with a different color of ornaments and lights. The largest, and most impressive, tree stands in the center of the front room. It has gold ornaments with white lights. One of the most eye-catching is a sunburst ornament he picked up in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The tree in the corner of the kitchen has red ornaments, including chili peppers, and red lights. The tree in his dining room, the smallest of the four, has green and blue ornaments with green lights, and finally the tree in the boudoir, which strays from the theme because it’s green, casts an inviting glow with gold lights and white ornaments.
When I asked if there’s a possibility of more trees in the future and where he would draw the line, he answered,
“I don’t think there is a line, as long as it doesn’t look cluttered. He added,
“If there is a line, I just don’t know where it is.”
Jones has a no-furniture-moving policy when it comes to setting up the trees or deciding where they will go. This keeps the collection under control.
Here are some of Jones’ tips for setting up multiple trees and creating your own winter wonderland:

Start off with a small cluster of trees where you would usually set up your single tree. Perhaps that would be a little less intimidating than trying to decide which empty corner to fill in your house.
To keep the trees from looking overloaded he suggests making sure each ornament has room to hang properly as opposed to sitting on the branch below.
He takes a stand-back-and-look approach, when hanging the ornaments. Hang a few, then stand back and look, and make adjustments as needed.
Jones also suggests making sure the lights are hung uniformly with equal distance between each row of strands. When asked if there was anything he absolutely would not put on his trees, the answer was “blinking lights.” He thinks they look cheap.
The final bit of advice Jones gave is to not let Christmas decorations linger longer than they should. He carefully stores is trees and ornaments on January 2nd. No fail.
So what do Darrell Jones’s trees say about him? They say, as long as it’s done in a tasteful way, “The more the merrier.”


  1. We have four trees decorated. With five children helping me decorate, my house is borderline tacky!

  2. “If there is a line, I just don’t know where it is.” This shall become my motto!!

    Good for Mr Jones and all his fun trees.

    Someone asked me what my tree's theme was and I thought about you. I said "My theme is fun ornaments, past and present"
    I felt so fancy.

  3. I totally agree with Darrell Jones...I never EVER use blinking lights!

  4. My theme is memories! I use white lights and every type of ornament imaginable that I've collected in 28 years of marriage! They range from paper photo ornaments made at school to gorgeous lead crystal icicles and angels; from tons of Star Wars ornaments including a Death Star that blows up a planet to lovely Nativity ornaments; from Disneyland wedding ornaments to a ceramic ornament made by Kris Face when he was a little boy! Somehow I cram it all on one tree and I love how it looks!

  5. My neighbor across the street puts up I think at least 4 trees in various places in his house. I think it's fun and festive, and each one is very tastefully decorated. He also has a tree decorating party where a few of us have gone over in the past years to help with his trees- it's been lots of fun! He was away for awhile, and just moved back into town, so I'm not sure if he's doing that again this year- I hope so!

  6. I thought I'd contact you as we share the same name, although I live in Australia. Was in Victoria, BC for the Association of Personal Historians conference last month. Enjoyed your blog, Annie.


I see you sitting there. Leave a comment.