Tree Trimming Time!
Are you a Real Tree Person?
A Fake Tree Person?
I am a real tree person, rather, our family has been since, well, my husband and I started our family many moons ago. Even as a kid, we always, always had a real tree. I love the smell of a real tree as soon as you bring it in the house. They need to bottle that smell as I would buy a ton of it. I know what your thinking, they already sell those cardboard tree scent thingies to hang in your car – but trust me, those are not even close to the smell of the real thing.
But back to trees though…
If you are a Fake Tree Person, chances are you have had your tree up since El Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead….which is November 1st for you English folks that don’t know about the Mexican tradition…sheesh, there I go again, side-car careening off track. Diehard Christmas-a-holics (of which I clearly do not understand) love their trees and décor so much they revel in it for as long as possible, making the neighbours green with envy….or sick to death of the displays before December even arrives.
Mind you, fake trees have come along way since the first ones were made way back in the 50’s and 60’s….like these….
Honestly…who really thought these things LOOKED like a real tree?!
But today, I am actually amazed how much the new artificial trees look like a real tree…
Still not going to buy one though…not yet anyway. Maybe when they make a fake tree smell like a real tree…maybe….but I am not committing anytime soon though.
Real Tree People wait (or at least I do) until at least 1 week before but not longer than 2 weeks prior to Christmas to get their trees. Otherwise, you could end up with more needles on the floor than on the tree come Christmas morning. Yes, that is the only downside to real trees, but so well worth it IMO.
There are 2 types of Real Tree People – Type 1 are those that venture into the woods, spending hours carefully stalking their prey, before pouncing and lopping it off at ground level and dragging it home like a prized 8-point buck.
Type 2 Real Tree People are the ones that drive to the local gardening store or big box hardware store and purchase one that was cut down in August and shipped from the East Coast. All told, they spend 15 minutes selecting a tree, run their debit card through the machine to the tune of 30 bucks or so, then strap the tree to the roof or stuff it in the trunk and away they go.
We used to be Type 1 people when the kids were little. It was fun to drag them through the snow (or a muddy field…if we had no snow yet) and listen to them whining about cold and tired feet. With the kids grown and gone, we are now Type 2 people. It is tough to try and get a good pre-cut tree though. So how do you get a ‘good’ tree when they all say the same thing: ‘Fresh Cut Trees For Sale!’ – What exactly defines a ‘Fresh Cut’ tree????
You do the Bang and Pull test before you plunk your hard earned cash over.
Have your hubby hold the tree up and bang it on the ground hard, if it loses half its needles, it has been sitting around since August. Then comes the pull test, which is simple, just grab a branch tip of needles and tug, do all the needles come off in your hand? Put the tree back and try another. With any luck, you’ll end up with a decent tree that will last until at least Boxing Day.
Once you bring your real tree home, you need to make a fresh cut on the trunk and then place it in a L-A-R-G-E tree holder that will hold LOTS of water…NOT like one of these…
This type holds less water than a thimble and your tree will suck the water up in 2 minutes flat. Christmas trees are fir trees, not cacti. The goal is to keep your tree alive during the Holiday Season, not transform it into a Saguaro.
Here is a decent sized one that will hold at least a gallon (or more preferable) of water…
Once your tree is secure in its new home, fill it with water and keep it filled every day. You will be surprised how much water a tree will drink everyday. I do stop watering mine a day or two before I take it down though, less chance of spilling water everywhere when hubby drags it back out the front door.
All you have to do now is plop your favourite Christmas music DVD into the stereo, grab a mug of hot chocolate (with Bailey’s!) and spend the afternoon decorating your tree.
