A Beachy Christmas
New for this year, we have a beach-themed Christmas tree in our bedroom. Laura gets all the credit for it. Read on for more details and some more views, too.
For us, there are two fun things about this tree. The first is the beach theme, obviously. As you know, we like the beach. Actually, we love the beach. And as you might know, we have not been to a beach this year due to COVID-19. So this beach tree helps ease that loss a little. You can get a closer look at a few of the ornaments down below. Laura did all the work of finding the right ornaments for it. I just helped to plug it in.
But the other fun thing about this tree is that it is in our bedroom. We have talked before about having a tree in our bedroom. And we have had some lighted window decorations in our bedroom. But this is the first time we have had a Christmas tree in our bedroom. It comes on automatically in the evening and goes off automatically after we have gone to sleep. And then it comes on automatically in the morning about the same time that our alarms wake us up. Sometimes, the tree wakes me up more than the alarm does, actually.
Because this is a skinny tree, it easily fits in our room. And we still have our regular tree in the den, too. This is just a supplemental tree. Just something fun for the Christmas holidays. And on the floor next to it is Island Santa, who dances along to “Mele Kalikimaka”. He adds even more fun!
Santa at the Beach
Laura found some fun ornaments for our beach tree. Some came from stores or online. And a few came from Nassau from some of our visits there. We didn’t know at the time of our Nassau visits that we would have a dedicated beach tree some day, but the ornaments we got there have the perfect home now.
One of our favorites is the ornament in this photo. Santa is at the beach, making a sand angel instead of a snow angel. This ornament came from Hobby Lobby, actually. It is fun and funny. Why can’t I ever think of something like that?
You might have trouble telling from this photo, but this is a rose gold colored tree. That went well with the beach theme.
Stars on the Tree
Stars always go along with Christmas, as the wise men were led by a star to the baby Jesus in Matthew 2. Our beach tree has stars, too, in the forms of a starfish and a sand dollar. The sand dollar ornament says, " Sand, Surf, and Season’s Greetings."
These star-related complement each other well being close together on our beach tree. They are different styles, as one is ceramic and the other is wood, but they go well together.
Joy at the Top
To top off our beach Christmas tree, Laura found this nautical joy word art thing. Even though it was not designed as a tree topper, she managed to get it to stay on the top of the tree, and it is perfect for that. Not to mention that it goes along with the joy ornament that I shared in a photo a few days ago.
As you might guess, joy is big around our house. Not just at Christmas, but all year long. It is nice to have some reminders about it from time to time.
And yes, a beach-themed Christmas tree is bringing us lots of joy this year!
And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. - Matthew 2:9-11
About the Photos
For these photos, I knew I wanted to use the lights of the Christmas tree, but I also knew that I would need some other light away from the tree to be able to see the ornaments. We have two lamps in our bedroom, so I turned those on, and that worked. I also made sure to close the blinds behind the tree, because the daylight outside would have overpowered the tree, or it would have just looked washed out if I had exposed for the tree.
The lamps in our bedroom do not provide that much light, so I used a tripod for all of these photos. For the overall tree photo, the tripod is actually sitting on our bed without having the tripod legs extended. For the others, the tripod was on the floor. The longest exposure was 1/6 second, and there is no way I could have held the camera steady for that amount of time.
I created a preset in Aurora HDR for these photos, so that they would all have close to the same look. While sometimes it is good to vary the looks of photos in a post, I wanted all of these to have the same theme, so creating a preset made sure that I used the same settings for each one. However, I did have to tweak things slightly for each one, but it was good to have a starting place.
Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens
Date: December 3, 2020
Location: Home, Williston, Tennessee