This Year's Tree

It was part of my family's tradition to get a real Christmas Tree every December (living beachside in FL, it was the only time we really got to miss the forest because of the tree, or is it, smell the tree from the forest....) And so, every year Kurt and I and the kids get a real tree. And although, here in the upper mid-west, there are tree farms all over the place where you can cut down your own, this year we decided just to go to one of the many local tree lots, like sane people do, and pick out a pre-cut beauty, saving us time, gas money, muscle soreness, bickering.....you get my drift.

So, we packed up the kids last weekend and headed to the Boy Scout Troop lot down the street. It was the coldest day so far of this season (of course) and the wind chill was just a wee bit BRUTAL. That said, we decided it was best if Solomon stayed in the truck. Madeline volunteered to keep him company (smart kid) and the rest of us braved the cold to look at the trees. Lily and Liam ran through the trees screaming out that they had found the one with every tree they saw.... most of which looked very similar to the tree we had the year Kurt tried to drive it into the garage. And worse than the trees they were picking were the prices. Really....you can't charge the same price (almost $100) for a 6 ft tree that has huge "holes" in it, as you do the 7 ft trees that are only a little lopsided.  They were overpriced to say the least and after a short while, Kurt made his way back into the truck to wait for us to get the hint that we were not buying the tree there. After avoiding eye contact with the few disappointed scouts that had been standing around and shoving the kids back in the car, we were on our way to the local plant nursery, Bachmans.

Bachmans is not the cheapest place on the planet to say the least. But they don't disappoint (unless you count that butternut squash surprise last summer as a disappointment, which I certainly don't!) We were in their greenhouse where they had rows of highly priced beautiful trees. Hot apple cider. No wind chill. It was perfect. And after just a few minutes, we found this enormous, 9+ foot tree that everyone agreed we had to have. (Sorry 3rd world countries, no flock of chickens and a milking cow from us this year!)

Now, we haven't had a tree this big since the year it fell over the night before my Christmas Party and our wonderful neighbor had to come rescue me by helping Kurt get it back up and tied to the walls.

 (Do you see a trend here?) 

We have always said we would consider it again if we ever got a bigger stand (the one we have *claims* it can hold a tree up to 10 feet but we believe it's max is really closer to 7, and it's a little shady even at that) but those things are obnoxiously pricey. So up until this year we have done the sane, more frugal thing, and bought a normal sized tree; one that doesn't require a ladder to decorate nor invisible hanging wire.

At any rate, in no time at all, we were sporting a tree on the top of our truck that was too big to be netted and inside our truck, a brand new gazillion pound stand, clearly capable of squashing a persons intestines as well as breaking the bank while holding a gigantic Christmas Tree.

So, next came the lights. You may remember from last year that we had to buy all new lights after failing to check them all before putting them up. 900 LEDs later and we were set. Unlike last year, we tried all the strands to make sure they worked this time (they did) and started putting them on the tree. When the last strand was up, here is what the tree looked like:

Apparently this tree is like twice as big as last years.....

So, out I went to purchase more lights. And I wasn't the only one. In over 6 local stores, there was only one box left (two if you count the display strand I purchased, much to the clerks chagrin.) So off I went, 30 minutes away, to buy 10 more boxes of lights in a different town. And in case you are wondering, the store brand LEDs and Philips brand ARE NOT THE SAME COLOR WHITE.

After mixing and matching the two brands, we decided it was in our best interest to take off the original lights and go with the more natural looking ones.

We'll get this down eventually. I just know it.

Our final destination, phew....

And so stood our tree for a week while the kids waited patiently for me to get the decorations from the garage. I got them out yesterday and told the kids to go ahead and get started while I put Solomonster down for bedtime. When I got back ten minutes later, there were no kids in sight. Instead, here is what I found:

An incredibly decorated tree (for 4 rugrats) and an enormous mess. 
The Culprits

In case I don't get back on the blog during this beautiful, exciting, joyous, crazy week.....

Merry Christmas To You All!

And to all, a good light....hee hee hee.

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