Above you see a video, equal parts artsy AND fartsy, of the Panucci-Larch Christmas Tree for 2021. Mel did all the decorating, your humble blogger simply provided the menial labor, and then took the photos and video.

We decided to go a bit low-key this Christmas, and not bury the tree under the many year’s worth of ornaments that we’ve accumulated.  So we gave the Batman, Walking Dead and most of the Beatles ornaments the year off, and stuck with new stuff that we got this year, and some of the classier ornaments we’ve acquired in our travels. We figure we’ll be rotating ornaments from now on, unless we add another tree…or trees…to the mix in the future.

This is our third year using our “new” fancy, pre-lit tree, and we thought it’d be cool to able to actually see the lights for a change.

The video was a spur-of-the moment thing. While shooting the photos, I decided to fire up the video feature on my ancient digital camera, and shot Standard-definition footage of the tree. Then, when editing,  I zoomed in, blew up the saturation, found some YouTube library music and had it rendered less than an hour after I shot it.

It was something different to do, and you folks can consider this video and photo essay our Christmas card, since we stopped sending out real cards years ago.

We have a few more holiday treats up our sleeves for PopCult over the next week, so keep checking back, and have a happy and peaceful season.

Here are fifteen or so photos with captions, for your amusement and enjoyment…

We still had plenty of room for Chicago, robots and NYC ornaments on the tree.

A mid-truck view, with some Christkindlmarket mugs in the background.

This year’s new Christkindlemarket ornament. We didn’t get to go in person, but there’s always online ordering.

A couple of of favorites.

More cool stuff.

A mix of expensive, cheap and free ornaments, all of which have a special meaning to us.

The Disco Birds and Robots part of the tree.

We had to have at least on Beatle ornament on the tree.

And there are more than a few SpongeBob ornaments amidst the artificial branches.

Rockets…check. Cats…check. Snowflakes…check.

The top of the tree is always a bit of a challenge because the pre-lit tree has a ridiculously long top branch, and the spire (purchased on clearance at Hill’s over 20 years ago) always teeters a bit. This we added a cheap crown ornament from Target and filled with with even cheaper bells from Dollar Tree, and it looks much better.

More mirrorballs and birds, as my grandparents, The Big Lebowski, and Svengoolie photobomb.

Even more cool stuff.

This last shot, an attempt to go without the flash, was artsy enough that it inspired me to make the video at the top of this post. So you can blame this one for that.