For my entire life, both before marriage and after, my family has always had an artificial Christmas tree. Actually, I’m sure that if my mother were reading this, she would correct me by saying that we did have a live tree (that my daddy actually went into the woods to cut) when I was a little, bitty girl, but I don’t remember this. This year, I decided that we would have a real tree, mainly after reading on Monica’s blog about her fun post-tree cutting and decorating activities. I especially wanted to make her Christmas tree French toast, so I determined that this past Monday evening was the best opportunity for us to procure out tree. We headed out that cold, cold evening to a tree farm about twenty miles from where we live. I did not realize the tree farm allowed pre-tagging of trees in November, so the trees were fairly picked over when we got there. We finally found a suitable specimen. We tagged our tree and went back to the barn to enjoy some hot apple cider and wait for the tree to be cut and prepared for us to take home. The barn was very rustic and cozy, ‘though still very cold. The girls were quite entranced (and a little bit frightened) by the sounds of the electric saws and machinery used to prepare the trees.
We then went home, where I cooked a quick supper of French toast (Christmas-tree style, as per Monica’s blog), sausage links, eggs, and orange juice. The girls loved the green-sugar-embellished toast and eating on “real” Christmas dishes (as opposed to their usual plastic, childproof dishes).
We then worked for a while on getting our tree decorated. The girls had a great time looking at the ornaments and generally just getting into the festive spirit. Steady Eddie did have to make a run to the store for some light when he discovered that the ones from a couple years ago were not working, but other than that, we ran into no major glitches. I ended up finishing up the decorating after Lulu and Louise went to bed.
In an effort towards more frugality and the mindset of making do, I wrapped a little lap quilt that I had around the tree stand. While I like the homespun effect, I was not thrilled with the way it does not meet in the back. However, after Steady Eddie and I checked on a tree skirt at Hobby Lobby and learned that even at 50% off we would still be out at least $20.00 for a real tree skirt, I decided to stick with my original plan. Besides, I need a really good excuse to go shopping for bargains after Christmas!
So there you have it–our first Christmas with a real tree. So far, I love it! The tree does make our home smell nice and Christmas-y. I think this is a new tradition we’ll keep!