A Christmas Tree Nightmare

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):

  1. 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!
  2. 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?
  3. 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!

Poinsettias might be my favorite flower. Our realtor gave us this one for Christmas! I was so thrilled. I love it! (Garland // Stocking)
I love the simplicity of pinecones! These are cinnamon scented..mmm:) My “garland” is made from the tree trimmings. I’m not finished with the dining room, but I’ll share more pictures soon! (Candlestick // Placemats // Stoneware)
Florals, florals, florals. I change mine out every few months to coordinate with the season. These are from Michael’s. (Milk bottles & crate — similar)
I spruced up the entryway table with a couple of Charlie Brown trees. How cute are those miniature ornaments and jingle bells?! (trees // mason jars)


Keep me updated on your Christmas decorating progress! Do y’all opt for real or artifical trees?? Thanks for reading, y’all!


9 Replies to “A Christmas Tree Nightmare”

  1. LOVE YOUR FUN COMMENTS! I can truly say… concerning the water/sap/needles, Been there done that!
    You must consider that, coming from my era…ALL CHRISTMAS TREES WERE REAL TREES!” Adding something to the mix would be that we did not pay for a tree… we just went with our dad to a field and cut them down, tied them to the top of the car and brought them home. Decorations were mostly hand made paper cutouts , popcorn strings and one at a time.. hung silver icyciles! The Star in the tree too was metal with a hole in the middle for one of the Christmas lights to shine forth. ONE THING NEVER CHANGES THOUGH! It was, as you so correctly stated.. “It was OUR Tree! Every family has a unique take on exactly what and how they decorate to celebrate this wonderful Holiday of Christmas; but it is always “Our Tree”!
    LOVE you Summer! …and Kevin too!

    1. Grandma, Thank you so much for sharing “your tree” experience! I love hearing other’s memories and traditions. Cutting down your own tree must have been quite the time! I love the idea of handmade decorations like stringing popcorn. Wouldn’t it be fun if we still took the time to do all that? These days it all revolves around convenience it seems. I may look into a DIY Christmas decoration for a future post!:)
      Love you!

  2. I died laughing at the thought of you trying to water the tree because that happened to me last year. The first and last time we will ever have a real tree…oh well, you live and learn 🙂 Can’t wait to see this stunning spread in person! SO SOON!!! Love you!!

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