O’, Christmas Tree

This year’s Christmas tree undertaking is one for the D-family record books. Yes, it’s Had’s first Christmas tree…but it was also our first real Christmas tree as a family. And it was completely unintentional and unplanned. Go, us!

I’ve done the “real tree” thing in years back, in a very different place in my life, so I know the deal. I’m not sure Dave has ever had a real one before, though.

What took us on this path to a real pine scent and kitty free-for-all? (Thank goodness, we asked the vet if Winston’s regular stops for a drink at the Christmas Tree Pub were of concern and he said that it was fine — and that we’re lucky the cats aren’t getting IN the tree or toppling it over. Score 2 for us.) That would be the fact that our beloved Beardslee took it upon himself to sit upon tall presents the past couple of years, inadvertently bending (and even breaking several of) the bottom branches of our old, cheap fakey. I even recall saying, as we packed up the tree last year, “I guess I’ll have to keep another eye out on Black Friday next year.” Oops. Forgot about that. Minus one point. *wop wop*

So, when we started to put the tree together in our front room (much more room for it to “shine”, and be out of the way of the baby-cluttered living room), it became apparent that it had seen its last days. And, of course, it was already heading for 9pm on a weeknight. Dangnabbit.

Being the dutiful, cheery husband that he is, Dave shlepped over to Kmart (while I was on baby duty) to see what they had in stock. Cheap-o crappola or over-priced nice? Eh. Neither, thanks. Then, he realized that Lowe’s would have some more fake-os in stock. So, he drove there (with minutes to spare before they closed). Moments later, he calls me to give a very brief description of their artificial trees, but cuts himself off with, “But, they have real!!! I know we were going to wait until we have a bigger house to do the real thing, so you can totally say ‘no’, but it’s an option.” By this point, I was getting exhausted (can’t imagine how tired he must’ve been!), so I did the, “Okay, whatever, get what you want” thing. Shortly thereafter, he’s pulling an un-bundled tree through our side door, needles spraying every which way.

The cats were in heaven. I was a tad surprised the thing wasn’t tied up, at least.

We got the thing up, with a glitch or two, in pretty good time. I had to saw off some of the bottom branches so that it would actually fit in the stand (which Dave had to buy). I didn’t bother cutting a half inch off the bottom (our saw’s dull and it was a pretty thick base), but it seems to be thriving just fine.

Of course, because of this lil’ glitch, we couldn’t decorate right away. After all, our previous tree was pre-lit and in case you didn’t know, Santa doesn’t make pre-lit real trees. Just not possible. *shrugs* So, Dave bought a lengthy strand one night and we finally got to (eventually) decorate it.

I’ve gotta admit that, while it’s more work (watering), the cats LOVE it (they haven’t gone AS nuts over the ornaments this year — just broke one! New record…knock on tree) and it turned out to be the perfect size and downright gorgeous. You can see a little of it on our annual Christmas greeting (Dave’s news station does several of these every year) —

So, what kind of tree do you use? Is it a tradition? I’m not sure if this is a tradition or not, but it has made for quite the memorable “Hadley’s First Christmas”! Oh, and I’ve heard that the eco-friendliness factor is 50/50 — reuse from year to year (but eventually ends up in a landfill) or toss out every year (with possibility of having it mulched, woohoo!)?

***Side note: Christmas card outtakes — a million shots of kitties running away or getting loopy, Hadley was coming down with the bug so the fact that we got the “smiling baby” shot astounds me, and he totally had poop up his back the whole time — I didn’t know that ’til just before we finished. That outfit is a frickin’ poop magnet. (And I totally look like a dork, but it’s not about me — it’s all about Hads and his “three wise men”.)***