We have our Christmas tree for 2018!
She’s been dressed up, lit up, and showing off since last week! As soon as we got back into town after Thanksgiving break, husband was like, “We gotta get our tree!” That’s one of the things I adore about him. (I find ALOT of super annoying habits about him, like nail biting, but his level of excitement over festivities and Christmas especially makes me smirk and gives me crush vibes.) He didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas, but has taken on the holiday like a star Santa student! He’s our Baba Elf! I remember the year we stayed up until like 4 am putting together a pink kitchen play set! And another year, we ordered a canvas play tent and I received it in the mail around the week after Thanksgiving and he told me we’d be fine not opening it until Christmas Eve to assemble it, wrong! It was defective and we couldn’t put it up and I had elaborate plans to set it out with twinkle lights and pillows and books and I was MAD, and crushed. NEVER again will I wait until the night before to check for parts!
My Santa guy did grumble a little because I had him pull out and test a few trees before deciding on the girl we got, and he was probably right in that we probably should have chosen the first one we grabbed, but I didn’t think the first one we touched would be THE one. The tree we went with, my idea, feels a bit dry… so we’ll see how long her limbs hold up! Fingers crossed we don’t end up with a pile of ornaments rounding a bare trunk by Christmas!
We don’t go anywhere fancy to get a tree, just the local King Soopers, and have for the last three years or more and it works out perfectly for our little family’s needs! Super close, like one traffic light and a couple stop signs; a short enough of a duration that I can reach out the sun roof to hold her down! Maybe some day we’ll get to a tree farm, or out in the wild, but for now, with two toddlers, picking a tree off a sidewalk suits us just fine. Also, it’s very affordable considering the cost of a real tree. We keep tossing around the idea of investing in an artificial tree, but I can’t quit the SMELL! And the FEEL!
We brought her home, and we let her limbs rest a little, then sawed a little off the trunk, filled the stand with water, and strung the lights. This year, we did decide to purchase all NEW lights.. I HIGHLY recommend testing your lights and checking for missing or broken bulbs before string them on! We had a bin full of lights from years before, I had found ours at the thrift store last year and the year before, risky I know, and they had worked out pretty well. Last year we did have a strand that went dark on us but it was after it was all decorated. What are you gonna do?!
This year I plugged in the first strand and it was a dud. I decided then to just toss the entire bin and get fresh lights. Sounds disposable and careless of me, but in reality these were bought used already and had gotten much use already, and they were mostly burnt out. So I found new lights. I found the best deal to be the traditional multi-color bulbs, which is what I was looking for, on the green cord, a rounder of 400 bulbs for $12.99. I really took the time at a couple places this year to look at the color ranges, style of bulbs and all the details, but in the end it was not cost effective for a tree about 7 ft. tall. We would have had to have at least 10 strands of 50 bulbs! (For a 6-7ft. tree the box recommendation was 700 lights!) I also found a new tree topper which I had been searching for! An angel that lights up! I found the floor model at Lowes to be PERFECT, and it was the last one! I got it for $6 without a box! YES! Love her!
The next few days I get out the boxes of ornaments from the basement. The girls each have collected quite a few already and have their own boxes! I like to get them an annual ornament to remember the year by and start their own Christmas ornament collections; a very special tradition my momma did for us growing up! We always received a special Hallmark ornament on our special “big” gift from mommy and daddy. She always found the perfect symbols of our talents and interests at that stage of our life in those ornaments! Nana continues her tradition with the girls and gifts them a yearly ornament.
The girls are more gentle and careful, MOSTLY, so this year I unboxed their ornaments and put them out on the coffee table so they could easily reach and put their own ornaments up. All the SAFE ones that wouldn’t break, anyway! Remy was WAY more into it than Arlo who was more concerned with drinking hot cocoa and hiding underneath and behind the tree! Still, they BOTH decorated the tree with all their ornaments on their own, with the exception of a few delicates and ones Remy wanted hoisted up high for. Compared to last year, see this post, they feel so grown!
I think I mentioned in my last post that this year they each received a special Clara ornament from the lobby boutique at the Ellie Caulkins Theater where we saw Colorado Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker. I am still, and ALWAYS, on the lookout for vintage ornaments! I usually have had great luck in finding them at a few different local thrift stores, but I have come up short this year! I don’t know if I am already too late, since they set it out right after Halloween, it seems I a a month behind in the Christmas decor department. Not sure, but the ornament selection at my frequented charity shops are TERRIBLE- broken, shattered, UGLY. Sigh… I’ll continue looking…
Here’s some photos from our afternoon getting the tree as a family, thank you husband for getting it up on the roof and taking charge of all the labor intensive stuff and leaving the glitzing up to us girls. There’s also a short video at the end of the girls decorating!
Christmas jingling, ring-ting tingling along!