Every Christmas I can remember included a fake Christmas tree. I don’t ever remember having a real Christmas tree in any of the houses I lived in. I’m not sure why we never had a real Christmas tree. I don’t know if it was Mom or Dad who refused to have them, but I’ve only ever experienced Christmas with fake trees – some that you had to put the lights on yourselves and others that came prelit.
When Ashley and I moved from Chicago to Ohio, we purchased our first Christmas tree. It was fake, of course, pre-lit, and it was covered top to bottom with glitter. It was made for our formal living room.
We have used that Christmas tree for the last 9 years and it’s served its purpose. This year, we had to say goodbye to our fancy-schmancy Christmas tree. The only problem was, we couldn’t afford to run out and purchase another pre-lit tree. Sure, on Black Friday, all the stores had some pre-lit trees on sale for $35 – $50. But, they looked like $35 trees. They were ugly. If we get another pre-lit tree, we want to invest in one that will last for years to come and will look decent. We don’t want to have to purchase a new $35 pre-lit tree every year.
So, this year, we opted for a real tree. Before marrying me – and my glitter Christmas tree – my husband had only ever had real trees. They actually went into the woods, cut down the tree, and brought it home. We looked into doing that here, and the cheapest we could find was a tree farm that charged $15 per foot of the tree you cut down. I don’t think all our ornaments would fit on a 2 foot tree.
After a photo shoot on Friday morning, I found a local Boy Scout troop selling Christmas trees. I picked out the one that I wanted, paid for it, and told them my husband would be back in a few hours to get it. The tree I picked out was beautiful. The tree my husband brought home was not the same tree. We got ripped off by the Boy Scouts. Luckily, I wasn’t out of pocket much, so I figured I just donated my money to the Boy Scout troop for the year. Live and learn, and don’t ever walk away without the tree in hand. Next year, hubby and I will find the right tree together.
On Saturday, we ran to Wal-Mart to get some lights for our Charlie Brown Christmas tree, and ended up falling in love with a beautiful tree they had for sale. $25 for a 7 foot live tree. And it was perfect. So much prettier than the pathetic looking one we had at home. We brought it home, set it up, and let it sit for 24 hours. (I had no idea you had to do that with a real tree. I have so much to learn.)
Yesterday afternoon, we trimmed the tree. I didn’t use any of my fancy-shmancy ornaments, just the kids ornaments and some old ornaments my former students gave me. And now, I can’t stop looking at it. It’s perfect. It looks like a family Christmas tree. No glitz, no glamor, but a whole lot of love.
Tell me about your Christmas tree. Have you set it up yet? Do you do real trees or fake trees? Anything this real-Christmas-tree virgin should know? I’d love to hear how you decorate for Christmas. And if you put up a post on your blog, leave a link in the comments. I’d love to stop by and see!