Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Christmas Tree Dilemma

Traditions have a hard time being released and laid down for me. There are people it seems to me that merrily skip through life, not burden with the expectations of ones self to be so encumbered. I on the other hand seem to be one of those people who hold dear to traditions especially in the area of family. It is kind of a dilemma in itself. I usually hate being contained to rules and regulations, and other people’s expectations. I prefer life to be lived with out rigid structure. I have a bit of an artistic temperament, which seems to explain my out of the box daily lifestyle. I hate to commit to a routine. My blessed mother was one of those ladies who had a set day for everything, example Monday was wash day, Tuesday ironing, and set bed times for her children, order and organization was her mantra. Plan ahead and prepare. As her first born I ran in total opposition to all that. I drove the poor woman crazy at times. In the area of traditions though, she kind of followed the out with the old in with the new style. As I grew up and realized we were not a very traditional family in the terms of yesteryear, my mother worked, didn’t have her first child till she was 28, was not the traditional stay at home mom. Basically my folks were some of the first D.I.N.K.S. I knew of. So what does this have to do with the Christmas tree? I grew up in the 50's & 60’s with live Christmas trees. Then the 70’s hit and my mother discovered the fake tree. I hated it, and bemoaned its existence in our family Christmas. So when I started my family, several things changed up. I became a stay at home mom, and even home schooled my children. Which at the time was against the flow, woman were now working outside the home, and home schooling? Who did that? I also flung myself into the full role of homey mommy. Every holiday became a big deal, and I grabbed a hold of other people’s traditions to make some for our lives. And the Christmas tree had to be real. Over the years as life has moved along, and I have slowed down a bit, and children have grown up, I have forced myself to let go of many of our holiday traditions. There is a great article over on the Reluctant Entertainer, cheering me on. Many a tradtion I have laid down gladly. BUT, and it is the biggest but, the fresh Christmas tree, how and what to do about that? My husband dreads the whole ordeal. He hates to stand around and heaven forbid go to another lot to find the best tree. Because he could care less, bless him, he is not a traditionalist, and these kinds of details, bore the poor man dearly. So I figured out after a while…that I could do this by myself. The guys at the tree lot will gladly hold up each and every tree for me ;>) and strap it on to my SUV. So I simply save my husband all the hassle, and deliver the tree right to his garage. Well as you all know, that is not the end of the process. Well to make an already long story short, this year for the first time in 31 years of marriage I felt ready to concede to the FAKE TREE. If only to make my poor husband a happier man during the holidays. So we bought a 9ft. continuous pre lit tree at Costco. I won’t even bother to bore you with the details of that final decision, and how many stores later. Who knew there were so many choices to make in buying a fake tree?
Anyways my youngest bemoaned the whole idea (18) she will get over it. This should be the easier more economical way to go? Right! No more tree shopping, no more watering, no more dead needles on the floor everyday, and no more putting lights on the blasted thing. Oh oh my! Be for warned. Three hundred dollars later, (as I figure it I will have to be stuck with this thing for 6 years just to come out even)an three hours later of lugging the very heavy tree in, assemblage, MAJOR tree fluffing, and when Christmas is over, I can only imagine how difficult it is going to be to stuff that baby back in the box!!!!!

So I am now asking, a bit to late hmmm. What do you do for a tree? How do you deal with the downside of either choice? At this point I am still wondering if I should just take the darn thing back!

Question number three. What is the best pine sented candle out there? Maybe if I can find something that smells real and not fake pine...ugh!!!!!! I can deal ;>)

24 hour update:
Couldn't fall asleep last night, after all was said and done. Wrote my husband a note. When I woke up, he was in full agreement. We hated the fake, expensive, wattage sucking,(the thing had 1800 lights on it, and it was heating our house) non smelling, storage wasting, monstrosity, that was eating up our great room. By 9:30 am that baby was back in the box, and on its way back to Costco. Can you believe it?

Stay tuned for more of Cindy's Holiday fun!


Jen(n) said...

Just think you won't have to worry about your little baby Eden swallowing any pine needles that have fallen to the ground next year when she is mobile!
Don't get me wrong, I love the real tree and we will get one, but I'm sure it will be really nice not to have to water and clean up after one!

Chris said...

OMGosh. I can't beleive it!!!! Take it back, I can not even begin to fathom my sister's house without a real fresh Christmas tree. Well, I guess if ya have to have a fake one, at least it's a good one, 9', hmmm, with lights, hmmm, how long did you say it took you to assemble it and make it perfect (that's Mom's fault), and then getting it all back in the box after Christmas, does Danny know about that part..HA!!! Have fun you guys, can't wait to see how beautiful it will be with your decorating talents my sis.