(not QUITE ready to wish you Merry Christmas yet….soon though!)
ah you made me chuckle. We have been real tree people for years-there is a first Christmas together, no money, love story behind that. This year, I showed my age or my time allowance and broke down and purchased an artificial tree. YOu are right, they have SOME great fake trees out there but wait for a sale or expect to dish out a lot of dollars. We came upon a good sale at Canadian Tire. The fake trees now have plastic-y formed branches, not sliced up green, indoor/outdoor turf on a piece of wire. This allows the tree to have a fuller, better look to it, even the colour is close. I cut some pine branches from our yard and dragged them into the house, layed them by the wood stove-careful not to start a fire-newly cut allows them to sit for over a week before they dry out. This adds a nice smell in the house and leaves a couple needles around to vacuum. I am 1 of those people who has select decorations on the tree-home made THINGS from the children over the years and hand picked ornaments that tell of an event that happened over the year. I spend more time searching for the perfect new ornament each year than I do some Christmas presents. We have Santa on a quad, in a boat, car, fishing, camping, on the BC ferry, etc, etc. I even found a house ornament (at the second hand store) that lights up from the bottom for the year we purchased our house. Santa on the ferry was purchased at the gift shop on the ferry when we took our ocean fishing trip to Van Island years ago. No pride here, I will purchase our yearly ornament from anywhere, anytime. My frugal ways has me purchasing an ornament for the boys after Christmas each year-no not Boxing Day- but later to start a memory tree for them as well. Eventually they will get an ornament for their tree every year too. I love to hunt for the special ornament almost as much as hunting for that big 5X5 buck 🙂
Oh I wish I had known about your Santa ornament fetish sooner 🙂 Next year then! You will also have to fill me in on your love story/first Christmas story as well…I am always a sap for a good chic flic 🙂
ha ha, chic flick on the way-grab a tissue. So very first Christmas with hubs, I pulled out a sickly looking 3.5 ft artificial tree (just 1 step above a Charlie Brown tree, but with less character that I previously had with my ex). We decorated it just because it was there, we had a tiny apartment and room was limited. We had many plans for Christmas that year, hardly home and only set up a tree to not appear Scroogish. Next Christmas together had a new baby and work was slow. Hubs did a few small jobs-his work partner stiffed him and took the money intended for both of them and left to go back east where he was from. So come Christmas time, we were nearly broke. Food in the pantry was not a problem, and our rent was paid so I knew we would be fine and things would pick up in the New Year. Hubs took our oldest boy child out for a walk so I could have some quiet time. I was terribly home sick and thought of going back to SK to spend time with family, but money was an issue and our car needed some repairs in order to take a long trip. It did fine in the city, but we could not trust it would make a 5 hour drive. It had not snowed yet and we were having a brown Chistmas-blah. Things were gloomy, but I tried to stay happy as I had 2 wonderful men in my life who needed me. I was ready to pull out the sickly looking artificial tree, and get it decorated, when hubs returned home with the biggest, most beautiful real tree I had ever seen. The branches were sturdy and the needles were so long. The colour was a green/blue and I started to cry. He also picked up a box of unique ornaments that I still cherish, that was the start of Santa in a chair, in his PJ’s with only a cup of cocoa and a smile. He would not tell me where he got the money to buy that tree. Years later he and his brother were talking about a collection of hockey cards they once had, Hubs talked of how he pawned his cards soon after our son was born, cha-ching, it finally made sense where the money came from. Our son was just old enough to start rolling and after the tree was decorated, he would roll beneath the branches and spend hours looking up into the tree. He was our little present under the tree. That year we enjoyed hot cocoa and snuggling on the couch watching our son watch the tree. BTW-it started to snow just as we were finishing decorating. OK so maybe not tissue worthy, but I get sappy every time I think about that holiday.
What an adorable story! Hubs is such a sweetie to pawn his cards so you and son #1 could have a good Christmas – sniff, sniff 🙂
Love your blog Deb. I too love a real tree but now use artificial. Years ago, I had to go out of town unexpectedly right after Christmas, leaving Husband and young Son at home with the real tree. About a month later, and with me still away, I got worried about the dry tree and the potential fire hazard, not to mention the mess. I had to call a friend, who kindly came over and with Son’s help, took the tree down and cleaned up. When I finally got home, I vowed to never be in that situation again, because you never know what might happen, so the following year, I bought a fake tree and except for a couple of times, have used one since. The few times I did put up a real tree reminded me why a fake was better for me. When I move the furniture, I am still picking up dry needles. I am getting too old for that so a fake tree it is. But………….I sure miss the smell of the real thing as well as the sturdiness of the branches and just the look and feel of the real thing.
Thank you Lydia! 🙂 wow….I am amazed you had to call someone to take the tree down! I hear you on the dry needles, I find them during Spring cleaning under the couch 🙂