For as long as I can remember, I celebrated Christmas with a fake tree. We would put together the “trunk” of the tree.  Then we would find the branches with the white tips and stick it into the trunk’s white-colored holes.  And repeat with green, blue, yellow, and red.  We’d string the lights – well, Mom would, since she had a system of how the lights should be strung.  We used white and colored lights.  Sometimes blinking, sometimes not.

Then came the ornaments.  Now, I’ve been to other people’s houses where they have maybe 20 ornaments – all the same ball ornaments with glitter.  And they’d be dispersed around the tree.  Not at our house.  We have ball ornaments…but we put those on last to fill in the spaces.  My mom has ornaments from when we were five years old.  She’d tie a string to a church craft we made.  She’s even added a string to other people’s wedding favors. [So when that couple comes over to our house for a get-together… we’d say, “Look!  We have your wedding favor on our tree!”  Most respond, “Wow!  We didn’t even keep any of ours.”]  We have ornaments from when CVS gave out free ones.  We have ones that my mom made out of sparkly pipe cleaners or cross-stitched patterns.

And forget about 20 ornaments.  We probably had at least 150 ornaments.  Many times we didn’t have enough tree branches to put any else on! Sometimes the tree was so heavy with ornaments that my mom filled a jar with rice and tied it to the back of the tree so it wouldn’t tip over.  (It has tipped over before.)

I never got a tree for myself in college.  With being away for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years and being busy with studying and finals, there wasn’t really any reason to get one for my dorm room.  Last year was our first Christmas being married.  I’ve been very keen on starting our own family traditions and setting up a Christmas tree is one of them (even though Will doesn’t help much – probably because, like my mom, I like the lights and ornaments a certain way 😀  Which is fine – I like to do it, he doesn’t, and he just tells me how pretty it is after I’m done.)

So for Christmas 2010, I wanted to try to get a real Christmas tree.  Will talked me out of it – for financial and practical reasons.  So I obliged.

Christmas 2010

But this past Christmas, I really wanted a real tree.  I just didn’t have any motivation or excitement to build the tree that was in the big gray storage box.  And did I really want this six-foot plastic tree to be the family tradition I started for Christmas?

No.

Now, how to convince Will?

I found a website with reasons why getting a fake tree was actually bad for the environment.  I found a coupon to save money on a tree.  I told him I would take care of it.  He caved.

On Saturday, November 26, we went to get my very first real Christmas tree.

We made it into a date and stopped by Oga’s in Natick for sushi lunch!

Then we headed over to Houde’s Christmas Tree Farm.  We gathered a saw and the sled and marched over to the fields.  Who knew it would be so difficult to pick one out!  I realized that, unlike fake trees, you can’t just bend the metal in the branches to make them go where you want!  If there’s a gap in the branches in the tree, you can’t fix it!  That made the search more difficult. It’s very hard to find a “perfect” tree.  So I had to lower my standards a bit (or much), walked to another field, then to another, then back to the first, then back to the second, walked around and around countless trees and found this one:

Cutting it down was easy.  I thought the trunk was going to be like the trees that are in the park, but I was wrong (thankfully!)

Good thing it fits in the car!

Setting it up:

White lights first:

Then color:

Ornaments!

My favorite ornaments:

Will made this at a HR Children’s Ministry teachers’ party!

The star goes on top!

Our beautiful real Christmas tree!

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