So this was Christmas Tree Weekend for us. Because we have a family of four busy people which includes two very socially-active teens and a husband/father who is traveling every week of December this year, our weekends are firmly scheduled with lots of holiday tasks. I'm a little like a festive Captain Von Trapp in my house - trying to establish some order in an environment that often seems to be working against that very goal. I don't use a whistle however, just a calendar and a firm voice that I temper with holiday cheer and enthusiasm. Wine after five also helps.
On Saturday, we went to our favorite nursery to buy our tree (as has been tradition in our family for years and years) but it was closed. A Christmas tree shaped sign on their fence said they weren't going to be selling any trees until the weather warmed up because the trees were so cold, they'd break on the ride home. This posed a problem for us. As I mentioned, we require a precise scheduling of holiday events, and if we didn't get a tree by Sunday morning the entire holiday would need to be pushed back a week. After calling around we found another nursery that kept their trees inside and had a few that came close to our height requirements (read: taller than is really safe to decorate without a net) so we headed over there on Sunday.
As is the case with many people, we all have different approaches to Christmas trees. There's the obvious artificial vs. real debate in which I am firmly on the real side (at least at this point in my life). My parents are quite convincing though in their argument that artificial trees are the way to go after a certain point in life - so I'm not taking that option completely off the table. Then, there are the full vs. airy camps. I'm an airy girl. I like my ornaments to hang on the tree not lay on the tree. That's just how I feel. I think mostly my family leans toward a fuller tree, but airy has always won out in the past because I said so. And then, the lighting issue. Are you a fan of white lights only, or colorful lights? Again, I've been alone (but victorious) on this subject preferring white lights only. I'm a purist rather than a traditionalist.
But this year, I was feeling somewhat flexible and slightly adventurous and decided we'd go 50/50 on the tree using both white and mulitcolored lights. I was inspired by the Rockefeller Plaza tree. They used a combo of light colors and the results were stunning. It could also be that the tree is 500 feet tall in in the middle of midtown Manhattan, but regardless, I was certain we'd enjoy the same effect on our smaller scale tree at home. However, my flexibility has been pushed a bit farther than I'd initially planned.
When we got to the nursery on Sunday, every tree there was as full as full can be. I bravely accepted this reality with minimal pouting, but did try to convince the family that maybe, since we're completely breaking with tradition, we should just get a really unusual tree instead. I found one that was a sort of weeping pine - think Cousin It - but they weren't having it. In typical fashion, the tree we ended up with was more of a rescue. It had been marked down 30% because it was missing half the branches in the back. And it was about 4 feet shorter than we've had in years past. But we felt sorry for it so we brought it home. Since our tree goes in a corner, the missing branches were a non-issue, it's so short we could do the highest decorating using only a step stool, and now the poor tree won't have to linger in the Clearance section for the rest of the holiday season.
So this year we have a short, full tree, covered in lights of all colors. And it's beautiful, especially from the front. I love it and I love that the entire family agreed that an imperfect tree was the right one for us. We made it beautiful. And the faux fur leopard print tree skirt I found for it is a nice touch too.
I'm wearing this.
An at-home day writing. Jeans and a sweater are all that's required. Maybe socks.
And for Meatless Monday, it's breakfast for dinner. Traditional fare for those weeks when Dad's out of town.
gratitude: the family tree hunt, our decorating tradition with hot chocolate, ornaments with pictures of the kids when they were little, the coziness in our great room
thanks and love.