The Glitzy-Glam Tannenbaum (i.e. Christmas tree)


                               O Tannenbaum O Tannenbaum

The history of our Christmas tree is long and murky. The first worshipped trees were of pagan origins and celebrations. But then, somewhere around the 1600’s came the tannenbaum. Germany gave us the lovely, candle-illuminated, first  Christmas tree.

O Tannenbaum!

Today in most schools the words have been changed again – going back to a more pagan nomenclature – they are now referred to as holiday trees. Seriously?

 Throughout wars and times of peace the holiday (i.e. Christmas) tree has transformed, morphed, progressed, and regressed.

In the 1930’s trees became large and real again. Balls, bells, tinsel, mercury glass, crystal – anything that glistened  – was done en masse. Over the top didn’t exist.

When the 50’s and 60’s introduced us to “less is more”, decorators could not, would not give up the glitz and the bling, no matter how sophisticated and modern they attempted to be. Solution? Make the whole tree out of blinding bright, silver color, aluminum! Now, that had some razz-ma-tazz! And everybody could save face by labeling it as minimalistic.

Today holiday (i.e. Christmas) trees of every creative style abound. Last week I saw Hollywood-Glam trees advertised and they are PINK!  Trees with a theme are apparently going to be with us for a while: Snow Queen trees, Mickey Mouse trees, Victorian trees, Fishing Lure trees, Pokemon trees, Feather trees, etc.

Well, whatever they are called, whatever they are made from, whatever hangs on their boughs, they are one of the best ornaments ever invented! Aromatic fresh or long term fake makes no difference to me. . . You might remember I am the one who loves everything about Christmas? ESPECIALLY if it’s shiny?!

If you scroll to the end there is another photo of a grandchild under an enormous  holiday (i.e. Christmas) tree with me . . . it was taken last year in the lobby of a Texas hotel, as we celebrated my birthday.  

O tannenbaum!




Merry Christmas Everyone

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors


Personalized CHRISTMAS Wrap – Practically Free


xmas-wrap42 Dianne Ross photo


December brings out the very best in designers. . . because December is all about the beauty of Christmas decorating.

When you think about it, December is the only time of the year when we create things and celebrate things simply for being beautiful! I love everything about Christmas – the snazzy holiday snacks, the fancy full course meals, decorated cookies galore, illuminated trees with ornaments aglow, pretty packages, presents,  fireplace mantles, scented candles, sticky candy canes, glitter, sacred music, creches, holiness, and materialism. I love it all!  And I’m not alone.

It was hard for me to determine which topic to write about this month because obviously, it’s difficult to whittle it down to ONE single topic. So, for today I’ve selected to share a gift wrapping technique that turned out to be a huge crowd pleaser with my family. I hope you use this info as inspiration for your own personalized packages this year.

 Start with a favorite personal snapshot. Turn it into a black and white shot using photoshop or whatever editing device you have. I prefer tight head shots without a lot of fussiness in the background. . . but pick what you like! Print the photos on plain computer paper – any size you like. You can then cut them out and using double faced sticky tape, adhere them to a plain white gift box. These boxes are free at most department stores when you make a purchase. Otherwise they can be purchased (for less than most wrapping papers) at discount stores.

I used black ribbon to “frame” a couple of these photos on larger boxes. I also used leopard print wrapping paper to mingle with the black and white packages. Aqua was my accent color, but any bold color works beautifully! Use your imagination and your photos. Your Christmas guests will be very honored, not to mention impressed!

If brown tones are more to your liking, try doing the photos in sepia instead of black and white. The whole idea is to have some fun making your personalized packages for those near and dear to your heart!

If you want more information give me a call at the store and I’d be delighted to help.

After the gifts were passed out we put my youngest grandchild under the tree. Why? Because he matched the decor! OK – what? You know I have “the design sickness!” Scroll to the bottom to see him.



Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors