Log in Newsletter


by Kelly Twedell

Nothing says Christmas like a fully trimmed tree. Real or fake and in a range of colors and lighting configurations, everyone has a preference. Some opt for real pines while others prefer the pre-lit artificial trees that reach the ceiling. Whether it’s red, green and gold, or all hot pink and purple, some like to showcase a color-themed tree and just add to their collection of pretties.

With the average person purchasing a $35 Christmas tree from a lot, or springing for the $90 easy set-up artificial — which now come pine-scented, even — retailers, decorators and florists alike have realized that people are willing to splurge on glittery oversized balls, colorful plumes or reams of wired ribbon to adorn the branches.

Lacking in the creative department or just don’t have time to decorate your own tree? Not to worry, many local businesses offer tree-decorating services, and many have been booked since last year.

Ruby Hood, known to many as Miss Ruby, the Christmas Lady at Parnell’s Christmas Wonderland, took a break from making bows, wreaths, mantelpiece decorations and table centerpieces, and replenishing the store’s hot apple cider, to chat with CityView. She said Parnell’s decorates 30 to 40 homes and businesses each Christmas season. Parnell’s decorating services are appreciated by a range of people, she said, including busy working couples who don’t have time to deck the halls and elderly customers who can’t go up into their attics to get their decorations down.

Hood said they take reservations all year long for the decorating service, but by October it starts getting really busy. Customers can select a “permanent tree” in Parnell’s and can even buy one that is already decorated. Parnell’s emloyees will set it up in your home for you and will take it down as well, if you’d like. Parnell’s sells an assortment of Christmas decorations, including vintage ornaments, Department 56 Villages and Snowbabies figurines.

Owen Garden Center & Nursery can take some of the hassle out of the holidays for their customers by selling and delivering Christmas trees. Owen’s employees will deliver and set up a six-to-12-feet-tall Frazier Fir tree, and will come back after the holidays to take the tree down and drop it off at the Cape Fear Botanical Gardens for recycling. You can even request that your tree come with lights already strung and you can purchase fresh pine garland, poinsettias and Crabpot Christmas trees for your yard, which easily fold up for storage each year as well.

At this year’s Holly Day Fair Extravaganza, vendors had their fully decorated trees bedecked with props and extra glitzy tree toppers on full display. The accessories seem to get bigger each year. This year some vendors even used a new tool to help make their props really pop — Tree Topper Arms.

Tree Topper Arms are like metal fake branches that can be attached to artificial tree trunks. The arms can hold heavy ornaments, including hurricane lamps and large decorative pieces. They help give the tree a three dimensional appearance. Local resident and newlywed, Jenny Beaver DeViere told CityView about her family’s funny tradition, involving their last name. “My mom has a beaver tree in her house that is made up of beaver ornaments and stuffed animal beavers she’s collected through the years.”