Monday, December 7, 2009

Our Christmas Tree Adventures

I know most people think of the Christmas tree as just one more ornament to decorate one's house at Christmas. And I do too to a certain extent.

But last year, when we were struggling to make it through the holidays, the final straw for me was our Christmas tree. It was an artificial tree that was well beyond its prime and no matter how much "fluffing" I did, it just looked awful. I spent the entire season sad every time I came into the room when I saw it, rather than excited. I was so disgusted by it that I took it down on Christmas night, when I usually leave the tree up as long as least until after New Year's.

So when I put it away last year, I vowed that we would finally get a REAL tree this year. When I was in college, my friend Deb and I would go to the tree lots and pick out a Christmas tree when we were roommates ( in two different places). The trees were always brittle by Christmas and dropped tons of needles.

I decided that it would be fun to start a new tradition and actually take the boys out and chop down our own tree this year. I actually thought Steve would protest this idea, but he was pretty excited about it too. So after asking around, we found a tree farm just north of here.

Steve grabbed a saw and we jumped on a wagon for a ride out to the field. We were asked what kind of tree we wanted so they knew where to drop us off. I looked around and saw one that I liked that someone else had and pointed to it. "I want one one like that" I said and then knew that we were off to search for the perfect scotch pine.

Apparently scotch pine trees are less popular because we were the only ones who got off the wagon at that area while the rest of the people moved on.

The trees were all on an angle of a pretty steep hill. Almost immediately after Steve and I started searching for the "perfect" tree, the boys were off rolling down the big hill.

After a bit of searching and dusting the snow off the trees to get a better look, we found IT. The Wheelz Family 2009 Christmas Tree. It looked kind of small to me but I had been warned by a facebook friend that they always look bigger inside so I didn't want to take a chance.

Steve went right to work sawing it down. Noah was thrilled to get right down there and watch the progress.

After I got on the other side and pulled to help the process along, our tree was ready to fall. And Noah wanted to be under it when it fell. Don't ask me why...he's a silly boy.

So after loading up the wagon, riding back, having it drilled baled and paid for, we were off to take our tree home. Doesn't my Honey look so cute?

After spending some time getting tit straight in the stand and moving it around in the living room several times, we finally found a place for it to rest. And Princess Minnie settled underneath it within the first two minutes of it being set up.

I know we were supposed to wait the obligatory 24 hours before decorating, to wait for the branches to drop, but I just couldn't wait. After the last few weeks have been so stressful, I just needed to be doing something that made me excited. So after fighting (yes, I DO mean fighting) with the lights, I put a few ornaments on. The boys caught on and started putting THEIR ornaments on, which included a ton of plastic hallmark character ones that they have received from my in-laws over the years.

After all the work to get the "prefect" tree, I was working hard to not cringe as I was watching all of the odds and ends ornaments being hung by the kids. That's when I got my next big idea. What if they had THEIR OWN TREE to put all of the ornaments of theirs on?

Noah and I ran to Target and got a tiny 3 foot artificial tree for the boys to decorate, complete with a star on top at Noah's request. They were so excited and got right to work.

Here is the beautiful tree complete with two proud little boys who got to do it all themselves.

Although I think the real tree needs a few finishing touches, I will share with you a picture of this year's offering right next to last year's, and you'll see why I spent the entire evening staring at our tree:

2008 2009

Big difference, huh? Especially with the new color on the walls, our living room really looks amazing and I love turning out the lights and just sitting in there and relaxing.

I'm not sure how healthy the tree actually is. After only twenty four hours, the water from the tree was almost completely gone. I really hope it make it until New Year's. The whole time we were having this adventure, different scenes from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation kept flying through my head. (If you haven't seen the movie, don't let this holiday go by with's a must see)

So that's my Christmas tree story. Now I need to go into the living room and stare at it some more. Have a great Monday.


Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Scotch Pine is the kind that we always got when I was growing up - it's always been my favorite kind of Christmas tree. :)

Very pretty! I still can't bring myself to even think about doing a real tree, but yours looks beautiful. Having a decent tree makes a huge difference - we had the same problem last year and tossed our artificial tree right after we took it down because it was so old, looked horrible and was just plain worn out. So far the new one looks nice - we'll see how well it lasts after weeks of exposure to the cats though. ;)

I wish I'd known you needed a 3ft. artificial one - I've got one still in the box and never opened that I bought for the basement right before we tore that ledge out, so we've never used it...

bethn said...

Hey Kristi, from an experienced "real" tree person. It does suck up a lot of water in the first few days, then it slows down. That's a good sign that the tree was in good health. They also tend to lose a lot of needles that were loose right away. Mark usually pounds it out on the driveway to get the worst of them out. The tree looks gorgeous. Don't you just love the smell. That's my favorite part.

Jennifer Kindle said...

I've never had a real tree...what a fun experience cutting it down though....I know...Kate's bow should've been bigger!!!!

Christmas Hampers said...

Excellent blog. It was nice going through your Christmas tree adventure. Enjoyed it. Reminded me to prepare my own Christmas tree. Have a wonderful Christmas.