I was really anxious to start decorating for Christmas after Thanksgiving, so Monday night Kevin and I went to pick out our Christmas tree. Mind you, I grew up with an artificial, pre-lit tree, so this was all new for me. Kevin, on the other hand, always had real trees, so it was important to him to keep up the tradition. Here are a few things I’ve learned about real Christmas trees (the hard way):
- Not all trees are the same. First, we looked at Pike because a neighbor told us they were running a special ($40 for a 9 footer). I ran around the place pointing at this one and that one, only to have Kevin tell me that it wasn’t “full enough” or that it was “almost dead.” Sheesh, who knew what all went into picking out the right tree? Clearly, this was a serious situation. We ended up going to a tree lot instead, where they had trees shipped in from Boone, NC (pretty legit). I could tell right away that these trees were much higher quality (and also double the price). I was learning so quickly!
- They are expensive. This might be obvious, but the tree is going to die (duh), so you can’t keep it for next year (bummer). This means every year you dish out $$ for a new tree. The tree we ended up getting was $80 (Kevin talked them down to $75, woohoo!). It’s huge! So huge that the tree dude couldn’t fit the stump on to our tree stand. He sat there shaving away at the bark and knots until it finally fit. Then he says, “I tried to preserve the bark, so that the tree would still drink water.” Wait, what?
- They are messy.
Part 1: Water. So apparently you have to water the tree everyday. Kevin went out of town for work, so I was left to care for the tree (great, as if I need another responsibility). I filled up a big cup of water and army crawled under the massive tree to get to the stand. I poured and poured and then, I felt a splash. Luckily, we had a special inner tube, water-catcher, tree mat thingy under the tree in case of spills, but SOMEHOW water still managed to leak underneath on the hardwood floors. Crap. This tree is huge and heavy, so moving it was not an option. I gave it a test nudge with my foot, forgetting that the stand was filled to the brim with water, and even more water sloshed out. Seriously? I felt like I was babysitting a vomiting child and failing miserably. 20 tiny pushes and 5 towels later, I cleaned up the water.
Part 2: Sap. Like, real trees have sap. The tree dude was nice enough to send me home with tree trimmings that I could use around the house (I chose the mantle and dining room table). It only took me snipping a few pieces to get sap all over my hands, which I then proceeded to wipe on my shirt. Bad decision. Not to mention it doesn’t come off, not even with soap. Fail.
Part 3: Pine needles. They’re everywhere. I guess I’ll be vacuuming daily. Major fail.
I’m going to call this our “double-wide tree.” I was so glad that Kevin already had tree lights and several ornaments to get us started. I bought a set of base ornaments and added in a few others to complete our collection (can you spy my favorite feather ornaments?) In general, I stuck with white, metallic, pops of red, and burlap ribbon. It may not be a perfect, “designer tree,” but its our tree and that’s what makes it special. I’ll always remember it as my first, real tree.
This is a 54″tree skirt from Target and it is still a touch too small for the double-wide. I’m thinking about having one made next year instead, but this one will do for now:)
Needless to say, I’ve learned that Christmas decorating is not easy. Just when you think you’re finished, you find more to add, which means more to buy. Our tree is so huge that the tree skirt we had was too small. Naturally, I strolled to Michael’s (my one-stop-shop) in search of a new one. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the larger size I was looking for (fail), but they did have a 70% off doorbusters sale (win). I left with an entire buggy full of new Christmas items. Oops. Even with all the new stuff, the house is still a work in progress, but I’ll share with you what I’ve done so far! My hope is that by next year I’ll have all the kinks worked out and I’ll be able to decorate all at once. Fingers crossed!
Keep me updated on your Christmas decorating progress! Do y’all opt for real or artifical trees?? Thanks for reading, y’all!