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posted: 11/5/2017 6:00 AM

Holiday decorations are a scrapbook of our lives

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  • Laurie Kane views the "Winter Garden" tree at Treetime Christmas Creations in Lake Barrington.

      Laurie Kane views the "Winter Garden" tree at Treetime Christmas Creations in Lake Barrington.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Holiday water globes are a quick and easy way to add holiday cheer to a child's bedroom.

      Holiday water globes are a quick and easy way to add holiday cheer to a child's bedroom.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • "Loved by Nature" tree at Treetime Christmas Creations.

      "Loved by Nature" tree at Treetime Christmas Creations.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Ribbons are a popular Christmas decoration. Treetime offers workshops on how to create them.

      Ribbons are a popular Christmas decoration. Treetime offers workshops on how to create them.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Adding new decorations to your existing stockpile makes every holiday season unique.

      Adding new decorations to your existing stockpile makes every holiday season unique.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
By Jean Murphy
Daily Herald Correspondent

Christmas is all about tradition. We unpack and reveal each year the items that remind us of wonderful Christmases past. But most of us also try to add one or two new things to our decor in order to change things up and add something that catches our fancy.

We don't want our Christmas photos and memories to be identical every year, after all!

Buying one or two new ornaments or holiday items each year is a great way to mark the march of time because every year thereafter you can unpack and use that special item to evoke memories of the year in which it was added to your holiday collection.

Trends in holiday decor come and go over the years, just like fashion trends come and go, says Laurie Kane, owner (with her husband, Joe) of Treetime Christmas Creations, 22102 N. Pepper Road in Lake Barrington. But, in general, the winter's major holiday is about traditions and wonderful memories. That is why most homeowners add to their Christmas collections gradually over the years and buy Christmas items during their travels, for instance, making their Christmastime home and tree almost a living scrapbook of their lives.

Holiday decorating can be an ode to the tastes and trends of the year. Treetime is a great place to stop by and see the yearly holiday colors and trends, as well as to pick up that new have-to-have-it item that you saw in a magazine or online.

The shop is a magical, fantasy Christmas showroom that changes each year in an effort to keep people coming back to see what the staff and owners have done differently, Kane says.

"Our instructors are also happy to teach customers easy tricks to add dimension and a new excitement to their traditional tree by using floral picks or extra lights, along with their traditional ornaments," she says. "In addition, many customers bring in older pieces, like floral or greens arrangements, to get help on updating them."

This year there are four hot Christmas tree trends, Kane says.

"First, we are seeing the mixing of a variety of metals -- gold, silver, platinum and even copper -- on the same tree. We have been seeing this in clothing and housewares for the past year or so, and now that trend has made its way to Christmas, too," she says. "And many designers are mixing those metals with the two Christmas colors from 2016 -- the rose quartz and the serenity blue, but particularly with the rose quartz. It gives a very tranquil look to a tree."

The second popular look this year, she says, is the natural, organic tree done entirely in greens, browns and whites (and absolutely no reds or pinks), but featuring small animals, berries, pine cones and floral items.

"Next is the wintry garden-look tree," Kane says. "This type of tree features whites, reds and soft greens in the form of natural florals and crystals. It is best in homes with older families and is often being done as a smaller second tree or a diminutive tabletop tree.

"The last trendy tree this year is the nostalgia tree on which homeowners do their best to recreate the past by using retro traditional ornaments and big Christmas lights, oftentimes mixed with the smaller lights for a unique look. Mixing the two sizes of lights add a cool element to any tree," Kane says. "You can even accomplish this look on a pre-lit tree. And some people are going the other direction by adding the new, even-smaller 'micro' lights, which I think look like fairy lights, to their pre-lit trees. They add a cool, starry look to a tree."

There are additional popular trends that you can use to spice up your traditional tree this year, Kane says.

"Ribbons in your tree are hot, so we have several designers on hand to make each customer one bow and to teach you how to make them, too. Or you can pay a fee and our designers will make all of them for you."

The current trends are to use ribbons for exciting tree toppers, as well as to distribute small bows throughout your tree or to loop lengths of ribbon through the tree.

Strings of battery-operated micro-lights on timers are also a nice addition throughout your home -- with greens on your mantle or staircase or even on indoor or outdoor wreaths, Kane suggests. And this year they are coming on longer strings, adding to their utility.

Also popular this year are holiday water globes (which need to be stored at room temperature -- not in an attic) and holiday night lights that are an easy and quick way to add holiday cheer to a child's bedroom.

Christmas decor is generally not confined to just the interior of someone's home. It usually begins outdoors and is visible to those walking or driving past.

Kane says it is now popular for berries and floral items to be added to outdoor greens -- both fresh and faux. That goes for wreaths, garlands and even potted greens. The micro-lights, berries and faux floral items can be stored with faux greens for future use, or they can be removed at the end of the season and be saved to be placed in next year's fresh greens.

For more current information about holiday decorating trends, you can reach Treetime Christmas Creations at (847) 527-8880 or by visiting www.treetime.com. To find a schedule of Treetime's holiday decorating classes, visit www.treetime.com/showroom-events-calendar.

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