Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Oh Christmas Tree
A week ago I blogged about how much I dreaded Christmas last year. This year it’s much different. I’ve been ready to get going with Christmas since Thanksgiving, but I’d told myself I couldn’t do anything Christmas related until I finished my 50000 words for NaNoWriMo.
I finished Monday night. Well before midnight even. I didn’t have quite the sense of elation I had two years ago when I finished my first book, but it was close. Plus I knew that now I could save the still-needs-to-be-finished WIP on the external hard drive, pack away all the notes, store away my magical, mystical mojo beads, blow out my salt candle and get started with my Christmas decorating.
A tree is an important part of Christmas for me. I remember as a small child going with my daddy and sister out to woods somewhere and cutting a cedar tree. It would make the house smell so fresh. When my boys were young, we’d make an annual trek to the Christmas tree farm and chop our own. We learned the hard way to not only take exterior looks into consideration, but to make sure the trunk was straight. We had one Christmas where the tree was tied to a closet door knob to hold it upright.
Then the boys got older, headed off to college and I entered the artificial tree era. They have really nice ones now – lush and looking darned near real. Burn an evergreen candle and you’d think it WAS real. Now they even come with lights already on them. Now how cool is that?
Last year my Christmas tree was a little on the “Charlie Brown” side. It was only four feet tall and I’d bought it from a thrift store. One branch had broken where it attached to the trunk, so I had to wire it in place with floral wire. But I put that side against the wall and no one was the wiser. I decorated it with a few things I’d brought from my house plus some new dollar store decorations. It served its purpose but I knew I wanted a full size tree for this year. I even budgeted for one and figured I’d start looking early and hope for a good sale.
At Labor Day a group of girlfriends and I went to the beach to visit another friend, and when she was showing us around her apartment, she pointed to a large box in the hall closet and said, “I really need to take that to the thrift store.”
“What is it?” I asked, being nosy.
“It’s a Christmas tree.”
“Oh? How tall?”
It turns out it was a 7 ½ foot slim pre-lit tree which was EXACTLY what I’d planned to buy.
Someone had given it to her the year before and she’d decided to downsize. I offered to buy the tree from her, but she said she was planning to give it away anyway, so I could have it for nothing. We had one problem though: our car was full, so how would I get it to Huntsville?
“Easy,” she said. “I’m coming up in a few weeks and I’ll bring it then.”
Christmas tree situation solved!
This episode is now fondly referred to as the Sisterhood of the Traveling Christmas Tree.
I’m planning to pull out my boxes of decorations plus a collection of new ornaments I got earlier this year thanks to several dear friends who gave me a generous gift card to a Christmas shop right when they had everything at clearance prices.
When I get the tree up and decorated and have the rest of my place done, I’ll post pictures. Maybe I can even find some photos of the Charlie Brown tree for a before and after comparison.
So, are you a real or artificial tree person? And when do you put your tree up? I remember another real tree episode where the tree died. And I mean DIED. When you’d shut a door or even walk across the hardwood floor, you could hear needles fall. Two weeks before Christmas, every brown, dry needle was on the floor. So we undecorated it, took it to the dumpster and bought another tree. ~sigh~