Instead of going into the woods to chop our tree, we drove up and down some of our backroads to snip our greens.
There are not many conifers that grow in Hawaii that are appropiate to use as Christmas trees and some people will either cut down or plant Cook Island Pines aka Norfolk Island Pines, and Leyland Cypresses in pots to use instead...and neither of those looks like your typical Christmas trees. Portuguese Cedars and another conifer with branches, needles and small cones resembling those of a Sequoia sempervirens can also be found, but I am not sure if it is that one...I somehow doubt it.
Photo: 3 different types conifer branches, tiny lights, some of my collections of bird nests and little baskets and the lanterns from Ikea my sister gave me for Christmas a few years ago plus a few ornaments are the sum total of our tree decorations this year.
There is an emerging Christmas tree farm here on our island, but the trees are still tiny and of course, not for sale yet...I imagine it will be a few more years before they are ready to grace our homes...meantime, traditional Christmas trees are shipped from Washington and Oregon States.
Although shipped in climate controlled containers, the trees are cut way too early to be able to ship and by the time they get here and start selling right after Thanksgiving; many are brittle and start losing their needles too early...besides sometimes bringing unwanted critters to the islands!
I hate to spend a lot of money on a tree that will not look fresh through Christmas Day, much less the complete "Twelve Days of Christmas", which end on January 6th with Epiphany and the traditional celebration of the visit from the Three Wise Men, so for several years, we have been "making our own". In the past, we had a friend that had a grove of Portuguese cedars and would 'top them off' each year and give us the tops...if they were not full enough, we would tie two trunks together and make one nice full tree.
This year, I decided to use as inspiration an idea I had seen on Pinterest (photo above), using a plant stand with 3 shepherd hooks and twisting lighted garlands through the unit then hanging some decorated lanterns from the hooks. I started searching through the Internet and found Amazon had what looked like a very sturdy one with the 3 hooks and 2 rings to hold pots.
The price was not cheap, but with a 20% discount coupon and no shipping charges, I felt it was a nice investment...
Our Tannenbaum didn't turn out anything like the inspiration, but I do like it better, even if it doesn't look like a traditional Christmas tree is supposed to look like....the concentration of lights is heavier where the two pot holder rings are located because I wove them twice in that part...and the lights down to the base did not work after I finished, although they had been working when I tested them... but by the time it was dark enough to notice it, it was too late to take apart again...
We used a combination of three different conifer branches found growing by the sides of our backroads.
...and look, there are already some packages under it!...although we're not leaving the packages out on the lanai as we're worried about humidity making them look tired and droopy by Christmas Eve, which is when we open our gifts.