Christmas Prep 2010, Part 1

Today was Christmas tree day!

I finally resigned myself to the reasonable and sensible option of an artificial Christmas tree, and we bought one this morning at Target. I love real trees because that’s what I grew up with. But with the inevitable vicious needles stabbing me in the feet for three months after Christmas no matter how much I vacuum, the need to crawl underneath the branches to water it, keeping the cats from drinking the tree water, and the giant welts on my hands and arms each year from my evergreen allergy, it made sense to make the switch.

We found a 7.5ft fir tree, pre-lit with white LEDs, for a pretty good price. There was one I liked a little more at Lowe’s but it didn’t seem like the extra $100 was really worth it, so this one is what we came home with. Those things are really expensive! Happily, it assembled really easily, unlike some other artificial trees I’ve seen. It came in three parts with the branches all folded up on hinges, so you just pop the three pieces together and then drop the branches and start fluffing them up so they look good. That part was rather tedious, but the result was a good-looking tree.

Out came the red unbreakable ornaments (with three cats, glass ornaments are asking for trouble) and the angel tree-topper. We then started adding all our special ornaments. I collect ornaments when we travel, so we’ve got dozens now from all our adventures, and I love having them on the tree to look at and spark so many happy and funny memories. Some are too fragile for me to feel comfortable displaying on a tree the cats might climb, so I’ll need to find a shelf and an ornament display tree for next year, so they can finally come out of their bubble wrap.

Here’s the tree:I’m really happy with how it looks. The tree skirt is adorable, but usually has a cat on it. Whether that adds or detracts from its adorability is up for debate and depends on whether the cat is attacking ornaments. Speaking of ornaments, here’s a close-up:

In this one you can see the mini-cowbell from Switzerland on the bottom left, Big Ben a little ways above it, Dutch clogs from Amsterdam at the top, and two corks – the one on the left is from a bottle of wine we shared in Rome, and the champagne cork at the bottom is from the day Dave proposed, in Montreal. See what I mean about the memories? Almost every ornament has a story, and that makes the tree so special to me. I wish I could tell them all, but people get bored.

The problem with the tree is that we couldn’t put it in the family room where we normally watch TV, because it wouldn’t fit. So we needed another tree. Luckily we had a mini-tree from last year, and we decked it out with bells and bows and sat it near the TV so we can feel Christmassy while we lie on the couch.

Tomorrow we will tackle the outdoor decorating. We have big plans!

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