Friday, July 1, 2016

Celebrate This Independence Day a Little Differently!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from Tree Classics for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it,  all opinions are my own.

Everybody knows what Monday is.

No, not a 3 day weekend, but the 4th of July!

The day we celebrate our country's independence from British rule and how the men, and women, of this country have helped to keep it free from tyranny and oppression.

For my family, July 4th has always had a slightly different tradition. 

dad in 1986

Dad served 20 years in the Air Force and Navy, and the Navy has had a history of having a weird sense of humor, and they liked to schedule homecomings from long cruises around the holiday. It adds drama to the holiday and made all the families think of the 4th as a day of reuniting! On my Dad's last cruise, they were supposed to be back by the 4th, but there was a little incident with Iraq and they stayed in the Med for an extended period. So we celebrated the 4th with a dependent 'boat picnic'  and waited for the fathers/brothers/sons to come home!

1986 navy hoemcoming
There is nothing more awe inspiring and lending to patriotic pride, than to see the extremely large Enterprise CVN 65 aircraft carrier come under the Golden Gate bridge and then to come into port, with literally all the men on board standing on the deck, trying to spy their loved ones, as their loved ones try to spy them too. Large balloon collections and signs, helped many. 

Then in the magical moment, that we all hold in our hearts- the blaring of Lee Greenwood's"Go Bless the USA" on speakers onshore, and on ship, and every voice singing as one. It started with one homecoming, and then became a Navy tradition! 

But in that moment when all the American flags were flying, tears were flowing, everyone there knew one thing- how PROUD we were of our loved ones for serving their countries, no matter how long and far away they were from their families, no matter what they missed. These were the days before email, Skype and cell phones. It was snail mail or nothing, and those were checked and delayed in getting to the ship. Care boxes were the way to show how much love you had for those far away. Families of servicemen accepted their loved ones sacrifice with PRIDE. Hearing Lee's song just reinforced for everyone the emotions we all felt. So for our family, the 4th is about reuniting with loved ones, celebrating what my Dad and other cousins had given up to protect this country, and to celebrate the Red, White and Blue!

This year our party decorations got upped a WHOLE lot, with a bit of 'recycling'! For Louisiana, we tend not to take our Christmas trees down til just about Easter, depending on when Mardi Gras falls! We like getting the most from our trees! But it always feels like a bit of a waste, this large investment only being in view for a couple of months!

But what if you weren't tied to the idea of "Christmas" in "Christmas tree"?  Hmmmm. Then if you had say one of the lovely white Christmas trees from Tree Classics, like the stunning Alpine White Christmas Tree, you could literally decorate it for ANY time of the year....Ahhhhh recycling 101!

I have ALWAYS loved a white Christmas tree. Maybe it's from spending my formative years with mountains at hand, and snow at the holidays, but a white tree just screams chestnuts, roasting fires and presents! But what about making it scream GO USA (it is an Olympic year after all) in red and blue? And what if it was actually your July 4th primary decoration for YOUR party this year? 

Thanks to Tree Classics, it can be, just like it will be for us!

americana angel shot americana ange close up
Don't you just love the angel? She's from a new book I'll be sharing with you in a few weeks! Every tree needs an angel, and I liked having one that Miss Grace and I made together on our special 4th of July this year!

americana flag close up

An Americana tree can be anything you want! We found these lovely blue and red flowers at the dollar store- you know with Miss Grace, if it has BLING, it is a must buy! Thanks to Irish Dancing, that is now my world! I kept her from adding crystals to the angels, as it was! 

americana tree close up 1 americana tree close up 2
More dollar store finds mixed in with discount store paper bells and FREE 'garland', made of saved Mardi Gras beads! When you have 1 or 2 parades a year to throw at, you collect lots of red and blue ones! Add in some patriotic flowers, and you have a tree that really BLOOMS!

americana pinwheel closeup

Pinwheels just seem to SCREAM 4th of July, don't they? This year we made some! It was a great little project for Miss Grace and I to use up some leftover red and blue felt, and a few buttons. It was also a great way for her to work on hand sewing! And each one only takes about 15 minutes to make from start to finish! They'd be great to give to your party guests as a great souvenir too! Did you know you can put essential oil on felt and place it in your car and get a great smelling car in one afternoon? Yup! Sprinkle some on each and really surprise your guests! Not to mention, they will may your tree smell heavenly! You can also see how bright the lights are on this tree!

americana tree close up 3americana tree close up 4americana tree close up 5
In these closeups, you can see how we made our 'garland', as well as how realistic the branches are! You really get a realistic look from this Alpine White tree! You can also see the many lights that come on this pre-lit tree! As you can see, you don't have to stick with just one shade of red or blue! Adding different colors adds depth and dimension to your tree!

americana tree close up 6

Here's another couple of closeups, so you can see how stunning the red and blue look against the BRIGHT whiteness of the tree! Add a bright blue rug, throw or'paper fan' rug, and your tree will pop even more!

alpine white close up 1alpine white close up 2

An even closer look at the branches- one outside in daylight, the other inside in lamplight!
You will LOVE the look of this tree!

Now let me tell you some more about how the Alpine White Christmas Tree set up!

alpine white tree arrival collage

The tree comes in one BIG and LONG box! Each of the 3 sections is bible wrapped and tied tight, to keep your branches in great shape while being shipped! Extra fuses and bulbs are attached to one of the flaps, so they do NOT get lost! You also get VERY clear installation instructions! As you can see the 7.5 foot tree has 3 sections, plus the tree stand!

alpine white tree collage 1

And the tree stand might just be the easiest one you have EVER used! Seriously! You just slide the bars and make an X with them. That's IT! Add the eye bolt partially into the frame, and then unwrap the bottom tier (marked VERY clearly as Number 1), taking off the protective end cap, then tighten the eye bolt to hold the bottom tier snug and secure. I love how the branch needles come all the way down to the base, to really make it look more realistic! This is an amazing tree, and you will have to use a lot of push and weigh to knock this tree over, as it is SO well weighted! 

alpine white tree collage 2

As you can see, when you add the first layer, the branches nicely lay out. they are on a rolling hinge, so if you have to have it up against a wall, you can angle the branches up if you need to! each of the Tree Classics pre-lit trees comes with a foot pedal already attached, and as it's white, it blends into the tree as well! On the second tier if the 'fuse box', with the second tier lights already plugged in, and an extension to the bottom tier, to connect the bottom lights. Both of these have red tabs on them, so you can easily see WHICH cord to connect! This means you can literally have your tree set up within 20 minutes!

alpine white tree collage 3

As you can see, once you add the top tier, you get a very nice looking tree . Once you pull the branches apart and move them up and down, you can fill in the spaces, as you can see I did with the bottom tier. the 800 (!!)  lights are well spaced and give you a great looking tree!

If you are looking for a new Christmas tree, or just want to shake up your family traditions this year, why not think Christmas in July, and go with the Alpine White Tree Classics tree, or one of their other lovely trees this year to spice up your 4th, and Christmas too?

 Once you check out the Tree Classics quality trees (and wreaths and garlands), their 5-Year Foliage and 2-Year Light Warranty, and bulbs that stay lit, even if one bulb goes out,  you'll be ready to say goodbye to the whole chaos of getting a real tree, and hello to a new tradition in your house too! 

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