Friday, December 7, 2012

Our Christmas in the Park Tree!

Seasons Greetings! 

Have you and your family or friends been downtown to check out Christmas in the Park this year? Well if not, the next time you're down there.. see if you can find The San Jose Blog's tree! That's right, we've got a tree!

In November, I set out to create ornaments for our tree. As a photographer, I've taken a ton of photos that showcase various details, buildings, people, or events that make up San Jose and the surrounding cities in Santa Clara County. I thought these photos could make for some fun ornaments.

The Process

I went through my photos and picked out shots that I felt represented the area: the cherry blossom trees and street banners in Japantown, the Silicon Valley Roller Girls, San Jose State, City Hall, The Tech Museum, San Pedro Square Market, Santana Row, San Jose Taiko, and much more. I had them printed (FedEx/Kinkos, simple, on paper thicker than normal printer paper) and cut them out in 4x4 squares. 


Next up - a trip to Tap Plastics! I needed to make these weather-proof, and while I could have laminated them, I wanted them to have some heft. I bought 4x4 acrylic squares. 

Back home, I Mod-Podged the photos to the acrylic squares. My apartment was quite stinky after doing that! (I had to glue a sheet of cardstock down before applying the photo as well.)


After they dried for a few days, I turned them over and glued hand-bent wire hooks to each piece. Dry.. dry.. dry.. and DONE.


One last item was, admittedly an experiment, had to be added the day I decorated the tree itself. 

I purchased batteries and LED lights to place on the back of each ornament. My hope was the light would show up on the edges of the clear tile as well as illuminate the back of the tile too.


Added some sparkly garland, some small colorful ball ornaments, and a big silver bow on top - our decorations were complete!


Now, this may seem a little out of order, but the last thing I placed on the tree was the two strands of Christmas lights that were provided to us by the Christmas in the Park organization. For such a large tree, two strands really didn't feel like much, but hey, that's what we were provided!

Fast forward to the big tree lighting ceremony. They played holiday music and special guests including Kristi Yamaguchi and Santa made an appearance. After the giant tree was lit, my husband and I made our way to the TSJB tree.

Upon seeing it, my heart sank. Only one of the two strands of lights worked. Our tree was in the dark and you couldn't really see anything on it. 

But, there is a happy ending! While the lights were never replaced by CITP, they did grant us permission to use our own SOLAR lights. So we're not even using the PG&E provided juice for our tree! 

Last night we were able to replace the lights and now we have a tree with a ton of little twinkle lights! (We are, however, missing our silver bow.. lost forever it seems!)


Hope you can check out our tree and all the other ones in the park - there are some really amazing and fun trees out there! If you'd like to see more photos, including some detail shots of some of the ornaments, check them out here.

Here's one more photo of Josh and I posing in front of the tree!


Happy Holidays everyone!


  1. Greetings, Read the editor section of San Jose Business Journal about downtown being the "it" place, which is a total fantasy, to keep high tech workers or recruit workers here. Just face it: the valley lost its luster, and San Francisco is now the high tech center! Read the Journal and see how the war was lost.

    1. Read it, and agree with most of both parts of the article. The number of successful tech companies in SF is a small fraction of Silicon Valley, almost a rounding error. For those startups over there right now that do succeed, they are going to find that there is very little room to grow, it's just as expensive as the penninsula, options for employees raising a family are limited, and not only will they be paid less than Silicon Valley, but SF will take an extra 2% slice off their paycheck when incentives wear off (Twitter was about to leave because of this).

      Meanwhile, San Jose not only has room to grow to whatever size company you can achieve (4 million sqft of grade A office in development in the South Bay for 2013 alone)... but it has an emerging core full of potential which is Downtown San Jose. It already has most of the amenities needed to really explode: 230+ restaurants, high walkability score, professional sports, dozens of bars and nightclubs, public transit, parks, the convention center, some retails with more to come, SJSU, diverse housing options, and easy access to freeways and an International Airport.

      The stars are starting to align for Downtown SJ while SF is getting close to its ceiling on what it can achieve. And FYI, there are quite a few startups located Downtown as well with more moving in every month.

  2. Josh: Look at his pretty Christmas tree I decorated.
    Mr. Reality: BAAAAARRRF!