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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Geek Tree 2016

by Ken Newquist / December 31, 2016
The 9-foot-tall Geek Tree
The 2016 geek tree is two feet taller than last year's tree. Credit: Ken Newquist.

The Geek Tree has grown. In previous years, that meant additional oranments. This year it truly grew higher, going from 7 feet to 9 feet as I upgraded to a new, taller tree.

The goal of the new tree was to add some more surface area for oranments and put off the day when I'll need to start theming my trees. The plan worked, but not quite as well I'd hoped; the new tree is narrower than the old one, so while we gained surface area from height, we lost some with the slimmer circumfrance.

It's a great looking tree that -- with the Weeping Angel tree topper -- comes within inches of our 10' ceilings. It follows a similar configuration to last year -- small colored LED globe lights on the interior, a white conventional light strand to provide power to my Hallmark Star Trek and Star Wars orgnaments, and slowly-color changing IKEA star lights.

I didn't put the TARDIS lights on the tree this year -- I really need to get another strand so that they can go further up the tree -- and instead hung them from the top of the bookshelf in our library.

Ornamnet-wise, I added the gold Enterprise 1701, which is big, gaudy, and shiny, but shiny wins; like C-3PO, it catches and reflects the light from the ornaments brilliantly. It also features Captain Kirk reciting the opening lines to the original Star Trek series when you press a button.

During Hallmark's post-Christmas sale I snagged the Alien Queen, which complements the Alien oranment from 2014. Like it's predecessor, the bug-like xenomorph is likely a little too scary for small children, so it lurks high on the geek tree. I also got Venom, Spider-man's on-again, off-again nemesis (and current member of the Guardians of the Galaxy; it's confusing, don't ask how that happened).

There were other enhancements to the Geek Tree that I contemplated, but decided not to go ahead with. Barnes & Noble had BB-8 and Stormtrooper string lights for sale at half off ($10 rather than $20) but unlike the TARDIS lights I felt they'd overwhelm the tree ... and I really didn't have space for them.

I think I've reached a new equilibrium for the geek tree. We're pretty good on space for the next few years, even assuming I continue to add three or four new ornaments.