Dec. 4 2013 12:00 AM

State Christmas tree, downtown Lansing


Property: State Christmas tree, downtown Lansing

Owner: State of Michigan

Owner says: Getting fewer complaints than last year

Well, they’ve done it again. As if last year’s oddly lit Christmas tree wasn’t enough of an assault on our holiday sensibilities, state-employed decorators again leave us puzzled with this 71-foot-tall misshapen blue spruce. Again, the lights — albeit a touch more creative than last year’s red and green — are draped over like Aunt Edith’s ugly Christmas sweater. Or worse, a lunch lady’s hairnet.

But don’t take our word for it. “It’s ridiculous,” said Tim Holmes, who’s been in the professional holiday decorating business since 1995. Holmes, a professional actor who lives in Michigan nine months out of the year and in Los Angeles around the holiday season (he called from L.A. on Tuesday), said his main problem is how the lights are wrapped around the exterior. Any serious tree decorator goes branch-by-branch, tucking lights inward toward the trunk all the way to the top.

“Right now it looks like a big huge net sitting on top of a tree,” he said. Holmes also has demanding clientele, which includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nicholas Cage, Jennifer Garner and other A-list movie stars and directors. Recently, his company decorated a 30-foottall tree inside of a 56,000-square-foot house. “It took five guys 12 hours to light this tree correctly.”

Steve Benkovsky, agency director for the Legislative Council Facilities Agency (he and his staff maintain the Capitol grounds), said his staff of electricians and mechanics put together the pattern this year. While it looks like a net, Benkovsky said the lights are wrapped horizontally 18 inches apart and wired together so they don’t blow away.

“It looks like a Christmas hat you put on your head,” Holmes countered.

“Eyesore of the Week” is our look at some of the seedier properties in Lansing. It rotates each week with Eye Candy of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail or call Andy Balaskovitz at 999-5064.