Have you ever tried the "Tymes" brand candles, try the "Frazier Fur", it's wonderful!!! :)

Love ya...Chris

Kathleen Grace said...

First, thanks for stopping by my blog, as is the usual way of things, I followed the link back here and, oh my, I can so relate to everything you are saying. I have a similar background, and outlook, I am a little artistic and homeschooled my kids and tradition is what makes the world go round here at holiday time! As my girls are getting closer to growing up and moving out (17 and 19) I have been thinking about how things will be different whent hey are gone. I dont think too much about it or I cry! But I have always been a "real tree" stickler. Got to have one! But I really think when it is just hubby and I, that I may go to a smaller tree on a table top. No, not something 3 feet tall, but maybe 5 feet and easier to handle. We even talked about starting to plant a few in the woods every year for a few years so we can cut our own and not have to go pay $50 somewhere else. As for pine scented candles, Yankee candle makes one called Balsam and Cedar that smells just like a real Christmas tree, fantastic! You can even get a little gel air freshener to hang behind the fake tree for about $4! WHatever you decide, if it fits your life and doesnt stress you out it is all good. Pick whatever helps you relax and have a great Christmas:>)

Sandy said...

Hi! When we moved into our current house with a high-ceiling living room, and I drove past a garage sale with a huge, beautiful (fake) tree in the driveway, I knew it was for us. I've always said "no" to fake trees, but this one was it. It had multiple colors (not lights, we get to put our own on), with pinecones. IT was obviously an expensive tree (the woman said she pd. $400 for it!) and it works for us. We have fun decorating it, and to be honest, the only thing I miss is the "smell" of a fresh tree.
But I'm proud of you for doing what you had to do! :) Your last comment on my site was before you decided to take it back. LOL!
Thanks for referring readers to my "too much tradition" post! :)

Nadine said...

Growing up we had a real tree, then in later years switched to a fake one.

I like the fake because when I was a kid it was my job to clean up the dead needles and water and such. No fun for me.

I like the ease and have a manageable size tree. I think it looks nice.

I hope it all works out for you.

Shadraq said...


I never thought I'd see the day.

Shadraq said...

Oh, wait. I just saw the "24 hour Update"

WHEW. I knew you were better than that! Don't buy that fake tree. Remember - Rest is a weapon.

Fatigue leads to Unrest
Unrest leads to Moodiness
Moodiness leads to Irrationality
Irrationality leads to Rashness
Rashness leads to Poor Decisions
Poor Decisions lead to Fake Tree.

And Fake Tree leads to the DARK SIDE

Barbara said...

I'm glad you took that tree back.
Let's know what you do get though.
As you asked I shall put my decorations up the weekend of the 15th probably. Used to do it on the 1st when teh children were young.
I have a fake tree but a nice one and I like just gold and red balls pluss spsecial collected fun bits and gold beeds draped around plus white lights.
I don't get in a spin over Christmas, just do what I want to do in my own time.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Whatever works! LOL! You must have Christmas tree farms? That's always a fun way to go about selecting the family tree. I'll be watching to see how this all resolves. (I might have to rethink a prelit tree after reading your story.)

Nickie said...

I'd rather have live, but my husband doesnt like the idea of a live tree. SIGH. So I'm stuck with a little pre-lit ghetto lookin' lopsided thing!

Next year....I'm insisting on REAL!

Jill B said...

This is such a funny story, I love that you took it back in the end! My parents have the same discussion every year, with my mom for the real tree and my dad against it, and so far no fake tree. I should make him read this article if he brings it up...

Helen said...

Yay! I was alarmed until I got to the 24 hr update. Whew that was a close one! I have to admit I am going to print it out so if we have this same discussion again, I will have it ready! Ha ha

Alida said...

Hilarious Cindy. Have been thinking of you heaps so decided to check your blog. We have been going through the same dilemma. Real or Fake! I've been looking at the fake ones but Es can't believe that the thought even comes close to finding a place of rest. Anyway - short story, Wayne & I headed out to a very nice farm close by, chopped our own gorgeous 9 ft noble, took it home & it is up. Was quick, not too painful & even a bit of fun. I was thinking - maybe the fake one next year - but after reading your story, probably not. Thanks for sharing & we have to talk:-) XXXXU

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