Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Tales of a Christmas Tree

10th December 2006

Setting up the tree was quite a memorable experience.  In our 3 years of marriage, we’ve only ever used a little 3-foot fiber optic tree that we got in California.  It was simple and beautiful, easy to put up, take down and small enough to put on a table out of reach of a toddler.  Easy was the best part, though, since I’ve been pregnant 2 of 3 Christmases!  This year I was ready for a full-sized tree.  Having grown up with live trees – which we’d cut ourselves as a family, I know the pros and cons of that option.  But here in Alabama, there aren’t too many places to cut your own.  And once again, I think with 2 little ones, "easy" is still something we’re aiming for!  We inherited an artifical tree from Brian’s grandma that was in storage in our shed, so that sounded like the perfect option.  No keeping the water filled, no struggling to get it straight because the bottom wasn’t cut level, no needles falling off (my favorite!), and no allergies flaring from dried pine needles.  I was excited about having a pretty tree with much less work.  

Brian found our tree out in our shed, with a whole chewed in the bottom of the box.  Looked like a mouse had made a little nest amongst the branches.  It was vaguely reminiscent of one of my favorite books as a child, The Christmas Mouse.  We’re going to have to find that one so Analise can enjoy it.  Anyway, the tree needed to be shaken out which Brian did outside, but fake pine needles, pieces of cardboard and a mouse dropping our two still ended up on the floor.  *sigh*  It took surprisingly longer for Brian to put it together than I expected (I think I hadn’t imagined that you’d have to assemble it branch-by-branch), and then I had to "fluff" all the branches out so it didn’t look like it had been in storage all year.  Of course, the dusty tree riled up my allergies… *sigh* 

We had my pretty homemade-by-my-mom tree skirt all laid out and the tree all fluffed when his parents came to visit the next night.  The tree was NOT up to standards of Brian’s dad (although we thought it was fine).  He thought it was unstable – and crooked, in his eyes, and they proceeded to spend more than an hour trying to remedy the situation, essentially un-fluffing and causing the tree to drop a bunch more fake pine pieces.  *sigh*  Finally, the next day (day 3 of the Christmas Tree Tale) his dad brought over a different tree stand that worked much better.  Then I had to re-fluff, put on the lights, fluff again, sweep again, arrange the skirt, and FINALLY it was ready.  WHEW!  I honestly think a live tree is probably easier, at least compared to our experience this year!  You can see the pictures of our fun evening of tree-trimming here.  We’re enjoying it, so it’s all the hassle has been worth it. 

Oh yeah – my Dad called later that week and to tell me he’d decided to wait to set up the Christmas tree at their house until we got there.!  We can compare our adventure to the snowy-cut-down-your-own-live-tree experience up North. 

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