Real or Fake?

christmas bellsI finally put up our Christmas decorations this past weekend — I say finally because everyone in this damn town had everything up and out in all its jolly glory exactly 3 minutes after the bastards finished stuffing their faces on Thanksgiving. I’ve never seen anything like it: we had neighbors who had their lights up and ON well before Turkey Day — which is wrong, wrong, wrong, I say! I like the holidays as much as anyone, but, c’mon, relax….enjoy the fall.

I, on the other hand, had been perfectly content to enjoy the fall and would very much have liked to continue enjoying the Thanksgiving placemats until, say, January, but my kids were getting anxious. I promised Drama Girl and T-Rex that I’d get out the decorations while they were at their dad’s over the weekend, and I’d put up the trees. Trees, as in plural.

See, a week and a half ago I was under extreme duress in Lowe’s with my kids. Whatever Happened to Helen Slater?They were being cranky, I was cranky, so in a fit of desperation, sleep deprivation and rationalization, I decided to be the BEST MOM EVER by buying my kids a little artificial tree on which to hang their ornaments from their growing ornament collections. This was not a bad idea. Since I’ve been on my own, I’ve bought a real tree — usually about a 6 1/2 – 7′ one, not too big because I don’t have much space for it and I have to carry it in and set it up myself (I am superwoman, but I do understand my limits…usually after doing something outside of my limits) — so the family tree is getting overcrowded.

Well, Lowe’s only had slim-style artificial trees (again, we’re limited on space) in the 7′ variety, and, seeing that they were only $60 each, I decided to buy EACH child a tree to decorate.

Fast forward to this past Saturday. I’m staring at 2 boxes of artificial trees in my garage, which I somehow had managed to shove into my Prius a week earlier. I am also staring at my lovely 7′ live Canaan Fir, which I have just pulled out of said Prius, leaving a trail of needles. (Note that there is no flat spot on the aerodynamic Prius; you can barely balance a coffee cup on top of the car, thus the tree was short enough to shove inside the hatch with the seat down like the fake trees.) Needless to say, I was questioning my “it seemed like a good idea at the time” thinking.
real

Now all the trees (plural) are set up. There’s an artificial tree in each kid’s bedroom, but I only put together the middle and top sections, which makes them kid-sized, because who wants a 7 foot dark shape next to their bed at night? And, after awkwardly carrying the Canaan around the back of my townhouse and into the kitchen through the patio door, scraping the top branch across the ceiling (because I kind of forgot I did that last year and meant to snip that bugger off first), scattering thousands of needles that I will find in odd places well into July, I can look at my nifty, get back to nature, love the smell, undecorated tree in my living room.

When someone asks if I have real or fake, I can say “both.” Now we just need to decorate. I’d kind of like to hold off until, say, New Year’s on that, but…

How ’bout you – are your halls all decked out? Real or fake — or a Festivus pole?

PS. For the real deal, here’s my tip: if you have a real tree, buy this swivel tree stand from LL Bean. real needlesI promise, it is worth every penny because you can attach the ball to the trunk outside, carry the tree in, place it in the stand and then press a pedal with your foot to adjust the tree so it’s straight, no matter how crazy you set it in the stand, and then lock it into place. Trust me, this is easy. I can do it.

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4 thoughts on “Real or Fake?

  1. lanipai says:

    Oh, how lucky you are my friend to be able to say to your children “Kids, we don’t have room for a bigger tree.” I have cathedral ceilings in my home and there is no way my children will let me get out of there with anything less than the biggest tree possible. It doesn’t even matter that I need a big ass truck to get it home and at least two of my guy friends to get it into the house.

    I go live for one reason…in a few years my children will be old enough that we can spend our Christmas in Hawaii with my sister and I don’t want to waste my money on an artificial tree I, hopefully, won’t use for a very long time.

  2. I struggled big time with the tree. The boys said, “we’ll have to call Daddy.” “We won’t call Daddy” I responded firmly, “I can do this.” After apologizing for my outburst, which escalated past my comfort level, I told the kids I didn’t want them to remember Christmas as a time when Mommy lost her mind. “Oh, well,” said the older one, “it’s a memory now.” Smart-ass. LL Bean eh…thanks for the tip.

  3. Lanipai: I would LOVE to give up decorating/trees, even for just one year, in order to spend the holidays in Hawaii. How cool! I know you are originally from there (at least I think I read that once), so maybe it’s not that big of a deal, but it looks so beautiful…and it would be warm. One day…

    Heather: I know exactly what you mean by the “I can do this” bit. At first, part of my getting a real tree was because my ex told me not to — it’s a hazard because, ya know, I’m going to use candles instead of those mini-lights to decorate it, and I couldn’t possibly be bothered to keep the water full in the stand — idiot. Part of it was to prove to myself that I COULD do it. Now I just like it.

    The LL Bean stand is wonderful.

  4. lanipai says:

    I would go to Hawaii for every holiday if I could! It is a big deal even if you’re local, like me! So, when your kids are old enough that you can ditch the traditional Christmas gig and have a Hawaiian style Christmas….I’ll hook you up!

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